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Kandiyohi County begins process to appoint, not elect, two statutory officers

WILLMAR - On a 4-1 vote this morning the Kandiyohi County Commissioners agreed to ask local legislators to sponsor a bill that could eventually make the county auditor/treasurer and recorder appointed, rather than elected, positions

Getting the legislation approved is the first step in the process. It doesn't necessarily mean the county commissioners will actually take action to approve the change.

County Auditor Sam Modderman is retiring at the end of the month, which is one reason why the county is considering the change.

There was some urgency to approving the county resolution today in order to meet the March 16 committee hearing deadline in the state Legislature.

County Commissioner Dean Shuck was the lone no vote. He said he doesn't want to reduce the public's opportunities to vote.

County Administrator Larry Kleindl said appointment assures that qualified candidates are hired for the increasingly complicated jobs.

In order to run for election, the only requirement is to be an 18-year old resident of the county.

The process of changing the positions to appointed instead of elected includes a public hearing and the opportunity for voters to seek a petition for a referendum. That would put the issue to a vote during a general election.

Carolyn Lange

A reporter for 35 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.

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