To the Editor:
After reading Mr. Timmerman’s letter to the editor taking me to task on how I used the word ‘trash’ in my letter, I can fully understand his feelings. Of course, not all those in jail are ‘trash’ and as a public defender I can see why he would take issue with me.
Maybe I painted with too broad a brush. The vast majority of his clients, as Mr. Timmerman puts it, are first time offenders who made a mistake. I am sure that because of the work Mr. Timmerman and his staff have done, many of those who go in come out as better human beings and productive citizens. I have great respect for those offenders who do turn their lives around.
I would guess that when Mr. Timmerman’s clients come in to see him they are clean shaven, freshly scrubbed, in their good clothes and on their best behavior. For this reason, I believe, they do come off as decent people in the eyes of the public defender.
But there is a flip side Mr. Timmerman doesn’t mention. What about the people who have been on the receiving end of an assault, collision, vandalism, fraud, theft, swindle or some other illegal act that harmed them or their family? The people who have been harmed emotionally, financially or physically by one of his clients? The word ‘trash’ might be considerably less offensive than some other words that they may use.
Several years ago I was swindled out of some money by an old college friend who showed up one day selling an investment that was a fraud. Why is it that whenever I see a garbage disposal truck or take out the garbage, I think of him?
Unfortunately, my poor choice of words caused the point of my editorial to be lost. That point was that the new ‘Human Compost Facility’ will be – and already is – a money pit, just like Prairieland Compost Facility is, and is another financial burden on the taxpayers of Faribault County.
And I doubt if we have heard the last of the ‘Softwatergate’ debacle either.
So, I am eager to step forward and admit that I was wrong in painting all of our local lawbreakers with the same brush. That brush has now been thrown in the trash.
Mike Enger, Blue Earth