IN THE MAIL

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Together we have the ability to build a stronger Montana

Editor:

A competitive Democratic process allows voters a meaningful choice. I filed to run for Governor of Montana on June 10 to give voters a choice. A polarizing candidate will divide our state. We need to work together to carry on the good work which has led to successful bi-partisan efforts like Medicaid expansion and Hanna’s Law. Making sure people on both sides of the aisle are treated fairly is important to me. I believe equality is the foundation of our democratic system. We will need to tackle tough issues of persistent drought, deluges and wildfire and continue to build resiliency in our state systems. We will need science to make wise decisions for Montana’s future. From stream flows to crop yields, science is an integral part of a modern economy. We need biology, engineering and physics in order to make wise decisions for Montana’s future.

Together we have the ability to build a stronger Montana. When I represented my community in Park County in the Montana State House, I learned what a small town our state really is. We’re a collection of individuals who more often choose to celebrate what we all have in common rather than dwell on differences.

Reilly Neill
Livingston

Cooperation is the key to making anything a success

Editor:

I have been to the Livingston Roundup Rodeo and Parade since 1929 when I was 5 years old, and announced 70 of them during the 95 years I have lived in Livingston.

I was commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars for four years when we promoted the rodeo. We started in 1949 and 1950 and put on a second rodeo those two years in August, a month after the regular professional rodeo. We then advanced to put on the Livingston Roundup Rodeo on July 2, 3 and 4 in 1951 and 1952. I was chairman of the rodeo committee those four years and we also ran into negativism from the city council and mayor. We had problems with the parade route in 1953 and the city council, and police department did not want to help either. Why? I did not know.

Since July 2 to 4 in 1952 was in the middle of the week, we decided to make the July 2 and 3 night rodeo performances. We needed flood lights at the fairgrounds (there were no floodlights in the rodeo arena at that time, so I had to procure floodlights.) The city had floodlights in Sacajawea Park because that was the football field for so many years. I approached the city park board and they refused. We offered to replace any that were damaged and to pay for all labor involved installing them and then re-installing the lights back to the park. I finally talked to three members for their permission, and gave orders to install the lights at the rodeo grounds. The chairman did not like it because I went over his head. He wanted me to take down the lights and I told him, they stay. They stayed.

We asked the city to waive the one hundred dollars a day fee they wanted to charge a carnival to play ten days during the rodeo week. We told them to waive the fee because the carnival was going to pay the VFW at least 15% of the proceeds earned on all of their rides and exhibits for the 10 days they operated. That was a very sizeable sum which the VFW was putting into the total purse for the rodeo contestants. The mayor said no, forget the rodeo, but I cornered over half of the city commission who were city hall council members, there were eight members of the City Council at that time, and told them that the people wanted this professional rodeo, and of course people around the state did too. Failure to help us in this big rodeo and parade would create a boycott of their businesses (their personal businesses), because as you all know, the rodeos in Livingston have always attracted the top cowboys and thousands of people to Livingston during the week of the rodeo. It’s all about economics, my friend, economics. The parade, the rodeo and the carnival all played, everyone was happy and all of the businesses did a tremendous business, yes, they told the VFW, good going for keeping the rodeo and parade going in spite of the obstacles thrown your way. Cooperation, my friend, that is the key to anything to make it a success, and mostly never take no for something that can be accomplished if we all get together and make it happen. I am very proud of all of my years put into the rodeo, the parade and the Park County Fair all of these years.

Louis Armentaro
Livingston

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