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Bulletin letters to the editor: City water use, a kind offer, Lehrke-Schoen race, marriage amendment

City not leading by example

On page 2 of the Cottage Grove Reports August 2012 that gets mailed to all households in the city, there is an article titled "Conservation Water Tips" that lists six tips for citizens to conserve water:

-- Don't leave the sink while your brush your teeth.

-- When washing dishes by hand, don't let the water run.

-- Repair dripping faucets and leaky toilets.

-- Don't over water your lawn.

-- Place rain barrels beneath your rain spouts.

-- Avoid watering on windy days or right after a rain.

All of the above are good, common-sense measures.

In the agenda of the Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources Commission's Sept. 10 meeting, Parks and Recreation Director Zac Dockter writes about the Highlands Park splash pad:

"As attendance dropped during the cooler days of August, so did the water usage. As of Sept. 4 (Labor Day) water consumption is estimated at 4 million gallons. This compares to approximately 1.5 million gallons of water used to operate the municipal pool and continues to be less than 1 percent of the community total water usage."

The city finds it worthwhile to advise citizens about water conservation and then uses 2.5 million more gallons for one splash pad over what was used for the municipal pool. The city has discussed plans for having a total of four to five splash pads which would, based on the above example, use a total of 16 to 20 million gallons of water in a season.

It is also worthwhile to point out that the splash pad opened on July 13 -- so 4 million gallons in a little over two months.

Hmm. Don't you just love how the city leads by example?

Leon Moe

Cottage Grove

No support for no-show candidates Lehrke, Quinlan

There was a debate last week on an Inver Grove Heights cable television station. I tuned in so I could learn what each candidate is planning to do for our district. I was disappointed that Republican Derrick Lehrke didn't participate. I was also surprised to hear Republican Janis Quinlan state that Minnesota was ranked No. 1 in voter fraud. I couldn't find any facts to support that statement and I would hope that she can provide her source for saying it.

Quinlan did not attend the Cottage Grove Area Chamber of Commerce's candidate forum last Friday so I did not get to ask her. It surprises me that Lehrke and Quinlan did not take the time to attend both events to meet voters and answer questions. The voters in our area deserve to know where candidates stand on issues. And candidates should face public questioning just as they would if elected to the legislature.

I will definitely vote for Democrats Katie Sieben and Dan Schoen, who participated in both events and clearly stated their intentions.

Annie Elmer

Cottage Grove

Don't limit freedom to marry

This fall we will be asked if we should place an amendment in the state constitution that would limit marriage to only one man and one woman. I am opposed to this and have pledged to vote no on Nov. 6. I am sure that everyone has their own feelings on this issue, but for me first and foremost it is wrong on so many levels. Let me share a few of my thoughts.

When my husband and I decided to get married some 40-plus years ago, no one told us we couldn't. He was Catholic and I wasn't and we were able to marry. So why should we limit a person's freedom to marry anyone they want? I have friends and work with many same-sex couples that are in committed relationships; why should they be denied the same right that we had?

As a child in Sunday school I learned about the Golden Rule -- treating others as we want to be treated ourselves and respecting others freedom to pursue happiness. Does this amendment allow that? No, this amendment singles out certain Minnesotans and excludes them from the freedom to marry just because they are gay or lesbian.

As a person of faith, my hope is that you remember the lessons we learned as children and are still learning as adults and listen to your heart. Please join with me and pledge to defeat the marriage amendment by voting no.

Marlyne Leary

St. Paul Park

Lehrke asks tough questions, demands straight answers

Well, it must be election season. The partisan attacks have begun. Take for example the recent letter to the editor from William Labovitch, which asserts that Derrick Lehrke will be entirely ineffective while his DFL opponent will wave a magic wand and make things happen in St. Paul.

Labovitch, a member of the Senate District 54 DFL Executive Committee, is as far from an unbiased source as you could find. I doubt that his supposed "research" lead him to a personal discussion with Lehrke on how he would act if elected.

I met Lehrke while serving in my role on the Cottage Grove Public Works Commission. I can tell you, I don't always agree with him. However, Lehrke is open to my ideas, listens carefully, and takes what I say seriously.

I have watched Lehrke since he was elected to the Cottage Grove City Council and he has been anything but a rubber stamp. Lehrke asks tough questions, demands straight answers and votes how he feels the people want him to vote. He just isn't a "go along to get along" kind of guy. Anyone who thinks he is clearly hasn't been paying attention.

This November, I will be voting for Derrick Lehrke for state representative. I will do this because we need leaders who will stand up and do what's right. Much like his predecessor, John Kriesel, Lehrke will be a fighter for the people who elected him and that's all I ask for from those who represent me.

Matt Forshee

Cottage Grove

Schoen's voter ID opposition doesn't make sense

As the November election approaches, we will hear a lot from candidates about how they will work to better our interests if we cast our vote for them. We will hear how they are all about common sense and how their opponent is from the planet Mars.

I have to say that I am surprised that we have a candidate for state representative who is harshly critical and actually opposes requiring people to show who they are before they cast their vote. Apparently Dan Schoen doesn't believe that the right to vote deserves more protection than renting a movie, using a credit card or any of the other daily tasks where identification is necessary.

I, for one, believe the right to vote is so sacred that this minimum safeguard should be put in place to protect the integrity of our election system.

From just a little research I have learned that this was a very thoughtful process. Even those who cannot afford identification will be able to get one free of charge.

It isn't hard to strengthen the integrity of our voting process while still ensuring everyone who is eligible to vote and wishes to vote, gets to vote. That's what common sense tells me.

Sorry, Mr. Schoen, your opposition to this just doesn't make sense.

Shauna Klug

Cottage Grove

Thank you for dinner

John Tennis deserves a huge thank you. On Sept. 17 my friend Leah McNally and I took our girls to American Motorsports Bar and Grill for dinner. Our waitress, Jen, let us know dinner was paid for by Tennis. I immediately went to thank him. His random act of kindness brought me to tears when I got back to my table.

I have never had a stranger do anything like that for me. Mr. Tennis, you made my day. Thank you for your sweet gesture. I can't wait to use your example and pay it forward.

Becky Fife

Cottage Grove