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The last thing Lewistown needs is chaos


Dear Editor,

Lewistown is awakening economically and moving forward in many exciting ways.

We’ve recently welcomed new retailers: Tire-Rama, Tractor Supply and Lewistown’s Sew Pieceful. Kentucky Fried Chicken/A & W Root Beer and the Stockyards Restaurant are on their way.

We’ve built a beautiful swimming pool complex, upgraded our fairgrounds and built a state-of-the-art emergency room at our hospital.

We’ve recently created ROC/Recharge Our Community, the Lewistown Downtown Association, an Arts and Entertainment District, the Lewistown Hoteliers TBID and TIF District; all dedicated to revitalizing Lewistown’s economy.

Never before have “public-private” partnerships been working so effectively together. Never before has communication flowed so freely.

The last thing Lewistown needs now is the chaos of changing forms of government. Adding a mayor will create a new layer of red tape and additional administrative expense. We’d lose so much forward momentum and set progress back many years.

Please consider thoughtfully and vote to retain our existing form of government on Nov. 8, to keep Lewistown moving forward economically.

Chris Cooler, Karen Kuhlmann and Nancy Weaver



Do not vote for Gianforte


Dear Editor,

Montana is the greatest state in the U.S. Montanans are very special people. As a fourth generation, 83 year-old woman, I have been blessed to live or visit many countries in the world. We Montanans are strong, loving, caring, giving, intelligent, respectful people with character. We practice the 10 Commandments as our parents taught us.  I love Montana and want our state to stay as perfect as possible. All I want to tell you fellow Montanans is, do not vote for Gianforte. In my opinion, he is not a Montanan and really does not care for us or our state. Vet him on Firefox or Waterfox; his words tell it all. God bless Montana and all Montanans.

As I see it, Gianforte’s untruths include: 1. His residency  - from 22 to two-plus years in Montana. 2. His hiring of Montanans- 2,000 actually was less than 150. 3. High pay - was minimum wage. 4. Qualified employees - he claims Montanans are not smart. 5. Start-up company - he claims Bozeman, not even in this state. 6. Jobs - he outsources through Cloud. 7. Brags a lot - has never done anything -- name one job you have to offer, just one high-paying job.

Dr. Janice Thaxter



The commission always directs the manager


Dear Editor,

The organizational structure of the city is critical in providing effective and efficient government. Over the past 18 years Lewistown’s charter has provided the structure used by most cities greater than 5,000. The commission-manager form of government has proven itself effective and efficient.

I served eight years on the City Commission and always had my proposals submitted on the agenda by the manager or city attorney. Proponents of a mayor have the arrow pointing the wrong way. The commission has always directed the manager.

The proposal to add a mayor simply adds a new administrative layer and costs more than the current form of government.

The wording of the proposed “mayor charter” also appears deeply flawed, and will not provide a structure that will provide an efficient government.

Please vote to retain the commission-manager form of government on Nov. 8.

Dave Sather



We don’t need two parties that haven’t worked


Dear Editor,

I am the granddaughter of Granville Stuart.

I think most people in the U.S. are brainwashed. You can’t realize how much power this government has.

When I lived in Whitefish, the U.S. government sent me a letter telling me I had to leave Whitefish and move to Somers because I was living on SSI. They wanted only the rich to live there. I had to go to my doctor and he wrote them a letter. They let me go. Yes, really. This should scare you. Later, I opened up my leather store and then I was an acceptable citizen.

Now, why did our governor and Obama and Clinton send 150 people from ISIS to Missoula? You should see it in Whitefish: The Russians are there, big time, and they send for their relatives. They get full food stamps, they go to the food bank, also. They get assisted living and new cars.

I’ve been offered $11 of food stamps. There was a lady I knew that lived on $700 a month. She was offered $10 worth. This is America, people?

You won’t get the cure for cancer. Pharmacies run this country. When 9/11 happened, our government made the excuse that our radar wouldn’t pick them up. We have no Homeland Security. We don’t need two parties; Republican and Democrat haven’t worked.

Emails flooding in, Hillary denies everything. I heard her former agent says she takes a lot of meds and is often confused.

Didn’t you see her trying to get into her car after the second debate? Both arms were held up by her service men and her hand, went backwards, then they bent her over and made it look like she was getting into her car. A week and a half later: I think she was all hyped up at the next debate. Drugs, oh yes. Is she fit to be president? She doesn’t recall anything.

