The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

September 9, 2012

Letters to the Editor 9/9/12


Editorial had no relevancy, merit

Dear Editor:

The article entitled “Unsupported Allegations Are Divisive to City,” published on Aug. 19 by you our editorial board has no relevancy or merit to the issues we are working hard to address with our city at this time; therefore your opinions do not deserve nor warrant a response.

We simply make the follow statement:

The Limestone County NAACP is a unit of the oldest and largest civil rights organization in this country. Our Mission is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of the rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination where ever it is detected.

The NAACP has been in the front of every major civil rights legislation that has ever been passed in this country. From the ballot box to the classroom, the thousands of dedicated workers, organizers, leaders and members who make up the NAACP will continue to fight for social justice for all in spite of editorial board opinions and in spite of the demand by some that we apologize.

The NAACP movement lies in the faces of ordinary women and men from every walk of life, united to awaken the consciousness of people.

It was the talent and tenacity of NAACP members all over this country that saved lives and changed many negative aspects of American society. The Limestone County NAACP will remain vigilant in its mission until the promise of America is reality for all citizens of Athens and Limestone County.

We pledge our allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

The Limestone County NAACP

 

Who’s in charge?

Dear Editor:

How can George Bush be allowed to violate the Constitution by serving a third term as president? It is just not right. Obama was elected fair and square four years ago and Bush won’t leave office. If Obama had been allowed to become president almost four years ago, we would probably have an unemployment rate of less than 5 percent, a balanced budget and the debt cut in half. It is high time for Bush to go back to Texas and let Obama have a chance.

What? Are you sure? Oh.

Sorry folks. Guess I got that all wrong. It seems Bush did go back to Texas four years ago and Obama has been in charge. You can understand my confusion. Obama blames Bush every day for everything, even after four years. Explain to me again why we elected Obama president.

I liked what Clint Eastwood said at the convention. “If you can’t do the job, we have to let you go.” As Donald Trump would say, “Mr. Obama, you’re fired!”

Please vote!

Sincerely,

Bruce Wilson

Athens



New council should set priorities

Dear Editor:

The election is over for most of the candidates. The new council will be led by two tenured leaders with the leadership qualities required for Athens to proceed towards becoming that “gleaming city on the hill.” Council President Gill has 20 years experience and Councilman Wales eight years. They are both forward looking and yet conservative in their deliberations. An excellent combination.

District 5 will be represented by retired Police Chief Harper whom has several decades of management leadership and financial skills. His department had the biggest budget in the city outside of the utilities and he has worked with all the city’s department heads.  He also has a good planning background.

District 4’s new council member, Joel Cannon, is young, but represents the future of Athens.  He has new ideas and wants to look at how the citizen’s funds are being utilized.  He will work well with the council leadership of Messrs. Gill and Wales.

District 1’s council member is still to be determined in a runoff election on October 9th between Chris Seibert and Danny Crawford.

Priorities of this council should be:

• Revision of the employee’s salary structure to remove the police and fire departments constraints on raises.

• A comprehensive long-term financial and capital expenditure plan emphasizing paving and its costs.

• A mutual agreement with the county that there will be no further library construction costs funded by them beyond their current commitments and all future operating cost allocations will be limited.

• Make community service, like litter cleanup, part of the penalty for a conviction of a misdemeanor or minor felony offense.

• A major effort to get our legislators to authorize the city to take immediate direct steps to alleviate public nuisances and for weed control.

Recently, a businesswoman told me she would like more retail businesses and for the city to develop a long-term plan just like she has to do in her business.

Our new legislative body is our future!

Sincerely,

Quentin D. Anderson Sr.

Athens



Unit system makes sense

Dear Editor:

Where the “unit system” is utilized by a county, the functions of planning, purchasing, constructing and maintaining the county road system are in varying degrees administered on the basis of the county as a whole or as a unit.

The County Commission determines the road policy, its priorities, and exercises its authority through a county engineer.  The following is from the Law Institute, Handbook for County Commissioners, seventh edition, page 82:

• County commissioners approve all projects and expenditures;

• The county engineer works at the pleasure of the commissioners;

• The county commissioners outline the duties of the county engineer;

• The county commissioners address public complaints about roads and bridges and resolve these issues with the county engineer;

• All county road and grounds equipment and personnel is centralized into one division (Engineering);

• All roads and grounds projects are directly supervised by the engineering division;

• All roads and grounds monies are centralized within the engineering division; and

• Roads and bridges within the county are evaluated by the engineering division, and a list of proposed projects is provided to the commissioners for approval.

Sixty of our 67 Counties currently operate under a unit system of road management. The reason is simple — the complexity and cost of operating a county has evolved to the point where less than 10 percent of the fiscal duties and responsibilities of elected commissioners falls under the old road commissioners duties. But yet in Limestone County, our commissioners still operate as road commissioners spending the majority of their time and efforts within the county shed.

Additionally, the public must understand the individual they elect as their District commissioner will in most cases have very little or no experience with road and bridge maintenance or the operation and maintenance of road equipment.

Today, in modern Limestone County, we find our commissioners making executive-level decisions with our tax dollars where the majority of those financial decisions have nothing to do with roads and bridges. These elected commissioners should be spending most of their time in study on those fiscal decisions and leave the roads and bridges with the career experts.

The unit system of road management will save time and money for the county and allow roads and bridges to be maintained by engineering standards and code and not by political influence.

Rex Davis

Athens

Never too late

Dear Editor:

In response to the story in the Aug. 26 edition of The News Courier, “Athens seeks to expand eastern border:” Limestone County and the City of Athens, working together, should have done this several years ago.

Maybe it is not to late.

M.H. Rhodes

Athens



Satellite office has support

Dear Editor:

Limestone County is one of the fastest growing counties in the nation and the state of Alabama.

Limestone County Alabama has increased in population by about 17,000 citizens in the last 10 years, with most of that growth occurring in the East Limestone area.

I agree with Sen. Bill Holtzclaw that it is time to open a satellite office somewhere in the eastern part of the county. Limestone County License Commissioner Greg Tucker said he doesn’t know if a satellite office would benefit his office, let’s benefit the hard working men and women of Limestone County by saving them time and money that a Satellite office would bring.

If you visit the license commissioner’s office and have to wait in that long line, it is not a pleasant experience. Some of the increased revenue generated by the population growth in the past 10 years should go to benefit the taxpayer.

If a business is growing, whether it is in the private sector or local government, you expand to take care of the need. We can expand now or our wait will become longer and longer as our population increases at a rapid rate.

Ronnie G. Coffman

Limestone County License Commissioner candidate

 

Letters policy

The News Courier encourages letters to the editor. Submissions should be no more than 400 words and should include a name, address and telephone number for verification. Submissions that do not meet requirements are subject to editing. Send letters by noon on Thursdays to P.O. Box 670, Athens, AL, 35613, or email to kelly@athensnews-courier.com.