FCCF group’s identity remains unknown

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 1, 2002

The Freeborn County Committee for Fairness first came out in public in a newspaper advertisement on Sept. 1. The ad had no individual name, but a Glenville address.

It said, &uot;20 years of debt without the right to vote!&uot; and encouraged people to attend a board meeting on Sept. 3.

&uot;You might be surprised to learn only three commissioners are dictating this enormous debt on the new courthouse complex without a referendum and are ignoring public input,&uot; it continued. &uot;Veterans of the county have fought in numerous wars to protect our democracy and the right to vote.&uot;

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Attorney Thomas Kraus, hired by the FCCF, appeared at the Sept. 3 meeting, and asserted the board decision to issue non-referendum bonds the previous week violated the Open Meeting Law and should be null and void.

No individuals who spoke in the same meeting in favor of Kraus’s contention say they belong to the organization. The FCCF is not registered as a non-profit organization with the state or any other authority.

The FCCF is considered to be evolved from a citizen group called the Save the ’54 Building Committee. The group had its first public meeting on June 12 and has collected more than 1,100 signatures on a petition to oppose the demolition of the ’54 administrative courthouse annex. But, the ’54 Committee officials have not come forward to identify themselves as a FCCF members, either.

Fourth District commissioner candidate Truman Thrond, who said was the vice-chairman of the ’54 committee but is not a member of the FCCF, said, &uot;I haven’t promoted the referendum for weeks now. I assumed that it was over … I haven’t contested the referendum. I haven’t fought for the referendum movement. I believe it’s correct, but I haven’t promoted it.&uot;

His campaign advertisement states, &uot;Vote for Truman, he will vote for your right to vote.&uot; But, Thrond said he would not focus on the referendum further.

&uot;We all knew that there was litigation proposed. And the dismissal is kind of unexpected, but I haven’t been a part of it. I’ve been so busy with my own campaign. We don’t have a chance to vote. It’s over. You cannot go after something you can’t do.&uot;