Winneshiek County residents won't be voting on the method for electing supervisors this year.

A petition had been circulated calling for a vote on matter but it failed to garner the 1,129 signatures (10 percent of the votes cast in the last general election) required. The deadline for obtaining the signatures was Monday.

Another petition drive can't be launched until next year. A special election would cost about $15,000, according to County Auditor Ben Steines.

Vermace said "hundreds" of county residents signed the petition and there will be another petition drive.

"There was an overwhelming amount of support from all over the county, just not enough people to get it out there to the voters. Next time, we'll have more county residents going door to door in their own neighborhoods and we'll have an on-line petition option as well," she said.


Currently the five supervisors live in the districts they represent and are elected only by the residents of their districts. That was the method voters approved during a special election in 1996.

Before the election, supervisors were elected "at-large" but were required to live within their district. A third option available to voters is for supervisors to be elected at large with no requirement where they live in the county.

Vermace said she would like to see the method changed back to the way it was prior to the 1996 election.

"It bothers me that just five people make decisions without the entire county being able to vote for those five people," Vermace said.

I'm in favor of representation from each district, but I want to be able to vote on all five if they're going to be affecting my life with their decisions," she said.

Vermace also said the petition drive was a "bipartisan effort."