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Letters to the Editor

Diogenes, a Greek Philosopher, is reportedly famous for searching for one honest man during broad daylight while using a bright lantern.

It might take another Diogenes to find the several hundred thousand dollars the Crosslake City Council attempted to save the taxpayers over the last several years as claimed by a letter writer last week. If the five men who were elected to the city council themselves cannot determine if the City and Crosslake Communications were and are managed efficiently and effectively, we elected the wrong people.

That's not sour grapes. That's expecting knowledge, executive management skill, openess, and integrity from those whom we elect.

So far, the cost of saving money has been awfully high in not just dollars, but also in terms of the city's reputation.

Peter D. Abler
Crosslake, MN

Fantasies or Fundamental misunderstanding on wealth accumulation

Letters to the Editor

Jeff Johnson was just selected Republican candidate to replace Minnesota governor Mark Dayton.

Mr. Johnson's initial statements after the primary concerned how to help lower and middle income people without reducing the incomes of high income people. He referred to it as opposing a "redistribution of wealth". His primary concern is helping the wealthy. (At this point, none of them appear to need help.)

His statement unfortunately demonstrates either a belief in fantasies or a fundamental misunderstanding how wealth accumulates. Perhaps he 'misspoke'!

Party Republicans imply great knowledge of business, and attempt to intimidate average people like us that it's beyond our capability to understand, so it's best we leave it up to them. “Daddy knows best". They are condescending. Party Republicans would like to apply this business modeling to government. (Republican businessmen crushed our economy 2007.)

In broad, simple terms, businesses spend money, to create a product. Hopefully it does well, and sells the product. After paying off expenses, it may have some money left (profit). It could reward it's employees, or reward it's owners, CEO's, etc. But every dollar taken by owners, etc., means one dollar less to reward employees (with better pay, etc.).

There are no other dollars. A dollar can't be in two places at once. When employees are given less, it’s more dollars for owners. Owners may become rich. If employees are rewarded more, the owners, CEO's, etc., become less wealthy.

The wealthy holler and scream about this action or mechanism, labeling it "redistribution of wealth", implying the poor are stealing from the rich.

What’s fair? Recent presidential candidate "Mitt" Romney has $250 million. He wants more. What can he do with $500 million he can't do with $250 million? Eat double breakfasts?

If anyone in his employ is not paid well, that's unconscionable.

To make another analogy using a very simple example, imagine you and I partnering to earn some money. We do well, and I collect our pay and give you 10% of it. When you complain that’s unfair, I accuse you of wanting "redistribution of wealth", trying to make you feel guilty.

Recent studies show this 90-10 split may not be far off from reality today.

For example, in terms of accumulated wealth in the U.S. today, 80% of the people (that's 4 out of 5) control only 7% of our nation's wealth. The other 20% controls 93%. Fair?  Christian?

A. Martin
Merrifield, MN

Life Style and Property Taxes

Letter to the Editor

Are property taxes based on perception of individual resources or on a person’s life style? Consider the following. Two individuals working side by side in factory “A” and earn the same wages. Both are married and have two children and live at opposite ends of the block. How these two families allocate their resources impacts their property taxes.

One family has a home of low real estate value but all family members have ATV’s and snowmobiles, a big family boat, and take annual summer vacations to places like Disneyland and winter trips to other locations.

The other family has a home of moderately high real estate value but have no ATV’s, or snowmobiles, or a boat. Vacation times are used to maintain their home as they have pride in their home.

Is the level of police or fire services different for these two homes? Is the snowplow raised or lower based of the amount of property taxes? The answer is no. So based on a person’s life style and the home they live in, are some individuals subsidizing the community services for other individuals so all receive the same community services?

Kent Rees
Emily, MN

Enjoy Managed Forest Lands

Letter to the Editor

[The] DNR question of the week for August 26 was about Old Growth Forests and their location. I thought you should know that as part our forest management in Crow Wing County some of the 100,000 plus acres are designated as Old Growth. Some are part of hunter-walking trails, ski trails or other management efforts that allow public access. If your readers go on the Crow Wing County website under Land Services they can locate and then go enjoy some of the retained majestic beauty in our managed forest lands.

