The American-News welcomes letters of opinion from our readers.

The American-News welcomes letters of opinion from our readers. Letters regarding current local and national news items are encouraged. All letters are subject to editing for length and style. Letters containing potentially libelous or obscene statements will not be published. Letters must contain name, address and phone number for verification and in case of questions. E-mail letters to: mmilbrandt@montenews.com Letters may also be mailed to:  Editor, Montevideo Publishing, P.O. Box 99, Montevideo, MN 56265

Know your candidate

Before you go to the polls and put your mark by a candidate’s name for Chippewa County Commissioner, I would suggest voters do some research on candidates; ask questions when they come knocking on your door or give them a call about county concerns. Ask them why they are giving themselves a pay raise every year and why they receive twice as much pay than commissioners in adjoining counties for “extra” meetings other than monthly meetings.

  With most jobs you have to prove your job performance to earn a raise in salary. How do the voters know how well they are representing the county, because in the minutes of the monthly meetings which are printed in the local newspaper, it does not say anything about who makes motions, etc.

  I believe residents are kept in the dark when public information is brought up at a “closed meeting.” I believe the monthly meetings should be broadcast on the local TV channel so voters would know who is doing their job and not just being a commissioner until they retire, or longer, for many years.

  This is why I would suggest “term limits” for county commissioners. Give someone else a chance to serve the county. Just because a commissioner shows that he serves on several boards does not mean anything other than it looks good on paper.

  Voters, it’s not too late to do research on commissioner candidates before the November election.

—Sonja Norman

Montevideo

Church makes a difference

We are a nation divided by politics, religion, economics and morals. Increased individualism in our society leads to tribalism and a community of narcissists who believe they are better than others, are easily offended, and feel victimized by those who differ from them. A byproduct of intense individualism is increased loneliness, suicide, and opioid addictions. We live in a crisis of trust with more depression, chemical abuse, and mental health concerns, according to columnist David Brooks.

What is needed in this country are meaningful human relationships, a spirit of gratitude, and the sharing of hopes and dreams. We all need to be whole, to be healthy spiritually, intellectually, and socially.  

Our churches have been in decline. I encourage people to turn to the church of their choice for community, to find a place for belonging, enrichment, and meaningful growth, both personally and collectively.

For me, I have found a strong sense of community at the First Congregational Church. As a denomination the United Church of Christ, it empowers us to live out our faith in meaningful ways. Though small and struggling to be faithful, we gather for spiritual enrichment, finding ways to make a positive difference in the world around us. To name a few of our activities, we seek to understand neighbors of other faiths, including a monthly Potluck Prayers and Pie. On  “Early Out” Wednesdays, school children are invited for a couple hours of crafts, snacks, and character building stories and activities. Sunday mornings we are reminded of a loving God whom we worship with devotion and song, as well as honest questions and concerns. We respond to Jesus’ call to feed the hungry by participating in an annual Hunger Walk, donating to the Food Shelf, and actively participating in the Backpack program that provides for students over the weekend and holidays. We seek to understand the impact of racism and how we can connect with immigrant needs in our community. We actively support  monthly Community Meals at the Community Center. When one of our own is in need, we find ways to give support, such as providing meals. We respond as family to God’s call to love and care for one another and the world that God created.

I urge people who are seeking a deeper relationship with God and neighbors to seek out a church community. Together we make a difference and through relationships find joy in community.

I invite others to share the value of their church home.

—Vicki Poier

Montevideo

Next blood drive

The American Red Cross blood drive was held at the TACC on Sept. 27, 2018. A big thank you to Farm Bureau Financial Services for sponsoring this blood drive.

  Thank you to all the generous area donors who turned out to give blood. We received 66 (44 whole blood and 22 power reds) units of blood with four deferrals and one incomplete.

  The next blood drive will be on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019 at the TACC in Montevideo. To make an appointment, please call Jane at 320-269-5393 or go to redcrossblood.org.

—LaVonne Stegeman

Montevideo

A great fall tradition continues!

The Montevideo Invitational Cross Country Meet is one of the top fall sporting events in our region. On Tuesday, October 2nd at the Crossing Golf Club, a great cross country tradition continued. This year, Montevideo parents, students, and coaches hosted more than 320 runners from 10 schools, including a fun run with middle school students.  

Congratulations to all of the runners that competed in the meet. We cannot say enough thanks for all the help that we received from the Thunder Hawk coaches, athletic dept. and administration. This fall tradition could not happen without the great support from CC parents. Dozens of parents donated their time to set up the concession stand, work shifts at the stand, make bars and hand out water and Gatorade to the finishing runners.  

Thank you to the Crossings Golf Club for hosting the CC Invitational and for all of the help that they provided with our set up.

We also had great support from local many local businesses and would like to offer our gratitude. Most of the food, beverages and supplies were donated by local businesses.

Thank you to Mr. Bauer and the pep band for music, Matt Phillaya for providing the sound system and Brett Opdahl for announcing the senior runners and their parents. Lastly, thank you to Dave Voller for setting up the tents for the concession stand. If you missed this event, stay tuned for the Conference Tournament which will be hosted in Montevideo at the Crossings Golf Club on Tuesday, October 16th starting at 4:00 pm

—Cross Country Parents

Montevideo