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New year, new voices: changes on local boards

The Chronicle has been covering a rash of swearing-in ceremonies this week, which comes with a new year in local politics.
At the most local level, two commissioners were sworn in Tuesday morning at the McLeod County Board meeting. Monday night, new Glencoe City Council member Allen Robeck was given the oath of office — not only because he is newly elected, but because the Council needed him for a quorum because of the illness and vacations of others.
This end of a year, start of a new year time seems to be a good one to express our appreciation for the outgoing members of the County Board and the Glencoe City Council.
Kermit Terlinden served as District 2 commissioner for eight years. What we appreciated about Kermit was his compassion for others and, subsequently, his overriding desire to help if he could.
While Terlinden pointed with pride to some of accomplishments in the county over the past eight years — in particular keeping the levy level while undertaking some major projects — ego was never a driving force for Terlinden. The man truly does not have a mean bone in his body, and his true hope was to make things better for others.
Commissioner Jon Christensen admitted that he “marches to my own drum.” Christensen often was one of the dissenting votes on County Board actions. Some feel that split votes indicate friction and animosity among board members. In our opinion, it’s what happens after a split vote that counts — if after the vote dissenters can close ranks with the majority and work together to make the decision work well. We feel Christensen had this ability.
This editor has had only a few opportunities to watch the Glencoe City Council in action, but found outgoing Council Member Lori Adamietz to be thoughtful in her deliberations and statements.
But fresh faces and fresh voices are good, too.
New District 2 Commissioner Doug Krueger has already demonstrated his willingness to delve into issues and raise concerns. We don’t know much about Christensen’s District 5 replacement, Joe Nagel, but Nagel has been attending County Board meetings and workshops, obviously trying to get up to speed before taking his seat at the table.
As for the City Council, Robeck brings with him years of experience as a former city street and utility worker. Hopefully, his prior experience with the city will serve him well as the Council takes on two major renovation projects in 2015 and 2016.
We are fortunate that neither the County Board nor the City Council had major turnovers in personnel. The November election left us with a nice blend of seasoned veterans and eager newcomers.
Here’s to a great new year in 2015.