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Community Solutions Podcast

Jan 23, 2019 In America, we choose our leaders at the ballot box. We have free elections because we are not a dictatorship. We are a democratic republic, which means that all the people have the right to vote for a few to represent them in the making, executing, and adjudicating of laws. For one reason or another, sometimes a seat will become vacated in the middle of a term. What do we do? Do we fill the seat, and if so, how? There is a line of succession for president's because not having someone in charge of our nation for a single moment endangers us all. It's less critical at the local level. Filling a vacant seat can be handled differently depending on if a city has a charter or is organized by state statutes. Minnesota law outlines how a statutory city is allowed to fill vacant seats. It says when a special election needs to happen, and when a body can choose to appoint a successor over holding a special election. The problem is, these entities have used these statutes to their advantage to make appointments, rather than allowing the residents to elect their leaders. When an appointment is made, it creates an incumbent, who automatically gets the advantage in the upcoming election. Plus, the council gets to select someone that most aligns with their policies (not to mention, it's often someone they already know... nepotism in broad daylight). They claim to be concerned about cost (for once) and claim that no voter turnout is better than low voter turnout. Councils and boards have learned how to work and manipulate the system to hold on to power. We tell you the story of a very sketchy set of appointments in Big Lake to prove our point. The only cure for this is open and free elections. Except in a very limited set of scenarios, an election is always the right choice. We need to change the conversation and our thought process. Power to the people.

Have you checked out our Spotify playlist? At the beginning of each episode Jason quotes some song lyrics that have to do with the subject matter of the podcast. Andrew never knows what they are, but now he can… and so can you! We’ve launched the Spotify playlist: “Community Solutions Music From the Podcast!" You can listen to Roundabout from Yes after listing to Episode 30 on Roundabouts… or kick back and enjoy a rocking playlist just for the thrill of it. We add a new song every week. Subscribe and enjoy!

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