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2018-12-05 / Columnists

Letters TO THE EDITOR

1. All Letters to the Editor must be no longer than 350 WORDS.

2. They must be signed by the author, with an address and telephone number included to be considered for publication.

3. Personal attacks, thank you notes, form letters and letters promoting political candidates/issues above a statewide level will not be accepted.

All letters reflect the opinion of the letter writer and not necessarily the opinion of the Newberry News.

To the Editor:

Forty-six years ago my new bride and I passed through Newberry on our honeymoon. With an eye open for where we would eventually make our home, we traveled all the way to the west coast.

Of all the places we visited, we decided there was no place we would rather be than the Newberry area. The people we met in this beautiful land of lakes, rivers and forests had won our hearts with their kindness and cheery dispositions.

Four years later we settled between the two towns— Newberry and Curtis. Over the years we raised three children and have many fond memories.

When I read “Traveling Through Time” and “Voices From the Past,” it’s clear the root of Newberry’s good qualities go back to well over a century ago.

Unfortunately things have changed dramatically in Newberry. I now read articles that cover town meetings described as vicious, uncivilized and uncouth. It’s disheartening to see the biggest town in our area tearing itself apart. Division, acrimony and personal attacks will get us nowhere.

What concerns me is that times are relatively good right now. People who want a job can find one. Crime is low. We can still find all the goods and services we need. However, the underlying attitudes and atmosphere now drives people away and keeps others from coming. This does not portend well for our future.

The whole area needs Newberry to survive and thrive. If we can’t get along when times are good, what is going to happen when times get hard? I, for one, feel that soon times may get very hard indeed.

Our forefathers believed “United we stand, divided we fall,” an adage they understood well. We need to revive the spirit and character of our forebears. If we don’t, future articles will remember our failure.

It would be great if we could all forgive, forget and press on through the challenges ahead. If we pull together, future historians will write “Look How Newberry Overcame and Thrived.”

John Blanchard
McMillan

To the Editor:

There’s been a growing disconnection in Newberry between its citizens and various boards and councils in the community that stalls addressing problems or finding solutions. Each side’s opinions and efforts are motivated by wanting things to improve, but when the mix lacks mutual respect, it’s like throwing a monkey wrench into the works.

Be it bond proposals repeatedly presented and turned down or new officials being voted in, that’s the voice of the people in action. Productive change won’t occur if those voices are ignored or dismissed as “disruptive,” simply because the citizens’ input during the Public Comments portion of public meetings may not automatically go along with officials’ plans. That level of disconnect won’t earn any side’s approval.

At a town hall meeting the school held last spring to gain more support for another attempt at a bond proposal, I attended to point out a school issue that I was hearing many people say was their reason for already opposing another attempt, hoping it would be addressed and maybe change some minds. I was cut off and told, “We’re not going to discuss that topic.”

Another time I’ve had a board member tell me that if I didn’t like the way the school was operating, I should get on the school board. Their minds are closed and totally lacked the understanding that elected officials are by design meant to serve as representatives of the people.

So, in that sense, I already am on the school board when giving input.

Any of the people’s representatives who aren’t up to shouldering that responsibility to collaborate with their citizens should work on doing so or vacate their office so they get out of the way of progress and improvement. Our system works best when all sides treat the others with respect, while honestly working together for desired improvements.

John Kronquist
Newberry

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