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Et Cetera ...

March 2, 2013
Gary Andersen, Lee Smith , Fairmont Sentinel

Stop enabling them

American workers have to show up. They can't miss 10 to 12 days in four months without a valid reason. Some have to wear ID?badges or name tags. There are no excuses.

So we have to ask:?Is Fairmont Area Schools enabling students who miss too much class time and who fail to remember their IDs? The school board made adjustments this week to these two policies, but we're not sure they are helpful.

How about holding students accountable, by not letting them run up 600 instances of unpaid fines for replacement IDs? The real world won't be so lax.

Attract younger folks

Martin County is getting old and gray. That's happening across the nation, in fact. Baby boomers are retiring, putting stress on the system and setting up conflicts with other societal priorities, such as school funding.

Minnesota state demographer Susan Brower visited Fairmont this week to discuss these issues. Certainly, we understand that her message is one of inevitability.

However, that doesn't mean our area should give up. We should try to maintain and attract businesses that will bring more younger people here. We should build on the successes seen in attracting younger folks to return home to raise families.

Let individuals decide

A bill to allow Sunday liquor sales in Minnesota has stalled in the Legislature. This appears to be a loser of an issue regardless of who is in power, Democrats or Republicans.

States around Minnesota allow Sunday sales. In fact, they allow sales in grocery stores. Apparently, they view the issue as one of personal choice.

So do we. This is the 21st century, and Minnesota is living in a bygone era when it comes to Sunday liquor sales.

Accountability needed

Local government officials in Minnesota are interested in using the rising reach and power of social media to interact with constituents. We think that is fine in some respects, worrisome in others.

If city, county or school staff are simply trying to relay information to citizens, that's one thing. If elected officials are debating issues online and making decisions before they ever get to a public meeting, that is not good in terms of being open, honest and accountable.

The Legislature is considering ways to accommodate local officials. Lawmakers must make the aforementioned distinction crystal clear.

 
 

 

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