Readers’ Views

Kinship feels grateful

To the Editor:

The 27th annual Knights of Columbus Silent and Live auction was held Saturday, March 25, in the St. John Vianney School gym. There was a huge array of items for sale and a great turnout by the community. From the proceeds of this auction, the Knights were able to donate $4,611 to Kinship this year. We are incredibly grateful for all their hard work leading up to and during the auction and for their constant dedication to the community. Kinship would not be able to do its important work without the support of the Knights and other generous organizations, individuals and businesses.

Kinship has been a lucky beneficiary of this huge fundraiser since the program started in the early 2000s. Within Kinship, we are able to use donations to foster meaningful mentoring relationships for kids throughout Martin County. These mentoring relationships help the mentees develop self-esteem, resilience, social skills and friendships. The amazing kids in Kinship are the ones who truly benefit from this fundraiser. Thank you to the Knights for supporting local kids through Kinship.

Anna Garbers, director

Fairmont Area Kinship

Tax relief pending

To the Editor:

Gov. Mark Dayton may soon decide whether to provide middle-class Minnesotans with $1.15 billion in tax. I voted in favor of the proposal that had been crafted by a joint House/Senate conference committee.

With our projected surplus, the evidence is there that Minnesotans are suffering from an over-collection of state tax dollars. I’m pleased we’ve found a number of ways to provide tax relief to the middle class.

Highlights of the tax relief proposal include:

o Nearly 322,000 senior citizen tax returns (single and married filing jointly) would receive tax reductions by increasing the income limit thresholds for the taxation of Social Security income. For example, seniors making $50,000 would see an average tax savings of $425.

o 65,000 students will receive an average of a $414 reduction in their taxes through a first-in-the-nation tax credit for student loan payments.

o Approximately 240,000 farmers could receive property tax relief to reduce their disproportionate share of school district debt service by reducing the burden they pay for school bond levies.

o Families of four making $50,000 a year will receive an additional $1,200 toward their child care expenses by modifying the child and dependent care credit.

o Every Main Street business owner will see relief by exempting the first $150,000 in property value from the extra tax on businesses and freezing its automatic inflator.

The proposal also includes a $6 million increase for both Local Government Aid and County Program Aid.

State Rep. Bob Gunther,


Consider serving

To the Editor:

Fairmont is one of 107 Minnesota cities (out of 853) that operates under Home Rule Charter. We have been a charter city for over 100 years. We became a charter city through the state-mandated process of appointing a local Charter Commission that created the charter for Fairmont.

Being a charter city allows the citizens of our city to adopt their own way of operating our city. The charter allows for flexibility in our form of government (mayor/council) and allows us to operate with rules and procedures drafted by our citizens rather than only following rules and procedures allowed by the state of Minnesota. There are many advantages to being a Home Rule Charter City, so our forefathers were right in establishing Fairmont as one of those cities.

One of the requirements of being a charter city is that the Charter Commission meet at least annually. Fairmont uses the statutory maximum 15 members for its commission. As you may have heard, we are looking to find qualified citizens to be appointed to our commission. This is an important commission for our city but not typically a time burden. The commission meets only once per year unless the citizens or commission members would like to make changes to the charter.

The Charter Commission has four-year terms. Commissioners are appointed by the district court, typically from a list submitted by the mayor and council. By re-establishing the commission now, half of the members will have two-year initial terms and the other half four-year to create staggered terms. Charter commission members can serve unlimited successive terms.

Please consider helping our city in this way by applying for one of the 15 positions. You can get an application by going to the city website at and select “I Want To/Apply For/An Advisory Board” You may also go directly to the application here:

Thanks for considering serving our city.

Tom Hawkins

councilman at-large


Students worked hard

To the Editor:

Thank you to the 15 students from Mrs. Stewart’s Cardinal Connection group and for the supervisor, Miss Charlotte, for coming to our home on Friday as part of the Community Service Day. They pitched right in doing the mowing, raking, washing windows, weed-whacking, picking up twigs, etc. I couldn’t have asked for a more hard-working or better group of young people.

Thank you also to Mrs. Chris Engleby for coordinating the scheduling and to Fairmont Jr./Sr. High School for encouraging this wonderful community outreach. It’s much appreciated.

Kay Nelson


Kids saved history

To the Editor:

I am Pam Olson, owner of Weathered and Worn. I’m located at 214 N. State St. in Fairmont. My shop is in the old Carlson’s 2nd Hand Store. It was built in 1953 by Marv Carlson. He was an announcer for KSUM, an auctioneer and store owner.

As many of you are aware, Highway 15, or State Street, will be undergoing some road construction this summer. To accommodate this, parking will be offered in the back of the shop. Customers will need to walk between two buildings to reach my shop.

On the side of the building is an old advertisement of Carlson’s 2nd Hand Store. Simple in design, but great history. My goal was to restore this advertisement.

I read in the paper that Fairmont High School was offering its services to our community by helping with tasks. I contacted Mrs. Patschke and she thought the idea was pretty neat.

I want to share this experience with you and thank the class of 2018 for the amazing work they did. The parents and the community should be proud of what these kids accomplished. Saving just a small piece of Fairmont history, the store with 2,500 chairs.

Pam Olson