Thursday, July 29, 2021
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Trust but verify with all local issues, boards

| March 4, 2021 1:00 AM

Trust, but verify.

The events of the past several months in Washington, D.C., in various states, and even here in North Idaho make these wise words from President Ronald Reagan more applicable than ever.

It seems on so many fronts America's culture, values and even history are being attacked (canceled) by liberal influences in politics, media and education. This cannot be ignored or taken lightly any longer. Vigilance by those of us who love the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and appreciate the traditional values of America must be the word of the day.

So what can we honestly do? Washington, D.C. is too far away to hear us or even care. Boise, with the exception of a few of our state representatives, can be tone deaf.

Therefore, I suggest local, freedom-loving citizens rally and focus on local government and local issues. Here, we can be heard, take a stand, and make a difference.

It is all about accountability, We need to make sure the local community leaders are accountable and in tune with the values of their constituents … us. It is not for them to lead us in a given direction, it is for them to follow, implement and be faithful to our vision and values as a community.

But it isn't easy being an active member in a democratic republic. As Ben Franklin said when asked what kind of government we had after the conclusion of the Constitutional Convention, "A republic, if you can keep it." Please note, Mr. Franklin did not say democracy.

I recently attended the school board meeting here in Bonners Ferry. Honestly, not very exciting. It was inconvenient to leave my house and my TV, get out in the cold, and sit in a rather boring meeting, where one of the highlights was talking about the pros and cons of installing energy-saving LED lightbulb fixtures sooner or later. But I was there, listening, following the printed agenda and taking notes; nice and quiet like a good citizen. A couple of topics did tweak my interest, which I intend to follow closely in the months to come. The meeting was well run by the superintendent and the board members were professional and prepared.

By the way, I do salute all those who take the time and put in the effort to represent us on all the various boards and committees incur area.

Imagine the impact and influence we would have if there were always a few people from the community attending all of the local meetings of the school board, the city council, county commissioners, library board, local water, utility and health boards, and on and on. We all have different interests and expertise. I attended the school board meeting because of my background in education and interest in youth. But I would rarely have an interest in attending a local utility board meeting. But you might.

Wouldn't it be beneficial to know the organization's members (your representatives) on a first-name basis? And then visiting with them, one-on-one, if needed, writing letters to the editor when properly motivated or necessary? This would go a long way toward keeping our elected representatives accountable (and awake) and the citizens informed.

By the way, there is a continuing school bond election, specifically called a maintenance and operation levy coming up in a few days. Do you know how that money is or will continue to be spent? Are those dollars really necessary for a quality education for the student? Is it worth the extra money in taxes you, as a property owner, are going asked to continue to spend?

It is up to all of us to ask these, and other relevant questions. Your school board members, who I'm sure would be happy to answer your questions are Ron MacDonald, Teresa Rae, Susan Weed, Niki Weaver and Candice Kelly; the superintendent is Jan Bayer.

I would encourage those who are interested to visit the district's website - www.bcsd101.com. And while there is some basic information on the M&O levy, there are plenty of details that are not covered.

As voters we need to be better informed so we can make better decisions on issues and who represents us on all the various boards and councils in our area.

TED LUDLUM

Bonners Ferry