Letters to the Editor, April 19

Experience and common sense make for good candidates

Dear Editor,

I have known Bill Clark since he and I started Ennis Elementary School together. After 12 years, and following graduation from Ennis High, Bill stayed in the valley, working in the Madison County Sheriff’s Department.

When I returned with my husband to the valley after veterinary school, Bill was active as a deputy sheriff, a fact I found out firsthand one summer morning. I had borrowed two horses from my parents for the two oldest of my children to ride that summer. The children, in turn, neglected to latch the gate securely after riding the evening before, an oversight NOT overlooked by the two horses. That morning they bunted the gate open and were heading south to the home ranch. I discovered them across the highway and entrapped in an L-shaped fence that was open to the highway.

As I tried to corner the horses, Bill Clark drove up in his sheriff’s pickup, calmly stepped out with two horse halters (where but in Montana does the deputy sheriff come ready with horse halters?) and said, “I thought it looked like you could use some help?” With his assistance, we caught the horses, and after offering to help lead them back, Bill climbed back into his vehicle and drove off.

I doubt that his job description really included, “helping frantic mother of five capture loose horses.” But his awareness and ability to read the situation and prevent a possible accident, either to the horses or to an unsuspecting motorist, point out the qualities that make him a good candidate for Ennis School Board: a willingness to help, being prepared for an unexpected situation, and most of all, common sense.

I believe that Bill Clark’s years with the department have helped ready him for the task at hand. Bill’s experience with large budgets and multiple funds throughout his 20-plus-years at the sheriff’s department will stand him in good stead as school board trustee. Craig George will bring the same experience with budgets from his years on the state police in Oregon, and 10 years directing various state and federal funds for his department. With this knowledge, they will be able to help the board avoid the unfortunate missteps that have brought turmoil to the community.

Experience and common sense make Bill Clark and Craig George excellent candidates for Ennis School Board Trustees. Please vote on May 8.

Eileen M. White

Ennis

Moving forward with an Ennis School District audit, vote for George, Clark

Dear Editor,

Following the Ennis School Board meetings and activities through The Madisonian, it appears the board is doing everything it can to reduce or avoid an audit.

The Office of Public Instruction informs me that the Madison County Commissioners can order an audit without the approval of the school board, and I think they feel an audit is in order.

The county commissioners, the county treasurer and the county attorney have said they want an audit. The commissioners are the highest elected body in the county, yet the school board seems to be trying to overrule the commissioners.

Let’s have a complete and thorough audit. If there is nothing to hide, the board need not fear an audit.

I think it would be poetic justice to take the audit expense out of the adult education budget. If the voters will approve moving the money to the Flex Fund, I believe this can be done.

Please join me on Tuesday, May 8 and vote William Clark and Craig George onto the Ennis School Board of Trustees.

Donald Scudder

Ennis

Don’t change horses in mid-stream

Dear Editor,

In last week’s letter to the editor, Bill Hanley posed an interesting idea on creating a tourism district anchored by Virginia City and Nevada City.

If Fish, Wildlife and Parks continues to pursue the possibility of getting the Montana Heritage Commission assets under their control, then all county residents need to contact their legislative representatives in the state senate and congressional districts and let them know how you feel about the future of these irreplaceable assets.

At this particular time, the MHC seems to be on the right track. Elijah Allen, the new business manager is making great progress in marketing Virginia City/Nevada City. Because of his communication skills and knowledge of modern technical skills, he has totally changed the dynamics between the MHC and the business owners and the Virginia City Chamber of Commerce. I’m sure the same applies to the private property owners as well, although they are more connected to the town council and the local preservation alliance and the recently reorganized Virginia City/Madison County Historic Preservation Commission.

Also added to the mix is the new executive director of the Virginia City Chamber of Commerce, Rebecca Ramsey. All of these exciting new young leaders are bringing new hope to the Virginia City community for the future growth of their town.

The last thing we need at this time is to change horses in mid-stream. There are a lot of new or expanded programs being developed at Nevada City that don’t need to be disrupted.

Adding the potential of the Cowboy Hall of Fame and Heritage Center to the mix (the selection committee will make their site selection decision at the end of April). Our Madison County Commissioners and Sam Korsmoe of the Madison County Economic Development Council have bent over backwards to bring this project to our county.

Like it or not, politics will always be a part of the mix and we need a cordial liaison between the MHC and Helena. A search for a new executive director for MHC is underway to fill that need.

Cleaning up and separating the trash from the treasure is a sensitive area with Virginia City and Nevada City residents and decisions on how to address these problems need to be discussed in an honest and open forum.

Mr. Hanley is right, we need to keep the FWP and state parks away from these special places and leave MHC under the Montana Department of Commerce.

