Readers' voice

American Red Cross Blood Drive. Pictured is Patricia Skelding who reached the 10 gallon level as a donor.  Presenting the recognition pin is Lion Shirley Figg.

Letter to the editor:
    I have been a part of agriculture for most all of my life. I choose to live in Van Buren County because of the quality of people and the high moral fiber and rural values of the communities. Voting is a very important opportunity that we as citizens all have. I believe it is more than that, I believe it is an obligation that was given to us by those who have given and continue to provide us with our freedom.
    Agriculture is a very important part of the Michigan economy, contributing over $100 billion dollars annually. Bill Schuette has my vote to be the next Governor of the State of Michigan. He has demonstrated his desire to work with farmers to ensure that we all have the ability to do what we do best, grow a safe and abundant food supply for our citizens.
    This is my opinion, and you have yours. The great thing about this is that on November 6th, you have the right to express your opinion.
    Be sure to do just that.
    Tod A. Kubiszak
    President
    Van Buren County Farm Bureau

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Letter to the Editor:
    The Van Buren County Road Commission is a bureaucratic animal that has no idea what it is doing. Or maybe it does, with its shady road millage campaign tactics.
    When the VBCRC was asked in a meeting earlier this summer if all the money was going to go toward roads, they said they were going to use some of the monies to obtain a few new trucks.
    Well, ladies and gentlemen,  I asked them the same question on Facebook a few weeks prior to the meeting, and I was told all monies were only going to roads.
    I am sick and tired of bureaucracies trying to pull the wool over our eyes. We have plenty of those entities doing that enough to us already in Washington. Call the road commission and demand answers - (269) 674-8011!
    Ryan J. Gilbert
    Paw Paw
 

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Letter to the Editor:
    I am Pro-Second Amendment. Pro- school choice. Pro-Michigan. Pro-religious liberty. Pro-balanced budget. I am Pro-Beth Griffin.
    Vote for Beth Griffin for State
Representative on November 6th.
    Lorraine Root
    Paw Paw
 

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    Dear Taxpayer,
    Vote NO on November 6th on the Road Commission millage. No more Taxes!
    Marvin G. Flick
 

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Letter to the Editor:
    Here is the check list I always use when I go to the ballot box:
    Will this person defend our state and vote for good fiscal policy?
    Will this person put forth more road funding into the state budget?
    Will this person put forth more money to make sure our schools are physically and fiscally secure?
    Will this person defend our 2nd Amendment?
    Will this person work to make our government more transparent?
    If you said yes to one or more of these questions, then I urge you to join me in casting your votes for Beth Griffin for State Rep and Aric Nesbitt for State Senate.
    Rose Rook
    Paw Paw
 

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Letter to the Editor:
    Beth Griffin says she supports veterans and firefighters, but she voted for HB5456 in the Michigan House, legislation that both the American Legion and the Michi-gan Professional Fire Fighters are against. This was written to protect industry profits by making it more expensive and time consuming for firefighters and veterans to get compensation for asbestos-related illness after exposure in hazardous situations. This tactic is referred to as “delay, deny until they die”. The Michigan Chamber of Commerce supported this bill. Beth has received $13,500 from the Chamber during her term.
    Beth Griffin also voted to redirect our local tax dollars crucially needed in our public schools to charter schools, 80% run by for-profit businesses, and internet schools by voting yes on SB574 last January.
    Charter schools have lax oversight and these funds can be used for executive compensation or a return for shareholders. An elected board runs local public schools and is accountable to the community. This bill was a special interest of  the Betsy DeVos family (billionaire charter school advocates) and their Great Lakes project. Beth has received $19,662.25 in contributions from these special interests.
    The above are facts.
    Maybe this is why she didn’t even respond to the MLive and League of Women Voters Candidate Questionnaire.
    Her opponent Dan Seibert did. You can look up his responses online. Let’s vote for accountability and vote for Dan Seibert November 6.
    Kathy Murphy
    Paw Paw
 

