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Open Forum

Nolan Supporters

Letter to the Editor

Rick Nolan is representing YOU in Congress. We should be supporting him. He is working hard for us in the 8th District, and we are tired of all the negative ads from the opposition.

As a small business owner he knows about rebuilding America and the middle class.

He will protect Medicare and Social Security for our seniors from politicians who want Wall Street controlling it. Why is it the only people who don’t seem to believe in our Social Security program are the wealthy folks like Stewart Mills III?

They seem more interested in making sure the rich get more tax breaks while hard-working Americans are worried their Social Security checks will be too small to count on when they retire. People like Stewart Mills should not be able to cut Social Security to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy. It is our money – not theirs. Rick Nolan is making sure Social Security remains in its present form, for every generation. He is always on our side. That’s why we are voting for Rick Nolan for Congress and we don’t shop at Mills Fleet Farm anymore.

Wayne and Gerry Altonen
Ironton, MN

Fifty Lakes sets 2015 Levy at 2014 Level

Letter to the Editor

In a recent article in the Northland Press it was reported that the Fifty Lakes City Council, by a unanimous vote, set the 2015 budget at the same level as 2014.

As the Crosslake City Council is always looking for ways of reducing expenses and is willing to hire a plethora of consultants to do so, I recommend they investigate a consulting arrangement with Fifty Lakes. Maybe the Fifty Lakes Council can show Crosslake a way to set the 2015 levy the same as 2014. This would benefit both cities. Crosslake would benefit from lower taxes and Fifty Lakes from the income resulting from the consulting contract.

Dick Dietz,
Crosslake, MN

Rebuild America

Letter to the Editor

I am writing to urge my friends and neighbors to support Rick Nolan for Congress this November. I support Rick because he knows how to work for us. Rick has spoken out against the Trillions of dollars that we have spent on our wars of choice in the Middle East. We simply cannot afford to launch into wars across the globe any more. The dollars that we spend overseas are sorely needed back home, where we have crumbling roads, schools and infrastructure. Rick Nolan understands that this a choice that we can make. As we see our own Country's  infrastructure falling apart, we must make our priorities clear. If we stop spending so much on giant overseas military operations, we have more dollars to help us back home, by paying down our debt and investing in America. The choice is clear, vote Rick Nolan for Congress.

Beth Passi
Baxter, MN

Character Matters

Letter to the Editor

As a seasonal resident for the past 47 years, I have watched and listened to my friends and neighbors as we approach the upcoming election. While I cannot vote, my family and I are very much affected by the judgement, good or bad, of the Crosslake electorate. We spend over five months each year in this great community. We pay taxes, we support our local businesses and we helped build a church so leadership in this community matters a great deal to us.

I have known Steve Roe for over 48 years as we worked together at IBM in Minneapolis. He has always been a man of great character. Steve is a person of solid values, high integrity and strong opinions based on years of business experience and community service. He has always demonstrated the willingness to do the right things in the right way. No shortcuts, no back room deals, no deceit! While we worked together we didn’t always agree, but when we finally settled on a course of action, Steve would look me in the eye, shake my hand and then go do exactly what he committed to do. His passion for doing the right thing for our customers never wavered and that is what the people of Crosslake will get from him as its Mayor.

In Steve Roe, Crosslake has a candidate for Mayor who will listen, seek input from others, consider the options and then tell you what and why the decision he made is in the best interest of the Crosslake community. That is the kind of leadership that Crosslake deserves and that all of the seasonal residents expect.

Clayton Reed
Crosslake, MN

City Divided / City United

Letter to the Editor

It is very disheartening to read all of the negative [letters] being written by some residents of this City. As a current Councilman, I have actually received feedback from countless residents on how happy they are with the improvements that have been made in the past two years.

There has been much discussion about savings; most of which have been half-truths. I would encourage any resident wanting real numbers, to stop by City Hall and talk to Mike Lyonais. He will be happy to share City savings and expenditures with you.

Since the levy increase currently seems to be a hot button, I would like to throw out a couple of simple facts why this increase needs to happen.

