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Et Cetera …

Key is to listen to them

The Fairmont City Council this week chose four law firms as candidates to become the city’s civil attorney. A civil attorney provides legal advice, as opposed to prosecuting local crimes, something handled by the County Attorney.

One of the choices is Flaherty & Hood of St. Paul. It has been serving as the interim civil attorney, and doing a good job given the division on the council. It deserves strong consideration.

In the end, what matters most is that council members listen to their attorney. Some councilors have not always done the best job of that in the past year.

Supporting wildlife

Doug Hartke of the Fox Lake Conservation League appeared before Martin County commissioners this week to seek support for the group’s efforts to acquire two small parcels of land that will become conservation reserves. Commissioners offered their backing, which does not require any county funding.

We believe Hartke’s group, along with others, is involved in a worthwhile undertaking that utilizes marginal farm land and creates wildlife habitat. The total land involved is a small percentage of what is available in the county, but has a positive impact for the area.

Not good for business

Democrats in the Minnesota House of Representatives pushed ahead this week with a bill to guarantee paid family and medical leave for all Minnesota workers. It would be funded by a tax on wages, with costs likely shared by businesses and their employees.

Republicans who control the Senate and business groups are rightly concerned. With the annual $900 million cost. With the one-size-fits-all approach. And with the lack of exceptions for small businesses.

Different businesses can afford to offer different benefits. Trying to torque reality will not change what is possible.

At least ask questions

Food stamps are meant to be for the neediest people. Such as a single mom with children. While she may work, there simply might not be enough money to make sure the kids get the proper meals and nutrition they need. So government helps.

But when the conversation turns to otherwise able-bodied adults who do not have children to care for, it’s a different matter. The Trump administration is putting rules into effect April 1 that threaten benefits for these folks. Those who believe this is cruel at least need to be willing to ask why these beneficiaries cannot do more for themselves. Are there legitimate reasons or is it just easier to be dependent?

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