They're doing the right thing

Monday, January 26, 2015

Three Cherokee County elected officials faced a difficult choice when they met at the board of supervisors room on the afternoon of Jan. 22.

When an elected county official needs to be replaced before the expiration of a term, the responsibility for overseeing the replacement process usually falls on the county board of supervisors.

The exception is when the county official is a member of the board of supervisors. In that case the Iowa Code places the responsibility on a committee consisting of the auditor (Kris Glienke), treasurer (Roswitha Brandt) and recorder (Mark Murphy).

The committee can either call for a special election or go through the process of appointment. If the committee chooses appointment, the public can still petition for a special election.

This was the choice the committee had resulting after the resignation of Ginger Walker, who has completed two years of her four-year term on the board of supervisors.

The easy way for the committee members to proceed would be to call for a special election, but that would not be the best way. The cost to the county for a special election would be between $15,000 and $20,000.

Fortunately for the citizens of the county, the three elected officials do not regard the expense as trivial just because the county deals with budgets in the millions of dollars.

Committee members chose to proceed with taking applications prior to making an appointment. The petition signature requirement makes a special election unlikely.

Whoever the committee members pick, there will be others who are disappointed and angry.

We hope most citizens of the county appreciate the difficulty of this decision.