• Road and Sewer improvements
• New Fire Truck
• New Plow Truck
• Decreased home values which provides less revenue

Due to poor project planning by past Administration and lack of attention by the past Council(s), there was not enough revenue set aside for the Fire and Plow Truck. Frankly, these are only two examples of poor planning; there is a whole laundry list of needed improvements to run this City efficiently. If anyone had demanded five-year plans, we may not be in the situation we are currently in. I do have to agree with some of the comments floating around out there; while there are savings associated with P&Z and Administrative costs, it will take several years to overcome the past decade of poor planning.

Directly before and following the last election many City employees, as well as special committee volunteers, resigned. This was and is very unfortunate, as many of these individuals added a great deal to the operation of our City. I personally have not always agreed on every change recommended, so I have spent a lot of time researching some issues. Sometimes I changed my mind and sometimes I still didn’t agree. One thing I will tell you; I did not quit my position and I did not stop trying to change the minds of others on what I believed in.

So……….rather than continuing to write negative [letters], maybe a better use of your time, would be to join a committee or bring your ideas forward to help make Crosslake a better place to live. Don’t be a City divided; be a City united.

Gary Heacox
Crosslake Resident

Thank You Caregivers

Letter to the Editor

Recently I had a ramp installed to help me with my health issues. The work was completed by Tim McCarthy and his volunteer crew from Lakes Area Interfaith Caregivers. This Non-Profit Group of Caregivers are “Helping Hands ...when you need them most.” What a blessing these guys are. Asking only (if you are able) for donations for material costs. Fortunately, our relatives and friends stepped up to help with this. I feel so Blessed to all concerned.

I might mention that Steve Roe, our Crosslake Councilman and candidate for Mayor was on that crew. I think that says a lot for Mr. Roe and he has my vote.

God Bless to You All.
Chuck Fields
Crosslake, MN

In Support of Ward and Radinovich

Letter to the Editor

A healthy, thriving community cares for all its members regardless of age or ability. In the past, this care was often provided at home, with grandparents moving in with children as living alone was no longer a viable option. The elder generation would help with childcare, household duties, and other chores as best they could. Every generation benefited from this extended family living arrangement.

Today, the multi-generational family living under one roof is seldom observed. Instead, our seniors are often found living in assisted longterm care facilities, and nursing homes. The family caretakers have been replaced with paid employees whose job it is to provide for the varied needs of our aging loved ones. Our care facilities must be staffed with men and women who are committed to high quality senior care. They must be paid a livable wage that reflects the responsibility that this job curtails. We are entrusting our elders to these workers; it is imperative these essential employees are paid a dignified, livable wage. We must elect officials who are strongly committed to providing livable wages to care facility employees. Representatives John Ward and Joe Radinovich both have shown their strong support of paying a livable wage to caretakers. They both approved the first funding increase for Minnesota nursing homes and long-term caregivers in years!

We owe it to our loved ones to provide high quality care for them. These are the men and women who built a better life for all of us, and now it is our job to care for them in their final years. The caretakers who care for them on a daily basis must be paid a worthy, livable wage. Representatives John Ward and Joe Radinovich will continue to fight for high quality care for our seniors! Help them help our loved ones by voting for Radinovich and Ward on November 4th.

Sandy Loney
Brainerd, MN

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Research the Candidates

Letter to the Editor

As I see the campaign signs accumulating in Crosslake, I am astounded and somewhat amused by the number of them for Darrell Schneider, our current mayor who is running for re-election. If the election was based on the number of signs he has put up, he would win by a landslide.

I can only hope voters research the candidates and are not taken in by name recognition because everywhere they look there is a Schneider sign. Mayor Schneider voted to raise the tax levy by $90,000 for this year over the previous year. He has recently voted to approve a preliminary tax levy of $112,000 for next year which again is an increase. As a member of the council he has voted to dismantle city departments in the name of fiscal restraint. Instead a lot of city tax dollars are going out of town to consultants and there are more tax increases for property owners. It’s time for a change at the top!

And, by the way, as a follow up to a previous letter to the editor, it is against the law to steal and/or tamper with election campaign signs.

