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Readers’ Views

Block party went well

To the Editor:

Thank you to everyone in the Veterans Park neighborhood and our wider community who came to the first annual fall Veterans Park multi-block party.

As with other multi-block parties, we were amazed and blessed by how the weather cooperated to warm those who gathered together Sept. 4. The park was filled with children playing games, youth spontaneously dancing to the music and area organizations sharing the news about what they do. Picnic tables were filled with friends, old and new, and families ate together sitting on the grass in the shade. Even after the display tables were packed up and taken away, persons lingered together in the park.

Although there was no official count of how many people attended the party, we served 266 hot dogs until they ran out, 10 pounds of chips and several hundred cookies.

Whether you joined us for a wonderful evening at the park, shared at an organization’s display table or at a police squad car, helped with games, or donated items, we could not have had such a great time together without you.

Thanks especially to Mayor Debbie Foster and City Council members Wayne Hasek and Randy Lubenow who helped served the hot dog dinner. We also greatly appreciate the great work of the Fairmont Parks Department, which moved picnic tables and trash barrels to the park, and were involved in working out the logistics of this enjoyable night in the park.

Pastor Tony Fink and members

Fairmont United Methodist Church

No proven wrongdoing

To the Editor:

I hate to be the bearer of bad news to Fairmont City Council members Hawkins, Lubenow and Cyphers, but the discovery that some cases turned over to the County Attorney when City Attorney Elizabeth Bloomquist parted ways with the city had gone past the statute of limitations does not mean she did something wrong, screwed up or was not doing her job.

Throughout the City Council meeting Monday, the three council members kept referring to these essentially closed cases as if they were still open, and implied that Bloomquist had erred and committed a wrongdoing by not bringing charges before the statute of limitations expired.

I am not an attorney or a prosecutor but even a layman knows that only a percentage of criminal cases actually go all the way through the process to the point of charges being filed. Some are closed relatively early in the process as they are just not viable for prosecution. Some are held on to for a longer period of time with the hope that subsequent investigation may add what is needed to make them viable. And some collect dust and eventually are just closed because nothing further can be done.

Prosecutors in today’s society have broad latitude in making decisions on whether to prosecute. They can even decline to prosecute when they have all they need to actually convict. They may have other reasons for not prosecuting. In the case of a city the size of Fairmont, the prosecutor may not proceed because it may be too costly or time-consuming. Even if they got a guilty verdict, the small expected sanction for the guilty may come at an unreasonably high cost.

These three manipulators got TV station KSTP to highlight a case, with the alleged victim telling her story. Another alleged victim appeared at a council meeting. An even sadder manipulation. In the first case, we heard the alleged victim’s side only, not the other side. And we certainly do not know why the case reached its statute of limitations. There may be a good reason. Or, possibly, Bloomquist really was not doing her job on that case. We don’t know. In the case of the second alleged victim, the woman at the council meeting, who knows? As a layman, it looked like the case was still ongoing.

I do know this: Over and over again, the new interim city attorney has clearly stated that the city signed a non-disclosure agreement with Bloomquist and city officials are not to bad mouth her in any of their proceedings. Council members have been admonished repeatedly, yet these three council members are still not understanding clear English words. I have heard Bloomquist’s name and her work nastily criticized by these three at council meetings since she stopped working for the city. Frankly, it has gone way beyond reasonable. Bloomquist has a clear-cut case to sue the city and these three for violating the city’s separation agreement with her. For all intents and purposes, she has done not one thing wrong whatsoever at this point, though Hawkins, Lubenow and Cyphers do seem to make a lot of accusations.

Jack H. Hansen

Fairmont

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