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‘Opinion’ Category

  1. Outsiders Get Foot in the Door

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    July 13, 2014 by Steve Winkler

    –Washington County Observer Editorial– The July city council meeting didn’t produce a sea change but there may have been, maybe, possibly a slight change in the breeze. Victory is way too strong a word, but opposition group momentum was evident at the meeting when three policy issues were addressed.  It was a welcome change.

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  2. Guest Editoral: Public Policy and Staying Alive

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    February 27, 2014 by wcobserver

    health cae Rosy

    Special to the Observer by John Ford – Normally I avoid discussing controversial topics or talking politics or religion with people. Minds are made up, opinions cast in stone, the state of political discourse toxic. Instead of working to better the human condition, our leaders take care of the fat cats who write the checks and play a game of divide and conquer. And, it works. A lot of people are angry with a lot of other people.  The decibel level is maddening. A lot of us seem to be convinced or our superiority due to our own good fortune. Or maybe that’s just the way  we like to think of it because we’re afraid of what could happen to us.  There but for the grace of God go I…

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  3. Guest Editorial by Leslie Scates: Why’d He Do It

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    November 27, 2013 by wcobserver

    istockphoto_8575524-money-down-the-drain

    -By Leslie Scates-  What would possess Michael “Butch” Bartholomew, a volunteer West Fork Business Manager who is paid by the separate Water and Sewer Dept., to transfer $10,000 from a City account and deposit it into a Water and Sewer account without a vote of the Council? Let’s look at the facts and see. 

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  4. Publisher’s Pondering: November 3, 2013

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    November 3, 2013 by wcobserver

    Observer publisher busy at work comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable.

    By Steve Winkler, Publisher, Web Editor, Photographer, Writer and Chief Agitator– Back in the Observer’s glory days when we put the ink on the paper (a “real” newspaper, as some say) we had an occasional column called “Publishers Pondering” which was neither editorial nor hard news which was mostly ramblings by myself or co-publisher Susan McCarthy. This post (that’s what they call an editorial, article or feature in online publishing these days) is a salute to that tradition.

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  5. Editorial: Public Forum Rant – October 2013

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    October 15, 2013 by wcobserver

    rant-alert1

    The October meeting was dominated with discussions of wage and hour problems created by Mr. Bartholomew, uncertainty as to the status of the Parks  department in the city organizational chart and a proposal by Alderman Sergeant to “legitimize” the position of business manager. Each meeting has two minutes of designated time set aside for citizen comments. Mayor Hime: The chair recognizes Mr. Winkler, we can count on you.

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  6. Public Forum Editorial

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    July 30, 2013 by wcobserver

    The office of West Fork's Utility Superintendent.

    At each West Fork city council meeting a two minute segment of time is allotted for members of the audience to address the council. The following is the full text of comments addressed to the council at the July meeting by Steve Winkler, a West Fork resident and publisher of this web site. “I’d like to take my two minutes to address two issues having to do with Mr. Bartholomew’s job performance.  We got a new web site and we’re getting new telephones; we’re entering the new digital age. The Mayor is taking us forward and bringing us into this century and a lot of people find it amazing that the highest paid, the longest time employee, (the one who isn’t actually a city employee, works for the water commission but he’s a volunteer for the street department), actually doesn’t know how to use this digital technology. He doesn’t use email, can’t do a simple internet search. So I’m wondering if someone might make a suggestion that he bring himself up to the standards of the city with his digital skills. The second thing is that a lot of people are concerned about the inordinate amount of time Mr. Bartholomew …

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  7. Editorial: Campaign Promises Fade Fast

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    May 19, 2013 by wcobserver

    City Clerk Hungate takes the Oath.

    It’s a story as old as the stump speech; as predictable as a photo op and handshake.  The candidate for public office musters all his/her sincerity, looks the voter straight in the eye and makes a promise. It’s always something the voter wants to hear. Something the candidate hopes will drive the vote into her camp. Then, at some point after the election when the political emphasis turns from the pre election excitement to the mundane world of day-to-day governing the promise that seemed so useful in winning votes often becomes yesterdays news and is relegated to the back pages of public interest. It happens at every level of electoral politics. National politics, of course, gets the brightest spotlight on campaign promises and their breakage. Sometimes the public seems concerned, other times, not so much. It’s a moot issue anyway. The candidate got into office and one broken promise is not likely to unseat them.  It’s just part of the game. Local politics is a reflection of national politics. State houses, county courthouses and yes, city halls are not without their own campaign promise breakers. Take West Fork. for example.

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