Sandra Melberg
Crosslake, MN

Protect Our Kids

Letter to the Editor

Minnesota students deserve a world class education. A great education begins with quality teachers and setting high standards for students. Recently, Democrats, in their typical partisan effort, lowered the bar by allowing teachers to enter the classroom without passing a basic skills test, delaying the implementation of teacher evaluations and removing the GRAD exam for students. Forty two states require teachers to pass a basic skills exam before entering the classroom and twenty-nine states require passing a skills exam even before enrolling in  teacher prep programs. I wonder why we want to lower our standards! The American Legislation Exchange council already gives MN a C+ grade. That’s pretty average for a world class education that spends more per student than most other states. The Governor’s budget increases E- 12 funding by an average of $72 per student in FY2014 and an average $339 increase per student in FY2015. Then there is the Bullying Act legislating confidentially protection for those who bully.

Early last month a special interest group, called OutFront MN, working with the Minnesota State High School League proposed a Transgender Student Athlete Policy. This policy would allow boys who identify as girls to play on girls’ sports teams and girls who identify as boys to play on boys’ sports teams. This would mean that boys and girls could be assigned to the same showers, locker rooms, bathrooms, and hotel rooms as the opposite sex. Thanks to a small group of conservative thinkers, this vote was stalled until last week, and at that time this one-sided policy was tabled for further consideration until December 4th.

What happened to protecting our kids? Instead, they have been barraged with lowered education standards, minimally qualified teachers and self-serving special interest groups. It’s time to pay attention and uphold our traditional conservative values.

Jan Skjolsvik
Fifty Lakes, MN

You could lose if you win

 Letter to the Editor

Elections are fast approaching and so are some fundamental decisions. With those decisions, will come results – good or bad. We each get to cast our vote for the way we want our elected representatives to govern. I decided over a dozen years ago to establish my voting residence in Crosslake. The community seemed to be on the right track. The lakes are wonderful, businesses were able to provide the necessities and often even the extras, medical services were available, a library and other amenities were coming, and there were some vibrant churches. Local government seemed to be following a good, reasoned long-range plan. And what wasn’t available locally, wasn’t far away. Crosslake seemed like a good place to retire.

Unfortunately, Crosslake, like the rest of the world, fell into a recession about five years ago. There was much teeth gnashing and finger pointing about what and who to blame. The fact was, and is, that Crosslake was at the bottom of the economic chain that stretched worldwide. Compounding the problem, Crosslake doesn’t benefit from traffic going on to other destinations; in reality Crosslake is nice but on the way to nowhere. But a local faction led by Mayor Schneider and the same three councilmen seemed to think they could fix things so businesses could flourish. They did this by slicing and dicing our city government through pressure, intimidation, and terminations of the staff, outsourcing city departmental functions, and spending a great amount of our city’s funds on consultants because they didn’t have a clue how to handle things. Their ability (or inability) to manage people and process is simply destructive instead of constructive; they are bent on tearing apart our city government, not building it. For a group that swept into power with the idea that they would make Crosslake better by making it   easier to conduct business, I don’t notice a lot of change in the number of vacant commercial buildings.

The purpose of this letter is to pass on the gist of many conversations I’ve heard from the people who live here. The net of the conversations is that if this city council is re-elected and continues their approach, there will be many people who will take their business elsewhere. It isn’t far to Pine River, Pequot, Emily, and Brainerd/Baxter. What these people are saying is “I may or may not have a vote in Crosslake but I don’t like what’s going on and I’ll vote with my feet and take my business elsewhere.”

So the point is: think twice about your vote. When a business loses a customer, it’s even harder to get that customer to return. If you vote wrong, you might win the election and lose the business… and never know what you lost -- jobs, tips, sales and profits. You get one vote on the ballot but the customer gets to vote daily.

John Forney
Crosslake, MN

Congratulations to Area Schools for Receiving Blue Ribbon Awards

Letter to the Editor

To the editor:

Earlier this week our area received some great news: six elementary schools in the Brainerd Public Schools District were named National Blue Ribbon Schools. This award recognizes schools that are making exemplary progress in closing the achievement gap or exemplary academic performance.

