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Township resolutions do, and should, matter

Last week, resolutions from 13 of 14 McLeod County townships were communicated to the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission (GMRPTC) responsible for distributing Legacy money. Resolutions from 10 townships appealed to McLeod County Commissioners to slow down paving of more bike trails and to involve townships more. The additional three new township resolutions are from after the McLeod County commissioners passed their Aug. 30 resolution that requested funding for Dakota Trail to be paved.
Together, these 13 resolutions cry out for justice and fair representation. GMRPTC was asked to not approve any legacy money for the Aug. 30 resolution from the McLeod County commissioners, particularly considering its 3 to 2 split vote. The GMRPTC was also requested to consider the likelihood that the county board majority position could easily change on this after November’s election.
The GMRPTC was also informed that:
• The Hutchinson Leader poll on May 7, 2016, cited 65 percent of poll respondents did not approve of the 2016 McLeod County Trails Plan.
• The May 4, 2016, McLeod County Chronicle found that 72 percent did not approve of the McLeod County Trails Plan.
• A Hutchinson Leader poll in December 2012 reported 54 percent “don’t want to see one penny of taxpayer money spent on Luce Line.”
The townships have been ignored in trail planning and even a key Hutchinson Leader writer practically brags on social media how township opinions don’t matter about McLeod County trails that go through them.
However this Legacy funding plays out, it was the ineffective leadership of both Steve Cook and Commissioner Paul Wright whose “my way or the highway” approach led to this situation. A compromise could have been worked out, especially for Lester Prairie, if only the commissioner chairman would have respected townships enough to communicate with them instead of trying to overcome them.
Jim Bobier
Acoma Township