Letters to the editor March 10

(In response to, District eyes outsourcing drivers, The Citizen, Feb. 3, page 1)
No to privatization
Dear Editor,
Brandon School’s Superintendent Matt Outlaw sent emails to Brandon parents about sending out bids to outsource transportation in Ortonville.
As a 22 year bus driver at Brandon, allow me to enlighten you. Outsourcing was brought up in 2012 and our parents were outraged which resulted in an agreement with our Board of Education that the remaining union employees would be allowed to retire when we wanted and the new drivers coming in would not be union, but be trained under us and paid through a payroll company, with no retirement benefits or medical insurance. Since then, half of our union members have retired, saving the district money, which was the intent.
Now, once again, we are being considered for privatization, against the Board’s promise. Right now busing is a service, not a “business.” These companies will be making profits and in order to do so will be making cuts in one way or another.
IF our union drivers are hired by the private companies we will lose any further retirement contributions and medical insurance. We would also have to take pay cuts and be offered less hours. Oakland Schools said last year that we were running as efficiently as we possibly could.
Supposedly if privatized, drivers would be hired within the community, but where are they now? We have been hiring consistently, for as long as I have been here and yet there is still a shortage, so they will have to hire elsewhere, where the drivers don’t know our roads or “our kids.”
We will not ruin our excellent reputation by working for a private company. “Our kids” deserve our experience.
Please tell them NO to privatization at the next board meeting on March 19 at 6:30 at the I Tech or email our board members.
Thank you,
Barb Kottmann
(In response to: “Weapon used in 1926 Hadley bank heist now part of history,” The Citizen, March 3, page 3)
NRA member?
Dear Editor,
It is very interesting that armed citizens foiled a bank robbery in 1926. Wonder if they were National Rifle Association members or had registered guns?
Stan Skibo
(In response to: Florida school massacre, a letter by Dale Bond, The Citizen, March 3, page 6)
Gun laws need adjusting
Dear Editor,
Mr. Bond, first of all your opening question; “What’s more important? The 2nd Amendment and the NRA, or the lives of our children and Grandchildren?” That question has no definitive correct answer. Both are important, obviously. Depending on you point of view, one takes precedence over the other. Both sides can and have argued passionately supporting their beliefs but in the end we end up right where we started with no solution. Let’s take a look at how we got ourselves into this situation. Before I start, let me be completely honest and tell the readers that I am an NRA member (life membership). I belong because I believe in what they stand for and agree with many of the things they support. I make no excuses or apologies for my stance.
It is my opinion (and that of many others) that our current gun laws need some “adjusting.” Outlawing certain guns has been tried in the past and have failed!

Why do people (yes, you Mr. Bond) keep insisting that outlawing them is the answer when we already know that strategy is doomed to fail. A perfect example of this is you stating the “Tommy” gun and the “AK-47” are “similar” not even close!! This is a subject that requires you to have a basic technical understanding of how firearms work. If you do not have that knowledge then you can not offer a viable solution. Fully automatic firearms have been forbidden to be owned/possessed by a citizen since 1934 unless you are military, police or have a Class “C” license.
Problem #1; The one common denominator that is shared by all of these shootings is the perpetrator’s negative psychological profile. Thus far, we have been unable to devise a method to expose these dangerous people and prevent them from possessing/owning a firearm. Because of the 1996 HIPAA laws (President Clinton/By- Partisan Congress) a persons mental state cannot be shared on any sort of a database. So, when a person buys a gun, fills out the question about mental stability, and illegally answers “no” there is no way it can currently be checked because the data does not exist on a database. Answer #1…Change the HIPAA laws to allow a persons mental instability to be tracked, thus denial.
Suggestion #2…..Arm some teachers. But don’t stop there. Put trained ex-military/retired police officers on site as well. Rigorous qualifications should be met including a psychological screening, backround check, CCW, employment interview, and firearms qualification for the applicants. Teachers keep being mentioned as an offensive deterrent. That’s a mistake! They do not have the necessary training and expertise. They should be used, but only as a defensive deterrent. Have a comprehensive, common sense protocol in place for an “active shooter” and use the “armed “ teachers as a last line of defense to protect the students. An armed teacher locked in a room protecting their students is, to me, a formidable and viable option.
Last suggestion….I would like the School Board(s) to form a committee to come up with suggestions and recommendations regarding this subject, with the end result being a working protocol to meet our needs. People with lengthy, professional experience in this area should be sought for this committee.
Just my Thoughts,
Paul S. Lucas

Brandon Township dances
Dear Editor,
Brandon Township Parks and Recreation would like to thank our sponsors for the Daddy/Daughter, Mother/Son Dance on Feb. 15 at Brandon Schools.
Our sponsors help make this dance a special night for many families. Our attendance for both dances was at its highest ever. Thank you to MacPhee’s Restaurant and the Brandon School District for making memories through your sponsorship that touch the heart of so many. I would like give thanks to the Ortonville Rotary Club for their sponsorship of putting together our raffel. The gift basket that was raffled off raised enough funds to purchase three benches for our Township Park. Businesses that were involved with the gift basket were: MacPhee’s Restaurant, Bueche’s Food World and Tom’s Market. The benches will built by the Ortonville Wood Working Club.
Fred Waybrant, dirctor
Brandon Township Recreation