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August 2, 2021     Turtle Mountain Star
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August 2, 2021
 

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Augus 2, 2021 a well-functioning A went unpaid for three years. to the former auditor. was soon fired by a vote of that city’s council. star marriages. full of legal land mines. Sen. John Hoeven Washington, D.C. 20510 Phone: 202-224-2551 Sen. Kevin Cramer Washington, DC 20510 Phone: 202-224-2043 Rep. Kelly Armstrong 1004 Longworth HOB Washington, DC 20515 (202) 225-2611 The importance of quality employees in the public sector Summary: Having the right people in place means a lot for The right elected officials are important as well, but those people can- not run the day—to—day operations and provide all the necessary tasks to allow the water to run, patrol the streets and make all the numbers add up. Nowhere has this lesson become more obvious than in the auditor’s of- fice in Rolla. Yet another example of the importance of continuity and competence popped up recently with news that a $7 million bond issue The last auditor to certify the project was Matt Mutzenberger, who was hired in 2015 and lasted three years. During his term as the city’s top accountant, the man was evasive at best and on the edge of dereliction upon his departure. A former auditor who reviewed his work submitted a two-page report that laid out a laundry list of accounting miscues. There were no improprieties, but “a lot of issues” that needed fixing, according Mutzenberger moved on to a similar job for the city of Hillsboro and The job of rectifying the street project came and went within the two month period between Mutzenberg’s departure and the hiring of his re— placement. No one was the wiser because no one was steering the ship. Similar downturns in service occurred when the city experienced turnover in the public works department. When Ken Koistinen left the supervisory job after many years at the helm, it was a long time before the city found a good candidate to fulfill that role. Cliff Rush has proven his mettle time and again, making the department strong once again. It’s hardly worth analyzing the revolving door at the city’s police de- partment. Chiefs have come and gone at a more rapid pace than movie Although city council members hire the employees, it’s not as if that group is to blame for the shortcomings. Prospective employees sold them a bill of goods and many of those guarantees weren’t upheld. The key for the council is to act swiftly when the situation goes awry, but even that is That leads full-circle back to the auditor’s office, where the fifth one in the past four years is working to unravel the bond issue as well as oth- ers. While there appears to be no long—lasting impacts of the miscue, it’s a little unnerving to know what else could have gone wrong. ’How to contact your North Dakota delegation G11 Dirksen Senate Office Building B40C Dirksen Senate Office Building HAS TAKEN 'Il-lI—I 60W, SILVER ANV WN‘ZE. A committee of petitioners is pro- posing a constitutional amendment that would limit future North Dakota legislators to eight years of service. The proposal would “grandfather” in all legislators now serving, mean- ing that all of the alleged evils of the present body would be preserved over the next 30 years. Because the Republicans have overwhelming majorities in both houses, they would eventually suffer the greatest impact of term limits. Since one-party states are always on the verge of fragmentation, there would be more primary fights over legislative seats that would pit Re— publicans against Republicans. Conservative Hopes Perhaps it is the hope of the peti- tioners that present legislators would be replaced by new members whose ideology would be more to the right. There area number of national ide-I ology groups ready to push. more conservative policy through state leg"- islatures. , If this measure gets on the ballot in 2022, campaigns in other states suggest that it would pass handily. Of the 15 states that have term limits, the “yes” vote averaged around 65 per- cent. A landslide in any election. In the absence of a valid public opinion poll, we can only guess why the public is so eager to adopt term limits. 5 Abuse of the The framers of the Constitution in- serted the Advice and Consent Clause to insure joint decision making be- tween the president and the Senate in the exercise of the treaty making and appointment powers. What happens when the aims, purposes and spirit of that clause are abused or circum- vented by either one of the joint deci— sion makers? We focus this week on the ability of presidents to thwart the constitutional blueprint for advice and consent of the Senate. Presidents possess considerable means to abuse and circumvent the Advice and Consent Clause, thus frus- trating the aims of the framers’ consti- tutional design.'Consider, for example, the ability of ‘a president to utilize ex- ecutive agreements and recess ap— pointments to bypass the Senate. A president may circumvent the Senate and its role in the treaty power, and thus the frarners’ emphasis on joint or