Monday, May 10, 2010

Food For Thought

Food For Thought (not lutefisk)
I think I finally hit the wall. This is the first time since I’ve been writing these articles (over 2 years) that I have absolutely nothing to write about. I’m just going to start writing and see where it leads. The commissioners continue to do things in secret. They went into executive session to discuss the proposed parking lot and the property they purchased on the Interstate. Hyperion is keeping their mouths closed, which is good because I could criticize them forever if they were to contact the people in Washington to beg for money to build the refinery. Course they very well could be doing that because their version of transparency means be secretive as well. There is nothing in the news about anything except the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and the press is beating that issue to death.
I want to assure everyone that the actions of the oil companies do not cause a reaction as stupid as building a refinery in South Dakota. I guess we just hunker down and wait for a shoe to drop.
Is this a good thing that nothing is going on or is it a bad thing? Personally, I think it is a good thing because time is running out on Hyperion and the drop dead date is only a little over 3 months away.
I do have something to prattle about that might perk interest in some folks.
There is a law on the books that says existing counties in the state can split into one or more counties with permission of the county. There are people that I talk to that want to organize a movement to split the county into 2. They have checked into the state constitution and can’t find anything that says it can’t be done. Everything north of highway 50 should split from Union county and become Foss County, (in memory of World War II Medal of Honor winner and former Governor Joe Foss.) That would be Brule, Spink, Emmett and Prairie Townships. The county seat could be built in the central part of the county and begin to act as responsible people for a change. Of course, the county would never let us do that because the PROPOSED refinery site would be in Brule Township with spillover into Spink Township and we would get all the money. It is always about money isn’t it?
The rationale behind all this is that 2010 is also the year the government does the Census and all the district lines will be redrawn according to population. So goes the population, so goes the Commissioners and so goes the appropriation percentage for monies distributed for the infrastructure of the county. This is called gerrymandering. Dakota Dunes is now bigger than Beresford and Alcester combined. It is conceivable that the Dunes would get 2 commissioners and all the area north of Highway 50 reduced to 1. If we don’t have a strong commissioner representing us when this happens, it will happen. The southern part of the county would purposely be redrawn to give all the power of the commissioners to the lower half of the county. We have 5 commissioners, and 3 of them are currently from the southern half of the county; Dakota Dunes, North Sioux City, Jefferson, and Elk Point. Do you see what is happening here? We are being squeezed out of the picture and pretty soon, we won’t have a voice at all. That is why I say it is entirely possible the Dunes could add one commissioner and we could lose one. If that does happen, we will need a commissioner with a grim determination and an ability to seek compromises. If we don’t, we are at the mercy of the rest of the county. I would put this into the category of taxation without representation.
If the lines were drawn according to size and not by population, we wouldn’t have a problem, but that isn’t the way it works. It is people and money. When the lines were redrawn in 2000, it was done by the Southeast Council of Governments (SECOG) in Sioux Falls. The commissioners rubberstamped it and the lines were redrawn and Roger Boldenow and Dale Harkness found themselves out of a job. Isn’t that interesting? Two commissioners at one whack. That is NOT in the best interests of the townships. It was done strictly to give the advantage to Southern Union County. Have you ever noticed that the paper in Elk Point has changed its name from the Elk Point Leader Courier to the Southern Union County Leader Courier? Inch by inch, Foot by foot, step by step we are being absorbed by the southern part of the county, and pretty soon we won’t have a voice at all. Think About It!


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