March 19, 2007

Barfknecht elected to Franklin supervisor position

By Ryan Gueningsman
Managing Editor

Voters in Franklin Township elected a new supervisor to a three-year term Tuesday at the annual township election.

Mike Barfknecht received 123 votes, to opponent Jamie Pogue’s 40. There were also three write-in votes, with 166 total voters, said Franklin Township Clerk Geri Hagelin.

The results from the election were presented at the township’s annual meeting Tuesday, following the closing of the polls and counting of the votes.

The township’s proposed tax levy was set at $689,600, which is down a bit from the 2006 actual amount of $690,905.

At the meeting, township residents in attendance approved a request from Delano Community Education Director Diane Johnson for $2,000 to fund summer programs.

Residents also approved designating the Delano Eagle as its legal newspaper from March through August, at which time the Delano Herald Journal will have been in existence for a year, and be qualified to publish legal notices. At that time, bids will be called for, and a designation will again be made.

Delano Herald Journal Managing Editor Ryan Gueningsman explained that in calling for bids, no matter which newspaper is chosen, the township will most likely benefit with a lower rate for publishing its public notices due to competitive bidding.

The township also approved its official bank depository as State Bank of Delano, and its official place for posting notices as the town hall.

Following the appointments in the open discussion forum, resident Bob Bauman brought up that he would like to see the clerk/treasurer position be split into two elected positions. Presently, the position is a combined, appointed position.

Township Board Member Bill McMullen said that by having the clerk/treasurer position the way it is, that is the one bit of stability for the township. He said the person who holds the position is responsible to the township board.

Further discussion took place about the position, and it was also noted Denise Olson was hired as deputy clerk/treasurer last fall to fill the position. Hagelin said she is planning on retiring in the future, and working toward training someone in.

Bauman made a motion to revert to a clerk position and a treasurer position, and have them be elected positions. The motion died for lack of a second.

Odds and ends

In other business, members of the township discussed:

• a request from the Wright County Assessor to township resident Milo Durben for rezoning his land.

Durben said he owns just more than 12 acres near the Church of St. Mary of Czestochowa, and that the letter stated he needed to have 10 acres of tillable land in order to be considered agricultural.

He said he has six acres as pasture, which means they are not tillable. Several in attendance said they were surprised with the request from the county, and that the assessor would even be making such a request. Durben said the letter is being sent to residents across the county, not just in Franklin Township.

It was noted Durben could contact Wright County Planning and Zoning about the issue, and also could attend the annual board of review meeting Wednesday, April 25 at the town hall.

• having gravel roads posted at 40 mph. Board members in attendance said it is something that can be checked into.

A comment was also made about how well the roads have been maintained this winter.

• discussed looking at moving township elections from March to November. It was noted that may be an option down the road, but right now, board members like to see the individuality of the township election, and also said many people vote, and attend the annual meeting after.

• expressed appreciation to outgoing supervisor Al Steinbach for his years of service to the township.

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