Column: Letters can educate and informSome letters to the editor seek to persuade while others inform, praise or debate.
By: Anne Jacobson, The Republican Eagle
Some letters to the editor seek to persuade while others inform, praise or debate. All types contribute to public dialogue. So do endorsement letters, of course.
Nearly every letter the R-E published in July endorsed a candidate or party, so the REaders’ Board elected not award a Golden Quill for the month and likely won’t in October. Members don’t want to be perceived as championing one individual when the real purpose of the Golden Quill is to acknowledge writers, not the subject of their letters.
The board spent considerable time at its August meeting talking about letters that educate people, specifically those that bring new information to light. Kent Laugen’s letter of July 10, headlined “PACE bonds would benefit city,” prompted the discussion.
No board member had heard about Property Assessed Clean Energy bonds before, but each encouraged area municipalities to reserach them. Through long payment periods, the bonds or loans promote energy improvements that help pay for themselves.
Letters about such topics can open up new opportunities and offer new ways of looking at issues. An idea may or may not work locally, but a community won’t know unless someone puts a concept on the table. If you have an idea you think needs communitywide discussion, please write to us.