We need servant leaders in office

In the business world, the term “servant leader” describes an effective and desirable leadership style. What does that term mean? Servant leaders inspire the people with whom they work to be and do their best; the job satisfaction and overall quality of life of those around them is valued above all else. Servant leadership is the opposite of power leadership, in which a leader uses authority for personal gain and to manipulate others.

I have no doubt experienced servant leaders can lead this city, county, state and country forward out of this difficult time. We are currently struggling with a pandemic, recession, social justice issues, and deep division. Servant leaders can unify us to resolve and overcome these challenges.

We, as a nation, have survived and rebounded after World War I, the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918, the Depression of the 1930s, and World War II. We are often told how the country came together to endure the deprivations and losses of those hard times and then successfully rebuilt.

I believe it will take true servant leaders to inspire us to do that again – people who will put personal and political gain aside to do what is best. Please give this serious thought. We are living through an extremely difficult time; the character of our great nation is at stake. Let’s rise above this together with trusted servant leaders at the helm.

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Jill Goodrich

Hudson

Militia groups exist

Is letter writer Brian Miller (Oct. 15, “Wisconsin Constitution prohibits private militias”) suggesting that because the Wisconsin constitution and state statutes forbid private military units that they cannot exist within Wisconsin?

Miller is correct, private militias are prohibited but they do exist and are well armed.

One member of at least 11 active militia groups (listed by The Southern Poverty Law Center) in our state was recently arrested in connection with the alleged kidnapping of Michigan’s governor. He is second in command of a militia called the Three Percenters, which has branches in every state.

The threat that these anti-government units pose is real and it is growing. No prohibitions contained in the Wisconsin constitution or state statutes will deter them.

The First Amendment protects their activities making monitoring by law enforcement difficult.

Roger Schlemmer

Hudson

Steal a sign, more money goes to candidates

The other morning, going out to shovel after our early, wet snow, I noticed that one of our political signs was missing. Approaching the curb, I saw a large man’s footprint where the sign had been.

This is the third time this election season that someone has stolen our political signs. We’ve started taking them in at night to foil the thieves, who of course work under cover of darkness. The night of the storm we left the signs outside because we thought the thieves would be deterred by the slushy, wheel-spinning weather conditions.

We were wrong.

Unfortunately it shouldn’t surprise us that there’s been a small pandemic of this petty criminality in our toxically antagonistic times. I could point out that:

1) These thefts of private property (not to mention trespass on private property) don’t reflect well on any party that champions private property rights.

2) These thefts are violations of fellow citizens’ basic First Amendment rights to free speech, and therefore deeply unpatriotic.

To everyone, on whichever side of the partisan divide you fall, I say that sign-stealing and vandalism is unacceptable and undemocratic. Particularly to those on the right who’ve been stealing my signs I add:

For every sign you steal from me, another $5 goes into my preferred party coffers. I won’t allow my rights as an American to be trampled on by unprincipled operators. For replacement signs his past month we’ve paid $45 and counting. Keep stealing and we keep contributing. That’s something everyone should be able to understand.

Thomas R. Smith

River Falls

There are many life and death issues

I doubt I will ever forget a Sunday morning many years ago when a priest my family loved stood in the pulpit, reading us a letter written by our bishop about the upcoming presidential election. The bishop was clear about what Catholics, and anyone with a reverence for human life, must do: Vote for the candidate who was opposed to abortion. Our priest dropped his head after finishing the letter, then lifted it and said haltingly, “I just have to say … that there are many life and death issues to consider.”

I can’t think of a more emotionally charged moral issue than abortion. This has been true for most of my life, and I’m 67! Jesus Christ (my own favorite source when it comes to morality) and the Founding Fathers did not specifically address it. But they reminded us of the great value and even sanctity of human lives, and that means the lives of the hungry and the homeless, the lives of the neglected and abused, the lives of our servicemen and women, the lives of desperate refugees (“children at the border have heartbeats, too”), the lives of the elderly, the lives of prisoners, the lives of Native Americans, Blacks, Asians, the Hispanic, Europeans, Hindis and Muslims, whether living in this country or on other continents, the lives of any who are willing to care and sacrifice for the “family of man,” regardless of how they name and define God … or whether they even do that.

“Thou shalt not kill.”

“…and among these (inalienable rights) are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

The only views on the topic of abortion that I have no time for are those that purport that it’s a simple question, a simple decision. It is not. It has been left to us to discern what Jesus or the Founding Fathers would do in 2020.

If you have not yet voted, perhaps you are still struggling to keep an open mind. If so, please watch, listen (to multiple news sources) and ask yourself where you hear truly life-affirming and life-respecting language from candidates.

Vicki Cobian

River Falls

The job is to prosecute

In July I reported a breaking and entry to the St. Croix County Sheriff's Office. Along with a written report I had surveillance footage of the individual pushing in the deck door of my house , entering the house and exiting with a rubber tote filled with items taken from the house. The individual admitted being at the location at the time of the incident. The sheriff passed the information on to the district attorney.

Three weeks later I received a letter from the district attorney stating he did not feel there was enough evidence to pursue this matter.

What!? Undisputed surveillance footage, photographs of the pushed in door, perp admitting he was at the scene and in the possession of my items, yet the D.A. does not feel there is enough evidence. Wow! Makes a person feel like a second-hand citizen. I have no doubt if it was his door that was kicked in and his belongings taken there would be a prosecution. A little scary when an elected official sworn to protect the good people of St. Croix County can ignore such an obvious crime.

The D.A. may have forgotten "prosecution," but I’m not sure about "retaliatory prosecution" so with that said I’m off to live in a cave in outer Mongolia. May the good people of St. Croix County pause a moment, think of me (shivering in the dark next to a large woman named Olga) and ask: What if it was my home?

John Windolff

Hudson

Can’t we work together?

The Wisconsin Republican-controlled Legislature is doing its best to discredit Gov. Tony Evers.

Wisconsin has been in a COVID-19 health crisis since February and with every passing day it is getting much worse. Evers has proposed that Wisconsinites wear masks, social distance, and limit inside public gatherings in order to prevent spreading the virus and to save lives.

Instead of working with our governor to keep people safe, the Republicans insist on taking his actions to court. Apparently they prefer to see the people of Wisconsin get sick and die.

It is time all of us to do our part to protect ourselves against COVID-19. Let’s work with Tony Evers to make our state safe again which will also help the economy.

Faye Schlemmer

Hudson

This is our election and our nation

Whether you have already voted by way of mail, early in person or will show up next Tuesday on Election Day, this has certainly been the most colorful election in my lifetime. Our country is going through a lot and the COVID pandemic making itself more real around us as of late. Many are weary, afraid and looking for relief.

So much of what has and is taking place has become politicized. Your approach to wearing a mask can make you one of “us” or one of “them,” with a tendency to attribute a whole host of attending positions that may not be fair. I don’t want to play this game. Here is how I plan to move forward.

1. I will refer to the winner of the presidential election as “my” and “our” president. We, the people, includes me after the election, whether I have cast my vote for the winner, or not. I will avoid divisiveness.

2. I will treat all who I come across with dignity as fellow humans. This applies to those whose signs on their lawn reflect a choice other than mine. It also applies to those who wave or don’t wave or alter the flags they do wave. To those who don’t look like me or believe like me, you have a right to live your life according to your conscience within the law; I will honor that.

In short, if you are in the U.S., I will treat you as one of “US”. I want liberty and justice for all. As a follower of Jesus, who died for his neighbors, I will seek to love my neighbor as well. I invite you to the same.

Larry Szyman

Hudson