Some residents feel that the Faribault County auditor/treasurer should be elected by the people, not appointed by five commissioners.
So, it has spurred a grassroots effort to gather enough signatures to have a referendum vote on the issue.
“The voters of Faribault County have the right to have their voices heard,” says Brenda Baldwin. “No matter which way the vote goes, remain elected or become appointed, the commissioners do not have the right to take away our right to vote on this important issue that will affect the county for many years to come.”
At their July 18 meeting, county commissioners passed a resolution following a public hearing to make the auditor/treasurer an appointed position.
According to County Board chair Bruce Anderson, 51 of the state’s 87 counties appoint their auditor/treasurer.
Some commissioners feel the change is necessary because there are no job-related skills needed to run for the office and an unqualified person could get elected. Commissioner Tom Loveall was the lone vote against having the position being appointed.
Baldwin says a local chapter of Minnesota Patriots 4 America and a small group of conservative women are hoping to gather 845 signatures of registered voters. That would let voters decide if the position should be elected or not.
“We knew this was coming, so we got the petitions ready ahead of time so we could move forward,” she says.
So far, Baldwin estimates 125 people have signed petitions that have been given to persons willing to gather signatures.
In addition to being placed at some businesses, the petitions will be at the Republican Party booth during the Faribault County Fair this week.
“We are currently trying to get the Democrats to have them at their booth as well,” she says. “This is not a partisan issue. If we don’t work together, we are not going to get the number of signatures we need.”
Baldwin says at the public hearing, Commissioner Bill Groskreutz suggested Town Hall meetings could be held to provide information and answer questions the public may have.
“I’m going to email the commissioners and ask them, ‘When can we expect the meetings to take place?” she says.
Deadline for submitting the petitions to the auditor’s office is Aug. 17. If that happens, the resolution would be rescinded and a referendum vote would be held either in November or February.