I along with several other county residents attended the meeting Monday afternoon of the Vacancy Committee charged with special election or appointment to the County Board of Supervisors opening left by Mr. Tom Determann’s election as a state representative. During comments asked for by the committee, I read the following statement:
“This is a four year term position that is meant to represent all taxpayers and residents of the County, exactly half of the full four year term. The salary and benefits are paid by the taxpayers. That is the first reason I believe this position should be filled by an election that allows all registered voters to vote for a new Supervisor.
“My second reason is that currently all three Supervisors represent the same political party and are similar in several ways. We need some diversity. The city of Clinton, Clinton County, and state are very short right now in diversity of the people who ran for and were elected to represent not some, but all of voters and residents of this city, county and state. I’ve lived here since 1964. In all those years, I can recall only one woman ever on the Board, and she (Jill Davisson) was very good in that position.
“Let’s fill this vacancy by election, so that anyone with the desire, ability and requirements to do the work, regardless of social or economic position, gender, race, religion, political or other differences from the majority can be nominated or volunteer to run for it, and have the voters decide who will represent them on this Board for the next two years.”
From the beginning, the Committee was not using their microphones and speaking in a quiet conversational tone and could not be heard clearly by those in attendance even though it was in a small room. From the outset, the end result was clear: 2-1, they were likely going to use the appointment process. People with comments were asked to go to a small table in front with a mic, but initially not instructed that it was not on, and even though speaking clearly and I thought loudly, as I walked back I learned that the attendees had not heard. From there on, speakers were advised to use the microphone but most of the comments still were not clearly heard by the audience.
The basic reason they seemed to want the appointment process was because the special election cost would be around $30,000. One gentleman commented that he felt the right to vote was more important than the cost of a special election; that this is another way our right to vote is being taken from us. I completely agree. As was obvious at the beginning, their decision was to use the appointment process. This can be remedied if a petition is circulated and gets enough signatures to demand a special election. If you have questions or want to discuss this with the committee, they are Auditor Eric Van Lancker, Recorder Scott Judd and Treasurer Dustin Johnson.
Bev Hermann, Clinton