2013-12-19 / Views

Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor:

Regarding the Nov. 5 “Fish Report” column by John Walker:

Readers ought to know the facts about Sault Tribe’s tribal deer harvest instead of the baseless rumors repeated second hand in a recent “Fish Story” column.

Sault Tribe’s deer harvest for 2012 was 4,000 deer, taken by 3,600 hunters. That’s an average of 1.11 deer per hunter. The tribe’s harvest was distributed across 32 counties in the U.P. and Northern Michigan with 8.93 percent of the harvest in Delta County and 12.74 percent in Schoolcraft.

Cars make more of a dent in the deer populations than the tribe does.

According to michigan.gov, there are more than 60,000 reported vehicle-deer crashes in Michigan every year. That means for every deer taken by a tribal hunter, 15 others are hit by cars.

According to the state’s report, 654,100 state licensed hunters took 418,000 deer in 2012, with 15 percent of these taking two deer, that’s 98,100 state hunters taking two, and the remainder taking one. In fact, 12,703 deer taken in one weekend during the youth hunt is over three times what Sault Tribe hunters harvested for the entire season.

Sault Tribe’s deer hunt is mostly for subsistence. While some tribal hunters are looking for that trophy buck, many more are just hunting for food.

Those who would like to report facts about tribal hunting and fishing or who have questions are welcome to contact the tribe’s communications department at (906) 632-6398.

Thank you,

Jennifer Dale-Burton, director communications

Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of

Chippewa Indians

Dear Editor,

Perhaps you are aware that wildlife management in the state of Michigan stands at a crossroads once again as anti-hunters led by the HSUS have us squarely in their crosshairs. The wolf issue, as have other issues in the past, have served to hide their real agenda which is to eliminate hunting in Michigan. To combat this effort the Upper Peninsula Sportsmen’s Alliance has joined a coalition of sporting organizations including Michigan United Conservation Clubs, Michigan Trappers, Michigan Bowhunters, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and Safari International to stand up and challenge this effort. We have created The Citizens for Professional Wildlife Management to guide the effort. We need your help and the assistance of every sportsperson in the Upper Peninsula to be effective.

Our action and contributions will be needed in two ways.

We are in the process of setting up a citizen initiated law which will render this anti-hunting effort and all future attempts to remove hunting rights in Michigan null and void. Language is being drafted for the purpose of creating a petition which will be submitted to the legislature requesting them to act on the language and pass the language into law. This will prevent future assaults on our hunting rights. We will need your organization to join in the petition process by getting the signatures required for the legislature.

We will need money for advertising, printing and distribution of petitions, and other costs involved. We are asking that your organization either donate from your treasury or by collection from individuals within your group whatever funding you can generate to help with the costs of the petition drive. We have received commitments from some of our groups already, but we will need not only large donations but every nickel and dime we can scrape together. Please reply by returning the form below to UPSA, P.O. Box 54, Quinnesec, MI 49876

Thank you,

Tony Dembowski president

Upper Peninsula Sportsman

Alliance

Dear Editor,

After reading in the Pioneer Tribune that the MFC is to see more change all I could think is that the Schoolcraft County Board of Commissions should be ashamed of themselves. I thought the Medical Care Facility was finally back on track with a leader that had turned the corner and truly made a difference. I was sad to see that Mike Stephenson resigned, but what he said in his prepared statement hit the nail on the head. Those of us that have had family benefit from the caring staff at the facility watched this fiasco with interest and saw the forced resignations of committed MCF board members that truly ‘got it’ by the Board of Commissioners. Dixie Anderson’s comments were how many in the area feel.

Between the county board having looked the other way on the conflicts of interest by the board member that is also the union representative, micromanaging the administrator, and being unappreciative I can see why Mr. Stephenson felt he needed to leave.

The saddest part of this loss of leadership is that the needs of the community can never truly be met regardless of who is at the helm when there is unrest and an undercurrent of mistrust from the county board. It would be a good time for the county board to humble themselves, remember they are there to serve the people vs. the other way around and pled with Mr. Stephenson to stay and then step away and let him use his past experience, skills and talent to do his job.

