Tuesday, April 20, 2021
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Letters to the Editor: An attack on local government

| April 1, 2021 12:10 AM

An attack on local government

The Republican Party of limited government is on a rampage to impose restrictions on Montana local governments. The Legislature proposes to impose oversight and/or approval of county health boards and their decisions. County health boards have professional staff that make health related decisions based upon their expertise and established protocols.

Yet the Legislature has thus far approved the idea that city councils and county commissioners will oversee health related decisions. This action would allow individuals with NO medical experience to make health related decisions that would affect us all. This is dangerous because it means that politics rather than medical expertise will be the basis for important health board decisions.

— Kathleen Farmer, Polson

Trapping claims suspect

With all the downer-type news this winter, I would like to change course and thank Harvest Foods and Ace Hardware personnel in Ronan for always wearing their masks. I have had my shots, still wear my mask in public, and feel much safer these days, but it is nice to know that they seem to care. On the flipside, I must say it's a bit disconcerting to be in the checkout line with someone “packing heat.” Really? At Harvest Foods?

Unfortunately this morning I read the New York Times article in which Gov. Gianforte claimed to have been trapping since he was a “tot.” Really? I grew up in rural New England and did not know anybody who trapped, except for problem beavers, especially as a “tot.” I’m also wondering how he is checking his traps when he is in Helena?

Also there it mentioned that Rep. Paul Fielder was a retired wildlife biologist. Ballotpedia lists his profession as wildlife biologist. I find this somewhat bizarre because most wildlife biologists I have known (and I have known a lot of them) believe in data and management means other than all-out killing of wildlife.

— Vicky Maclean, Ronan

Rewarding wealth

Our local state senator, Greg Hertz, is promoting legislation that will slash a $30 million hole in our state budget and cut funding for our schools, roads and health care.

Thanks to this bill the average Montanan will get just $12 back on their next year’s tax return – enough for a frozen pizza. Millionaires will get 125 times that much.

Greg Hertz is rewarding wealth, not work.

Worse yet, HB182 attacks our state fire suppression fund and endangers our state’s economic future. Putting Montana in a position where an economic downturn, like a pandemic, or a bad fire season will send us into a full-blown economic crisis. That’s no way to govern.

On the surface these “tax reduction” bills sound great. But the end result is the state revenues fall and basic human services are cut or eliminated. All small businesses and citizens will feel the effects.

Contact your local representative at leg.mt.gov and tell them to vote no on SB182 and SB159

— Gerry Browning, Polson

Look beyond party

Everything is the opposite anymore.

  1. Isn't it ironic that Republicans are having to figure out what to do with a COVID relief money windfall and a test of the “trickle up theory?” Instead of tax cuts for the rich, why not take a chance on the other 80%-plus of us? It probably doesn’t even begin to add up to as much as the rich tax cut number. Even if it did, it would still be justified because of how much of a positive difference for kids and other vulnerable members of our communities it will make.
  2. The Republicans of Idaho join the increasing ranks proving that masks do work by showing how they don’t work if you don’t wear them. The Idaho Legislature is having to shut down for two weeks due to COVID, all contracted except for one case by non-mask-wearing Republicans.
  3. And when it comes to stopping the spread in Idaho, a total Legislative shutdown for two weeks was seen fit. It seems that the most smart-alecky voices of dissent sometimes end up eating their words. I wonder if they now think that COVID must be at least a little real, perhaps like being a little pregnant.
  4. Politics 2021 is showing us that what lemmings do isn't just a four-legged spectacle. We, their passengers, are not wanting party-line politics or a trip over a cliff. We want you to work things out fairly like we can’t do because of our sheer numbers, so we elected you to do it. We did not elect you to give up and go party-line. Remember the wishes and will of the people of Montana and vote your conscience.

— Debbie Jakovac, Polson