Keep the power in the peoples’ hands

Le Sueur County commissioners have been debating whether to change the County Auditor-Treasurer’s position from an elective office to an appointed position.

Those who support this move bring up some good arguments for making this change. They talk about requiring standards and minimum qualifications for the position. Currently, as an elected office, there are none.

Still, Le Sueur County has done well in putting qualified people in this position. Having an elected official in the office helps ensure that the auditor-treasurer is responsive to the voters. If he or she were to have to answer to members of the county board, it could bring politics into the work of the auditor-treasurer, since he or she would have to worry more about pleasing the commissioners than the voters. Should there be a split in the county board, the auditortreasurer would be concerned about trying to please one faction or the other, at the risk of possibly losing the job.

We’re all for efficiency in government and having qualified people in key governmental roles. Voters in Le Sueur County have done a pretty good job, for the most part, in picking their elected officials over the years. At Tuesday’s board meeting, a motion asking the legislature to give Le Sueur County the power to appoint an auditor/treasurer died for lack of a second. For the moment, this issue is dead.

We would prefer to see it stay that way.