Letter: Bennett’s excuses redirect blame

Published 10:07 pm Thursday, August 17, 2017

I was disappointed to read Ms. Bennett’s excuse for the “unfortunate oversight” she made last session regarding a constituent’s attempts to contact her. Her excuse redirected the blame to “nonpartisan research.” Her letter stating “I sent his request” was misleading, as it overlooked the fact that she received three separate letters from the constituent sent over a period of five months (Nov. 15, 2016; Feb. 2, 2017; and April 20, 2017).

The fact that the constituent, residing in Freeborn County, whose letters were ignored is the superintendent of Fairmont Area Schools and my husband should not minimize the importance of such neglect. Mr. Brown attempted three formal contacts in the form of three letters sent to his state representative without response.

It seems to me that losing track of one letter could be thought of as human, losing track of two letters is a big mistake, losing track of three letters is incompetent.

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I firmly believe the content of the letters is just as important as the fact that they were ignored. In a time when Minnesota is in dire need of skilled workers (plumbers, electricians, welders, carpenters, etc.), Superintendent Brown is promoting innovative programs that will prepare students to enter the skilled workforce directly out of high school. He is doing this by providing (and requesting funding for) training outside the typical school day (after school, Saturdays and summer).

His innovative approach to education is working in Fairmont and can be duplicated in Albert Lea and schools across District 27A. When Ms. Bennett (vice chair of the Education Innovation Committee) misplaced or ignored Mr. Brown’s letters, she not only did a disservice to a single constituent, she let down her entire district and the future workforce of Minnesota.

My intent is not to pick on our representative. My purpose is to inform and to call Ms. Bennett to action. I ask that she author and pass a bill in 2018 to fund vocational programs administered outside the typical school day and designed to prepare students to enter the skilled workforce directly after high school.

Robin Brown

Moscow Township