Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Montmorency County Tribune, Feb 3rd 2010

Daryl Peterson is appointed to County Board of Commissioners
- by Yvonne Swager

Daryl Peterson has been appointed as county commissioner of District III. Three people expressed interest in the board seat and were interviewed at the regular county board meeting Jan. 27.

Peterson said he had been serving the public for 40 years. He said he was familiar with the headaches that accompany public service, and he was ready for a few more.

Everett Swift said he would represent the people as if elected if he were appointed as commissioner. He said he thought the short-term appointment would help him determine if he would like to run for the position in the future.

Arthur Hunt said he was interested in serving as a commissioner so he can help solve some of the county’s problems. He said more consideration should be given to utilizing technology for increased productivity.

A motion to nominate Peterson passed. Board members indicated Peterson’s lengthy resume of public service and accounting skills was a primary factor in his appointment as commissioner.

Swift not only addressed the board regarding his interest in serving the county, but he once again appealed to the board to pass a resolution in favor of allowing the growth of industrial hemp in Montmorency County.

Although there is no ordinance in the county prohibiting growth of the plant, farmers need the support of local governments in order to apply to the state for a permit. It was the third time appealing to the board for support.

Swift said the Declaration of Independence provides that all men are created equal. Since some farmers in other states have obtained permits, he said rights of those here are being violated.

"Why is it that the Declaration of Independence does not apply to us?" Swift asked.

According to Swift, Terrie Case, county attorney, has incorrectly determined the growth of hemp is illegal. Case said she spent a number of hours researching the issue in all the times Swift has approached the board regarding permission to grow hemp.

Case said the Drug Enforcement Agency issued an opinion in 2003 that indicated hemp is a controlled substance.

"I have to follow the DEA rules," Case said.

Instead of voting on Swift’s resolution, the board approved a letter to be provided to the state that acknowledges federal interpretation and states "…there is no ordinance in Montmorency County which would prohibit this agricultural endeavor should it be removed from the Schedule 1 controlled substance list."

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