Thursday, April 19, 2018

“Adult” conversation needed to resolve courthouse issues

I would like to offer a counter-point to the 14 May 2015 letter by J.F. (Jack) Knorr.
Today we have honored those service men and women who have made the sacrifices to protect our United States and Rights of free speech and the right of assembly to unite behind a cause of common interest. Thank you for your service.
Mr. Knorr is entitled to his opinion, as are all of us. I take issue with Mr. Knorrlabeling those individuals with an opposing opinion to his, as a “Special Interest Group - Historical Preservation Society.”
Mr. Knorr should realize that this is Democracy in action and being able to listen to and respect opposing views, is what sets our society apart from a lot of other cultures in the world.
What seems to be the problem here is that some people would rather cry “foul” than sitting up at the table and carrying on an adult conversation and finding compromise and negotiating a solution. It appears to me that a lot of adult conversation and discussion needs to take place for our community and county to negotiate a solution for housing our Stillwater County government.
I would not call the desire to preserve Historical Buildings a “hobby.” I think it is instead an attempt to maintain some continuity between our past and the future. There is suggestion to let the “majority rule” through a ballot and our society has accepted that a 51 percent can decide the direction of an issue, however, I think the other 49 percent also deserves our respect for their position and interest in an issue.
Even though the 49 percent ballot issue is not carried forward, they are still a significant part of our Society. I agree that a solution to the limited office space in the existing Courthouse will require a significant investment of time and money.
Has anyone taken the time to visit the Carbon County Offices in Red Lodge? About 20 years ago Carbon County faced a similar issue of out-growing the Courthouse office space. Their solution was to leave the Law and Justice, Sheriff and court in the courthouse and build a new building just a block west of Main Street (Broadway) for commissioners, clerk and recorder, treasurer and planning.
It is a very aesthetically pleasing décor with a large vault on both the ground floor and basement located close to the downtown shopping area.
Large windows on both the East and West sides let in a lot of natural daylight. An open interior with clerk and recorder and treasurer counters on each side of a common entry.
I keep wondering why couldn’t part of the empty store fronts on main street in Columbus become part of the Stillwater County solution and an anchor for the downtown businesses? Cities in Europe do it with 600-year-old buildings.

Raymond G. Lien
Absarokee