OPINION

LETTER: Keep the varsity on the field

Norm Greczyn/Leavenworth

To the editor:

I am writing not as a registered Republican, but as a concerned citizen of the city of Leavenworth. The time for far right and far left ideological bombast, present at all levels from city politics up to the national level, is over. We as citizens need to move beyond the polemics to make reasonable, positive choices that will orient our city along a path to a brighter future.

To do this, we need to elect the most experienced, knowledgeable and public service-minded people we can find for our city commissioners. We need commissioners who understand the needs of citizens of all backgrounds, and the importance of teamwork and collaboration – people who are willing and able to work toward communitywide solutions to real problems.

Faced with a resurgence of COVID and its variants, we need folks who are willing to choose, and stand up for, the “harder right,” (i.e., vaccinations, masking and social distancing) and not the “easier wrong” (i.e., choosing personal liberties over the common public good), in particular where our most precious resource, our children, are involved.

We find such people in current commissioners Mike Griswold, Mark Preisinger and Jermaine Wilson.  

The three non-incumbents still in the race are Mr. Hingula, Mr. Martin and Ms. Hart. Unfortunately, they have fallen in line with a local Republican’s mantra that city elections, which by statute, history and tradition are non-partisan, should in fact be a partisan free for all, to the grave detriment of the process.

However, what I am most concerned about is their lack of experience at the local level of government and their lack of a strategic approach to the future. Indeed, all they seem interested in is protecting people’s individual liberties, as they define them, at the expense of the health, safety and welfare of our overall community.  

I don’t worry about Griswold, Preisinger and Wilson in any of the above areas. They demonstrated during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that they know how to govern. They effectively managed the city government through the trials and tribulations of the public health crisis, Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). And they did so while maintaining law and order, improving our infrastructure, working to make our climate for businesses more favorable, bringing new businesses to the city and addressing tax relief. Through the impetus of Mike Griswold, we now have a vision for the city and strategic plan, a road map for the future, focused on Leavenworth’s next 10 years. Undoubtedly it will change – that’s the nature of strategic plans. However, it has the right priorities for our city: protecting our citizens, fully funding the police, continuing to improve infrastructure, bringing in more businesses and jobs, and much more.

To use a sports analogy, we are in the home stretch and victory is within our grasp. Now is not the time to put in the junior varsity, or worse, the freshmen on the bench. Let’s maintain our focus and sustain the city’s progress. We do this by keeping the varsity on the field – Griswold, Preisinger and Wilson.

Please get out and vote accordingly on Election Day Nov. 2 or at the County Clerk’s Office during the early voting period of Oct. 13 to noon on Nov. 1.  

– Norm Greczyn/Leavenworth