Wyoming newspapers publish editorials on a variety of topics important to the state every week. Here are some from the past week we at the Laramie Boomerang chose to highlight:
Voters owed a reason
Clark Kissack owes more to Campbell County voters than he gave them Monday when the county commissioner abruptly resigned.
If he no longer wants to serve the county, then the resignation was an appropriate action.
What wasn’t appropriate is that he gave no reason for his resignation.
His short statement offered neither a reason nor apology:
To Whom It May Concern,
I am resigning my seat as a Campbell County Commissioner effective today October 29, 2018.
While Kissack may believe that it’s nobody’s business, he’s mistaken. As a servant of the people who elected him, he owes them an explanation. If nothing else, it might convince them that their vote wasn’t wasted when they elected him two years ago to a four-year term.
The same is true of all the other elected officials in Campbell County who have resigned in the past, or those up for election now if they have to step down in the future. Those who put them in office deserve an explanation for why they must leave.
It’s not that they need to spill their guts or provide unnecessary details. But there are simple ways to explain why one must leave a post that voters trusted them with. Voters would understand — and likely sympathize — if it’s an illness, or family issues, or a business that requires more of their attention. At the national level, voters have understood when someone has stepped down for suspected criminal activity, and more recently in the #MeToo movement for inappropriate behavior. Going way back, they were hugely sympathetic when Betty Ford announced she had breast cancer and had a mastectomy, even though the disease wasn’t publicly discussed often. The sympathy grew when she later openly admitted her substance abuse and sought treatment for it.
We’re sure Kissack had a good reason because for the past two years, he seemed to enjoy being part of the decision-making process in leading Campbell County.
In the future, we hope elected officials take seriously their responsibility for transparency — even if it’s when they’re leaving office.
— Gillette News Record, Nov. 4
Mentally ill need
The murder of 11 innocent men and women at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday shocks and stuns every rational human being.
Mass murders like this should not happen. But who can we blame?
This is not about anything President Donald Trump said or did. This is not about anything incited by Maxine Waters, Cory Booker or Hillary Clinton. This is not the result of the media stirring up emotions.
This horrendous act was anti-semitism. Period.
It was simply a hatred of the Jews, if we are to believe the hate language the shooter was spewing.
So who is to blame for the Pittsburgh massacre?
Let’s put the blame where the blame is due ... the mentally unstable individual who actually did the shooting.
Often following mass murders it is discovered that the person responsible had a history of mental illness and many people were aware of it, but there was nothing in place to stop that individual.
It is past time we as a reasonable nation take a hard look at the treatment of mental illness, those who suffer from it and those innocents who are killed.
At a minimum we need to rethink how we protect the innocents from brutal, irrational murder by those who need serious help.
The mental institutions of the past were horrible, depressing places. But a rational, compassionate society must be capable of caring for its mentally ill in a way that prevents them from being in a position to do harm to themselves or others.
And we believe that rational, compassionate reasoning can begin right here in Wyoming.
— Cody Enterprise, Oct. 31
of civility is troubling
It has been said that when couples view each other with contempt, their relationship is likely to fail. In the past, Americans knew how to disagree on political issues without viewing each other with contempt.
Sadly, that is no longer true in too many cases. And some partisan news outlets, which sometimes seem to be overly motivated by a quest for ratings and clicks, often fan the flames of that contempt and make those flames burn even hotter.
So how do we fix this growing divide? The first place to start is by learning how to respect each other again. We need to judge people not by their political views or by whom they vote for, but as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, by the content of their character.
The second thing we need to do is quit focusing on what we disagree about and start looking for common ground. Most of us are not that different from each other. We work hard, we love our families and friends — and at the end of the day, we want what is best for America, regardless whether we agree on what that is or not.
Mutual respect and finding common ground — now that sounds like a great idea.
— Powell Tribune, Nov. 1