Editorial: Appointment of Foth a good fiscal decisionGene Foth is the newest member of the Nobles County Board of Commissioners, and no taxpayer money was spent in making that happen.
By: Daily Globe, Worthington Daily Globe
Gene Foth is the newest member of the Nobles County Board of Commissioners, and no taxpayer money was spent in making that happen.
That’s a good thing for all of us. When commissioner Norm Gallagher retired last month due to health reasons, there was plenty of talk on whether the board would appoint an individual to fill out the remainder of Gallagher’s term — which concludes at the end of the year — or request a special election. The cost to the county of a special election: As much as $10,000, Nobles County Auditor-Treasurer Sharon Balster said earlier this month.
Throughout the process, the county board as a unit acted wisely. During its April 6 meeting, commissioners voted 3-1 to move forward with a public hearing in Commissioner District 4 to discuss filling Gallagher’s seat. It should be noted that commissioner David Benson voted against the public hearing, stating, “The people of the district have the right to vote for a candidate, even though it’s going to cost us $10 grand.”
On Tuesday, Benson, along with commissioners Diane Thier and Marv Zylstra, voted 3-1 (Vern Leistico was against) to appoint Foth to the commissioner seat following a public hearing the previous evening. During the hearing, Foth — along with former county commissioners Gerald Mulder and Mike Peil, as well as Robert Demuth Jr. — expressed an interest in replacing Gallagher until the end of the year. (Peil was not present, but had submitted a letter in advance.) Only Demuth said he planned to seek election in November.
Both Mulder and Peil didn’t show for Tuesday morning’s appointment decision, which very well could have been part of the reason for the choice of Foth. We would have been very comfortable with the selection of an experienced commissioner to fill the temporary vacancy, as there’s no doubt a lot for Foth to learn as he comes on board. However, Foth has a considerable amount of respect in the community and has expressed a genuine interest in being committed to the position — and, of course, he’s been put there without expense to us.