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Continued: State boards and commissions face new scrutiny

  • Article by: BAIRD HELGESON , Star Tribune
  • Last update: December 2, 2013 - 10:42 AM

Assistant Senate ­Minority Leader Michelle Benson, R-Ham Lake, has a solution for the upcoming legislative session that both sides might be able to get behind: Eliminate seats on any board that have proved too tough to fill. She also suggested eliminating any board or commission that hasn’t met for years.

“It would be perfect” for the upcoming session, she said.

Some boards are still struggling for relevance after years of neglect.

Since its creation in the early 1990s, the Board of Invention has never had a member appointed, a single dollar allocated to run it or held a meeting.

“We have never been able to do anything,” said Dan Ferber, who at 86 is still pressing for money and appointments to a board he was the guiding force to create.

Over the years, Ferber even did all the recruiting himself and presented a list of candidates to the staff of former Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

Somehow the list got lost in the transition from Pawlenty to Dayton.

Ferber had a mild stroke in recent years and can no longer travel to the Capitol for a meeting if the board were to be convened.

“I can’t do much now except try to keep the concept going,” he said. “I really do hope we can get this board up and running one day. It would be a great service to Minnesota.”


Baird Helgeson • 651-925-5044

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