The Wednesday Read: Edwards, Salaries, Havre, & the Pope

Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear. – George Orwell

Today’s commentary deals with these issues:

  • Sheriff Bob Edwards
  • Superintendent Salaries
  • No Spanish in Havre
  • Pope Francis

Sheriff Bob Edwards:

It’s the story that keeps on giving…and it’s embarrassing for the citizens of Cascade County, Montana.

The Great Falls Tribune reported an April 1 hearing has been set for Sheriff Bob Edwards, who is appealing a decision by a state law enforcement panel that revoked his law enforcement and coroner certificates following a June domestic disturbance at a Helena hotel.

In case you are not acquainted with the Edwards tale, here is how the Great Falls Tribune described it:

The action before the POST council followed a June 15 domestic disturbance between Edwards and his girlfriend at the state Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association’s annual convention at the Radisson Colonial Hotel in Helena.
A law enforcement official reported hearing a disturbance in a nearby room, saying “a woman could be heard yelling about a gun” and they “heard her screaming about male throwing her into TV,” according to dispatch logs.
In the June incident, Edwards completed a deferred prosecution agreement for misdemeanor partner/family member assault and the charges were dropped in February.

Edwards is facing two opponents in the Democrat primary for Sheriff. If he survives that, he will have to face a Republican in November.

If Edwards were in the military and did what he did, he would probably not be allowed to carry a weapon and be discharged.

Hopefully, this nightmare will be over the night of June 5 (Primary Election Day). Maybe after that Edwards will seek help for his problem.

Billings Public Schools/ Superintendent Salaries:

I had to laugh when I read that the Billings Gazette reported Billings Public School trustees officially inked their new superintendent to a two-year contract Monday.

Please don’t tell the anti-public school folks in Great Falls, but the new superintendent, Greg Upham, will be paid $165,000 in his first year and $168,300 in his second.

There are probably some perks/benefits that add to his salary.

The anti-public school folks in Great Falls were upset that the Great Falls Public School Superintendent, Tammy Lacey, was making more than the Montana Governor. Lacey makes $150k while Montana Governor Steve Bullock makes $115,505. (AP)

Last year the Bozeman Public Schools Superintendent was given a pay raise to $148,317 – which the math classes I took in public schools taught me is also more than the Montana Governor. (BDC)

The Helena Superintendent of Schools is paid $163,000. (HelenaIR)

The Missoula Superintendent of schools was paid $155,000 for the 2016-17 school year. (Missoulian)

Although some of the data is outdated in this chart, it looks like all the Montana Class AA school superintendents make more than the governor.

Psst… don’t tell the anti-public school folks in Great Falls.

No Spanish in Havre:

A U.S. Border Patrol agent in Havre, Montana, questioned two females about their citizenship because they were speaking Spanish in a convenience store. One female recorded the incident. They were both U.S. citizens – born in the USA.

Some people might not think of that as a big deal. I don’t know about being singled out for being Hispanic or black, but I have been singled out and refused service for other reasons. I would have probably taken out my passport or ID and shoved it in his face. I might have started reciting the pledge or singing the National Anthem.

I’m often a smartass in situations when authorities are involved.

The story has gone viral. The New York Times is covering it HERE.

I guess the moral of the story is, “No hables español en Havre Montana.”

Pope Francis:

I’m not Catholic, but I really like Pope Francis. The Associated Press (AP) is reporting that Pope Francis’ reported comments to a gay man that “God made you like this” have been embraced by the LGBT community as another sign of Francis’ desire to make gay people feel welcomed and loved in the Catholic Church.

If Pope Francis did say that, then I say good for him.

The AP also reported that the Vatican declined to confirm or deny the remarks in keeping with its policy not to comment on the pope’s private conversations.

The Pope also commented about gays in 2013 when he said, “Who am I to judge?”

Amen to that.



2 thoughts on “The Wednesday Read: Edwards, Salaries, Havre, & the Pope

  1. That CBP officer should have left them alone. You can speak any language you want in the country since we have no official national language, nor should we, because the 1st Amendment guarantees it at a minimum. Are we going to ban all non English speaking tourists (and their billions of dollars for local economies) from the country?

    Fun fact: about 2/3 of this county’s population lives in the 100 mile border buffer in this country and are subject to the possibility of CBP law enforcement/harassment. Google can show you that map.

    • Doug- Thanks for the info. My bunker is strategically situated 105 miles from the border. -JmB

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