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Monday, June 15, 2009

Lake Politics Part I: Herman Apolitical, Sanitary District Draws Little Interest

Lake Herman and the Lake Madison-Round-Brant aquaplex are an interesting study in political contrasts. Here on Herman, the development association focuses on fishing and the sanitary district (of which I am president/clerk) does even less. Over on Lake County's eastern lakes, residents have busy development associations, two active sanitary districts, a road district, fire district, and now an election this summer to create a water project district.

I guess no one here on Herman likes politics, huh?

The current case in point of political apathy on Lake Herman is the impending Lake Herman Sanitary District election... or, more likely, non-election. Lawrence Dirks is up for reƫlection as a board member, and he has filed his petition. With the deadline for submitting petitions coming up on Wednesday, June 17, no one else has filed.

This is actually par for the course: in 30 years of existence, I don't think the Lake Herman Sanitary District has held a single election. There has never been more than one person at a time who has wanted to run for a seat on the board. Sometimes there's less: when Charlie Stoneback's term expired last year, no one spoke up to take his place. Our board is thus "functioning" (and some might call that word an exaggeration) with a vacancy and only two active members.

The ongoing vacancy on the Lake Herman Sanitary District poses some interesting questions. Practically, what happens if the two board members—Lawrence and I—can't agree about something? Do we have permanent gridlock? Or suppose I quit the board: one man can't be a quorum, so how would the board make any decisions? Would Lawrence have the power to single-handedly write checks and appoint successors?

And if no one is interested enough in the functions of the sanitary district to run for the board, is that a sign the district is not worth continuing? I can see a need for a public agency to inspect and monitor septic tank installation and maintenance... but does anyone else on Lake Herman? When we're lucky to get one candidate a year, it doesn't seem like it.

(Lake Herman readers, if that riles you up enough to run, act now! Pick up a petition—see our lawyer, Jerome Lammers, at his office, 108 N. Egan, Madison. Get seven signatures (yes, just seven!) from your Herman neighbors, and get me that petition by Wednesday!)

Coming up: big political doings at Lakes Madison and Brant!

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