Letters to the Editor: 4.18.13

Our political advertising and letters policy

In light of upcoming school elections, The Madisonian Editorial Board would like to reiterate our policy pertaining to political advertising and letters. This policy is in place to maintain fairness for everyone and to protect the integrity of the election process. 

In the edition immediately preceding the election, we will only permit very generic advertisements and Letters to the Editor will not be published. Consequently, the April 25 edition will be the final opportunity to place letters or detailed advertisements pertaining to the election.

To further ensure fairness, this policy allows for only one exception.  If a letter or advertisement clearly requires a rebuttal from a candidate, that candidate will be allowed to respond with a letter addressing only the subject matter of the offending letter or advertisement.

As always, letters may be edited for length and content. We reserve final decision on what runs—this applies to ads and letters.  I am happy to work with those writing letters or placing advertisements to ensure submissions adhere to our policy.

A reminder: Letters to the Editor must be under 350 words.  Author’s name, address and phone number must accompany letters or they will not run.  Longer letters will be considered on a case-by-case basis, relative to space and content.  Citizens can have their letters published twice per month.

Readers Speak columns must be arranged with the board prior to submission and will only run as space allows.

By Susanne Hill

Editorial Board member


John Scully and Maria Lake will stand behind Mr. Overstreet


If my husband, Bob Cleverley, were alive today I can tell you with certainty he would be appalled by the fighting that continues to surround our school.  His number one priority as a teacher was to make sure that the students got the best education they could.  If Bob were here he would say it is time for this community to stand behind Mr. Overstreet and this school and do what is “best” for the students.  You hear there is more work to be done, new lawyers, second opinions.  All that is, is wanting to continue the fight.  I am tired of my retired taxpayer money being spent on that.


$60,000 of our taxpayer money was spent on an audit.  I’m glad the audit was done so that it could put to rest the suspicions about the school.  I was not happy that it cost $60,000, when the bid for the audit was $17,000-$25,000.  Mr. George convinced the board to cap the audit at $60,000 instead of holding the firm accountable to their bid.  That was your taxpayer dollars.


Mr. Craig George and Lisa Frye, and apparently Mr. Richmann if elected, also do not have your best interest in mind when it comes to the TRS settlement.  They originally just wanted to write a check for $188,000 to TRS without even waiting for the final ruling.  Thankfully, the board has voted to go to mediation with TRS.  I, for one, would be happy if they go to mediation and negotiate a settlement with TRS that costs me, the taxpayer, less than $188,000.   From what I understand, Mr. George and Ms. Frye have voted against Mr. Overstreet’s recommendations numerous times this year.


I will be casting my vote for Mr. John Scully and Ms. Maria Lake.  I believe they are the two candidates whose only agenda is what is best for the children, the Ennis School District and you, the taxpayer.  I believe they are the only two candidates that will actually support and stand behind Mr. Overstreet.  I believe a vote for them is a vote for our community, our tax dollars, our school and most importantly our children.


Janice Cleverley

Ennis, MT


In Support of Maria Lake

Dear Editor:

When we discovered the Madison Valley in 2004 we were impressed with a few things: the amazing beauty, the phenomenal fly-fishing, and the attitude of the residents of Ennis. After purchasing a parcel, we were fortunate enough to find a fantastic builder in B & E Construction and the most helpful loan officer at First Madison Valley Bank.

Since the completion of our home building project, we have continued a relationship with both builder and banker. It is for this very reason we are writing this letter of support for Maria Lake for the Ennis School Board.

Although Maria is one of the most intelligent, capable, and honest women we have ever met, it is her heart for the citizens of Ennis that impresses us the most. We feel she will represent the town, the school, and the students’ interest if she is elected as a trustee. She has the ability to listen, learn, and contribute to the needs of Ennis Schools. She has proven her dedication to the Ennis Schools by attending school board meetings on a regular basis, and her willingness to serve wherever she can.

Maria will be fair, trustworthy, and impartial when making decisions as a school board member. She is interested in learning everything she can to prepare herself for this position, and we are confident she will be a knowledgeable board member, one ready to serve the good of those she is serving: the students at the Ennis Schools.

Therefore we encourage you to vote for Maria Lake for the Ennis School Board.



Dave and Melinda Legg


Senseless spending of taxpayer money

Dear Editor:


We hope this spring’s school board election puts an end to the senseless spending of taxpayers’ dollars to pay for an attorney who does not have the best interest of the district at heart. I’m an 85-year-old retired farmer and my wife and I have been less than pleased with the way our tax dollars have been hoarded and spent for illegal purposes.

We’ve only heard one candidate clearly and consistently state his position on this and other issues over the past few years and that is Mike Richmann. He will be the ONLY candidate getting our votes on May 7.




Curtis and Betty Carson

Ennis, MT


MVMC welcomes new physical therapist

Dear Editor,

Madison Valley Medical Center (MVMC) would like to welcome Andy Thomas as our new Physical Therapist starting in early June. MVMC recently purchased Hyalite Rehabilitation for the Madison County service area. Madison Valley Medical Center would like to thank Lorena Pettet Payne for her years of dedicated service to the patients and community she served.  In an effort to continue to provide excellent patient service in Madison County, MVMC has moved to an employee-based model in our physical therapy department. Physical therapy services will continue to be offered across the hall from the clinic.

