Your comments are welcome here
Stop. Read the Letters to the Editor first.
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We have a great selection of Letters to the Editor this week. Letters come in a number of flavors, for example — to persuade, to explain, and to complain. (I didn’t mean to write a poem there, it just kind of happened!)
The letters appear on this page of the newspaper because this is our opinion page.
My column appears on this page because it is my opinion.
Granted, sometimes it is my opinion on something fluffy like the weather, or how wonderful local organizations are, or how talented our students are. Sometimes it is my opinion on something I think is serious, like taking precautions against COVID-19. Sometimes it is my opinion on how city issues are being handled or being talked about.
Either way, my comments belong in this column, on this page. Submitted opinion or persuasive columns (they usually come in labeled as Op/Ed) belong on this page. Readers comments belong in letters on this page.
Thank you everyone for sending your letters.
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This week I have an opinion — comments if you will — about Halloween.
It is kind of a re-run. I probably write about how much I love Halloween each fall. I love to decorate for fall and have a couple favorite Halloweeny decorations, like a sign that says “Witches Inn,” you know, like a place where witches stay. I also love the play on words to also take it as “the witch is in.” I bet some people find that very suitable.
Some of my favorite childhood memories are of trick-or-treating as we walked to the grade school (gone now) for the Lions Club’s annual Halloween Party. It was great, we got treats, there maybe was a costume contest, and we got to sit on the gym floor and watch a movie!! (And then trick-or-treat our way home.)
This year is different. We each must decide what is safe for us. I expect there will be children out trick-or-treating and I hope they have a blast. We usually get about 75 kids at our door. I hope they come back next year, because we decided this is not an activity that is safe for us this year.
To the Editor: In reference to the Election Forum on Oct. 19: It seems the Editor of the Sleepy Eye Herald-Dispatch has the authority to take our answers, take bits and pieces, chew and spit them out to change the context of our answers.
I wish the Editor would keep her comments to herself. Put your money where your mouth is. Put $3 down and run for a city position. Then you can comment all you want.
It was not my intention to accuse, embarrass, Christina at the meeting. These questions needed to be asked. People on the street were asking me the same questions.
New Ulm found out for eight years they had a conflict of interest. Maybe Sleepy Eye has the same laws, but I will not ask. I have been lied to many times. They are not trustworthy.
Christina more or less said she was a big girl and could fend for herself.
I hope our city workers vote for who they want. This is one time they do not have to listen to their boss for fear of their jobs.
Chuck Forster, Sleepy Eye (Forster is a candidate for Ward 2 City Councilor)
Know your candidates
To the Editor: While local city elections are not partisan, the fact is that everyone has political views. These views affect our decisions, and the decisions of those who run for city offices, and are most immediately felt by those who live in that city.
It behooves us, then, to know particular candidates’ views and to do investigation into the things that really matter, especially in the year 2020. These things do include a candidate’s views on local spending and projects, but they also include their views on COVID-19, abortion, Black Lives Matter, immigration, or many other topics. These topics may seem unimportant to small-town folk like us (after all, no one has tried to burn down our city recently), but candidates’ views on these things are indicators of broader ideologies that influence the very decisions that they would make for this very city.
We would encourage our fellow Sleepy Eye residents not to simply base their vote for city officials on which presidential candidate’s yard sign they share a yard with, or whether they are “anti-establishment” or not. Votes should be based upon a candidate’s vision for our city, which is largely influenced by a candidate’s vision for our nation. While there are admittedly not-so-small things that need to be changed in the City of Sleepy Eye’s government, change for the sake of change is not necessarily the right road to take at this point in time either.
Do the research, talk to your neighbors, and talk to the candidates for your ward. Then get out there and vote!
Josh Sellner Kevin Losleben Geoff Ferk, Sleepy Eye
City issues addressed
To the Editor: To answer some of the issues from the Candidates Forum:
“in the hole” – to some it could mean unable to pay debt. Does the City have debt? Yes. You take on debt to improve your City (streets and utilities), add amenities (Aquatic Center), improve, and expand services (Clinic and Medical Center). As far as the last 20 years are concerned, the City has always been able to pay our bills. We, the City, are capable and have the capacity to pay our bills.
CPR training funding cut: The ambulance budget has increased from the previous year. CPR can be provided during normal hours. CPR classes can also be provided privately during other hours, which would be independent from the City, and the provider would keep any fees collected for the class.
Rental Inspection Ordinance: We had just gotten the rental inspector lined up, and the process to use, and then . . . COVID. Just like so many things that were affected by COVID, the inspections were put on hold. We are now starting to do inspections again. The inspection fee discount for landlords has been extended to Dec. 31, 2020. Schedule your inspections now by contacting City Hall.
Blight ordinance: Anyone interested in being the Blight Officer? I have a feeling the current Officer wouldn’t be heartbroken if someone else wanted it. Not all aspects of blight are black and white, and not all situations are identical even though they may appear the same. A blight notice can go out one week and items get cleaned up and two weeks later more stuff has replaced it. It’s just as frustrating for the City.
Joann Schmidt, Sleepy Eye (Schmidt, Ward 1 City Councilor, is a candidate for re-election)