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July 03, 2014 7:15 am

EDITORIAL: Founding Fathers would be dismayed by political climate

Written by Tom Lawrence

Thumbs down to the deep, distressing, divisive tone in this nation’s politics.

Friday is the Fourth of July, the 238th anniversary of the release of the Declaration of Independence. It was agreed to by men from New England to the South, by those who supported a strong central government and those who favored a looser confederation of states.

The important thing is, they compromised and moved ahead. They came up with a document that defines America, one that helped guide this land through war, economic turmoil and social unrest.

During those trying times, Americans who were deeply conservative and avowedly liberal served and worked together. No one checked party registration in foxholes or on work crews.

Today, we hear shouts and insults, as the left and right seem more determined to fight and disagree than find common ground. It has stagnated our land.

Somewhere, Thomas Jefferson is shaking his head in dismay.

Thumbs up to Annetta L. Cheek, who stepped down this week after years of work as the chair of the Center for Plain Language, which calls for the use of clear language by government bodies, businesses, nonprofits and universities.

Cheek co-founded the nonprofit Center for Plain Language in 2003. The center has supported a simple proposal: Governments and businesses should communicate clearly.

Frankly, after being deluged by a flood of dull verbiage and hyperbolic phrases from government entities and the corporate world for decades, we cheer these efforts.

Four years ago, Congress passed the Plain Writing Act of 2010 and President Barack Obama signed it into law. We hope to see it implemented at some point, although we’re not holding our breath.

“Annetta has used her smarts, charm and sometimes just plain force to encourage plain language use in government, business, nonprofits and universities for 20 years,” said Joanne Locke, a center board member. “She leaves a legacy to not only the U.S. plain language movement, but within the global movement as well.”

There’s only one thing to say about Cheek’s efforts: Thanks.

Thumbs down to the lack of people willing to serve on city boards and committees.

Mayor Don Hillman said last month he was forced to appoint Councilman John Wetzel to a second position on the Municipal Airport Board. Wetzel already served as a council liaison on the board; now he will also be a voting member.

“I’ve been having a heck of a time getting people to serve on boards,” Hillman said.

We appreciate Wetzel and other officials who serve on multiple boards, and also applaud the people who are willing to devote some of their time and energies to benefit the community.

But we encourage others to contact Hillman — at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 754-5106 — and offer to serve. There is a vacant seat on the Planning and Zoning Commission, and other positions on city panels will surely open soon.

We also urge the city to use the Tribune, and other media outlets, as well as social media, to let people know of openings, requirements and commitments, and to invite them to apply.

We favor having a diverse group of people serving Powell on our boards and committees and hope several folks step forward to do so.

Thumbs up to hot weather.

We don’t mean warm. Let’s not talk about mild afternoons, with the temperature in the upper 70s.

It’s summer, according to the calendar. People, like crops, need some heat.

In this high desert climate, we experience a lot of temperate weather. But it’s summer, with the Fourth of July right around the corner.

Turn up the heat, please.

1 Comment

  • Comment Link July 03, 2014 4:06 pm posted by Disgusted taxpayer

    Founding Fathers are no doubt rolling in their graves over the pathetic Park County GOP fiasco,as well as what Mead,Coe and a few others pulled with a witch hunt on Hill.BTW,dont bother trying to comment in the Cody Enterprise,the Editor is very biased.

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