We should be honored by Schutt's service to city
I have known Michael Schutt for 37 years. Never before have I seen an individual so dedicated and passionate about serving the Hastings Fire Department and the city of Hastings. We should all not only be thankful, but honored by his sacrifice, as well as the sacrifice of all our fire and law enforcement officers we have in Hastings.
Recently, Chief Schutt has been put on administrative leave. It seems quite apparent that there are personal issues in play. A "witch hunt" has ensued, and Schutt has been put in the crosshairs.
The most important lesson I have learned managing people is, leave emotion out. There is no room for personal vendettas, only professional sharing of ideas for a positive resolution. Toxic behavior from above will trickle down to lower ranks and undermine the chief's position.
I know that Schutt fights endlessly to do the right thing for the fire department, and the city of Hastings. I imagine that it may ruffle a few feathers along the way, but it is definitely what we need from a fire chief, and a police chief.
If someone is trying to remove him from his position, obviously they have no idea who he is, nor do they have any understanding of the sacrifices his family has made allowing for his unwavering loyalty.
The removal of Schutt's dedication to the Hastings Fire Department, and to the community, would not only be unjust, but an unprofessional decision that will negatively serve our city. Stop the petty witch hunt and reinstate Schutt.
Darin R. Berg
Money, regulations don't solve problems
In response to Rachel Garaghty's Sept. 7 letter on Jason Lewis, first of all let me say that I do not know your life circumstances, nor do I intend to make assumptions about the protesters you mention in your letter. I just want to state my point of view and what I feel represents a lot of the voters that cast their vote for Jason Lewis. I do not agree with all Lewis stands for, but I do agree with fiscal conservatism.
As someone who has paid taxes since I was a teenager and have yet to take a dime from government agencies, my opinion is that it is time to change the way government spends our money.
Since Lewis won the election and Republicans control the Minnesota House and Senate, it seems there are more Minnesotans who feel a change is needed toward conservatism in a number of areas. There are only so many dollars to go around and just throwing money at problems does not solve them.
One you mentioned, health care affordability, is a big problem. But subsidizing premiums and enrolling everyone in a government program is not the answer to controlling actual costs. Efforts need to be made to identify the root causes of high health care costs. Then identify potential efficiency gains, enact laws to remove regulatory burdens and change health care delivery systems, or enable market forces to bring down costs. I already pay over 40 percent of my income in taxes when all the different taxes are accounted for. Enough is enough.
I imagine that Lewis is not holding a town hall meeting because he feels that he wouldn't be able have a civilized discussion with some constituents. Especially after protesters assembled outside his home. Who would want to stand there in a meeting and just get screamed at? Lewis does need to represent us all, but he ran and won on conservative and populist principles. He will always lean more toward those principles in his legislation and voting record.
There is probably a lot of agreement on desired outcomes to problems. There's just a difference of opinion on how to get there. Unfortunately some people get hurt when trying different solutions to problems. As with health care and a bunch of other issues, money and regulations have been thrown at problems without positive effect. It's time to try a different approach.