Wednesday, June 07, 2023

Letters: Support Sheriff Bell

| May 19, 2022 12:15 AM

Support Sheriff Bell

As a lifetime resident of Lake County, I know we have been blessed with many good, hard-working county sheriffs in the last 65 years. And we have one right now. Give Sheriff Don Bell your support in the upcoming primary election, as I will.

— Bud Cheff Jr., Ronan

Dooling for PSC

I am voting for Joe Dooling for the Public Service Commission (PSC).

We don’t pay much attention to the PSC race, but it will be on our ballet in June.

“The PSC’s job is to balance the interests of ratepayers, who are concerned about utility rate increases, with the need to maintain a financially sound utility that is capable of providing reliable service,” according to the PSC website. The commission “generally regulates private, investor-owned natural gas, electric, telephone, water and private sewer companies doing business in Montana. In addition, the PSC regulates certain kinds of motor carriers, including garbage trucks and passenger motor carriers. The PSC also oversees rail and pipeline safety regulations in the state.”

For the most part it has very little to do with this valley and the Flathead because most utilities are rural cooperatives or tribal entities that are not regulated by the state PSC.

Why do I support Joe Dooling? Where Joe Dooling is from the PSC does regulate the electrical utility. He also has a degree in economics from Montana State University. He also has an engineering degree and experience in that field has given him the opportunity to observe how the energy industry works. He ranches near Helena and pays large utility bills, so he also understands how ratepayers are impacted.

I reached out to a past PSC commissioner, and he felt Joe Dooling was the only candidate with the background and experience for the job.

The other candidates have no boots on the ground experience to do this job which is why Joe Dooling has my vote.

— Susan Lake, Ronan

Repke for PSC

I am endorsing John Repke for Public Service Commissioner from District 5. John has an impressive background doing exactly the type of work that is (or should be) done by the PSC. His career in finance and management in regulated industries gives him the specific knowledge and skills needed to effectively represent Montana ratepayers.

I am also impressed that John secured the endorsement of all six former Democratic PSC commissioners. They know the job, and they know John has what it takes to do it.

The current PSC is made up of former politicians who appear to represent the power industry over the interests of ratepayers.

This election, we are fortunate to have a qualified, professional and honest choice on the ballot. Please join me in voting for John.

— Dan Weinberg, former state senator, Whitefish

Repke uniquely qualified

The Public Service Commission is an independent regulatory agency dedicated to serving the public interest and is responsible for the regulation of Montana investor-owned utilities. It's the PSC's job to balance the interests of ratepayers and the utilities themselves, regulating a fair and reasonable rate structure that maintains a financially sound utility, capable of providing reliable service, now and in the future.

This is an essential agency, supposedly nonpartisan, and as its name suggests. The Commissioners role is to serve the best interests of the public. If you are interested in learning more about the PSC and its current and turbulent status, listen to the recent series of podcasts by former Kalispell Mayor Tammy Fisher, wherein she reveals a self-serving, corrupt and chaotic agency that struggles to regulate themselves, let alone a massive public utility. (Montana Values Podcast: Episodes 8 and 43).

The role of a commissioner is challenging, and to serve effectively in that role, requires a unique set of skills and experience. Public utilities are large, complex and arcane organizations, and for one to regulate rates intelligently and effectively, requires a diverse range of knowledge and experience, with an emphasis on finance and corporate accounting, as well as a fundamental understanding of their operations, products and services.

John Repke is an outstanding candidate for the PSC and uniquely qualified to serve the people of Montana in this vital role. John has decades of experience as chief financial officer, CFO, for several large, complex companies, including companies in the energy sectors and providers of regulated public services. I have had the pleasure of working alongside John for several years, as he served as CFO of SmartLam North America, a startup engineered wood product company I founded in 2012 right here in Montana.

John is highly intelligent, fiscally gifted, analytical, reasonable, creative, practical, fair and honest. John is a good listener and a great communicator, and I know from experience that John will put an emphasis on “service” when it comes to conducting the business of the Public Service Commission. Montanans will not find a better candidate for the PSC than John Repke.

— Casey Malmquist, Whitefish

Who are you to say?

A recent reader (May 12 letters) opposed to abortion expressed her views well. However, her idea that God has chosen her to be his/her spokesman seems a pretty big assumption.

With six major Christian denominations in the U.S. and more than 200 variations of that, each one is unlike the other since they hear God's words differently. If they all heard the same thing there would only be one. Many of these do not hear God declaring abortion is a “sin.” He/She was not grieved in Egypt when he took away many babies — to punish their parents. Why didn't he just take away an adult or pick some other act of power?

Having and defending your view of what God wants in this world is wonderful. But you do not speak for other Christians who hear a different message. Not recognizing this, you have the audacity to claim the right of one who came before you, long ago. This attempt to raise your importance, for me anyway, dilutes your message.

Being a Christian does not necessarily equate to viewing abortion as a sin. So rather than tell me what God wants you to say, why not identify your church association and their belief? It is fine you have one that gives you strength and a foundation. Others, however, believe just as wholeheartedly in what they hear God tell them to do and how to act.

The real truth will come later.

— Richard Bell, Polson

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