Auditor-Treasurer quandary

To the editor:

The concern I have with the vote to eliminate voting for the Auditor-Treasurer position, is that a couple of years ago the Brown County Board of Commissioners authorized mail-in balloting in order to increase voter participation in county elections. Now, by a majority vote of 4-1, they have done a complete about-face by voting to deprive the county voters of the privilege and opportunity to elect someone to one of the most important positions in the county, the Auditor-Treasurer.

This office was established as an elected position by our forefathers at the time of Minnesota statehood. They recognized the importance of this job to be an independent elected office to oversee the checks and balances so desperately needed. This issue was not even brought up at the two previously held meetings. It was mentioned that a disc jockey could get elected, not recognizing that the same could be true for the Commissioner positions. It was suggested that improvements need to be made, but no suggestions or reasons for this were given. The board feels they can appoint someone more qualified than the voters even though, prior to Ms. Prochniak, the preceding 4 auditors served for a period of almost 120 years averaging nearly 30 years each.

It’s hard to figure out the real reason for this change — is it to satisfy certain egos? Would presenting this issue to the county voters in the form of a referendum be more democratic?

Marlin C. Helget

Brown County Auditor-

Treasurer (1987-2015)


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