By Ross Markman
Bob Rice now has a stake in steak.
Well, sort of.
Havre's mayor, who two weeks ago unveiled a new city logo, was recently asked by Hill County Commissioner Kathy Bessette to become part-owner of one of her cows.
"Maybe this is a symbol of good will to show that I'm not against cattle," Rice said.
Two weeks ago, Rice said he did not want a cow on the logo, noting that Havre has more to be proud of than its cattle.
Since then, he said, he has been contacted by several Havre residents unhappy with the design. Rice said he even received one letter from a rancher wanting to bring him steaks, so he can gain an appreciation for cows.
"Some people have talked to me about it. To be honest, I didn't mean to be derogatory," Rice said Tuesday. "I realize the importance of cattle in this community."
The mayor said he'll make a trip to Bessette's ranch to further "learn what cattle are all about."
Rice said he wasn't the only voter on the logo's design, which features a grain of wheat, the Bear Paw mountains and the words "Pride of the Hi-Line."
"There were eight or 10 other people in the room who voted on the logo," he said.
And, Rice added, none of the more than 20 drawings submitted included a cow.
In addition to hearing beefs from his constituency, Rice said others are reading complaints in the newspaper.
The Havre Daily News has published several letters to the editor criticizing Rice's comments since the new logo was unveiled. But Rice said he does not read editorials or letters to the editor, and will not respond to such correspondence.
"A lot of people have read those letters. But if someone wants to communicate with me, a letter to the editor is not my choice," he said.
"I'm going to offend somebody no matter what I do," Rice added. "It's unfortunate. I don't mean to offend anybody."