No confidence

Lisa Triepke and I served together on our local school board for many years. During that time I have been a friend and supporter of hers, and I have been the target of her anger and hostility. These are some of my observations during the years that we served together:

Mrs. Triepke did not understand the important line that separates the role of the administrators that run a school and the proper role of a school's Board of Trustees. As a result she frequently came across as critical, unsupportive and someone who tried to micromanage others.

When Mrs. Triepke was critical of work performed by other trustees, administration or staff, she often spoke about the lack of transparency in things that she did not fully understand, yet rarely could she suggest constructive ways of improvement.

I witnessed multiple meetings where Mrs. Triepke became so angry that she left before the meeting was concluded, and at one of the meetings she issued an inappropriate expletive at a person when she left.

Mrs. Triepke did not take responsibility for her actions. When she made procedural mistakes, errors or made accusations that were incorrect, she moved on and pretended they never happened.

During board meetings, I observed other behaviors of Mrs. Triepke that were discourteous and unprofessional, especially when she came to a meeting seemingly unprepared. For example, rather than notify the school administration prior to a meeting that she had specific concerns about a topic, she would ask questions whose answers required research and/or were very complicated. It seemed to me like they were "gotcha" moments rather than productive critique. These uncomfortable and unproductive episodes could have been easily mitigated with a little forethought, understanding of process and respect for her peers.

I have been a longtime supporter of strong women in our community, in politics, the workplace and especially in the field of education. Having the right person in the right position is important in any organization, and I feel it is necessary for everyone to step up and do their best to contribute to the community in which we live.

As someone who has worked with Lisa Triepke for many years, I have observed her temper, lack of leadership skills, poor decision-making ability, even cronyism. These are some very basic requirements we expect from our civic leaders. While she did have moments of quiet listening and insightful questions during her tenure as a school board member, Mrs. Triepke is certainly not qualified to run an organization of any size, much less a great place like Missoula.

Robert Carter


Friendly advice

I have had wonderful positive encounters with employees at UM ("UM releases fall enrollment numbers showing another overall drop," Sept. 27). As a parent of a sophomore who is thriving both socially and academically, I applaud UM! It is an accepting community of helpful people.

However, I'm from California. You need to get out and advertise, recruit, sell your high points! We from California will come. The Western Undergraduate Exchange scholarship makes attendance affordable. Enrollment will climb, without a doubt.

Patricia Gallagher Guidetti

Unwilding America

The Bob Marshall, Scapegoat, Selway-Bitterroot, Absaroka-Beartooth and our other protected wildernesses are sacred to Montanans of all stripes.

Except, apparently, Congressmen Greg Gianforte, who just voted to effectively repeal the Wilderness Act.

This stealth attack on the Wilderness Act comes in the form of H.R. 3668, the Sportsmen's Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act, introduced by Rep. Jeff Duncan of South Carolina. It would affect every wilderness in the nation, including all of Montana's wilderness gems.

The SHARE Act would turn the Wilderness Act on its head, allowing endless habitat manipulation and modification, including logging, chaining, herbicide spraying and myriad other offenses under the guise of "wildlife conservation," or for providing hunting, fishing and recreational shooting experiences.

The SHARE Act would also allow the construction of "temporary" roads, dams and other structures in Wilderness, again under the guise of benefiting hunting, angling, recreational shooting, or wildlife conservation. And all such projects would be exempt from any environmental review or public scrutiny under the National Environmental Policy Act—in essence making Wildernesses some of the least-protected of all public lands.

The bill is being pushed at the behest of the Safari Club International and a few like-minded groups that are upset that Wildernesses around the country aren't managed like game farms—an approach Montanans roundly rejected at the ballot box not long ago. Not satisfied with the rich diversity of life our wildernesses hold, or with the special experiences that wilderness provides, these groups want wilderness managed solely to benefit their idea of hunting and to favor the species they want to shoot. Even if it means building a road or a dam, clearcutting a forest, or wiping out native predators to meet their hunting or angling goals.

Montanans who love our wildest, best places and don't want them degraded for a selfish few should contact Rep. Gianforte and urge him to remove the wilderness-gutting provisions from the SHARE Act before it's too late.

George Nickas

Conservation Director

Wilderness Watch


Racism redux

The reason racism was (sort of) forced under a slimy rock for the past 40 or 50 years was because educated, compassionate, liberal people actually stood up and said, "Enough!" ("Racism hasn't gone anywhere. It's everywhere," Sept. 28.) Somewhere we let the other side get their voice back. The side that glories in ignorance and disdains education.

A very sad and frightening time for our country.

Louise McMillin

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