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 Letters containing potentially libelous or obscene statements will not be published.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

We’ve lost our way

How many times have each of us heard, “What is going on with all these jobs and companies closing in Montevideo...”  The good news, Montevideo has so many positive aspects for a town of our size. The current reality; we have moved toward a socialism mindset that government is the solution.  Our city leaders wiped out our economic development efforts a decade ago, and put all our eggs in the VA basket for jobs creation. I am for the VA, but we should not have bet all on this singular form of government jobs.

While city hall was laser focused on the VA jobs, we lost Micro Dynamic-Logic, SL MTI, Coborn’s, Pizza Ranch, DQ and others.  We lost 10 fold the number of good jobs that the VA will provide. To put this in context, my company has been approached and contacted in the past 3 months by local EDA’s in every location-city except Montevideo.  We have not been called upon via EDA in Montevideo in this decade (and it is nearly over).

Now I see CCMH wants to go into private enterprise and leverage a public owned (government) operation in the free market space.  This increasing idea that government is the answer, is the crutch of our problem. If a large health club opportunity exists in Montevideo, we should be approaching SNAP Corporate or the Golf Course Group to look into feasibility.  CCMH should not be competing with private business. After all, they certainly have more than enough on their plate given all that it has been thru recently. CCMH should not take their eye off the critical topic of keeping our rural hospital and clinic going.

Our city should exit the liquor business immediately, and press this towards entrepreneurial folks.  Government should not be in a for profit business. We did not form a “City Government” for the purpose of operating a business.  Competition pertaining to leadership, as in our city lawyer, engineer, accountant and airport management should occur every 5 years.  These folks are all doing a good job, but free enterprise should not be abandoned in our community. It smells of cronyism. This goes toward attitude and strategy being at the heart and soul of our community.

When I first came to town 3 decades ago, Montevideo had a fierce economic development image.  I recall a Willmar official telling me “We would never try to go up against Montevideo, they are too good…”  This is certainly not our footing today. Socialism (government is best and controls much) is not our solution.  Simply said, Venezuela is the ghost of Montevideo Christmas’ future. After all, who will utilize CCMH, or attend our schools, when the private jobs are all gone?

Finally, I cannot disagree more with “We have a weak mayor system.”  We have had weak mayors. If you read the city bylaws you will see the Mayor is the town CEO.  Not having a vote is not a weakness. Not having a vision, now that is the definition of weak. I hope our Mayor takes up the strategy and leadership role he is directed to do in our bylaws.  Start by removing “Mayor is ceremonial” from the City web page.

Montevideo has much to be proud of.  The future is ours to seize. Let us send a clear message, socialism, event leaning socialism, is not the answer.

—Kevin Wald


Spring inspiration

How has spring inspired you? First we get rid of snow, cold, dormancy (our own and the living world) and leave winter behind. That means we become more active and vibrant. We start moving outside the house more; for purposeful reasons - not just out of necessity. We become less like couch-potatoes and stuck to the tube. We think of how we can act, not react. Soon signs of spring really show up. Frogs start to croak, birds we haven’t seen show up in the backyard. Some at the feeders and others just pecking at the leaves and soil looking for their spring sustenance. They have to make a living too. Traffic moves better our potholes and highway blowouts. We learn to swerve and dodge the worst of such and soon could drive faster as we’ve learned to down shift or break for a few lingering drifts and try to be reflective of how much better works when we don’t have to worry about whether we get to work, church or other necessary destinations.

  Kids stop being so squirrely on an everyday basis as they don’t have to think about school being cancelled again. We live like there is real certainty to what we plan and hope to accomplish. Then we see bare lawns and mud puddles perhaps flooding and we can actually call it spring. Our concern may be our basement or other places on our life “flooding.” Lent comes through as our transitional period into real spring and we think of shorts, flip-flops, swimming beaches, vacations and so much more. Confirmation, graduations and spring birthdays and also “who’s getting married this year?” Transformation is spring.

—Dave Swenson