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Hearing Tuesday on appointing or electing Kandiyohi County officers

WILLMAR — The Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners will conduct a hearing at 10 a.m. Tuesday to take public comments on the whether the county auditor/treasurer and recorder should be appointed or elected positions.

Currently, the two offices are elected by county residents, but legislation that was signed this week by Gov. Mark Dayton gives Kandiyohi County, and four other counties, the authority to pursue appointment of the officers.

County Recorder Julie Kalkbrenner was last elected in 2010.

Mark Thompson was appointed as interim County Auditor/Treasurer in 2012, after longtime Auditor/Treasurer Sam Modderman retired mid-way through his term.

Following the public hearing, the commissioners are expected to vote on whether to continue electing individuals to the jobs or switch to an appointed process.

Four of the five commissioners must vote yes.

If it the appointment process is approved, the public has 60 days to file a petition demanding that the issue be put to voters. The petition must have the signatures of 10 percent of the county’s registered voters.

If there is no public challenge, then the appointment process will go into effect.

The board is expected to appoint Thompson and Kalkbrenner to the posts.

Other items on the board’s agenda include a report on the household hazardous waste program, a proposal to construct a bridge overpass on County Road 5 over state Highway 23 and discussion of using iPads for official business.

Prior to the regular board meeting, the commissioners will meet at 9 a.m. as the Family Services Committee, when the board will hear updates on several county youth programs.

Both meetings take place in the board room on the second floor of the Health and Human Services Building, 2200 23rd St. N.E. in Willmar.

Carolyn Lange

A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.

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