Past candidate pushing for expansion of county board size

January 30, 2019

A past candidate for a seat on the Madison County commissioners is staying involved in county government issues.

Rick Benson of Norfolk — who was an unsuccessful candidate for the District 1 seat on the county board in the 2018 elections — pushed during the campaign for enlarging the Madison County board from its current three positions to five.

Although Benson lost to incumbent Ron Schmidt of rural Humphrey in last May’s primary, he hasn’t abandoned his interest in seeing the county board expand in size.

That’s why he asked state Sen. Jim Scheer of Norfolk to introduce legislation that would allow a county board to place such an issue on an upcoming ballot for voter consideration.

“The board currently does not have the authority to put the question on the ballot for voters to consider. That can only be done with a petition, which is costly and time consuming,” Benson said.

Scheer has introduced Legislative Bill 411 that, if passed, would give county boards the power to put the question to voters. It has been forwarded to the Legislature’s Government, Military and Veterans Affairs committee for its consideration and scheduling of a public hearing.

Benson said he believes a larger county board would allow for more effective and more responsive governance in Madison County.

He’s asking the Madison County commissioners to consider the proposed legislation and endorsing its passage.

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