If you ask me, don’t bother to buy gold and silver, cause you won’t be able to sell it, and you can’t eat it if Hillary has her way. She wants every penny you have.

How do you tell when Hillary is lying? Her lips move.

Sandra Stuart




What about all the other issues?


Dear Editor,

It is time to vote. How will you vote? How has your conscious been formed? One group is saying we must take away all guns so as to save the toddlers, and on the other hand they advocate for abortion up to the time of the baby’s birth to save the life of the mother. (Many girls, women, boys and men have been seriously hurt and damaged emotionally by accepting this philosophy that all will be good. If you doubt this check out Rachel’s Vineyard Ministry, where women find healing and help, and men can, too.)

What is the truth?

During this election or campaign period we have heard over and over about the misogyny of women by men. Misogyny is hatred, dislike, or mistrust of women or prejudice against women.

On the other hand misandry is defined as hatred of men, and or another definition offered is an extreme dislike of males, frequently based upon unhappy experience or upbringing.

Another definition of misandry: dehumanization of the male sex. The view of males as non-human, not of intrinsic worth. (Hmmm have we seen this prejudice promulgated in our recent sitcoms and popular views? The de-masculinizing of men?)

Anti-gun to save the toddlers or children versus late-term partial birth abortion? Confusing.

Misogyny versus misandry? Which is more evil? Which is more pervasive?

And what about all the other issues? It seems the above are used for divisiveness and hatred, and the other issues are swept under the carpet.

Seek the truth and the truth will set you free?

Pat Irish



A mayor-led city would provide clear leadership


Dear Editor,

I find interesting the arguments against changing Lewistown City government to an elected mayor who would bring responsible leadership back to the voters. For 20 years, Lewistown was run by a manager--with four out of five (80 percent) of the managers a total disaster and one of those (Everetsen) costing the city taxpayers $60,000 in severance pay. Of course the most vocal supporters of the present manager/commission form of government may not have memories that long. This record is even considering the last dozen years a “success” under the most recent manager.

The most recent manager started out as a half-time manager and half-time police chief, but he soon retired from the police department, but retained his combined compensation package and became a highly paid (about $129,000 with benefits) manager, even as the city population declined. Most notably this “successful” manager’s governing skills resulted in dramatic arrogance of the city bureaucracy in recent years. The result is business has been run out of the City of Lewistown while the city has annexed protesting people into the city who wanted to simply live in the county.

Opponents of a full-time elected mayor argue there will be increased costs claiming the need to pay for both a manager and a mayor—that is not what the proposed amended Charter calls for. The facts are, if a talented administrator runs for mayor there is no requirement to hire a manager, but the elected officials still have that option. If an elected mayor and city council decides the mayor is incapable of managing this little city, they can vote to hire a manager at any time.

Lewistown only has seven departments, with approximately 60 employees, whose administrators would be responsible to the Mayor, which is not a difficult task for a mayor with administrative experience. Contrary to the “hand wringing” opponents’ claim that the new government would create “added costs” and “unnecessary bureaucracy,” it should provide efficiency and reduced costs. A mayor-led city government would provide Lewistown with clear leadership whose programs would be evaluated and approved by an elected city council. This would return Lewistown to the “American Model” of governing with a “balance of power” divided between executive and legislative branches, both responsible to voters.

It is time to reconsider our unsuccessful experience of city managers (without clear policy directions) and vote for a mayor form of government, so the city will once again have direction and leadership.

Ed Butcher



Save time, money: retain current form of government


Dear Editor,

I wanted to write as a past resident of Lewistown and as a person who works in many small, rural communities within the western United States. It is most interesting to me that Lewistown is considering going back to the mayor form of government. I have read with much interest how folks feel that an elected mayor might be a person residents can talk to, but really, a city manager is as approachable as a mayor. You get a bigger bang for your buck with a city manager who is required to have extensive knowledge in the operation and maintenance of the community infrastructure and financial systems. I strongly agree that a mayor adds an additional layer of government that likely will lack the expertise necessary to meet the needs of the community and fully understand the operations of local government.

In the past year, the organization I work for has worked extensively with the Lewistown community on a community driven economic development initiative to revitalize the local area. It was amazing to me, working with Lewistown folks in this process, that every faction of the community was represented and made the commitment to work together while recognizing others’ differences. People who had never been to the table with a voice were there, working with someone who they would otherwise never associate with. 

During this four-month process, the city manager, the city commissioners and county commissioners worked alongside the community people to collaborate on how to best address the needs of Lewistown. This work continues on today and will continue for many years to come, until all the identified needs have been met. 

