Our view: Thumbs up on appointing Chamber of Commerce president

October 8, 2018

It took some time, but the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce finally has a new president.

The chamber last week removed the “interim” title from Kathleen Harrington — and not a moment too soon. The organization has been struggling to recover from a controversy that led to the resignation of the previous president in 2017, and this is the necessary first step on the road back.

Harrington is experienced and well-known in the community, which should help restore confidence in the chamber. She has streamlined the organization, and her focus on small business vitality is welcome.

Now it’s time for Harrington and the chamber to get to work.

Thumbs down on illegal yard signs

Austin police have reminded residents that political campaign signs are not to be posted on public property. In Austin, as in most other municipalities, that includes the boulevard in front of your house. So, Austin police have said they will remove lawn signs that are placed on public property.

We understand that in an election season everyone is looking for an edge for their candidate. But the law clearly states that lawn signs must remain on private property. Surely police have better things to do.

Let’s save law officers, public officials and, yes, our neighbors, the frustration of dealing with this issue. Simply follow the law: Keep your lawn signs on your own private property.

Thumbs up for voter turnout

It appears that Minnesotans are getting the hang of no-excuse absentee voting and are turning out to vote in record numbers weeks before the November election.

As of last week, early voting is up 181 percent from the last mid-term election in 2014. Minnesotans are able to cast a vote from home or at an in-person absentee voting station.

Some voters are wary of marking their ballot early. On the other hand, filling out a ballot in advance of election day allows you to avoid the crowd, and to vote when the time is right for you.

No-excuse early voting is convenient and easy, and we’re glad it is offered in Minnesota.

Thumbs down on library closure

We understand the reasons for it, but we’re still disappointed that the Rochester Public Library closed early and remained closed for President Trump’s visit to the city Thursday.

Yes, access would have been nearly impossible, security was a concern, and the crush of crowds could have made for a dangerous situation. Still, in this age of “fake news,” there is no better beacon of enlightenment than the public library, where all views are welcome. Indeed, books, videos and materials at the library cover the entire political spectrum.

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