To the Editor:
On the 30th of September there will be a public hearing on whether to limit service on the Houston County Planning Commission to two terms (a total of six years). I have heard a number of people, including county commissioners, say, in effect, “Things are going along just fine. There are no complaints, so why change something if it’s not broken?”
From my perspective, there is one important reason to impose term limits on members of that commission. Democracies function best — to the benefit of all citizens — when as many citizens as possible participate in governing. Democracy flourishes when citizens are active and responsible to and for what happens in their communities, and democracy fails to the degree that citizens feel locked out, unimportant or cut off from their government.
Right now, just four members of the Planning Commission have served for a total of 100 years. If a two-term limit had been in place, more than 16 citizens could have served rather than just those four. The opportunity to contribute could have been available to many more citizens, allowing them to bring — to all citizens of the county — different perspectives, wider knowledge and fresh understanding to the work of the commission.
We are all the poorer for not having those additional points of view.
Please attend the public hearing at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 30, or contact your county commissioner to let him/her know your thoughts on this issue.
Money Creek, MN