collective decision making, by re- sorting to the use of executive agree- ments, which do not require the advice and consent of the Senate. For a vari— ety of political and policy purposes, a chief executiVe will prefer unilateral or independent authority to the require- ment of winning the consent of the mQ/MMWHMIE/ Term limitsquestion of citizen competence Other Views By Lloyd B. Omdahl Guess one, there is a latent suspi- cion of political institutions and their participants. In other words, the dis- trust of politicians is’ rampant and very often without logic. Suspicious Citizenry Most people don’t accept the role of politicians as accommodators, peacemakers or negotiators because they think the political decisions (deals) are going to negatively affect them. But policymaking is all about accommodation. . A proposal for term limits pres- ents voters with an opportunity to strike. a telling blow at government and the “crooks” that run it. If there is real wrongdoing in the legislature, we have an Ethics Commission but it has been silent since its inception four years ago. Six other states had term limits. Two legislatures repealed term limits which could be done because they were statutory rather than constitu- tional. The North Dakota proposal would be constitutional which is im- portant because the supreme courts of the other four repealing states ruled that legislatures could not im- pose new qualifications for legisla- tors with ordinary statutes. Conference Committees The campaign over term limits will consist of subjective claims that cannot be proven. First question: if legislators become corrupt if kept in office for decades, specify a definition of corrupt. Probably the biggest evil in the legisla- tive process is the conference commit- tee in which three from each house sit down and negotiate the differences be- tween the two houses without getting citizen input on their conclusiOn. But that isn’t corruption per se. A one—house legislature would end this dangerous predicament more effectively than term limits. Dismissing the corrupt charge, it is likely true that legislators over the years develop cozy relations with long term lobbyists and agency heads. Even though these should be suspect, a working relationship with lobbyists and state officials smoothen the development of public policy. It may be thin ice .but someone must skate across the pond. Questioning Democracy But there is something more basic in the consideration of limiting the terms of legislators. By limiting terms, the citizens are telling them- selves that democracy in North Dakota has a serious defect: the vot— ers need toibe protected from their own inability to make intelligent de- cisions in the election and re—election of legislators. advice and consent clause David Adler, The Alturas institute David Adler answers your Constitution questions. Send them to this newspaper. Senate, which invites defeat of a treaty proposal. Presidents have been wary of submitting treaties tothe Senate— “the graveyard of treaties”—ever since Woodrow , Wilson endured the defeat of his beloved proposal for the United States to join the League of Nations at the conclusion of World War I. Presidents of both political parties have turned to executive agreements to avoid the Senate. For example, in 1940, President Franklin D. Roo- sevelt struck with Great Britain the famous destroyers—for—bases deal, which provided a critical lifeline to England at a desperate moment in its war with Germany. FDR asserted statutory authority for his action. r executed.” Richard Nixon utilized an executive agreement in 1973 to negotiate the Vietnam peace agreement. Over the years, the White House has invoked as authority for executive agreements: the president’s claimed authority to represent the nation in the field of foreign relations; the presi- dent’s authority to receive ambassa— dors and foreign ministers; the president’s authority as Commander in Chief; and the president’s duty to “take care that the laws be faithfully There is no precise boundary between executive agree— ments and treaties. The Supreme Court has upheld executive agree- ments as valid, particularly when they are grounded in statutory delegation or an existing treaty. Nevertheless, the use of executive agreements gives rise to controversy since they evade the constitutional checks and bal- ances achieved by the Senate’s role, Alexander Hamilton’s observation in Federalist No. 75, that treaties “are omnicompetent” in foreign relations, and the framers determination that the formulation of American foreign pol- Abuse (Continued on Page 5) Shot or not, there are a lot cf wild ideas about vaccinations For some people it’s just not going to hap— pen. No matter what’s put in front of them in terms of facts, logic or even money, they will not get a shot in the arm that would give them a chance at avoiding the scourge of COVID- 19. A recent poll done by the Economist found that vaccine rejection is higher among whites than it is among black and Hispanic Americans, higher in the Midwest and South than else- where in the country, and it is also greater among those with less education. White people with less than a