Et Cetera …

Totally understandable

A Fairmont City Council member this week said he would like to rehire former city administrator Mike Humpal, whom the councilman — Bruce Peters — never wanted to see leave. A majority trio on the council pushed Humpal out last year, and the city has since hired a search firm.

We totally understand Peters’ point of view. Yes, he voted for the search, because the city needs a leader and the future composition of the council is up in the air. The right decision would have been to retain Humpal’s services in the first place. If the city could bring him back, great. If he would even consider it.

How about saying sorry?

This week, another City Council member, Tom Hawkins, demanded that the mayor retract a statement she made about him and council member Ruth Cyphers violating the open meeting law in October. The mayor stood her ground.

All of which prompted the city’s interim attorney to caution all council members about their communications with each other outside of open meetings. A great message.

Here’s what Hawkins should have said but did not: I apologize for any violation or potential violation that may have occurred. I will do my utmost in the future to avoid any issues by being more responsible.

Reformers to visit here

Fairmont Area Schools always seems to be at the forefront of educational innovation, and its track record continued this week. Superintendent Joe Brown announced that two mighty education reformers in the state — Alan Page and Neel Kashkari — plan to visit Fairmont High School on Feb. 20 for two hours. The pair are touting a constitutional amendment in Minnesota that would aim to boost the quality of public education statewide.

Page and Kashkari’s idea may or may not become reality, but their push has value in trying to tackle the state’s academic achievement gap.

Tradition of excellence

We extend kudos to our area Catholic and Lutheran schools, both of which celebrated national school weeks over the past several days. Our area parochial schools have a long and proud tradition of serving numerous families in the area, providing excellent educational opportunities and a commitment to values favored by those families.

We notice that the schools and students work to give back while they celebrate, making caps for cancer patients or gathering donations to fight hunger, as two examples. We thank them for their kindnesses.


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