Husom named county board chairwoman


The Wright County Board of Commissioners conducted its first meeting of 2014 on Jan. 7 and, as its first order of business, the board unanimously voted Christine Husom as the board chair for 2014.
Husom, who served as vice-chair last year, said she intends to make county board meetings open to public comment for those who wish to speak to an issue. Typically, audience participation is encouraged only at public hearings, but Husom said she would allow for comment on issues residents feel compelled to attend meetings to discuss.
 “It is a public meeting, an open meeting, so I intend to let people who feel strongly enough on an issue that they will come to a board meeting, I think they should have their views heard if they want to speak up,” Husom said. “That’s who we’re working for and, oftentimes, they’re the ones that influence how I vote. If I hear from constituents that feel strongly about an issue and I’m on the fence on an issue, that makes an impact on me because they are the people I am representing on the board.”
Husom will take on an added workload as board chair because the job comes with additional working duties. If someone is trying to make contact with the county board, more times than not, the chair gets the calls, emails and letters.
 “You are the point person that people come to,” Husom said. “I’m guessing it will make this year a little busier for me because I am that contact person. I’m the one who signs off on the bills. I think the tendency is that, if someone doesn’t personally know a commissioner, they come to the board chair first. There’s going to be more work, but, at this point, I don’t know how much. Just being a first-year commissioner was a lot of work.”
Husom is looking to build on the first year of the new-look county board by overseeing the board in 2014. She’s proud of what the county accomplished in 2013 and wants to continue that under her stewardship.
 “Hopefully I can keep things rolling in a positive way,” Husom said. “I think a lot of good things happened this last year and I want to continue that.”
In other business, the board:
• Deadlocked on the scheduled time of county board meetings. As part of the reorganizational meeting, Commissioner Mark Daleiden asked for the provision that weekly board meetings all take place at 9 a.m. Tuesdays be laid over. Commissioner Charlie Borrell was not at the Jan. 7 meeting and Daleiden asked that the matter be laid over until all commissioners were present. Commissioner Pat Sawatzke said that board meetings have been held at 9 a.m. Tuesdays for at least 30 or more years. Daleiden said that, last year, the board discussed the potential of having evening meetings every month or so. Sawatzke made a motion to keep all scheduled meetings at 9 a.m., but the motion died because it ended with a tie vote – with Husom and Daleiden voting to table the question until the Jan. 14 meeting.
More information appears in this week's Messenger.