Cutting the size of the 30-member Marinette County Board of Supervisors has been a topic of discussion for decades. It’s been all talk and no action.

One of the suggestions in the board’s most recent discussions on the issue was to submit the controversial matter to a referendum that would make the call of the voters a binding one. The suggestion, however, didn’t receive a lot of favorable comments from the sitting supervisors.

We see nothing wrong in letting the voters decide how many supervisors it takes to run county government. The county is not the most populated county in the state, but it is the third-largest when geography is considered. If the voters are capable of selecting their representatives on the board they should be capable of choosing how many representatives they want to govern the county. When a topic as important as this one has reached the board floor multiple times without a decision coming out of the conversations, it may be time to let the voters make the call.

Supervisor Al Sauld noted he’s brought up the issue on two occasions, and “then for two or three months nobody talked to me.” He says if a referendum is put in the hands of voters it should be binding.

Supervisor Ginger Deschaine concurred with Sauld.

“I don’t think we should leave it up to the board to decide,” she said. “I think it should be up to the voters.”

Board Chairman Mark Anderson, a veteran when it comes to service in county government, thinks the board could be reduced in size without an impact on county residents. “Sometimes I think 30 is cumbersome,” he said.

Anderson reminded his colleagues that the 30-member board format existed before the county hired a full-time county administrator, and when the county board didn’t have a lot of department structures nor the technology that exists today. He pointed out the function of today’s county board has changed tremendously. He believes the most appropriate time to conduct a referendum would be in the November presidential election when voter turnout is usually at its highest.

Anderson, Sauld and Deschaine have made some strong points for a binding referendum. It’s time for the county board to put the decision in the hands of voters.