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SWCD seeks applicants to fill open supervisor seats

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Individuals interested in soil and water protection in Dakota County should consider filing May 22 to June 5 to run for the position of Supervisor of the Dakota County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD).

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Soil and Water Conservation Districts are political subdivisions of the state and are governed by an elected board of five supervisors. Each board supervisor represents a district within the county, and each district is defined by city and township boundaries.

The office of an SWCD supervisor is a four-year term. Elections for SWCD Supervisors have always been "at-large" within Dakota County meaning that all eligible voters in Dakota County vote for a candidate in each District. However, candidates must live within their respective nomination district.

"Supervisors play an important role in a wide variety of natural resource management issues at the local level, including water quality, soil erosion, stormwater management, agricultural conservation and land protection" noted Brian Watson, District Manager with the Dakota County SWCD.

This year, the Dakota County SWCD has four Supervisor positions up for election, including District 2, which covers Apple Valley, Coates, Farmington,?Lakeville,?Rosemount and Empire Township.

District 4 is also up for election. That district includes Northfield, and the townships of Castle Rock, Eureka, Greenvale, Sciota and Waterford.

SWCD candidates appear on the ballot for the general election which will take place in November. Again, individuals who wish to be on the ballot must file for candidacy between May 22 and June 5.

The elected SWCD Supervisors will serve four year terms.

Supervisors meet monthly to discuss the business of the SWCD including grant opportunities, conservation priorities, coordination with other local units of government and state agencies, and legislative priorities. Supervisors do not receive a salary, although they do receive compensation for attending meetings and are reimbursed for expenses. Soil and Water Conservation Districts do not have taxing authority and land use authorities.

Any eligible voter that is at least 21 years old, and lives in a nomination district up for election, can file for a SWCD Board vacancy.

Anyone who is interested in filing for an SWCD Board Supervisor position a "Minnesota Affidavit of Candidacy" is available from the Dakota County Election and Voter Registration Department, and there is a $20 filing fee. More information can be obtained at www.co.dakota.mn.us or by calling (651) 438-4380. Information about the Dakota SWCD programs and activities are available at www.dakotaswcd.org.

For more information, contact the SWCD Office at 651-480-7777.

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