Common sense needed

To the editor,

When I ran for Pend Oreille County Commissioner last year it was not because I had a score to settle or a specific agenda. I ran because I wanted to be a voice for people who have no representative voice. That didn’t work out. However, I will continue to use my voice to express concern for our community and county, as I believe they are headed in an erroneous direction.

I recently told friends that Newport and the County were going to “implode” if our community leaders and elected officials don’t get it together with a common sense of purpose and mission. The fiasco between the City of Newport and PUD is but one example.

It appears to me that the County, PUD, City of Newport, are in their own respective races to outdo and out maneuver each other. Who is going to be the first to cut that ribbon on the new industry? Who’s going to be the big jobs hero? Who is going to get the headlines?

The proposed smelter is a perfect example. Allrise, the new buyer of the papermill, is another example. Who vetted either of these companies before the wining and dining? Someone just took them at their word that they wanted to become contributing members of our community?

There is no doubt that the Kalispel Tribe should own the papermill. Who has a more vested interest in the well-being of Pend Oreille County and its people than the Tribe and who is always going to be here? It is a proven leader in economic development, caring for the environment, leadership, and caring for its people more than any alien company. Our civic and elected officials need to abandon their resentment and jealousies and support, listen, watch, and learn from the Tribe to prevent that implosion.

-Phyllis Kardos