Paul Thiede
Crow Wing County
Commissioner District 2

Be patient and see what study shows

Letter to the Editor

Thank you to a few recent letter writers for putting things back into perspective and reminding us to use some common sense.

As taxpayers we appreciate our small town government and phone company. We want both to run  efficiently and for the phone company to make a profit. Doesn't everyone? It has been reported at recent council meetings the phone company hasn't made a steady profit year after year. In fact, they've only made a profit 2 out of ten years. This is very concerning as we've also learned they have a $3.2 million bond to be paid back. If the phone company can no longer make the payment, then what? It comes back to the citizens to be paid - of course. Just think of what that will do to your property taxes! A business operating at a loss year after year can only last so long.

Let's be patient and see what this study shows us. Our council laid out very specific guidelines for what this company was to do. Report on operations, personnel, management and what the value of the company is. Gathering information for how to sell it was not requested. Selling the phone company seems to be the current rumor running wild right now - or maybe it's just being promoted for political reasons. Doesn't it make sense to know the value of the company when we're on the line for $3.2 million?

We're hoping this study will give us a fresh look on how to improve and keep our phone company. It should also give us a long range recommendation on what's needed to keep up with the fast changing  technology in the phone, internet and cable business. Yes, $40,000 is a lot of money but it seems like  spending this money now could save us all a whole lot more down the line later.

Butch and Deb Doerfler
Crosslake, MN

Law Enforcement Scholarship Program

Letter to the Editor

Sheriff Dahl would like to announce that the Law Enforcement Scholarship Program for 2014 is now open. The Minnesota Sheriff’s Association (MSA) will be awarding of up to fifteen (15) - $600 scholarships for this year. These scholarships are the result of the coordinated efforts of the 87 Sheriffs in the State of Minnesota.

The members of the MSA give special recognition to the financial needs of students attending the peace officer skills course, or one of the two year or four year law enforcement degree colleges, therefore the scholarships are only available to students currently enrolled in one of the following three categories:

1. Mandated POST Skills Programs.
2. In their second year of a two year law enforcement program.
3. In their third or fourth year of a four year college criminal justice program

The Scholarship Committee, in making its selection of awards, intends on achieving representation from all geographical areas of the state. Applications forms and a statement of procedures are now available at the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office or on-line at www.mnsheriffs.org. Applications must be returned to the Sheriff’s Office no later than October 15, 2014.

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MN Sheriffs’ Scholarship Program

Sheriff Tom Burch of Cass County announced today the commencement of the Law Enforcement Scholarship Program for 2014. Sheriff Burch proudly announced that the MSA Board of Directors has established a scholarship fund for the awarding of up to 15- $600 scholarships for this year. These scholarships are due to the coordinated efforts of the 87 Sheriffs of the State of Minnesota.

The Members of MSA gives special recognition to the financial needs of students attending the peace officer skills course, or one of the two or four year law enforcement degree colleges. “The Board of Directors feel peace officers in our democratic society have complex duties to perform” said Sheriff Burch. MSA recognizes the importance of pre-entry training for people considering law enforcement as their career choice. MSA recognizes some students need outside help in meeting the costs of such training, even though they excel academically.

The Scholarship Committee, in making its selection of awards, intends on achieving representation from all geographical areas of the state. Scholarship awards will be announced by December 31st of the same year.

Application forms and a statement of procedures are available at the Cass County Sheriff’s Office starting September 1, 2014. Completed applications need to be returned to the Sheriff’s Office by October 15, 2014. Scholarships are only available to students currently enrolled in one of the following three categories:

1. Mandated POST Skills Program

2. In their second year of a two year law enforcement program.

3. In their third or fourth year of a four year college criminal justice program.

In order to qualify, students must have completed at least one year of the two year program or two years of a four year program. Students meeting these criteria are invited to obtain a scholarship application form from their local sheriff’s office or online at www.mnsheriffs.org.

Necessary Changes in Crosslake were needed

Letters to the Editor

I don't understand why a certain group of residents show up to complain every time Crosslake council attempts to save tax payers a few hundred thousand dollars. It's the same sour grapes that we heard after the last election when voters, not council, caused a rash of resignations at the end of 2012 & early 2013. Four employees resigned in short order, two of those before the new council took office. The voters spoke loud and clear before the council had a chance to.

