Letters to the editor

Letters to the editor Hill City mayor thanks fire fighters

To the editor:

This letter is to the fire fighters of South Dakota.

Last night (Sept. 4) I was looking at my granddaughter's little swimming pool that still had a film of soot from the Jasper fire, I reflected how fortunate the city of Hill City was to have the support of so many communities in this wonderful state.

When the governor told me that he had to put out a call for all the 911 agencies in the state for help to fight the Jasper fire that Sunday morning, Aug. 27, a wave of relief overcame me. When I saw fire trucks from all over the state start rolling in Sunday afternoon, I knew our town would be safe.

When you have a monster of that magnitude raging in your back yard, it is a huge relief to know that people from across our great state will answer the call. Without your acts of volunteerism and caring, our community would have been in harm's way. Our boys were able to go out into the fire line, into country they knew, and not have to worry whether their homes would be safe. You guys are the best, and our beautiful city still stands today because of your concern. The best I can say is "Thanks for a job well done."

Pete Stach, Mayor

Hill City

Does statement reflect double standard?

To the editor:

In reference to a USD student being charged with assault on a police officer, resisting arrest and false impersonation, Roger Kozak, a USD vice president, issued the following statement as reported in the Argus Leader last week. "We do want to give the benefit to the students." "We" must mean the university and the statement of giving "the benefit to the students" is extraordinary. First, I didn't know an arrestee is entitled to a benefit as opposed to the victim of the assault, second, does he expect this student to be treated different than a non-student, and/or is he questioning the integrity of the Vermillion police?

Perhaps a more appropriate statement would have included that the university does not approve of the alleged behavior of this student and that the policy of a student charged with a felony would be followed.

Paul M. Hasse


City officials can avert neighborhood problems

To the editor:

Your report last week of the arrest of our neighbor for assaulting two Vermillion police officers prompts this letter. In our neighborhood we depend on the police department to respond when bad behavior and incivility occurs. We wish it were otherwise.

Though I do not condone the behavior of the football players I believe city officials bear some responsibility. Housing available to many students in Vermillion is deplorable and those reprehensible conditions promote incivility. Rather than calling on police, our preference would be to depend on city officials to avert a lot of bad, uncivil behavior through the enforcement of our city zoning and housing regulations.

We have repeatedly sought, over an extended period, the enforcement of ordinances governing the maximum number of unrelated persons in dwellings; regulations protecting students from unsafe dwellings in violations of safety codes; and enforcement of housing maintenance ordinances. The signature trait of this city's administration is a wink to greedy landlords or their property managers while turning the deaf ear to long time neighborhood residents. Fifteen years of employing a code enforcement officer has not improved housing for students.

John Austin considers early morning running the most fitting punishment for the party boys next door. In support of a neighborhood impacted by their recent incivility, I call on the football players in question to clean-up the beer bottles and trash they and their peers left behind, while city officials clean-up the mess years of negligence has perpetrated in our neighborhood.

Carol Sanderson


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