Letters to the editor for Sept. 28, 2012

Benefit from fresh ideas

To the Editor:

I write to thank Roger Johnson for stepping forward and running to become the next at large city council member in Coon Rapids. Scott Schulte’s departure to run for county commissioner has left a hole on the Coon Rapids City Council.

Trying to decide which candidate to vote for can often be hard in local races.

As a criminal prosecutor, I look for positive qualities in candidates that are similar to the qualities I seek out in potential jurors.

Is the candidate a good listener? Does the candidate take the job seriously? Will the candidate consider how his or her decisions affect not only the city and its staff, but also the people in the city. Can I reach the candidate?

And, perhaps most importantly, do I have a high degree of confidence that the candidate is capable of making an informed decision? Roger Johnson passes this test for me.

I know Roger Johnson through his tremendous involvement in our community. As a manager on the Coon Creek Watershed District Board of Managers, I confidently voted in favor of Roger Johnson’s service on our citizen advisory committee. I don’t think he has missed a meeting. He invests himself deeply in the job.

Coon Rapids can benefit from some fresh ideas on the city council. With a long history as an educator, Roger can bring a wealth of experience from outside local city government to the city council.

Roger returns calls and cares about how his decisions will affect our neighbors.

Take a look at Roger Johnson for the at large seat on the Coon Rapids City Council.

On his website (www.rogerjohnson.biz), Roger has identified 10 personal principles, which will guide his votes on the city council.

Included among them is bringing all the stakeholders in the city together to plan our collective future. That would be a great start.

Brad Johnson (no relation to Roger Johnson)
Coon Rapids


Erhart has earned vote

To the Editor:

Having had a short term as an elected official gives me clear perspective on Dan Erhart’s performance of his county commissioner duties.

At the city level, I found regularly scheduled meetings took up about one full work day’s worth of your work week. But, I was also faced with a full-time schedule of meetings and events that I wanted to attend or that everyone expected me to attend. These meetings can start at 7 a.m., noon or at 7 p.m. and sometimes all three time slots in one day.

For the county level you can multiply those time demands. If you try to call your elected official, you will get a voice mail, or, if they are really fancy you can get a live secretary. It is a reasonable system that works, officials are busy people. They will get back to you usually in a day or two.

When I called Dan Erhart, he answered the phone himself. And the times when he couldn’t answer the query immediately, he would call you back with the answer (usually within 15 minutes).

Dan also has an attendance record for meetings and events that I have never seen in any other county commissioner. His commitment and ardor for the job has never cooled.

I haven’t agreed with Dan on every detail of every issue. But, I admire how hard Dan works. He puts in the time to know the details and does the extraordinary.

He has earned our vote. He needs, and deserves, our support. Please cast your vote for Dan Erhart for Anoka County Commissioner in November.

Paul Pierce


Working positively

To the Editor:

I am writing to express my appreciation for the recent opening of Main Street between Highway 10 in Coon Rapids and Highway 65 in Blaine. It was the foresight of Anoka County Commissioner Dan Erhart and Anoka County Engineer Jon Olson together with former Commissioner of Transportation El Tinklenberg back in the early 2000’s to negotiate with the Minnesota Department of Transportation to accept this road back as a county road.

In return for Anoka County taking ownership of this road, MnDOT agreed to pay for upgrades to this road. As a result, over $40 million of improvements were made including dealing with difficult issues of peat, widening the road to four lanes with turn lanes and constructing an over pass over the railroad tracks.

This wonderful asset for Anoka County would not have occurred for another 20 to 30 years had it not been for Dan Erhart and Jon Olson and their relationship at that time with Commissioner of Transportation El Tinklenberg.

Dan Erhart has a long history of working positively with all levels of government, federal, state and local. We need this kind of experience on our county board.

Barbara Loe
Coon Rapids


Vote no on Voter ID

To the Editor:

My grandmother graduated from teachers college and then returned to college to earn a nursing degree. She worked as a nurse practitioner alongside the doctor as life and death decisions were regularly made. She earned the respect of her co-workers and community.

Grandmother took an interest in politics and could hold her own in any debate and, with her two college degrees, ranked as one of the most educated citizens in her community.

She organized political debates and campaigned for the candidates she believed in. Even though her opinions and political skills were sought, as a woman she was considered to be too delicate and refined to vote.

But she never gave up and was proud, at the age of 33, to vote in the 1920 election, and proud to serve as an election judge before she died.  I am proud as her granddaughter to continue her legacy of voting and having also served as an election judge, I take pride in the Minnesota legacy of high voter turnout and clean fair elections.

I learned from my grandmother to base decisions on facts, not fears, and that the devil is often in the details.

The proposed Photo ID Amendment has no details on how it is to be implemented, how much it will cost and who will be paying these costs.

The fact is that it will affect thousands of legitimate voters in a scramble to obtain government sanctioned photo ID’s. It will affect absentee voters.

And the sad reality is that senior women will be the most affected, as they may be required to provide not only their birth certificates, but their marriage licenses as well, documents from a time prior to digital records.

Why are we even proposing a costly expansion of government into a historically effective voting system?

I am told because there could be voter ID fraud. There has never been even one case of voter ID fraud in Minnesota, but it could happen.

I am taking the advice of grandpa – don’t be wasting time and money on stuff that could happen; invest time and money in fixing the stuff that is happening.

Good advice and why I am voting no on the Photo ID Amendment.

Margaret Connolly


Marriage amendment

To the Editor:

Bryan Lindquist’s letter supporting the marriage amendment (Aug. 24, “Divinely Defined”) precisely defined the issue.

His argument is that marriage is divinely defined as the union of one man and one woman.

Mr. Lindquist isn’t asking that he and his church be allowed to exclude gays from marriage. He already has that right.

He’s demanding that no other church be allowed to marry gays. He’s demanding that the state be barred from marrying gays, even if they are not religious.

Mr. Lindquist implies that only his interpretation of the Bible is legitimate and that it should be written into law.

Sorry, but his interest in religious domination does not trump our freedom of conscience. It is a direct assault on one of our most treasured freedoms.

Vote no on the religious domination of Minnesota amendment.

Rod Kuehn

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