To the editor,

I found Jennifer Kotila’s Aug. 9 article on the recent vote by our Isanti County Commissioners to spend $650,000 on the initial phase of the Orange Frog Initiative, to be intriguing and yet somewhat disappointing. It was disappointing to me due to the fact that the article failed to provide an equitable and all-inclusive approach that would present the full diversity of thought and ideas that were presented at the meeting. Her article included much of what was said…verbatim…by the consenting commissioners and nothing of the comments of the nine people who spoke against implementing this program. And thus, because the article’s one-sided report did not quote or even explain the opinions that were presented by the “Naysayers” at the meeting, it did not truly reflect a reporting style that was balanced and fair.

In her April 15, 2021, column Ms. Kotila said, “I represent the local newspaper that is also this government entities’ legal newspaper. All of the information that you needed, to be informed about what this governmental body is up to, is contained within the pages of this newspaper. For those of you who want to stay informed about what your local government is doing, please read the newspaper your local government entity chose as its legal newspaper…the Isanti-Chisago County Star.

All the information? Is there a “need to know basis” being implemented here? 

Also, I must protest that it is the farthest thing from the truth that we who are opposed to initiating this program want to “make happiness controversial.” How absurd. What does that even mean? Yes, the methods in which some people seek happiness can be controversial – drunkenness, abuse of people and/or power, theft, idolatry, etc. – but happiness itself, huh?

The “small, but vocal group” to which the article referred that were in attendance (approximately 25) was sizable as compared to past gatherings, and considering the most inopportune time frame set for these meetings. It should also be understood that each of those represent a large number of others who are just as adamantly opposed to this decision but could not attend. 

That brings up my final point. As citizens of Isanti County and electors of these commissioners, we have a right to request…and do so…that the schedule for half of future board meetings be set at an evening time to make them more readily available to the public. 

Gary Lantz

Cambridge

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