college degree are more than 10 points more likely than white people with a college degree to say they will not be vacci— nated. Their positions may never change and there is little this group believes could make them change their minds. Catching the COVID-l9 virus is a fear that many people have, especially those already struggling with health issues. For the unvacci— nated, however, the same poll found that other fears are more prominent in their minds. Nine of 10 people who reject vaccination fear possible side effects from the vaccine more than they fear COVID-19 itself. Second, only 16 percent of them believe most of the new cases of COVID-l9 are occurring among the unvaccinated. For the most part, they think the virus is spreadingequally among the vacci— nated and the unvaccinated, or they admit they just don’t know. That leads to the conspiracy theorists. The Economist poll found more than half of the people who will never get the shot believe that the US. government is using the COVID—19 vaccine to microchip the population. This type of thinking is one of the reasons why the virus is making a comeback and will continue well into the future. The moment that people decided to make the concept of getting vaccinated a political choice was _a death knell for many. Like the virus itself, that trend is showing signs of new strength. ' Pages from the past... 10 years ago August 1, 2011 Work on the walls and foundation of the old gym has started at Mount Pleasant School in Rolla. The proj- ect will include the demolition of around 70 feet of the south wall of the structure. Superintendent Brian Palmer said three large jack systems are currently in place inside the gym. Koby Zane Brunelle, son of Kelly and Jerrilyn Brunelle, and a student of Belcourt school, had a very suc- cessful year in wrestling. Koby went undefeated in the year in the state events and also captured two triple crown championships in the state events. Maria Houle, Belcourt, and Rachel Poitra, Shakopee, Minnesota, recently attended the Indians into Medicine (INMED) Summer Insti- tute program at the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks. 30 years ago August 5, 1991 Sheila and Shelby Brennan of rural Dunseith have both won the Miss North Dakota Hemisphere pag- eant held at the state fair. Sheila was last year’s winner in her division, and crowned her sister Shelby at this year’s event. Rita and Ted Boe of 312 2nd Ave NE were selected as the recipients of the “Yard of the Week” designation last week. Clarence and Helen Jacobsen of Rolla celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary at an open house for family and friends at their Lake Up- silon summer home on Sunday, July 21. Delia Jerome has been selected as the employee of the month at the Public Health Service hospital at Belcourt. Louise R. Crosby, CNA, com- pleted a certified nursing aid course at East Grand Forks Technical Col— lege. Denise M. Cote Lagasse of Rolla is among 2,650 Iowa State Univer- sity students named to the spring se- mester Dean’s List. The Roletfe Bar men’s Softball team claimed the Old Pro 30 Divi- sion 3 state championship softball title recently in Bismarck. The team posted a perfect 4-0 record in the two-day tournament with dramatic . come—from-behind wins over teams from Grand Forks and Tioga before defeating Grand Forks Copy Cat 9—2 for the title. Belcourt’s Kristy Schlenvogt, Dunseith’s Dan Peltier and Rolla’s Marty Henderson all competed in the annual Lions’ All—Star basketball games held this past week in Bis- marck and Fargo. 60 years ago August 3, 1961 Lionel deMontigny, a native of the Belcourt community who at- tended school there, recently re- ceived a Doctor of Medicine Degree from the School of Medicine at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wis. ’ Winners of 82 general state schol— arships to the University of North Dakota include Bill Johnson of Rolla and Ronald L. Bucholz of Rock Lake, according to an announcement by the UN D scholarship committee secretary, Dean D. J. Robertson. Mr. and Mrs. Edmund Legreid of Rolla have recently taken over man- aging of the Mylo Café. Army Pvt. Clifford M. Goumeau, 21, son of Louis J. Gourneau, Bel- court, recently was graduated from the 101$t Airborne Division Jump School at Fort Campbell, Ky. Goumeau received his paratrooper wings after completing three weeks of intensive ground and aerial train— ing which included five parachute jumps. , Army Pvt. Kenneth A. Hill, son of Mr. and Mrs. Chester H. Hill, Dunseith, recently completed the lineman’s course at The Southeast— ern Signal School, Fort Gordon, GA. Five from this area will receive diplomas at commencement exer- cises to be held in McFarland Audi- torium, Minot State Teacher’s College. Richard L. Horner of Rock Lake will receive a Bachelor of Sci- ence Degree in Education. Mrs. Dar- lene Ebel of Rolla, Mrs. Clarice L. Aus and Perry E. Aus, Jr., both of Dunseith, and Winnifred Marie Hof— fert of Wolford will receive Standard Diplomas. The Rolla Junior American Le- gion team moved on to the regional playoff competition as a result of the two Victories Coach Pius Wolf’s squad racked up in the district play- offs at Bottineau.