Reader Opinion: County attorney is right
The Crow Wing County Board met Friday in emergency session to hire legal representative in a lawsuit it's facing from the county attorney. It is my opinion that the decision of the county board is wrong for many reasons. The case has been assigned to Cass County Judge David Harrington, and a scheduling conference is set for 11 a.m. Jan. 18.
Ryan, who was elected County attorney in 1994, is suing the board over his 2017 budget proposal, alleging funds the board approved are not reasonable for the duties required of his office. I agree!
Ryans budget submission would have resulted in a budget increase for the county attorney's office of $189,410. The county board passed a property tax level with reductions for the seventh straight year. The value of Ryan's budget amounts to .21 percent of the county's $83.27m budget.
The legal cost associated with the appeal was one reason Ryan cited for seeking a resolution with the board. "Consequently, I am available if the board of commissioners are interested in negotiating an amicable resolution prior to incurring outside counsel expenses." In my opinion: Very important!
Commissioner Rachel Reabe Nystrom said: "We have served alongside our county attorney for 10 years. This is a sad day in Crow Wing County, "Nystrom said. "Even the letters to the editor are already ratcheting up. Our citizens are watching us."