The Times 

Fears are Amerein's not community's


March 24, 2022

To the Editor and the Public,

Columbia County Commissioner, Chuck Amerein, continues to show his hypocrisy with public statements. The cases in point are fear, government overreach, and indoctrination.

Several weeks ago, Commissioner Amerein stated in a commissioner's meeting that The Club (a nonprofit afterschool program for kids in our community) was not worthy of public funds, in his opinion, because they do not show sufficient patriotism by flying the American flag. The money being requested was from the Juvenile Justice Fund, which is not earmarked for patriotic causes. The funding was granted after the executive director agreed to address the commissioner’s concern at The Club’s next board meeting. This is most definitely an example of government overreach, which Mr. Amerein repeatedly speaks out against. It seems that Mr. Amerein has been indoctrinated to believe that not displaying a flag equates to not being patriotic.

At a recent School Board meeting in Dayton, Mr. Amerein stated that the Washington State mask mandate was “about fear” and “about teaching blind obedience”. Just a few weeks later, in a letter to the Port Commissioners, Mr. Amerein was quoting Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin to propagate fear of “State control over the formative years of our children’s lives and the use of public funds to do so.”

I see fear, but it’s not fear from responsible people working together to prevent the spread of a disease. It’s fear of the government controlling our lives.

I see government overreach, but it’s not in the form of public health mandates or indoctrinating children. It’s in the implication that in order to receive public funds, a worthy organization must kowtow to one elected official’s standard of patriotism. It’s in Mr. Amerein’s abuse of power, using his position to steer our town in the direction of his own liking. An elected official is required to listen to the voices of their constituents, regardless of who they voted for, and represent the wishes of the majority rather than their own personal ideology or agenda. That is the American way of governing. A true patriot knows this.

I see indoctrination, but it’s not coming from anyone offering to solve the childcare crisis in our town. It seems to be deeply rooted in the psyche of those who refuse to seek different viewpoints in an effort to work toward the common good. Mr. Amerein is proving himself to be one of those people.

Shellie McLeod

Dayton, WA


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