2012-11-01 / Views

Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,

In response to the question posed by Paul Walker, Schoolcraft County Republican Party chairman, in last week’s Pioneer Tribune. Yes, Mr. Walker, the Schoolcraft County Democratic Committee unequivocally encourages the voters of Schoolcraft County to “Be Emphatic, Vote Straight Democratic”.

We believe that our party slate consists of highly qualified, individuals, dedicated to representing the best interest of all, not just the few, of the citizens of Schoolcraft County, the state of Michigan and this wonderful country we are blessed to call home.

It would be senseless to address every charge in Mr. Walker’s letter; he has blamed our president for every catastrophe since the burning of Rome. Really!

Many of the delays in our nation’s recovery may be due to the commitment expressed by Republican Minority Leader, Senator Mitch McConnell, who declared their “single most important” job is to “defeat President Obama in 2012”. McConnell declared “We will make him a one term president because we will not work with him.” If Congress had done its job and worked with the president we would have been able to avoid the country’s first credit downgrade.

The unfortunate incident in Benghazi, which the Romney campaign tried to politicize by issuing a statement before getting the facts, much like Romney’s recent statement indicating that the manufacturer of “Jeep” would be moving to China. The statement was corrected as incorrect by Chrysler. That type of knee jerk reaction is certainly undesirable for a man who aspires to be commander in chief.

No, President Obama is not blaming “anything and everything for” his troubles. The man has consistently said he takes responsibility, he is the commander in chief and the buck stops with him. Speaking of the “buck” an article in “Forbes” reports that President Obama is the “smallest government spender since Eisenhower”, in spite of the expense of inheriting two unfunded wars, “No Child Left Behind” and the “Prescription Drug Plan”. FYI, the largest were Reagan and George W. Bush.

Vice president eloquently stated “I’ve got a little bumper sticker you: Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive”. Accomplishments of the Obama presidency as well as the first real gain toward Affordable Health Care being available to all of our citizens, bringing our troops home from Iraq and setting a timeline for our troops to return from Afghanistan. We have growth in employment, which would have been larger had Congress passed the president’s jobs bill. We have rebuilt our alliance with other countries. Most of these accomplishments have been made in spite of an opposition party that chose partisan political sabotage over our nation’s best interest.

Yes Mr. Walker, we do emphatically encourage the voters to elect our slate of candidates, a slate that will work with the president and other elected officials to return the hope and optimism of “yes we can” to America’s hearts and headlines.

God bless America.

Dixie Anderson, Chairperson Schoolcraft County Democratic


Dear Editor,

In last week’s Tribune, W. John Norrington, indicates that I am unable to get along with the County Commissioners. Getting along is a two-way street. They are not always right and neither am I. No one is perfect and that includes me, but I have never made a decision without the safety and well-being of the public in mind. Several of the current commissioners ran on a “get along” platform and did not make their goal, either. The fact is that there is a vast difference between what someone running for an office believes they can accomplish and what they can actually do once there. The Board has a history of micromanaging many of the departments and one can just look at the Board’s actions regarding the Sheriff’s Office, the Senior Center, and the Emergency Manager to see how micromanaging they can be.

At the recent Candidates Forum, Mr. Norrington responded to my statement wondering what he would do at 3:00 AM when he gets the call that there is a domestic violence complaint and there was no one else to go, as I have. This has happened on several occasions. His response was that there are deputies to do that and he would not have to go. He would send them. Mr. Norrington, you are incorrect. You can call an off-duty deputy to go with you, for overtime; however, the two that are on duty at the jail cannot leave. The County has only three road patrol deputies that can respond and two of them are part-time with union contract restrictions. You cannot send one deputy to a domestic complaint but you have never had to police one, which shows the difference between you and me. I would not sit back and “manage” the situation I would be coordinating the response that would include ME. I have law enforcement experience; you do not and that is something this county cannot ignore.

During the past four years, every decision I made examines how it will best benefit the public. I believe a Sheriff needs to be an ethical person of character who works tirelessly for what he or she believes is right. I will never compromise my values and belief for anyone or anything. With the issues currently facing this county, you need someone who can stand tall for the citizens.

