Et Cetera …

Focus on big picture

Martin County commissioners this week gave conditional approval to CHS Inc. for a tax abatement sought by the company. The county wants the firm to create a staging area for trucks and to plant trees to help neighbors with privacy. CHS sounds amenable to the provisions, but would also like to get the project moving. Construction season will not last forever.

We have said before that this project needs to move forward, and the tax abatement is minor compared to the potential loss of this industry. That’s the big picture here. We hope elected officials remember.

Treat TPU workers fairly

We hope, and believe, that officials in Truman are acting fairly as they deal with a transition involving the city’s Public Utilities Commission. Citizens recently voted to disband the entity and turn over responsibility to the City Council.

The council, in turn, has asked TPU employees to reapply for “new” positions to operate the city’s utilities. A union representative objects. The council is operating under legal advice.

The TPU employees deserve to be re-hired. If the city has an issue with any of them, it needs to be addressed separately.

Two-year deal ratified

Fairmont Area Schools and its teachers this week finalized a new two-year contract. We believe the two sides have been fair to each other and to taxpayers.

Superintendent Joe Brown pointed out that “good faith” exists between the negotiators, so the back-and-forth of talks stays positive. The district is in good shape financially and in its facilities, so there is that strong foundation from which to negotiate.

Fairmont Area wants to be able to attract and keep quality teachers. We believe it is succeeding in that goal.

Basic fairness needed

Fairmont’s City Council meets Monday and it is possible that some council members make seek to leverage recent negative publicity about the former City Attorney into an indictment of the city administrator. This would be patently unfair.

The direct supervisor of the City Attorney is the City Council. Period. End of story. The city administrator does not oversee or evaluate the City Attorney.

The City Council made a decision to part ways with the former City Attorney. She’s gone. Any council member’s need to now punish someone else does not even come close to making sense.