Women in leadership
To the Editor:
I have a bias. I am biased toward women in leadership roles, and I say this because being a leader is no small task!
I admire these women in journalism whose leadership of sharp, compassionate, and with-it reporting has made a difference – Cokie Roberts, Gwen Ifill, Judy Woodruff. I admire these women in public office, often referred to as “politics.” And they are Republican Senator Margaret Chase Smith (Senator from Maine, 1949-1973), Republican Susan Collins, also from Maine, Democrat Patty Murray from Washington State, now serving, Democrat Debbie Stabenow from Michigan, now serving. And the woman I most admire because of all that is on her plate is Democrat Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House.
I have very deliberately made it clear, I hope, that the leadership I most admire and support is leadership that understands the importance of being both partisan-after all, where would we be if we could not have differences of opinion, and committed to the unifying principles we affirm every time, and I do mean every time, we say the Pledge of Allegiance, “one nation, indivisible, under God, with liberty and justice for all.”
May it be that God’s love shall prevail in these times of turmoil and hate.
Rev. Karen Blatt
Thoughts on legislation
To the Editor:
I would like to begin by saying that the legislators deserve a round of applause for recognizing the need to repair our failing infrastructure throughout the state. Our roads, bridges, and railroad crossings have been a pressing problem for sometime. However, serious problems require serious solutions. There are members of our legislature that are floating a plan to use funds from the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System. That fund ought to be off limits to politicians. The trend, over the past few years has been to make this fund more stable. This plan would put the entire system at risk.
The unfunded liabilities are the difference between the funds held in assets and what is owed to the retirees. As I understand this, some politicians are looking to borrow 10 billion dollars of these funds and then sell bonds to pre-fund the pension plan. The state would then invest the bonds proceeds and use the earnings from these investments to repay the pension fund. They contend this would free up money for infrastructure repair.
If this plan seems complicated that’s because it is complicated. Every phase must work as predicted to repay the retirees pension fund. School personnel have paid into this program their entire career to ensure a nest egg of their later years. No one paid into this program with the intention to have these funds used on a risky plan to fix the state’s aging infrastructure system, which has no guarantees of success. Serious problems deserve serious solutions and this plan is not a risk worth taking.
More information can be obtained by contacting Michigan Association of Retired School Personnel.
Thoughts on fair elections
To the Editor,
Once again the republican majority state legislature and special interests are looking to overturn the will of Michigan voters, this time with a deceitful accounting trick.
On Sept. 24 legislators passed a budget that looks to stymie the will of 2.5 million voters seeking fair elections through an amendment to the state constitution. Proposal 2 passed in the last general election to establish an independent commission to draw congressional voting district lines.
The non-partisan People Not Politicians campaign last summer was wildly successful. I circulated petitions to put Proposal 2 on the ballot gathering 99 valid signatures in Beaverton alone, mostly from the city blocks in my neighborhood. Signers self-identified as democrats, republicans and independents in many cases.
The legislature’s action reduces the Secretary of State’s 2020 budget by $5 million. The money would then be re-instated with “restricted” funds outside the general fund.
The result – up to 25 percent of the secretary’s budget called for to establish the redistricting commission could be reduced more than $1 million.
For fair elections, contact your state legislators and encourage Gov. Gretchen Whitmer not to sign any budget that includes this thumbed nose at voters.
To the Editor:
Thank you Dave Pettersch, Gladwin County Road Commission employees and the Sherman Township Board of Trustees for road improvements recently completed on Renas Road. For those of us who travel these secondary roads, it’s a pleasure not to have to detour around because of nearly impassable conditions.
Your work and concern is most appreciated.
Thank you for your help!
To the Editor:
On Saturday, Sept. 21 my sister Beulah Mead and I were in a race. We were having so much fun and decided to get bikes to use. I ended up hitting a bad spot and went off the curb, flipped over the handlebars and hit my head. I want to thank the angel God sent who held my hand until the ambulance came. He not only held my hand and said I would be all right, he took his shirt off and put it on my head to help stop the bleeding. No one knew your name but I owe you a shirt, thank you!
To Mark Greer who came and took the phone from my sister to talk to 911. To Dave Roggow who came and help on his day off, thank you. Thank you ambulance attendants Mark and Kim for your excellent care you gave me. To Dr. Gage who was amazing. To my sister who’s always there for me.
Lastly, to my friend Kelly Morgan, for holding my hand while I was being stitched up. You are truly the kind of friend everyone wishes they had. I love you all and I’m praying that God blesses your life!