Finally, I find Mr. Norrington’s comments disturbing as they minimize the wonderful staff working at the Sheriff’s Office. There are very fine people working there who have tried their hardest to ensure that no money is wasted, that all overtime expenditures are needed, to find alternate ways to work that will best make use of the resources given. Without these hardworking, dedicated deputies, no sheriff can make it. With this staff, we have brought in $326,200.00 in new equipment, revenue, grant monies, and technology in this term. Without their help, that would not have happened.

Thank you for the letting me be your Sheriff.

Grant Harris


Dear Editor:

I have been amazed at the self interest shown on both sides of the political discussion. Whatever happened to common sense and mutual understanding?

It seems that we are no longer interested in the very issues that make our country free and prosperous. Instead we opt to sit back, whine and despair.

The conception of America began in freedom. Freedom, through liberty, was the reason for our collective government. These basic human rights preserve the democracy that allows citizens to choose positive, honest and effective leaders to represent “We the People.”

Where have we gone wrong? We have become complacent with success. We play more... relax more ... and even spend more time searching for ways to play and relax. Attendance at church, social functions, and education seminars are all down. Even entering into a common conversation has diminished to a series of dots and letters to a text.

And where has this gotten us? I answer the question: self interested, greedy, lazy or outright apathetic. Well folks, the racetrack we are on will cost us our freedom and our liberty, along with our rights and this great country. We are a representative democratic republic. We elect representatives to speak for all of us and not simply the highest donators among groups of self interest.

Sometimes it seems that our ranks are infiltrated by a few who are embarrassed by our American success. Are these individuals socialist? Communist? All that matters is this: rest assured they want to change our country. No longer will America be the longest running democratic republic in the world ... and this continuity alone, speaks to the positive impact of the structure of our government and the sanctity of our national principles.

Our human rights and dignity are God given. Our constitution, bill of rights and three branches of federal government guarantee these entitlements. This system has worked for 236 years and has produced freedom, liberty and prosperity for our country, and for those we have touched.

We can disagree among ourselves, but at the same time, we must attempt to limit confusion due to government caveat by appointment or executive order. It is not acceptable for the executive branch of our government to create laws on a whim by side stepping those created by the people of the United States of America.

History should be embraced and not avoided ... it seems to be repeating itself. Unrest in Europe and particularly in Greece and France has forced the world economy to its knees. If you add in the Middle East and China, it is clear why all of these want to be like the United States of America.

Vote Nov. 6 for our freedom and against the governmental iron fist. Vote for everyone’s interests and against the self serving mailer that you may have just received. Vote for your children and your grandchildren.

Chose today to be part of the solution and not the reason for one.

Ask our God to protect the United States of America!

Rudy Lawrence


Dear Editor,

As a former county commissioner, I would like to respond to some recent articles in the newspaper. I am sick and tired of hearing that our current county board of commissioners is continuing correcting all the mistakes that previous county boards made. Let’s take a look at some of the things we did. We didn’t lay off employees. We never eliminated any local jobs and then shipped them to another county (community corrections). The current board fired the Emergency Management Coordinator after 18 years on the job, even though he brought hundreds of thousands through no-match grants to the county. The job is currently being done by someone in Delta County. They also fired the Drain Commissioner.

For a county board that says bringing jobs to the county is a priority, they sure have a funny way of showing it. One thing to remember: Schoolcraft County is service-oriented, not designed to be a revenue producing entity. With that being said, why lay off an employee whose salary you only pay one-third of? The current board is the only one to ever have an ongoing issue with the senior center. This current county board has micro-managed every county department. When you have to ask permission to buy envelopes, why have a department head?

This current board has declined to accept road patrol, at no match, leaving our citizens vulnerable. The current board has said that $70,000 is too much of a fund balance for the senior center, but just closed out their fiscal year with a fund balance of $827,092.86, and Public Transit has a fund balance of $418,514.97. Lastly, in any other job, if it takes two years to learn, it’s time to look for a new job.