Andy is a long time Madison County resident, with a lifelong dream of becoming a physical therapist. He received his undergraduate degree in athletic training from the University of Southern Illinois. He will graduate with a Doctorate in physical therapy from the University of Montana in May. Andy brings over 10 years of experience with athletic training as an outreach coordinator and working within an outpatient physical therapy clinic.

We are excited to have Andy joining our team at Madison Valley Medical Center!

John Bishop

CEO Madison Valley Medical Center


In support of Scully and Richmann

Dear Editor:


At the most recent meeting of the Ennis School Board, the upcoming mediation regarding the TRS claims that Doug Walsh has received retirement benefits to which he was not entitled was discussed at length.  There was a good deal of public input, and many of the attendees voiced support for having a school board trustee present at the mediation scheduled for April 23 in Helena.  The School Board, as elected representatives of the taxpayers, are fully entitled to have one or two of their members present.  Although the decision came down to a three to two vote to have only Attorney Elizabeth Kaleva and Superintendent Overstreet mediate. I am pleased that there were two of the present candidates for school board who expressed the opinion that indeed, a duly elected trustee who answers directly to the voters should attend the mediation session.

Mike Richmann, who was present at the meeting, and John Scully, who had voiced his opinion in discussion with Superintendent Overstreet in prior conversation, were in strong support that the Ennis School Board, who is the client of Ms. Kaleva, needs to have a member present at the mediation.  I will be voting for these two candidates who have publicly stated their willingness to take on the tough challenges in their representation of our district.  Please join me in supporting Mike Richmann and John Scully on May 7 at the school election.




Eileen White


Board members disagree with attorney’s advice


To the Editor:


I am writing to thank both John Scully and Mike Richmann for advocating that an Ennis School Board member or members attend the mediation with the Teachers’ Retirement System on April 23.  I believe that we, as the elected representatives of the people of the Ennis School District and as the Trustees of our District’s money and finances have a duty to be involved and informed in matters where hundreds of thousands of dollars of the District’s money is at risk.  I believe it was a serious mistake on the part of our attorney to advise that no board member attend and a mistake on the part of three of my colleagues to go along with that advice.

Ever since being elected to the Ennis School Board of Trustees my primary goals have been rebuilding our community’s trust and instituting policies of transparency and accountability.  It makes no sense to have a mediation involving so much controversy in our community without having a board member present.

I strongly urge the voters of our District to give their vote to John Scully and Mike Richmann on May 7th, 2013.  Both have been strong advocates for openness, transparency and the public interest.




Lisa Frye


Community helps out with fire losses

On Mar. 25, Dan and Cindy Crismore suffered a significant loss when their garage and shop were engulfed in flames. They lost several personal items too numerous to list. Due to the multiple inquiries on how to help them, we at Ruby Valley Hospital have set up an account at Ruby Valley National Bank for donations. Those interested in donating can send or drop off their donations at the Teller counter in Twin Bridges or Sheridan.  Thank you for your support.

Thanks for your help Erin. Please contact Jamy Kraai (Cry) at #842-5081 with any input or questions.


Jana Butler and Jamy Kraai


Twin Bridges resident seeks school board seat


Dear Editor:


My name is David Banks Jr. I am running for the school board position at the Twin Bridges Schools.

I am 32 years old, was born and raised in the Twin Bridges area.  I attended Twin Bridges Schools K-12.

My wife Jolene and I have 3 children Jasmine, Lilly, and Johnny.  I work at the Golden Sunlight Gold Mine in Whitehall.

I would like to be a member of the Twin Bridges School board for many reasons– mainly to help maintain high standards, encourage communication between the school and the community and to be involved with the future of our school with an open mind. Please call me with any questions at 406-596-6049 or email onlytks1@live.com.


David (Davey) Banks


Thank you

I wish to thank the owners and operators at the Madisonian Newspaper for making such a marvelous research room with easy and comfortable access to research all available newspapers from the oldest operating newspaper in Montana.

A wealth of history and other interesting stories can be found in these pages, which cover over 100 years of publication.

The staff is friendly and readily available to help in any way, if you have not gone in to visit and take advantage of this wonderful source of information, you are missing a wonderful experience.

Thank you for permitting a comfortable setting to scan through these pages.


Susan Ren

Ennis, MT


Thank you for taking care


Family of Lindsay Plowman would like to thank anyone and everyone that is responsible for the upkeep of Lindsay’s cross and flowers.


–Jackie Plowman and Family



There are no words that can express our GRATITUDE to all who came to our aid regarding the fire we had March 25. A SPECIAL thanks for the quick response from all the volunteer fire departments from Ennis to Whitehall, the county water department, neighbors, friends, family, and passers-by.  We are very grateful for all the help fighting the fire and evacuating our house.  Without your help, we would have surely lost our home.

A SINCERE Thank You for the cash donations, food, flowers, gifts, cards, calls, lent items, help with inventory and clean–up, and all the offers of vehicles, equipment, and labor.  The care and support we have received has been overwhelming, and we have been reminded how truly BLESSED we are to be part of such a caring community.

We are indebted,

Dan and Cindy Crismore


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