Readers’ Views

Freedom under fire

To the Editor:

I know that I’m not the only person in Fairmont who is upset about losing one of our Constitutional freedoms. Our country has survived because our constitution has allowed us so many freedoms. One of the most important is freedom of speech as stated in the first amendment. This means we can say what we want, when we want, without censorship, or even how it offends others. This is what makes our country great. I am advocating open discussion and free speech for all.

In the past, the City Council has always allowed open discussion at the beginning of each meeting as a way for the citizens to express their concerns and thoughts and nothing bad happened. In fact, sometimes they have truly benefited from our citizens’ wisdom.

Unfortunately, the Mayor and three members of our City Council, (Jim Zarling, Bruce Peters, and Wayne Hasek) decided to remove our ability to speak freely and openly at their meetings. It is now mandatory to sign a form, a week in advance, in which we must declare our intent and the content of our purpose to address the city council and present to our administrator, Mike Humpal.

Mayor Foster stated, that the county and school board do not allow open discussion. This is false, as the county offers open discussion prior to their meeting agenda. She also stated that the school board does not allow open discussion either. This too is false. The school board is not a governing body and as such has no authority compared to the city and county.

Furthermore, the mayor decided to limit our time allotted to two minutes at town hall meetings and at workshops and our input is banned before and after the work session.

History has proven over and over that whenever a government leader wishes to control and dictate to his or her people, they must first strip them of their freedoms. We have been stripped of the freedom of speech. Which freedom will they try to take next?

I have studied and earned an undergraduate degree (BA) in Library Science where censorship was a required class. We agreed censorship is one of our freedoms which we should not give up. I still believe in our constitutional rights, and for these reasons, we need to have fresh energy and ideas in our City Council. If you agree, then “Vote for Jeff Weber.”

Verlus Burkhart


Re-Elect Foster

To the Editor:

I have had the pleasure of knowing Deb Foster before she ran for Mayor two years ago from her place of employment at Peterson-Anthony Insurance. She was always caring and cheerful when I would call with questions or add-ons to our policies. Then her compassion after Randy’s death, a common bond we have of losing our spouses. She was respectful in the fact that she was going to be finishing out his term as Fairmont’s Mayor.

Over the past two years she has served as Mayor, I have seen how she has continued to make Fairmont a great place to work in, raise your family and call home. She continues to work hard in finding ways to make Fairmont grow with employment and business opportunities. Deb has had to face hard challenges and takes them head-on with an open mind and listens to others openly. With her experience of being on the School Board, she knows how to work with our school systems. She is hard-working, compassionate, positive and all with integrity.

She will continue to work hard on the issues facing Fairmont in child-care, supporting local business growth, the community center, our schools, tearing down dilapidated homes and buildings, working with Martin County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition and other issues that will come up. Deb will continue to work hard representing Fairmont. I am confident that Deb will continue making Fairmont proud if re-elected as Mayor.

Kelly K. Quiring


Lucas to be honored

To the Editor:

Each year for the past forty-four years, the Fairmont Exchange Club has presented the Book of Golden Deeds Award to a citizen of Fairmont. The purpose of this award is to recognize those citizens within the community whose self-sacrifice, response to duty, and other praiseworthy actions may not pass unnoticed and unremembered by the general public.

This year’s award will be presented to Andy Lucas at our banquet 5:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 12, 2018, at the Fairmont Holiday Inn. Tickets will be sold at Profinium Financial-Fairmont, Dee’s Floral, St. John Vianney, and the Fairmont Chamber of Commerce. The ticket price is $17. Tickets will be available at these locations from Oct. 30 until Nov. 10. If you have any questions, please call Don Richards at (507) 236-3161.

Andy Lucas was born Oct. 1, 1951, in Browerville, Minn. Andy graduated from Wadena Vocational in 1971. He joined Centel in Fairmont the same year. Centel was one of the forerunners of Frontier Communications. Andy worked with each company, that became Frontier, until he retired on Dec. 31, 2016. Andy met his wife Mary in Mankato, and they were married there in 1971, before coming to live in Fairmont. The couple also joined St. John Vianney Church in 1971. Over the years, Andy has served as usher, choir member, and as Fall Festival chairman.

Andy Lucas has also served our government, being appointed 4th Ward councilman in March, 2004. Andy was elected to represent the 4th Ward twice, serving overall from 2004 to 2012. As councilman, Andy served on the Economic Development Board, the Human Rights Commission, and The Planning Commission. He visited every house in the 4th Ward, at least once yearly, getting citizen input.

Andy has clearly served this community well, but there is much more. He joined the Knights of Columbus (KC’s) in 1985. He has served as an officer of the council since 1986, produced and mailed the monthly newsletter, served as Program Director since 1991, organizing each of the projects undertaken by the KC’s. Andy was president of the building committee from 1996 to 2003. This group oversaw the building of the new facility that opened in 2003, He then became president of the Building Corporation and still serves in that capacity. This group manages day-to-day operations of the KC Hall. Andy also acts as chair/co-chair of various events throughout the year.

Andy is a driving force in what the KC’s has become: a valuable

community asset that is willing to help any worthy cause. Here is what one member said regarding Andy’s service, “Under Andy’s leadership, the Knights of Columbus have stepped up to aid any individual of the community who suffers a setback and needs a helping hand. Andy has not only given of himself, as he tirelessly serves the community, but he has guided a much larger organization to become a consistent and reliable partner in the building and

sustenance of our community.”

We should remember that all of the activities of the KC’s are performed by volunteers. Everything, there are no paid positions.

From the day he arrived in Fairmont, Andy has freely given of his time to the assistance of others and the betterment of our community. Because of his outstanding record of volunteer service to our community, Andy Lucas is an excellent choice for the Fairmont Exchange Club’s 2018 Book of Golden Deeds Award.

We ask that former recipients of the Book of Golden Deeds Award, who wish to attend the banquet, call Wanda Johnson at (507) 235-6428 or Don Richards, to make reservations.

Don Richards