Editor's note: The Sun Tribune will publish Letters to the Editor related to election races until Saturday, Oct. 23. The letters policy for election letters is 300 words. Letters exceeding the limit may be edited.
Storck is best
pick in District 2
I urge you to vote for Steve Storck for Stevens County Commissioner for District 2.
I know Steve will do a terrific job as a commissioner, just as he has done as president of the Stevens County Agricultural Society, also known as the fair board. Most folks credit Steve's leadership on the fair board for making the Stevens County Fair one of the states' best small town fairs.
If elected, he will follow in the footsteps of his grandfather, father, uncles and cousins in serving their county, city, state and nation in various elected or volunteer positions.
A vote for Steve Storck is a vote for a person who will watch how the county's money is spent, yet spending enough to make Stevens County one of the top places to live.
Westrom a friend
Area newspapers recently printed a letter from an Ashby resident attacking Torrey Westrom on education and agriculture. My own experiences contradict this man's opinion so strongly I felt a need to respond.
About eight years ago a group of Morris area farmers decided to build a pork production unit. During construction, we were sued by a group who said MPCA did not permit us correctly. We asked Torrey for help with the government red tape. He spent hours working to reach a satisfactory conclusion. Our pork unit and its finish barns now have 21 full time area employees. In respect to crop farming, there is not a stronger voice for crop biofuels than Torrey.
I am on the Morris Area School Board. Last year, the DFL leaders in St. Paul hinted education funding may need cutting. I contacted Torrey to discuss how important it was that education be held harmless. Torrey understood and worked to keep education strong. In higher education, Torrey has secured funding for UMM to remodel or build several buildings on campus.
The point of my letter is not to attack Torrey's opponent, but to show how vital Torrey is to our area.
for rural communities
I am writing to give credit where credit is due. Torrey Westrom has really demonstrated his support for farmers and rural communities, as our local representative. He is greatly respected by, farm groups, endorsed by the Farm Bureau and has been the recipient of the "Guardian of Small Business" award several times. He has been the chief author and co-authors of several pieces of renewable energy legislation which is steadily expanding markets for commodities.
A commitment to our next generation of biofuels is one major way we are going to put actions with our words of becoming more energy independent. Torrey Westrom gets it.
Torrey will also oppose expensive "cap and trade" schemes that have been recently pushed by extreme groups. These schemes are merely a huge energy tax which would stifle ag processing plants and job creators all across Minnesota.
Keep Torrey Westrom working for our rural communities and farmers by reelecting him on Nov. 2.
Westrom stands up to DFL
I read a letter last week mentioning Rep. Torrey Westrom, Gov. Tim Pawlenty and education funding. Apparently the writer does not know that the Democrats currently control the House and Senate, and have done so since 2006. Words can be hollow, but facts are stubborn things.
The biggest funding source is the basic per-pupil formula. This formula flows equally to all children across the state.
Under eight years of DFL control (1992-1998 and 2007), the total increase was $360 per student.
Under eight years of Republican control (1999-2006), the total increase was $905 per student.
In 2009, Pawlenty proposed an additional $262 million for preschool through high school students and a 10 percent aid payment shift. In comparison, the DFL House proposed flat funding. The DFL Senate proposed $1 billion in cuts to early childhood and K-12 education. Westrom spoke up and voted against rural teachers having to bail out the Minneapolis Teachers pensions.
It has been Westrom who has stood up to these Democrat proposals that would short-change our schools. Republicans continue to push for fair funding, accountability, local control and innovative reform in education.
George W. Cassell