From: Wayne Valentine
According to several letter writers, I, as an elected official should, before making any appointments to Winona County committees or commissions, determine whether any of the applicants for these appointments made political contributions to any of my colleagues who serve with me on the Winona County Board of Commissioners.
To allege that I or any other county commissioner has voted to appoint persons to these committees or commissions based on political contributions is an insult to my integrity, and to other County Board members as well.
My votes on any appointments are based solely on the applicant’s qualifications and willingness to serve. I do not believe it is my responsibility to determine whether the applicant has contributed to a political campaign. I don’t know, and I really don’t care who donated to another board member’s campaign. I always cast my votes in the best interest of Winona County citizens and taxpayers. Those who allege that political contributions made to anyone else have influenced those votes are making false allegations that they cannot substantiate.
If the letter writers had adequately researched the issue they would have accurately reported that I personally financed my entire campaign and accepted no monetary contributions.
In recent years and months it has been difficult to find people willing to volunteer to serve on our respective committees and commissions. We should be thanking them for their service rather than condemning them.
Those who have a problem or concern with any of the appointments that are made by the County Board or any other governmental entity should submit their own applications for consideration. Otherwise you have no basis for complaints.
Another thought: Just a few years ago when appointments were being made to these same commissions or committees, I was frequently outvoted by the then majority of the County Board. Why is it at that time the issue of who made political contributions to someone’s campaign was never raised? Just wondering!
Those who really know me, my family, friends and supporters are well aware that I research the issues. I have and will always continue to use my “common sense” approach when voting on any issues related to Winona County government.
Any finally, to the well-organized letter writers and those who post their nameless negative comments to a local media’s website, rather than criticize commissions, why not call us as others have, and we will gladly discuss your concerns.