Thank you,

Doug Erickson former chairman

Schoolcraft County Board of


Dear Editor,

Writing an anti-democrat letter in a pro-democrat county is risky. Pointing out disturbing, dangerous, and sometimes illegal actions, of our current president’s administration will surely lead to nasty responses from the opposition. I took the risk; thinking those responses would at least be heartfelt, if not honest. The accusations some letter writers expressed are beyond my sense of reasoning. The sentence in one response that says the writer finds it “incredible that anyone could have such radical views” is telling in and of, itself. Where has this person been? One of the writers says I am guilty of “racial racist hate speech” and that these views are “not welcome in any civilized society”. Wow! My views of this president and his political activities can be heard and read anywhere and everywhere, if one has the courage and honesty to look. Republicans have always been called “racists” by Democrats as a means of dismissing our ideology. Geezopete so! People, this is a civilized society, this is America. Racial? Come on ... I am the least racial person you could meet. I don’t look at the color of anyone’s skin to make a judgment. I look at the quality of their actions and their intentions, as well as their honor. All these accusations of hate and racism push me to look directly at the letter writers themselves. What encourages them to respond with their hate speech against me? With Obama’s presidency I was hopeful that his promises of transparency and nonpartisanship would be realized. I was as hopeful as the letter writers should have been that our unemployment rate would decrease and we would have jobs. It didn’t happen. Hot air is cheap, wanton, and extremely volatile. My previous letter failed to mention the 20 new taxes in Obamacare that have nothing to do with health. And, I also didn’t mention the lowlife activities this administration used to win votes so the healthcare bill could squeak by, on a very narrow margin. You all know what this president did to appoint a very partisan labor board member. There also wasn’t enough room to remind you about Attorney General Holder’s purely racist proclamations that there would be no penalties for “black on white” problems during the last election, as the new Black Panthers intimidated voters. I stand by my earlier letter and invite Tom and Richard to meet me for coffee so I can show them where and how I arrived at my conclusions. Please bring your wives, the better halves, with you. See ya soon.

Becky Miles



At one of the last meetings of the county board, Chairman Allen Grimm said the issue with me (Bob Madden) was “dead”, as I had paid back the money I had received erroneously. They also said that the Luce County prosecutor, who handled the case, “insinuated” that proper procedures were not in place. But the board disagreed. Yet the prosecutor and detective say otherwise.

In July, the county board decided to give a complaint to the state police claiming I had taken money illegally from them. They said that I illegally billed for mileage while attending meetings as emergency management coordinator for the county. At meetings of the Regional Planning Team, I filled out paperwork to have a mileage check sent to the county for reimbursement to the county. At no time did I ever submit, ask for or expect any type of reimbursement for those funds from the county. The Regional Planning Team, who sent the county checks, did not care what the county did with the funds, as they could do as they pleased with the money. When I attended these meetings, I would either use my personal car or the countyowned van. Sometime after the first meeting that I used the county van, I received a check from the county. When I asked the treasurer what the check was for, she told me it was for mileage for the meeting. I told her that I had driven the county van to that meeting and I should not have been given the check and gave it back to her. I asked her if there was anything I should fill out to ask for the money when I drove my own car. She said, “No, you will get the money unless you tell me that you drove the county van.” I mentioned the fact that the clerk’s office, right next door to hers, has the paperwork I filled out when I use the county van, so she could check there also. However, she insisted that I tell her when I used the van. I did tell her, but I guess that slipped through the cracks as well.

Both the special prosecutor and the state police detective said that in order for a crime to be committed, I would have had to request the money from the county; which I never did! I have worked for state, federal, township and county government over my career and this county is the only one that I know of that gives you a check automatically when they have no paperwork requesting the money.

The board made it a point to be very vocal claiming “I” had done something illegal when in fact it is due to the incompetent activities by the treasurer, clerk and the board that caused this issue.

I am more than willing to discuss this issue and show the letter with anyone. Just get a hold of me. Watch the paper for more facts on this.

Bob Madden


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