The Free Press, Mankato, MN

October 12, 2012

Your View: County government too small for today’s needs

Allen Sigafus, Mankato

— County government served the needs in the “horse and buggy era” but cannot address 21st century problems. Most counties in Minnesota and across the country are too small to perform those tasks that need to be managed at the local level.

Much larger, strong and viable, local units of government would make it possible to operate programs at the local level. Now, wasteful spending occurs as decisions are made by state and federal officials.

Counties in southeast and southwest Minnesota acknowledge that much larger units are needed. The 12 counties in the southeast are planning to develop a regional structure to deliver human services. Twelve counties in southwest are developing a plan to control Medicare and medical assistance costs by developing a single structure.

The south central area has the opportunity to build a model local unit of government by incorporating plans of the southeast and the southwest into a plan to operate most other state and federal programs.

Centralizing government at the state and federal level has not worked. Huge amounts of tax funds are squandered.