As a two-term City Councilman representing the 2nd Ward and also a member of the Central Committee of the Hancock County Republican Party, I want to express my concurrence with the opinion expressed in the Courier View editorial (Jan. 5) titled “Make selection process public.”

I participated in the process implemented to fill Phil Riegle’s vacant county commissioner seat in 2016. I felt that all nine candidates for that position had a fair opportunity to present their experience, skills and motivation for seeking the office. I appreciated that the public was able to observe the interview process.

Yes, the Central Committee is working under a very tight timeline; that is no excuse for failing to implement an appropriate, transparent process which assures the citizens of our community that all office seekers have the same opportunity for consideration.

We have accomplished important goals under Mayor Mihalik’s leadership. Now is not the time for shortcuts or knee-jerk decision making. Thoughtful evaluation of all candidates is designed to reveal the most qualified to fill the interim role of mayor.

As public servants, we have the responsibility to engage our constituents in the decision-making process and invite them to support whoever is selected, based on clearly articulated criteria expected of successful leaders: skill, experience, capability and motivation to serve our community.

Dennis J. Hellmann

2nd Ward councilman




To Judith Donaldson (letter, Jan. 7) and all the others who are totally aghast that not everyone unequivocally supports that insipid wall our fearless leader wants to build: I have a few reasons for lack of support.

First, the man said Mexico would pay for it, but it seems that was, shockingly, a lie, and the taxpayers will be footing the bill instead. So that’s a bummer for people.

Secondly, immigration from Mexico has been on a steady decline for the last decade, and this is according to the Migration Policy Institute. But we still need it though, because the man who can barely string together a coherent sentence said so.

Third, the overwhelming majority of undocumented immigrants in the country today did not scale a fence or some garbage like that. They entered through legal channels, got their visas and simply stayed once the visas expired. A wall isn’t gonna stop that happening in the future.

And finally, those of us who oppose it understand that this $5 billion-plus ego monument could be easily defeated by a $20 ladder or two. But ya know, facts and logic.

Jake Laird