P.S. I see in the next article that the county board had no one apply for the airport positions. They need to take time to reflect why and make the appropriate adjustments so that people want to work for the county vs. running from it. Their new policy of the manager reapplying every year means roles within the county are never secure.

Vicki Frenette Parker

Dimondale, Mich.

Dear Editor,

Thank you, thank you, thank you to all who baked, worked, and bought the goodies at our bake sale recently to the businesses who ‘hosted’ our flyers and to WTIQ Radio, the Advisor and the Pioneer Tribune for advertising for us.

We divided the proceeds with Cayla Strasser to help in her fight with leukemia and we were happy to do so. It was a great day and a great bake sale ... we’ll be back with another one next December. Thanks again!

Anna Sjogren

Eva Burrell Animal Shelter

Dear Editor,

In spite of their best efforts to help save our medical care facility, some people have leveled criticism at the county board in stead of thanking them.

On June 25, 2013, the MCF director, Mr. Hubbard, contacted Commissioner Daniel LaFoille and reported grave financial problems at MCF. We were told that MCF could be out of money as soon as August 2013. There was a request made for financial assistance to the county board of commissioners by the medical care facility.

Beginning on June 26 the Schoolcraft County Finance Committee met almost daily gathering data and exploring options. We consulted with attorneys, Michigan Association of Counties, UPCAP, accountants, the state of Michigan, our auditors, medical care facility staff and board members.

On July 8 the Schoolcraft County Board of Commissioners and finance committee recommended to MCF board members that they hire consultants to come in and assist with what we perceived as being a very fragile financial situation. The two consultants who came in, noted uncollected revenues totaling $1.6 million dollars and recommended a subsequent consultant to specifically look at these uncollected revenues.

The Schoolcraft County Board, with assistance from the two consultants identified potential consultants to review the accounts receivable, and made a strong recommendation, with the support of the entire county board of commissioners, that MCF select one of the two consultants and have him come in as soon as possible.

Even though there was a request from MCF for financial assistance, there was significant resistance to the recommendations and questions from the county board of commissioners, by MCF administration and then board members throughout the process. On July 31 the finance committee attended the scheduled MCF Board Meeting and this “grave” financial issue was not even on the agenda.

The Commissioners persevered and the consultant was brought in. The consultant, Mr. Havens, submitted a report which noted that then MCF administrator, Jerry Hubbard, withheld information from the MCF Board. Former board members at MCF refused to address this significant breach of duty by the administrator. One board member resigned and the other was not reappointed. This administrator has since stepped down.

A temporary administrator, Michael Stephenson, was appointed. Mr. Stephenson is now leaving and blames the county board and other county officials for making him feel unwelcome because he is not from the area. For the last two months there have been no financial reports given at the MCF board meetings. Requests for information by the county board have been ignored or denied by the current administrator.

Transparency in financial matters is the norm these days, not an unrealistic demand, inside or outside Schoolcraft County. Nor is a request for what is public information an act of micromanaging. Give us your money and be silent is not an acceptable motto for any public institution.

The employees at medical care facility agreed to cuts in order to help sustain operations, and the voters of Schoolcraft County graciously approved a millage request to support our most vulnerable adults. We are hopeful that the medical care facility is on the financial mend. However, going forward we want to know, no, we deserve to know, that MCF has made significant changes which will bring expenditures in line with revenues. If this does not happen, Schoolcraft County will not be able to sustain operations at our medical care facility.

We are confident that the two new, current MCF board members are the right people for the positions and will do an outstanding job. It is also apparent that they embrace the new spirit of collaboration and open communication.

Allow time for them to gain an understanding of the demands of their new undertaking. The employees at medical care facility are skilled and caring, let them do their jobs.

We must all refuse to let the past stand in the way of our future.

Schoolcraft County Board of Commissioners

Allen Grimm, chairperson

Daniel LaFoille, Sr., vicechairperson

Jerry Zellar

Sue Cameron

Craig Reiter

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