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 Letters containing potentially libelous or obscene statements will not be published.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: Letters may also be mailed to:  Editor, Montevideo Publishing, P.O. Box 99, Montevideo, MN 56265

Board v. voters

Why has our County Board suggested the “Appointment of the Chippewa County Auditor/treasurer and Recorder?” Respectfully, the premise is wrong. It should read, “Why are they asking us to give up our right to VOTE?” Fair question.


 VOTE: Individual expression of preference. It’s really not that complicated. Anyway, there are several reasons to vote no.


1) The mailed flier we received two weeks ago said: “Other counties have adopted ____,” and “Over half of the Minnesota counties ____.” Question. What did you say when your kids said “Everyone is doing it” or “All the other kids are going” or “I’ll be the only one not wearing ____”? Enough said. Hang on - it gets more detailed and serious from now on.


 2) The Board also wrote: “To ensure excellence ____” and “Who has technical skills and personal traits ____.” Does that mean that the current way of voting is not working? Are the respective Department Heads not doing their jobs? Are they getting “Cs or Ds” on their evaluations? News flash! None of the past or current Dept. Heads could have received an “A” without the 100 or so clerks, secretaries, and assistants, etc. paddling. Those guys and gals do a boat-load of work or the boat would sink. Just about every Department Head is a work in progress. Would the Board fall into the same category? Maybe they should be appointed too. There’s more Civic 101 to follow.


 3) Those skills and traits that the Board seeks are very apparent now in the voting process. The candidates parade their qualifications through print, radio, fliers and personal appearance. Would the Board have more knowledge about their character, their values and their standards of honesty more intimately than the hundreds and hundreds of electorate? Hold on, it gets better.

  4) Vote meaning: exercise your right to VOTE. Our Board is asking us to give up that right! It’s a slippery slope to non-involvement, voter apathy and under-informed citizens, which logically leads to letting someone else do it and eventually letting them govern us. Seems to me we fought for that freedom a few hundred years ago.


Finally, and thanks for reading this far.

  5) Should we VOTE the Board out of office? I don’t think so. In their Hearts of Hearts, they understand because they also wrote “The Sheriff and Attorney ____ should be held accountable through the election process.” See that? The election process! They just forgot the governmental classes in school. Just temporal, we hope. In fact, I may be guilty, because if I and others had attended those Board meetings, this might never have happened. Which brings us to the duties of the electorate. The gang of five hinted the possibility of hiring a County Administrator or CEO to manage the counties 110 employees. Isn’t that what they get paid for? We, the citizens, should be there!

  Thank you.

—Lyle Henning


Your greatest assets

Do you realize what your greatest assets are? How do you use them? We all hope we recognize and use those which God has endowed us with. That’s what we like to think! When young people change their minds on education, likes and dislikes, people as friends, as work mates, as potential marriage partners and lots of other areas and parameters. Not always for the better.


When we are old or darn near ancient, we do or can change, but are not likely to. Some real damage or excitement in our lives can precipitate great changes - not always for good or our own betterment. We need to choose wisely and think on assets or choices and on how to use them.


Can we suffer from constipated thinking? OH yes! And many times we do, to our loss or demise.


Assets can be physical, moral, ethical, educational, emotional or other categories too numerous to mention. Assessing what we have, what we like and how we like to live are real trust-points we need to explore. Some people would say, “Don’t mess with success.” But what do you do when you’re in a mess and don’t know how to get back to success? Time to do some reflective thinking if you have that option. Otherwise, we need to go with our instincts and hope for the best. Hopefully, we all can and do.


—Dave Swenson