•••

Dear Editor,
    When you are a young little girl you look up to your dad every step of the way. This is still the case after 27 years. I am Brianna Jones and my father is Mike Jones, currently running for Paw Paw School Board.
    My father has always been a leader in my life and the community, he has been a part of school sports since I can remember, attending multiple community meetings, throwing fundraisers for people who need a helping hand, and is always there to offer his advice and his opinion.
    My father has been the most dependable man in my life and the lives of many others. He is always there when he is needed, he does not take his job lightly as being a leader and a friend.
    My father has successfully run a family consisting of my mother (Kim Jones), my brother (Derek Jones), myself, and all three of his grandchildren. Beyond his blood family, he has built a family outside of the Jones name that I am so proud to bear.
    He has been in Paw Paw from the day he was born and couldn’t be prouder of his community. My father is a man of integrity, compassion, and wisdom. He does not bend on his morals and stands his ground with any matter at hand. My father is a kind but fair man who only wants the best for the community.
    I support Mike Jones for Paw Paw School Board because we need someone that stands for the truth.
    Sincerely,
    one proud daughter,
    Brianna Jones
    Paw Paw
 

•••

Dear Editor,
    With much enthusiasm, I support Mike Jones for a Paw Paw Public Schools board position. Mike was born and raised here in Paw Paw. Mike has coached Rocket football, middle and high school football, and travel basketball. He has been attending board meetings for many years. He has been on the District Facilities Assessment Committee to have input on the recent bond monies. Mike was asked to and stayed on for the Steering Committee. Mike is a Lions Club member and is on the team for the Tyler Field bathroom revitalization project. Mike Jones is extremely community orientated. You can expect to see Mike and his family at all community fundraisers and all community activities.
    When selecting a school board candidate, I think the most important attribute is a person’s character. When it comes to Mike, his integrity and selflessness have truly been a model one can look up to. He is a man of compassion and action. Mike has the pulse on the community because he is out there in it, interacting with kids and their families whenever he can. He has an incredible heart and always puts the community first. The community and the kids are his family. Mike is a guy who wants what’s best for the children at Paw Paw. He wants to be sure everyone is treated equally, receives the best education possible and is kept safe.  Mike Jones would like to see vocational education as well as college education options presented at a younger age so that they can engage in what suits them  best moving forward. Mike would like to find monies through grants for new safety measures for our schools. His caring blend of common sense and community leadership positions Mike to produce fair, Intelligent, and solid decisions on the school board. Please join me Tues., November 6 and vote Mike Jones for Paw Paw School Board.
    Kinds regards,
    Nicole Charron
    Proud Paw Paw resident and parent
 

•••

Fellow Citizens of Paw Paw:
    With the election season in full bloom, it may be helpful for many of you to hear from someone who is already on the school board....and also one who is not currently on the ballot. A frequent question that I have been asked this year is, “Who are you endorsing?” That is an easy one. I am wholeheartedly and loudly endorsing the children of Paw Paw Public Schools.
    If you think they are not on the ballot this November, you are mistaken. The decision on who will join the School Board is as important to them as any issue  voters will decide. If parental input in school were one apple  on the  tree of our educational system, reflection  of community values would be at its core. You, the voter, must choose the conscience of the district. You must speak with your voice, so the board may have theirs. And you must understand what the board will do once the winning candidates are elected.
    It is important to clarify that the school board does  not “run the school” on a day to day basis. The professional, licensed educators do that (and thank goodness for each and every  one of them). The School Board is a policy making group who gives those educators policies and guidelines to follow. As a board member, I am only one of seven. We together, are tasked with keeping the school district moving in a direction reflective of our community. We validate (or invalidate) decisions that could alter that path. We have overall budgetary approval. We act as representatives, with the decisions (that, once elected, are ultimately ours to make) speaking on  behalf -of the community in school governance. We advocate for the students  and parents  in Paw Paw Public Schools. And we exist (and are required to act) ONLY as a group. Please understand: when you cast your ballot on November 6, you are not electing someone who can change ANY ONE THING on their own. You are electing a voice in the discussion. Each candidate is merely a single vote out of seven.
    Help your community by choosing advocates that will speak on your behalf, as well as on behalf of the kids, as the discussions happen. Please choose someone who shares your passions on the majority of issues.....not just one solitary decision. For the School Board to be effective, those who you elect should be representative of the  community in ALL educational discussions.
    Advocacy means understanding that the  definition of “greater good” may at times require that you set your own personal feelings aside. Advocates are not  judges. Advocates are not juries. Advocates are  representatives. All the members of the  board can do is advocate for those they represent. On our board, we discuss. We listen. We weigh the impact on the kids. We advocate. Only then does the entire board vote. No solitary opinion can carry the day. When decisions are made, they are only made as a majority. It may be an imperfect system, but it is required by law and when we disagree, we do so during the discussion. Not afterward.
    With this in mind, when you are deciding amongst candidates, don’t ask where they stand on one solitary issue. Ask them things like, “Are you willing to give up 30-40  nights  a year to work, not only for your own kids, but to advocate for others?” Ask them, “are  they willing to move past the very public issues and take on those that are very private ones?”
    Also ask yourself if you think that when they see a news report (or personal narrative)  which they know to be 100 percent   false, “Do they have the ability to publicly stay quiet, because speaking or posting could inadvertently compromise safety procedures which just worked  to save kids?” Ask yourself if you think the candidate has the  fortitude to see the good in some people who scowl and  the danger in some who smile.
    Those are better questions for what really happens on the School Board than where they stand on one issue. But it is also vital that you know if they are going to be present. In what other ways do they currently advocate for others in this community? Will they be a good advocate for you?  Is this someone who cares enough about the kids to be there when the issue is not quite as newsworthy?
    There has been a lot of talk about one single issue dividing our community. I respectfully do not think that is the case.  I think what we have is not a division.  I think it is a disagreement.  A division infers no common ground.  We have plenty of common ground.  We have plenty of shared values.
    Paw Paw is not a town who hates, and we are not a town who turns away those who are in need. And THIS TOWN IS NOT RACIST. We  all truly know that (or we wouldn’t be here). We all have a  history, and for many in this community, it is shared. Some good experiences and some bad ones combine to make it history. I believe that within that history, community pride still is our common ground, even if sometimes we disagree on how to show it.
    There is also  absolutely no division when it comes to our kids. We ALL want the  best  for them. We ALL  want them to be ready for whatever life throws at them. We ALL want them to succeed. And as a community, we love them. All of them. Together.
    That is why it is with great pleasure that  this fall I choose to endorse the kids of PPPS. I will vote as if I am filling  the ballot out for them. Because I am.
    Brent McNitt
    Father, Husband, Volunteer, Community Member, Paw Paw School Board Member

