Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Dan Reed
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

County Auditor/Treasurer becomes an appointive position


August 22, 2019

With little public input the Carlton County Commissioners unanimously voted to change the Office of Auditor/Treasurer from elected to appointed. Clarence Badger of rural Cloquet was the only one to address the County Board during the hearing and was opposed to appointing the position, commenting, “It is not right to have just five people choose an important County leader. Elected offices should not be taken away from the people’s right to choose.”

The hearing was August 12 during the regular board meeting of the County Commissioners and closed within 15 minutes. One letter to Chair Dick Brenner had been written in support of making the office appointive.

Badger pointed out during his presentation, “Let people vote for the person who holds that job. Voters should know that the person is a resident and vested and affected by the decisions made by county government.”

The Board’s decision will not be effective until after 30 days. Within that period, 10% of the registered voters through a petition can call for an election on the issue. If a valid petition on the issue is accepted, the Board’s action is rescinded until an election is held.

Commissioner Bodie said, “The County Recorder has not been an elected official for 20 years and the two people holding that position have done a good job.”

Commissioner Peterson remarked, “An auditor/treasurer must have credentials, an educational degree. There is a possibility someone could file and be elected without training and cause problems. Not everyone is Paul.”

Chair Brenner rounded out the comments by saying, “Officials should be responsible to the County Board. You the people elect us to do the job. I have to say, Paul once refused to do something the Board legally wanted done.”

The County Board accepted $35,000 in grant monies for the continuing effort to address opiod prevention activities in Carlton County. The grant is focused on opiod overdoses in high risk, rural communities.

An Animals in County Buildings Policy was approved which limits animals to people who use service animals and limits questions that staff can ask to people who depend on such animals.

After the recent shooting and wounding of a man allegedly having mental issues in the Moose Lake Trailer Court, the Board approved hiring a temporary, experienced attorney, Vern Swanum, to investigate the event for further action.

At this time only the Transfer Station has had County purchased bottled water due to potential ground water contamination. The County Board approved drinking water filling stations on each floor of the courthouse and any other County building. Visitors and staff can fill their own containers with water. County Coordinator Dennis Genereau stated that each station would cost $500 and converting some newer fountains would range around $300.


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