Jack Murphy

Harrison

In support of Clark, George for Ennis School Board

Dear Editor,

Like so many people who have moved here, I’ve joined local organizations and clubs to improve and strengthen our community. Without people moving into our community, these clubs and organizations, individuals, and local businesses would not be able to support our school to the extent they do with scholarships, beautiful sculptures, grand pianos, and funding for various programs, such as Skills U.S.A., Speech, Drama and Debate, and Shakespeare in the Schools to name a few of many.

When some of the people who moved here asked legitimate questions of our school board and superintendent, they were attacked in this newspaper by someone who is now running for a seat on the school board and told, “No one has to live here, there are three exits out of this town.” This attitude toward the many people who have moved here and have generously given so much to this school district is unconscionable.

We are all grateful to have a new school. Now it is time to move beyond the controversy with a full audit and a clean slate.

Please join me on Tuesday, May 8 in voting for William “Bill” Clark and Craig George for Ennis School Board Trustees. Lisa Frye needs their support for her efforts to renew confidence in the integrity of our school board.

Elena Korsmoe

Ennis

Kennedy against signing campaign pledges

Dear Editor,

Politics are always enlightening, but what we don’t expect, or need, in our state is the coercive pressure from so many special interest groups who want to push or pull the candidates in their direction well before an election. Apparently this is common practice at all levels of politics, but that does not mean I must consider it acceptable practice!

While some, if not many, of the ideas floated by these groups are worthwhile, is it the right thing for a candidate to do to sign these pledges before an election without knowing whether the constituents of the district fully support them also? I do not believe it is. And call me naive, but I will not succumb to these subtle underlying or veiled “threats” of some form of retaliation for not signing the pledge statement!

I hope the people of House District 71 will support me on this, which I call an ethical stand. You may contact me via e-mail at rckenn57@gmail.com for any comments you may have as I do appreciate your input. One thing is for sure; I will certainly get some blow-back from these groups.

Robert Kennedy

Candidate for House District 71

Cameron

Condoms on the floor of the Legislature, revisiting Wagner’s speech

Dear Editor,

During the Legislative session last spring, our elected Representative Bob Wagner, with a high level of decorum and respect for the legislative process, rose to speak against a portion of the Health and Human Services bill:

“Mr. Chairman, members of the body, I’d like to speak to the bill. I did a scientific, ah, research study on this and I conducted it myself. I walked around every town in my district and I asked someone if, I asked fellow members of my community if they would buy me a condom. They looked at me rather strange and said . . . ‘no.’ And I asked them if they would buy my girlfriend, ah, birth control pills and they said . . . ‘no.’ And I think we should say, no.”

With that, Rep. Wagner sat down. The video is available on-line at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wagrKugdN3U.

I could complain about his scientific method. I don’t know for sure without looking at his data, but I have some concerns with Wagner’s methods. In fact, I’m pretty sure he didn’t conduct this research at all, which in my business would result in charges of scientific misconduct. And if this really happened, I’m pretty surprised that no one called the police.

I could complain about how this incident was both embarrassing and inappropriate. Instead, I’d like to see Wagner save this kind of bathroom humor for his buddies at the bar or his next discussion with Rush Limbaugh.

But my biggest concern is that Rep Wagner lets ideology color his stated goal of saving money. There is no question that the cost of contraception is a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of an unwanted pregnancy. We all share in the cost of that pregnancy the moment an uninsured woman walks through the doors of the ER. If Rep. Wagner really cared about saving money, he’d support reducing unwanted pregnancies.

Bob has taken a clear anti-abortion stand. But creating obstacles to contraception is anathema to that. It is an interesting statistic that women who self-identify as Protestant — and one would therefore presume to be less opposed to abortion —have a lower incidence of abortion (18/1,000) than self-described Catholics (22/1,000). While I have not conducted a scientific research study, is seems logical to hypothesize that Protestants are less likely to seek an abortion because they are more likely to use birth control.

I’d like to ask Rep. Wagner to stop degrading our legislative process. A tirade such as this not only wastes valuable legislative time — and therefore taxpayer money — but unfairly makes the people of Montana the butt of jokes on late night TV.

John Getty

Whitehall

Need a healthy atmosphere

Dear Editor,

To members of our community: I am appealing to you to take some initiative towards healing our community.

Negative articles in The Madisonian and also the Big Sky paper caused levy defeats for the first time in the 80-year history of our school. Our school cannot function properly with a split in community feelings.

Business people – we need you to come forward. We need your business: the banks, the drug store, the restaurants, the hardware store, the gas stations, grocery store, etc. You need all of us so your businesses can prosper and we in return need you to provide your services to us. The school cannot operate with such a split in our community. The confrontations at all of the board meetings must come to an end. Please make sure you know who you are voting for in the upcoming election. A healthy school atmosphere is one where everyone is on the same page.

I also would like to thank all of the office staff for keeping everything running smoothly in the mist of hundreds of record requests that have taken a lot of their time.

Marjorie L. Kent

Ennis

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