•••

    Taxpayer Alert:
    We voted in the August Primary on the Road Commission Millage defeating the millage proposal. What didn’t they understand when we said NO in August.
    Now it is on the ballot again for the November election with the same 12 year Proposal. In August they didn’t have a 5 year plan. How can we believe they have a plan now and how can we believe they know what they will do with a millage tax for roads for 12 years.
    Don’t vote for this tax increase thinking your road will be repaired because it probably will not be repaired. They are only planning to repair primary roads. Will that include you?
    Sincerely,
    Sidney Shank

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Letter to the Editor:
    It’s called the Lost Decade for a reason. We in Michigan lost jobs, homes, friends, and families. We have come so far since then, and we must focus on the great things that have been done for our beautiful state. Without the hard work of Beth Griffin and the state legislators of the last eight years Michigan would still be lost.
    Let's vote for Beth for State Representative! Vote November 6th.
    Cynthia McComb Howes
      Hartford

•••

    To the Editor,
    Recently a volunteer from Dan Seibert’s campaign (who is running for the State Representative seat in the 66th district,) called on me. My initial response was to immediately say “I am voting for Beth Griffin” who is his opponent. However, looking at the elderly lady smiling at me, I took the time to listen to her. After telling me about Dan, (this is his first time running for office), she gave me an information sheet.
    Later after reading it, I was more surprised to learn that Beth had voted for House Bill 456 which makes it more difficult for some veterans and firefighters affected with Mesothelioma to get health care. She also voted to create oversight panels with FINAL say over Michigan Environmental Quality permits and standards. Members, elected by the governor, can be active lobbyists and not even required to live in Michigan. (SB 652-653)
    Makes me curious to learn more about other bills she has voted for in the past two years.
    Marty Helms
    Mattawan

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Dear Editor,
    WOW!!!  The turnout for the combined American Red Cross blood drive/bbq dinner fundraiser for Sawyer Lennen at the Paw Paw Lions Club was a huge success.  We collected 80 pints for the ARC potentially helping 240 people in need of blood products.  This was by far the largest turnout in recent history.  Most rewarding was the fact that we had 6 first time donors, who I hope will continue donating.  Thanks to all who had a part in the drive.
    Frank Wunderlich
    Lions Blood Drive Coordinator
 

 

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The Courier-Leader & Paw Paw Flashes

The Courier-Leader & Paw Paw Flashes
32280 E. Red Arrow Hwy. • P.O. Box 129
Paw Paw, MI 49079
(269) 657-5080

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