Letters (July 6, 2016)

Why no action on gun provider?

In March my son, Joey Melnyk, shot himself near Hillsboro. He had many friends, played sports in high school, and graduated from Benedictine College in Atchison. He was also facing $80,000 in student debt and was suffering from depression and other issues.

He underwent treatment, which prevented him from being able to purchase a gun in the interests of his own safety. Tragically, a woman acquaintance in Hillsboro chose to buy a gun for him and put it in his hands.

So far, nothing has been done to the woman who circumvented the law by putting a gun into the hands of someone the existing laws sought to protect.

Vengeance is not part of this picture. I feel action should be taken to prevent this person from providing someone else with a gun who the law says shouldn’t have one. That is all.

Joey was depressed, and a danger to himself. However, last February in Hesston, a woman similarly provided a weapon to someone who shouldn’t have had one. That time, the person harbored rage at other folks and created havoc in a workplace, along with lasting tragedy and misery for many families.

Look at what happened in San Bernardino last Decem­ber when a neighbor bought weapons for a friend. The gun laws we have in place are there for a reason: to protect all of us in our community.

Why has no action been taken to keep the Hillsboro community safe in this instance? I can’t explain it. I spent much of my childhood growing up in Chanute, fishing in the Neosho River, and helping my dad during the founding of the Osa and Martin Johnson Safari Museum. I have fond memories of Kansas, but that was 50 years ago, and now I live far away.

Someone in the Hillsboro community needs to ask the prosecutor and elected officials, who are paid to ensure the safety of the community, why nothing is done. Maybe they have a satisfactory answer. I know I’d be interested to hear it. However, someone should at least ask.

Mark M. Melnyk

Talahi Island, Ga.

New eco-devo group is DOA

The seven-member Marion County Economic Development Committee selected by the Marion County commission is DOA. It’s a set-up for failure by commissioners responsible for getting the county in this economic mess.

The commission is now looking for a bale out. Unless the committee chooses to stand aside from the commission it will become the commission’s scapegoat.

The decision by the county commission to reject selected volunteers for the committee was cheap and tacky to say the least. It continues to call into question the commission’s ability to responsibly govern the county in any matters of significance.

It doesn’t happen elsewhere. You dont solicit volunteers, receive overwhelming response from across the county and then mock the volunteers for not being good enough to serve.

To Randy Dallke: You were offended by the lack of faith people have in you. Well, duh, Randy. This isn’t about you. It’s about your service as an elected commissioner. You earn respect by engaging the roles and responsibilities of the office you were elected to serve.

Economic development is certainly one of those roles. You finally admit your failings and ask for help from a volunteer committee only to call into question the character of the volunteers. Now you are whining about not being trusted.

To Dan Holub: You doubt the ability of the volunteers to organize and work cooperatively. You understand nothing about the power of people with a purpose. Your divisiveness is polarizing and narrow minded and it has no place in county leadership.

I’m sure all the volunteers have served effectively on other committees. So, what are you afraid of?

Dan, as a public servant, you have forgotten that you work for us. You don’t control us, so you had no right to reject committee members just because you feared your agenda may be challenged.

For sure, we wouldn’t all share your viewpoints, but we wouldn’t have volunteered if we didn’t care about our future in Marion County.

You completely misunderstood the synergy within a group of concerned citizens and the passion they bring. Every applicant within that working group of volunteers would make great progress where you have failed miserably.

To the Marion County commissioners: this isn’t amateur hour. Marion County is in economic trouble and your incompetence got us here. We need thoughtful, intelligent input beginning with a committee that can reach out to other resources who know how to do inter-community development.

To be sure, every applicant had the best intention in helping our communities. Your lack of appreciation toward the volunteers is offensive.

To the other volunteers: I express appreciation to all those who volunteered and were rejected by the commission.

On behalf of all citizens concerned about economic growth and development in Marion County know this: elections are approaching. There is power in people who want to pull this county out of the dark ages and we need the appropriate leaders.

Stan Thiessen

Hillsboro

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