Baxter Elementary, Lowell Elementary, and Nisswa Elementary received the Blue Ribbon for being Exemplary High Preforming Schools, while Garfield Elementary, Harrison Elementary, and Riverside Elementary received the award for being Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools.

These awards show that there are some great things happening in our area elementary schools. We would like to take a moment to congratulate the students, teachers, support staff, administrators, parents, and the community for their fantastic work. A high-quality education system is the key to have a strong economy for years to come and our local schools are on the right track. Keep up the great work!

Sincerely,
Representative John Ward
Representative Joe Radinovich

Mark Liedl - A Proven Manager

Letter to the Editor

Mr. Liedl has proven by his clear visions, management skills, and experience, that he is superbly qualified to be the next County Recorder.

I have owned a substantial piece of lake shore property for over 55 years. During those years I have dealt with, and been at the mercy of, the former planning and zoning, and related government offices operations, on more occasions than I care to remember. They were extremely unfriendly and unpleasant to deal with, and the written zoning laws and procedures meant little or nothing to them. I had several high stress encounters with them, never knowing what I might reasonably expect as an outcome to my applications.

That all completely changed for the better when Liedl was hired into his current position. With the help and backing of Commissioner Thiede, Liedl was able to reduce the number of people I had to deal with, and he instituted very friendly and “customer oriented” policies, procedures, and attitudes toward the Crow Wing citizens. What a marvelous difference! People under his guidance are now very friendly, use good judgment and common sense, follow the law, and are always open to any reasonable request or suggestion.

Liedl is a known, proven, and experienced manager, and the citizens of Crow Wing County would be fortunate to have him as the next County Recorder. We voters would be well advised to vote for him.

Vic Kreuziger
Pequot Lakes, MN

Wessels recommends not voting for two council positions

Letter to the Editor

In a recent email, councilman Wessels recommends not voting for two council positions. He recommends voting for his friend but not for any other candidate. I’ve heard politicians say “vote for me”, “vote for x” or “don’t vote for y”. I have never heard an elected politician advocate going to the polls but not voting or worse, vote a write in for a person who has already announced he has bought a house in Buffalo and is moving there. What a waste of a vote that would be. Don’t follow Wessels' plea and exercise your 15th amendment right to vote a whole slate.

Dick Dietz
Crosslake, MN

Who will prevail in the end

Letter to the Editor

Great editorial page. You had lots of good material with opposing perspectives on some of the main issues that are pertinent to next month's election.

While some people are quite happy with all that has happened in the past two years, the end still doesn't justify the means, methods, and decisions made by four members of the current council - very likely out of the view of the public and shielded by a rap of the mayor's gavel.

I guess we will see who prevails in the end.

Pete Abler
Crosslake, MN

Crow Wing County seeks public comment on Land Use Ordinance Revisions

The Crow Wing County Land Services Department is requesting public comment on proposed revisions to the County Land Use Ordinance. The ordinance revisions can be viewed on the County website at www.crowwing.us by clicking on the “CWC Listens” button on the home page. Written comments on the proposed changes will be accepted until November 14, 2014, and may be submitted to the Environmental Services Office at environmental.services@crowwing. us or mailed to 322 Laurel Street, Suite 14 Brainerd, MN 56401.

A public hearing for the review of the proposed revisions to the land use ordinance is set for December 18, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. before the Planning Commission. The meeting will be held in the County Board Room on the third floor of the Historic Courthouse at 326 Laurel Street Brainerd, MN 56401. The Planning Commission will make a recommendation on the proposed ordinance revisions to the County Board of Commissioners for final review at a regularly scheduled meeting in January 2015.

There are three articles in the Land Use Ordinance that are being revised and are listed below:

• Article 12 – Agricultural/Forestry District Standards
• Article 14 – Rural Residential District Standards
• Article 16 – Commercial and Commercial/Industrial District Standards

The Land Services Department is committed to providing excellent customer service while helping landowners   make wise choices that protect Crow Wing County’s extraordinary natural resources. Citizens are encouraged to contact the Environmental Services Office at (218) 824-1125 or environmental.services@crowwing.us to discuss land use activities. Crow Wing County information and resources can be found at www.crowwing.us.

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