Weeks of Ups and Downs

What an incredible past few days this has been - filled with ups and downs, steps forward and steps backward.

On December 10th, the Board of Trustees, the governing body of the Village of Sutherland, allowed a motion to accept a $30,000 grant to restore our historic Sutherland Depot to fail for a lack of a second. While the outgoing Chairman of the Board gave them ample time to pursue the issue, the Board kept their eyes glued to their iPads, not even looking me in the face.

On Wednesday, the Sutherland Courier-Times came out with a front page story regarding the vote.

 Also in this issue of the Courier were three letters to the editor taking the Board of Trustees to task for their actions. I am encouraged by this, though one letter was from me, one from my brother (the outgoing Village Board of Trustees Chairman listed above), and one from my daughter living in California. It is to be hoped that the news story along with these letters will spur further discussion.

Also this past week, I received an actual letter in the mail (nearly unheard of in this day and age) from a former Sutherland resident now an educator living in Alaska, who will be home visiting for the summer and wants to volunteer his time helping to restore the Depot. I also received a Facebook message from the owner of a construction firm in North Platte who has ties to Sutherland, volunteering his time and expertise to help in the project. There have been many other expressions of encouragement and offers of help. Will they be enough to turn the tide? Time will tell.

And just this morning, in the most touching gesture of all, I received word that the family of a longtime Sutherland resident, Florence Flannigan, who passed away yesterday has named the Sutherland Depot Restoration Project as the recipient of her memorial funds. I will feature Florence Flannigan's story from the Sutherland Centennial Book in the "Sunday Story" on Sunday, December 28.


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