From: Virginia Kautz
Bad advice followed by a bad decision was the situation at the Wabasha County board meeting on August 20.
There was Item I, the “Safe Driving Class Economic Security/Precluding Potential Lawsuit” on the day’s agenda. This item was not allowed to be discussed as the board majority voted to have it removed without hearing what it was all about. This bad decision made by the board majority was a fatal error. In their short sighted vision little did they know that they were passing up an opportunity to handle the “Safe Driving Class” problem without a lawsuit and it would have made them look like heroes. Unfortunately for the taxpayers the new board majority has hired outside counsel to defend their bad decision to NOT hear Item I, and the county is now looking at a lawsuit. The lawsuit against the “Safe Driving Class” is not seeking monetary rewards and is being paid for by private individuals, not with taxpayer money. The suit is asking the state to rule one way or the other on the legality of this “class.” For 10 years, the county attorney has been stating that this class is legal and that is where the “bad” advice comes in. The county sheriff, auditor and the board majority has always accepted this advice. In the past 10 years, the state auditor’s yearly report has documented that this class is illegal and has asked the county to bring the class into compliance with state statutes and laws but the requests have always been ignored. A few of the commissioners on past county boards and two on the current county board have questioned the auditor’s report time and time again but have always been over- ruled by the county attorney. The bad advice was given by the county attorney but the county sheriff, county auditor and the commissioners past and present have NOT done their job to see to it that the auditor’s request was complied with. Finally, two commissioners that have a moral compass and believe in abiding by the law are tackling this problem. These two people are being maligned and chastised for taking on the responsibility to resolve this problem, when in fact, they should be called heroes. After seeing the last event play out at the county board meeting, I think it is time for a clean sweep in Wabasha County. We need a fresh start and all the incumbents need to be removed so Wabasha County can return to honest, ethical government for the good of everyone.