An organizer of a failed petition drive has some questions for Faribault County commissioners.
So, Brenda Baldwin has asked to be on the board’s Sept. 5 meeting agenda and has been given 15 minutes.
“We submitted one number, Mark Daly (interim county coordinator) called me with a different number he claims he received. And, the newspaper printed yet a different number,” says Baldwin.
On July 18, commissioners approved a resolution to have the auditor/treasurer position appointed by the County Board rather than elected by voters.
Petitioners had until Aug. 17 to gather 846 signatures of registered voters to rescind the commissioners resolution and hold a referendum vote on whether the position should be elected or not.
Daly says the petitions were turned in an hour early on the deadline date and contained 601signatures.
“The county attorney and I opened the envelope containing the signatures,” says Daly.
County Attorney Cameron Davis says he and Daly spent about 15 minutes counting the number of signatures.
“I then asked one of my staff members to count and recount the number of entries. She, too, came up with just over 600 entries,” he says.
The number of signatures fell significantly short, says Davis, of the necessary number to overturn the board’s action.
“There was no effort made to verify if the signatures were each unique and represented actual eligible voters in Faribault County,” he adds.
The county began advertising to fill the auditor/treasurer and coordinator positions in a local newspaper shopper dated Aug. 14.