Letter: Unhappy with the appointment process
To the editor,
The administrative workings of Rosemount never cease to amaze and disappoint. I recently caught a re-run of the film adaptation of George Orwell's novel, 1984, on TV and was chilled at how similar the scenarios were to those in our town. In the story, there is both a loss of civil liberties, and lies are told so often they become truths.
We had an election for city council. Three incumbents succeeded. But we ended up with one empty seat, because one of the members from last year's council managed to earn himself a seat in the Minnesota State House.
During the campaign residents were given the idea a special election would be necessary if Bills won his House seat. The apparent fact a special election was not the only option city council would have to fill a vacant seat was never brought to light until after the election. The city council met to discuss how to fill the empty seat. They then determined a special election would be too expensive for the tax payers. The city council decided to appoint someone to the position. Instead of appointing the candidate with the next highest number of votes in the 2010 election, they opened the field to the entire population. By opening the field of candidates the council created the opportunity to just pick an applicant of their own liking. Wasn't this clever? Now the council can apparently legally ignore 3400 votes and appoint one of their own.
Eighteen candidates applied, and only four actually campaigned for election in 2010. Tim Judy got out there and met his constituents enough to almost make it to the council. The people of Rosemount actually indicated their preference in the primary and in the general election on Nov. 2, and chose the person they wanted, who lost by 26 votes. All of those votes in those two elections were cast by citizens in Rosemount. They spoke. Fourteen of the applicants for Kurt Bills vacant seat did not sign up for the election. Why didn't they? It would have been great if they had.
What are the city council members doing by these maneuvers? Well, they're doing the same thing they've done for years. Some call it stack the deck, shell game, under the table, slight-of-hand, bait and switch. You can call it what you want, but it's not your civil liberties at work.