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January brings annual appointments

January brings the annual reorganization meetings of various boards, committees and city councils.
Since 2017 was not an election year in this area for school boards, city councils or the county board, there are no new members coming on to start the new year.
The first reorganizational meeting for the boards and councils The Chronicle covers was the McLeod County Board on Tuesday morning. It was no surprise that Commissioner Joe Nagel was re-elected by his fellow commissioners as the chair, nor that Commissioner Doug Krueger was elected vice chair.
Also on the County Board agenda, but tabled to the next meeting, was the annual committee, subcommittee and commission appointments. The county has boatload of committees and subcommittees, but we’re not expecting any big surprises as the appointments are made.
However, the one area of appointment that we are keeping an eye is that of the McLeod County delegates to the Trailblazer Transit Joint Powers Board.
Last year, the appointment caused some controversy, with McLeod County replacing two of its three delegates to the Trailblazer board. The retirement of former Commissioner Sheldon Nies left one opening, which was filled by newly elected Commissioner Rich Pohlmeier. With some heated discussion, the County Board agreed to appoint Nagel to replace incumbent Ron Shimanski, who was then the chair of the Trailblazer board. The vote was approved despite Shimanski’s desire to remain on the Trailblazer board, and despite his vote against the motion to appoint Nagel.
This year, McLeod County needs to pare its delegates to the Trailblazer board to two delegates from its current three. That means that either Krueger, Nagel or Pohlmeier will be off the Trailblazer board.
The new joint powers agreement calls for two members each from each of the partners — McLeod County, Sibley County and Wright County Area Transportation (WCAT). Although McLeod and Sibley counties will have equal votes on the board, we hope that each appoints delegates who are strong advocates for their home counties. Much of Trailblazer’s focus the past year has been on its expansion into Wright County, bringing concerns about preserving and growing transportation in McLeod and Sibley counties, in which the transit system originated.
As for the Glencoe-Silver Lake School, which will have its re-organizational meeting on Jan. 8, we hope that Clark Christianson is re-elected chair. Like Nagel does for the County Board, Christianson is adept at conducting meetings and keeping discussions on track.
As for the cities in our area, we expect no changes. Mayors run the meetings, and incumbents will like remain in their appointments to various committees and departments.
While 2017 was not an election year, 2018 will be. It will be interesting to see what changes come with “mid-term” elections at the federal level, the governor’s race in Minnesota, the U.S. Senate race for Al Franken’s former seat, and who pops out of the woodwork to vie for local offices.
Here’s to 2018. It will be an interesting year, to say the least.