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(Un)lucky 7

When the number 7 pops up many think of the creation story when God made the world in six days and rested on the seventh day. Scholars have found that the number seven often represents perfection or completeness in the Bible.
Seven is also associated with gambling, as well as the following: There are seven planets. There are seven main colors in the rainbow. There are seven musical notes. The lunar phase continues for seven days. There are seven dwarfs that helped Snow White.
Within the last month the number 7 has hit me twice. The first time was when I waited outside a special school board meeting for almost seven hours. The second time was on July 3 during a Kossuth County Board of Supervisors meeting when the board members made seven (count them) seven different motions or amended motions for one simple issue – airport setbacks.
As the former members of the ESPN Sunday Countdown show would say a few years ago, “Come on Man.”
First the county board meeting. Was the intent to have seven different motions to get the amendment correct or was it posturing? Either way there was confusion at times among the board members, the county attorney, and certainly those, like myself, sitting out in the audience.
Maybe an explanation of what was happening would have helped the matter. The chairperson, Don McGregor, said simple adjustments turned into difficult decisions.
Let’s go back to last month during the Algona school board’s monthly meeting. For almost seven hours – actually 6 hours and 55 minutes – a group of at least 10 people sat out in the commons while the board members held a closed session. What could seven people being talking about for seven hours? Maybe each had an hour to voice their concerns, opinions, etc.
To make matters worse, once the meeting was over the board members did not make a decision or would not comment. At least, if a group of people were going to spend seven hours of their time on an important issue, the board could have at least said, “couldn’t come to an agreement,” “we need more time,” or even, “we were tired and wanted to get some sleep.”
The whole point of this is that government entities and board members are here to serve the public. It is important that they consider the time value of those who are concerned about what happens in our schools, our cities, and across the county.
So please, elected officials when you spend seven hours in a closed meeting or make seven amended motions or motions, explain to those who have concerns what is going on.

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