Friday's Weekend Column
Good Government

by James Glaser
December 19, 2003

The smaller the unit of government, the more control you have in it. Tonight we had a special meeting of the Ardenhurst Township Board. Our Township is six square miles in size and we have about 90 voters.

The meeting was about the vacation of an access to the lake. The people that live next to this access said it was their land and they wanted to get rid of the easement on it. Several of us said that it was not their land and the access should stay open to the public.

Everybody got to say what ever they wanted for three minutes at a time and if after everybody spoke that wanted to, you could have three more minutes.

The couple that requested the vacation brought their "abstract," but there was no easement recorded on it. Jim Stone, said if these people own the land, the easement should come off, but if the town board didn't really know if these people own the land the easement is on, then they should delay any decision until they find out. So next month the meeting will continue and in the mean time the town board will get some proof of who really owns this land.

We don't have big problems up here in the township. We have to gravel the roads, plow the snow, keep our town hall in good repair and recommend if the county should give someone a variance for a building. We set the tax rate and it is a little over what we spend.

We have enough in the bank so that if we need a new furnace or a roof repair we can do it. Also we have enough to run the township for a year, in case the State goes bust.

Almost everyone up here votes. I think in the last election we had a 97% turnout, but it is not uncommon to get 100%. Even though this is Minnesota, I would have to say we are a Republican stronghold and that is because of the farmers and loggers.

Not right here, but seventy miles north, I was an election judge one year and somebody voted for a Communist Workers Party candidate and I thought the other judges would go crazy trying to figure out who would do that. We always have paper ballots that you draw an X next to the name of the person you are voting for and these people could not believe that it was a mistake.

Because of that vote, these fellow judges wanted to void that ballot. I said no way would we do that and chances of the Communists getting elected were very remote. So Reedy Township did have one commie vote that year. I always wonder how many ballots are voided all over America because the judges don't like the votes on them.

BACK to the Essays.