Thanks, public servants

Dear Public servants:

At this time of year, I am moved to thank the people whose profession it is to serve and protect the public. Thank you, teachers, for the enormous amount of time and energy you put into helping our youth become functional members of society. Your devotion to young people despite antiquated infrastructure and compensation is essential. I appreciate you.

Thank you, firefighters and police officers, for braving the elements and risking your safety for that of our community. The eclipse, summer travel, and hot dry weather has made your jobs that much more important. I appreciate you.

Thank you to the professionals at the Forest Service, BLM and Department of Fish and Wildlife, for working to sustain our amazing ecology in Eastern Oregon. Thank you for putting science to work for the many demands we put on our public spaces.

Thanks, to all the others who I’ve missed. In an era of political division, we depend on the unquestioning service of public professionals who opt not to pick sides, but to work for the betterment of everyone in our community.

Eric Layton

Baker City