Don’t disrupt the positive collaboration that is going on by introducing a mayor, who in small communities we have worked with, are in title only, while the council and commissions take on the heavy lifting to get the work done within the community.

Save yourselves some time, effort and most of all, money. Vote to retain the current commission-manager form of government.

Pamela Higgins

Helena (past Lewistown resident)


Compensation for new mayor/CAO set by city commission


Dear Editor,

The opposition to the mayor form of government has stated that having a mayor will cost you more. I would like to remind those making that claim that the compensation for the new mayor and CAO – if one is hired – will be set by the city commission.

If the pro-manager people feel the city commission is planning to compensate the mayor and CAO in excess of the very large salary received by the city manager, I certainly haven’t heard about it. Since the majority of the commission has voiced opposition to relinquishing their power to pick the chief executive of the city to the people, I doubt they have plans to compensate the people’s choice in excess of what they already pay the manager.

Frank Westhoff




A broken America creates a dangerous world


Dear Editor,

I just read a letter to the editor from someone that mentioned the new Liberal catch phrase, “when they go low, we go high.” I have to wonder if that person has been watching the ads, debates, etc.? I have not seen anyone going “high,” and I sure hope neither side goes any lower.

In a previous letter appealing to Democrats, another person outlined a list of candidates he thought they should all vote for and I applaud his American right to voice his opinion. The language and tone of his letter, though, are subtle examples of the divisive and dismissive attitude of so many this year. Why include the paragraph accusing Republicans of voting their “tribal identity in solid lockstep,” as if those who disagree with him are not capable of individual thought? Also, calling his own picks “clearly superior choices” is actually amusing, considering the onslaught of factually conflicting political ads bombarding anyone that dares to turn on the television. There “clearly” is very little clarity.

The only thing clear for me, personally, is the fact that I am a military mom and a mom that relies on law enforcement to provide a safe environment for my family here at home. There is a special place in my heart for all those amazing folks willing to risk it all to protect others. I cannot responsibly trust their lives to a Commander-in-Chief with Hillary’s proven record of “experience.” I believe she will continue and even expand on the present trend to reduce the resources available to our protective forces while getting them involved in more and more dangerous situations. A world with a broken America is a very dangerous and vulnerable world.

Omie Danell




‘Crooked Democrats’ lying about Trump


Dear Editor,

Well, election time is here again, and I’ve noticed the Democrats are up to their usual politics: twisting the truth, telling and printing all the lies they can think of – and they sure know how to make them up; Greg Gianforte and Ryan Zinke being their latest targets. Saying Greg and Ryan are against what us common folk want and believe in. The only things Gianforte and Zinke are against are the corrupt policies and practices those crooked Democrats are trying to ram down our throats to ruin our country.

If you want to hear the lies, listen to what they have been saying about Donald Trump the past few days. All lies.

June Haffner



Proposed Government Charter fails as a workable document


Dear Editor,

The Lewistown Government Study Commission has said they recommend a city government with a Mayor, a City Commission and a Manager. However, Article III in the Proposed Charter states that the Mayor may hire a manager. This means the Mayor would be within the law to not hire a manager. We, the voters, would not have a say in this. This is one example of how the proposed Government Charter creates confusion and fails as a workable document. Here are other examples of equal importance:

Charter: A vote by four of the City Commissioners may remove the Mayor from office.

Problem: A majority of Lewistown citizens vote for a Mayor whom the City Commission then fires.

Charter: The Mayor supervises the Manager. The City Commission sets the Manager’s salary, and can end the Manager’s contract in two years.

Problem: The Manager has conflicted loyalty between the Mayor and the City Commission because the Manager could work under the Mayor’s supervision for two years, but then be terminated by the Commission.

Charter: The Mayor hires and fires all department heads and city employees, and the City Commission sets the salaries for all department heads and city employees.

Problem: All department heads and all employees have divided loyalties – the Mayor hires them and fires them, and the City Commissioners pay them.

These are some of the examples of how the proposed Government Charter fails as a workable document – there are others. This Charter confuses the division of duties between City Commission, Mayor and Manager. This will cause confusion and disruption in Lewistown’s government for ten years - until the next Government Study Commission convenes.

Our current City Charter is an extremely well planned document – it has served Lewistown very well for 20 years. Vote to keep Lewistown’s government functioning smoothly. Vote for the Existing Commission-Manager form of Government.

Mary Frieze





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