From the Dec. 29 edition of The Madisonian

Support our local volunteers with your year-end donations

This letter has been updated to correct an error

Dear Editor,

Every time you hear the siren go off, volunteers are rushing to take to a fire, a medical emergency, a car accident or another crisis in our area.

In the big city, these services are paid for by tax dollars. Fire and emergency responders are paid hourly, with vacation, medical and retirement benefits. The equipment used to save lives is also purchased with tax dollars. In the Ruby Valley, these services are volunteered by our friends and neighbors.

Please show your support for these volunteers in your year-end giving plans by making a donation to our emergency services.

Sheridan Volunteer Fire Department, 
103 East Hamilton, Sheridan, Montana 59749.
For additional information, please 
call 842-5431.

Alder Volunteer Fire Department, 
 P.O. Box 102
Alder, Montana 59710.
For additional information, please call 842-5908.

Twin Bridges Volunteer Fire Department, P.O. Box 8, Twin Bridges, MT 59754. For additional information, please call 596-2780.

Madison County Search & Rescue, Ruby Valley Unit, P.O. Box 684, Sheridan, MT 5949. For additional information, please call 842-5262 or email:

Ruby Valley Ambulance Service is all volunteers,  P.O. Box 77, Sheridan, MT  59749. For additional information, please contact Ken Yecny 842-5648 or 596-5648.

We all want our volunteers to have the best equipment and training when they come to our aid. It’s our responsibility to make sure that they have it! Please include these organizations in your year-end donations.

Debra McNeill
For the Greater Ruby Valley Chamber of Commerce & Agriculture

Situation should receive public airing

Dear Editor,

I am deeply concerned by the recent handling of Ennis school custodian Cliff McAllister’s coerced resignation and subsequent reinstatement. Surely Mr. McAllister deserves a fully public opportunity to clear his good name. As the injured party, he asked that his reinstatement and all the legal gymnastics that the school district put him through be public, as he waived his right to privacy. I do not believe that the school district acted properly by overriding his request. It was his chance to have the heavy-handed process that he had endured as an employee see the bright light of day.

This situation cannot be good for the morale of the other school employees, illustrating as it does, that the closure of the meeting was to benefit the school board and superintendent, not the (injured) employee.

The fact that Mr. McAllister had to retain a personal lawyer to be reinstated is surely the business of the taxpayers of the Ennis school district. They are ultimately the client that school board attorney Elizabeth Kaleva represents. There should be no legal decisions made by Ms. Kaleva and signed off on by Mr. Walsh without the direct knowledge, oversight, and acquiescence of the school board.

Greg Lemon was spot on when he requested that our leaders “make an honest effort to answer questions.” I sincerely hope that this situation will receive the public airing and review it so richly deserves.

Eileen White

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