For the past 12 years, The Billings Gazette editorial board has been privileged to have a community member.
I am pleased to introduce readers to our newest community volunteer, Cathy Grott, who joined last week.
Cathy holds a doctoral degree in political science, a master’s degree in public administration and a bachelor’s degree in economics/political science. She taught American government and computer research methods at Montana State University Billings for 18 years, and also directed the capstone projects in the Master of Health Administration program. She is on hiatus from teaching, but keeps busy with her family, her technical writing business and her community volunteer work.
Cathy is vice chair of the Institutional Review Board, a panel of volunteers who advise Billings hospitals on the ethics of clinical trials. She is vice chair of the Billings Parks and Recreation Board, a volunteer panel appointed by the mayor to give advice to the City Council.
Cathy and her husband, Mike Kautzman, have a son, Mack Kautzman, attending college, and a daughter, Kate Kautzman, in seventh grade.
We welcome another new board member this week: Dave Worstell, The Gazette’s director of sales and marketing. Dave has been with The Gazette for 11 years and served a previous stint on the board.
The rest of our board members are Mike Gulledge, publisher; Darrell Ehrlick, editor; Kristi Angel, managing editor; Kyle Rickhoff, digital media editor; and me, the opinion editor.
While I look forward to hearing Cathy’s ideas and opinions, I want to make it clear that our community board member isn’t responsible for Gazette opinions. The Gazette opinions printed without a byline represent the views of the newspaper. If you disagree, complain to me or to The Gazette, but, please, don’t blame Cathy.
When asked which editorials I write, I sometimes answer, “I write the good ones you agree with.”
In truth, I write almost all the editorials, even those I disagree with, because that’s my job as a writer. Darrell Ehrlick has been pounding out a few editorials in recent months and will continue to contribute.
I sure don’t expect everyone to agree with every Gazette opinion. That would be weird.
I hope that editorials spur readers to think about important issues, especially about things that they can change to protect and improve their community and state.
And because I also receive the letters to the editor, I hope Gazette opinions inspire readers to write their own views in 250 or fewer well-chosen words.
The Opinion pages provide a forum for folks in our region to discuss and argue about public issues that are important to them. I am happy that Cathy and Dave will be contributing to that forum. I encourage other readers to keep speaking up, too.