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Forward Thinking

January 22, 2015
Emmetsburg News

To the Editor:

Sharing with other like-minded governments: it's worth more than just talking about it. And there is evidence the Supervisors of Palo Alto County are willing to invest their time by discussing it in an "official" setting. Even the setting for the "sharing" discussion was meaningful. As written in the Emmetsburg Democrat Reporter; " January 15, 2015 GRAETTINGER - With Palo Alto County's Board of Supervisors in the market for a new County Engineer, Tuesday's yearly joint meeting with their counterparts from Emmet County quickly settled into"

Elected Supervisors from both Palo Alto County and Emmet County met in Graettinger, half way between Emmetsburg and Estherville. In true leadership fashion, newly voted Chair Craig Merrill led the conversation with the Supervisors opening the door to sharing agreements between the two counties; the first being a County Engineer. It's time, both counties are faced with similar challenges including a declining population. Tax dollars would be wisely invested when opportunities arise, like sharing an engineer. Iowa legislators created legal processes for sharing called 28E Agreements. Iowa Lakes Community College is an old hand at managing such agreements between local governments and school districts.

The two boards did not vote on any agreements ye, but the meeting was a great start. It is a modern approach to solving major challenges.

As Iowa school districts have learned from similar sharing opportunities with other school districts, they have learned those opportunities provide a larger pool of collaborative leaders willing to manage our public resources.

Congratulations to Craig Merrill for his leadership and to the PA Supervisors who chose him as the new Chairman of their board.


(signd) David E. Nixon

Emmetsburg, IA



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