I can no longer remain silent about my representative to the Montana state legislature, Greg DeVries.
I have spent many years on two community boards, Basin Volunteer Fire Dept. and Basin Community Water and Sewer District and have learned a lot from this participation. The most import lesson for me has been the ability to actively listen to fellow board members and our constituents. It has taken me many years to understand that civil, courteous discussion is the bedrock of self-governance. I think it is essential to approach this kind of work with neutrality and respect for everyone involved.
I do not understand how Rep. DeVries can use his elected office as a bully pulpit for his own religious beliefs. When he writes in his rambling, arrogant and religiously biased way about issues that concern his constituents he is asking us to view the world through his very narrow lens. The board I am a member of holds monthly public meetings and we welcome participation and suggestions from our neighbors and community members. Civic engagement is about working together, not pontificating or proselytizing. Whatever beliefs we hold personally will undoubtedly enter into some decisions we make but the decisions must be based on reality to the best of our ability to grasp it.
DeVries needs to understand that there are a great many intelligent, contributing members of this community that do not share his narrow viewpoint. We still must work together respectfully, to solve the problems that face us.
I am grateful for the many community members who give so much time and energy to make this community a better place to live in. Volunteers from firefighters to EMTs to the Senior Center and the Heritage Center to the Jefferson County Fair Board, to name a few, do their part with no strings attached. - MJ Williams, Basin