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Letters to the editor March 6

| March 6, 2024 12:00 AM

Pay for councilors

I was pleased to see the mayor is recommending the issue of compensation and health insurance be brought to the voters on the fall ballot. This is a big decision and should require the approval of the "city's employer" ... us.  

The idea that this is required for good people to step up to run for council is false, as we saw four qualified individuals — both male and female, young and old — step up to run against incumbents last fall. Furthermore, I doubt any city employees that work less than 20 hours per week are provided health insurance, as Councilor Frank Sweeney suggested.  

I hope the process remains transparent with oversight by the voters.

— Beth Sobba, Whitefish

Wilderness areas

John Clayton (You're not the Boss in Wilderness, Feb. 28, Whitefish Pilot) is in serious error when he states "preserving wilderness calls for technical climbers with hardware to recreate elsewhere." 

Technical rock climbing (and mountaineering) began in areas now classified as wilderness long before the wilderness act was passed in 1964 and continues today with absolutely zero adverse effect on the wilderness aspects of those locations.

During the four summers I risked my life parachuting into wilderness areas as a smokejumper, my companions and I were unable to control three separate forest fires because we were prohibited from using chainsaws in a wilderness area. In spite of working our butts into exhaustion we could not dig fire line fast enough by hand to control those blazes. Those three fires eventually cost and/or destroyed in excess of $5 million in late 1960s dollars.

This is all a moot point anyway as the only true wilderness left in the United States is in West Oakland, California, and the Watts District of Los Angeles.

— Walt Vennum, Whitefish