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GOP and local control

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Letter to the editor icon2

Letter to the editor icon2

GOP and local control

Why are Montana Republicans attacking local control? Montanans cherish local control. Our treasured state Constitution puts power in the hands of those who are elected in our communities, people like school board members and city and county commissioners.

A most troubling example comes from Elsie Arntzen, Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction. Montana’s schools are governed by locally elected school boards, people who serve because they want the best for our students. Instead of supporting their thoughtful decisions, Arntzen stirs up trouble by leading rallies against them.

In 2021 Montana Republican legislators did the same thing when they stripped local health boards of their ability to keep our communities healthy. Republican Governor Gianforte signed that bill in the middle of the pandemic that has killed more than 2,000 Montanans and continues to ravage our state.

The same Republican legislators voted to make it tougher for local communities to provide affordable housing by taking away local power over planning boards. Shame on them for taking away tools that would help fix one of our state’s most pressing needs.

There’s a worrisome trend here. Instead of Montana Republicans standing up for “we the people” and the local officials we elect, they consolidate power in their own hands. They encourage uncivil behavior and unrest. I must wonder, to what end?

Terry Minow, Boulder

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