Now we're seeing a new round of resignations from the tax payer owned Crosslake Communications. Why are they leaving? Good question. Makes me wonder what they know that I don't. I do know that this city has wasted enough time discussing the sale of the company. It's not for sale. CharlesMead Advisors were hired to value the company along with evaluating the company. That revelation written about in the paper last week was publicly discussed at a televised council meeting months ago. Maybe those [letter] writers should pay attention at the council meetings? Why have a valuation done if it's not for sale? It's your company. Wouldn't it be nice to know if your company is swimming in red ink or black? It was also revealed at that meeting that our company has lost money for 8 of the past 10 years! And you wonder why council hired professional help? Tax payers are on the hook for a $3.2 million loan if our company fails. It is imperative that we learn how to fix this company, make it profitable, and pay off that loan!

Throwing stones at the people voters hired to manage our company is not productive. Especially the stone throwers who are on the telephone commission!! Mr Winkels and Mrs Schupp, how about some solutions instead?

Roger Roy
Crosslake, MN

Five Reason Why I Am Running To Become The New Mayor Of Crosslake

Letter to the Editor

My name is Darrin Mitchell. This year I am one of three candidates who running for Mayor of Crosslake. One candidate is our current Mayor who at age 78 has already served two terms and a City Council member who is not renewing his seat. The third is myself.

I am 52 years old, a conservative and a registered Republican. I am also a newcomer to Crosslake city politics. I am not a part of our current political establishment. I do not have any relationships with any of our current City Council members or any of the candidates who are running for Crosslake Mayor or City Council.

Today I would like to take this opportunity to tell you five reasons why I am running to become the new Mayor of Crosslake. (1) As your new Mayor it would be my first priority to foster a better way of communication with the citizens of Crosslake by using social media and our local newspapers to openly communicate the monthly actions of the City Council and to encourage a more open discussion on important matters to the city. The confusion surrounding the future of Crosslake Communications is a good example of how our current administration failed in this regard.

(2) As your new Mayor I would host a monthly meeting to meet with our local constituents to discuss city business and to be available to address the concerns of individual citizens.

(3) As your new Mayor I would host a monthly business meeting that would be open to all Crosslake business owners and managers. The purpose of this monthly business meeting would be to see what the city could do to help promote more local interest in Crosslake businesses and to examine the possibility of reversing regulations that prior administrations have passed that currently handicap the operations or growth of our local business community.

(4) As your new Mayor I would explore and consider implementing what other cities in Minnesota have done to offer incentives to draw new businesses to move to Crosslake to help fill the open business store fronts and office spaces that are clearly visible when anyone drives through our city.

(5) As your new Mayor I will be a goodwill ambassador of our city. I will attend local community monthly meetings and events to help promote community growth and involvement.

If you elect me as your new Mayor I recognize that I am being hired to serve “We The People” and I pledge to give this job my best and hope that I can earn your vote on election day.

Thank you for taking the time to read this letter to the editor and may God bless our city and our great nation the United States of America.

Darrin Mitchell
Crosslake, MN

Businesses, Employees and the Government

Letter to the Editor

When businesses operate successfully, it's usually a result of two important factors. First, good conscientious employees, trained and dedicated to their individual tasks. Second, someone with a good idea to put it all together.

Compare to a football team. Needed are skilled, well-trained players, offering "110%" effort. There must also be a coach, offering "110%" effort through a well thought-out plan to utilize the particular skills of the players.

In nearly all large businesses today, the goal by the owners is to gather as much money for themselves as possible. If they already have $250 million, it's not enough!

One of the more common ways by owners to increase wealth is to short-change their employees, the ones who leave sick children at home to come in and work, "for the company". The owners disrespect their employees, even as human beings.

When the employees don't have healthcare, sufficient time off, or enough pay and compensation, it means they won’t have enough money for food, housing, reliable transportation, heating, or schooling of their children.

They turn to government for help, because their employers have turned their backs on them, even while smiling fixedly and offering flowery words.

The government must tax to get funds to help people survive. When it turns to the owners who caused this unbalance in the first place, the owners complain and whine about "redistribution of wealth", and claim to be "personally offended".

A. Martin
Merrifield, MN

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