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3 or 5, Something to Think About

October 18, 2012
Emmetsburg News

To the Editor:

The voters of Palo Alto County will have a question presented on the Nov. 6 ballot whether to reduce the number of Supervisors from 5 to 3.

Do we want to reduce the Palo Alto County citizens' representation on the Board of Supervisors? We should be asking ourselves, will we be better off with fewer board members?

The Board of Supervisors oversee a $4M budget of taxpayer money, as well as many citizen concerns throughout the County. Are we, as Palo Alto County citizens, interested in foregoing the opinions, ideas, and representation of 2 board members? It seems to me that input from more people should lead to more ideas, opinions, and options which can result in better business decisions for the County.

There have been, and presently are, many people in the county involved with and serving on county boards. These citizens are giving their time and efforts to the betterment of Palo Alto County. They are not being monetarily compensated for their public service, other than mileage. These Boards consist of anywhere from 5 to 13 members. Some of which are listed below, along with the number of members on each board.

Conservation Board:?7 Members

Health Board: 6 Members

Zoning Commission: 7 Members

Board of Adjustment:?5 Members

Board of Health:?6 Members

Compensation Board: 7 Members

Hospital Trustees: 7 Members

Palo Alto County Enterprise Zone Commission:?9 Members

Economic Development

Commission:?13 Members

School Board:?7 Members

Is citizen representation, involvement and input important on the Supervisors Board??I believe so. If not, why would we have the number of citizens we now have on other various county boards? If we would have better decisions made with fewer Supervisors, then it stands to reason we would have better decisions made on these other Boards with fewer people.

Is the question the number of Supervisors or the cost of employing 5 Supervisors??It sounds to me that people believe the County will save money with 2 less Supervisors. That is a possibility, but not a guarantee. I don't want less representation, ideas and thinking from our "compensated" public servants. I feel that a good solution for representation and taxation would be to retain 5 Supervisors and reduce their wages and/or benefits to reflect the savings there would be from two less Supervisors.

Now that would be public service!

(signed)?Dean Gunderson

Cylinder, IA



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