The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

August 12, 2012

Letters to the Editor 8/12/12

The News Courier

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

New library needs support

Dear Editor:

Has Sen. Harry Reid moved to Limestone County? This was the question when Linda Wilson ranted, “Someone’s lying about what the money is needed for” in relation to the Athens-Limestone Public Library.  

Where is her proof that anyone from the library or the library foundation is lying? Or are we simply to take her accusation as proof? I don’t accept this in national politics. I don’t accept it in local politics.

Ms. Wilson obviously doesn’t understand the difference between operating costs and the building costs of the new library. Anyone who can do the math understands that the majority of the money for the new library is being raised by the library foundation and is not coming from Athens city or Limestone County.

Our library is open the least number of hours, has the fewest staff, and has the lowest amount of money for books and materials of any community our size in Alabama. This is not acceptable for the education of our county. 

I want to ask Ms. Wilson a couple of questions. When was the last time you bothered to use the library? The opening program had over 400 people. That meant no one could use the public computers because that space was taken with children and parents. That’s not adequate.  

Do you support new jobs in Limestone County? We know from the lieutenant governor of Tennessee that we lost the VW plant to Chattanooga because they had a new public library. Instead of making wild accusations in the style of Harry Reid perhaps Ms. Wilson should take the time to learn the facts. We need a new public library for the educational and economic health of our community.


Opal Casey



Sick of signs 

Dear Editor:

As another local election time is upon us, articles are again in the news about political signs being posted illegally in our community. I’ve also heard that city officials have been receiving complaint calls about these signs.  

It’s funny (maybe to some) that politicians would complain to our mayor when their signs are missing. This fact alone proves that the politicians knew where the signs were illegally placed. Tickets should have been issued instantly. Mayor (Ronnie) Marks stated city crews have removed some of the illegal signs. I don’t think taxpayer’s money should be used for this purpose nor should the signs be stored and returned.

I do think the police department, or an appointed official should issue littering tickets to sign owners for each and every sign that is placed illegally; then and only then should the sign be removed and destroyed. At least the city would receive income to cover the expense of city/county employees that put in the time for removal. Tickets would also help to deter future illegal signs. I still see signs on poles from elections more than two years ago.

If a citizen throws a paper bag or cup onto the roadway, a ticket can be (I think it should be) issued. Political and other signs (plastic, cardboard, wood or metal) look a lot worse and last a lot longer than a paper bag or cup. Our road grass cutting crews have a tough time cutting the roadways as it is, they don’t need more debris in their way.

It’s a shame that a person who wants to work as a leader for us, would violate city, county and state laws and make our community look like a giant flea market.

I’m asking our county and city officials to ask law enforcement leaders to start issuing tickets for each illegal political, real estate, yard sales, church sign-ups, roof repair and the large auction signs.  It’s easy … their names are on the signs.  

Non-political signs are illegally posted all year long.

Maybe after a few months/years our roadways will look better for our community and our visitors. Other states and cities have great regulations and enforcement that results in keeping their roadways looking great. Maybe we can do the same someday?


Eddie Craig



Reclaim our city

Dear Editor:

The majority of the 2000-2004 council members were defeated for reelection. The major reason was that they were using reserves to cover the city’s expenses. Hopefully, representatives of that reasoning and judgment will not be brought back to our city council in this election.

Athens quality of life needs real improvement.  The city has many areas that have not had paving in 30 to 40 years; we still have major sewer problems in spite of a recent 30 percent rate increase, underpaid police officers, many eyesore properties that aren’t being resolved, and many other critical problems that need to be given priority.

The mayor says that people disagreeing with his judgment are complainers sitting on the sidelines. Let’s make it clear, our citizens are all generating sales tax revenue, property taxes, and other sums that finance our city administration costs; they’re hardly sitting on the sidelines. We haven’t achieved goals based upon long-range planning, due to lack of it.  The citizens need to elect astute new management.

We have all the talk about the Square attracting tourists. Our square is one of hundreds in the nation, particularly in the South. Worse, it has many law offices and an Athens State facility, which is not unique. If the Square had antique and collectible stores and retail establishments, that provided a very unique experience to out-of-town visitors, we might be better patronized.  Why can’t Athens artfully improve our downtown with permanent, year-round, drawing power at low cost?  Other cities like ours, across the country, are already doing this. Maybe the powers that be spend too much time promoting self-interests.

I have the details of how to accomplish this artful beautification of our downtown at a fraction of the cost paid for a consultant and signs. It will be presented to the City Council in the near future.

We need forward looking, experienced, financial, and management astute people to lead our city to greater heights in spite of bad economic conditions. Don’t vote for those who’ve shown faulty judgment and those with simple throwaway comments.  This is a serious business that requires the best. Let’s elect new management and retire the current management.

Do your homework in deciding your vote and maybe we can turn things around and become that “gleaming city on a hill” that we all want.


Quentin D. Anderson Jr.



Quotas not fair to anyone

Dear Editor:

Is JC Wilson (no relation) saying the city of Athens failed to hire him because of the color of his skin? That is illegal. If he can prove it, he needs to file a complaint with the EEOC.

I retired 20 years ago, but when I managed a high tech division of my company, I heard this complaint all the time. It always came from white males. We had a quota system and I was required to hire and promote based on what race/gender was due up next. If I had a high tech job opening and the next slot had to be filled with a black female, I had to leave it open until I could find someone who qualified. I could have 5 or 6 openings to fill, but they would be blocked until I filled the one for the black female. I don’t know what the practice is now. I hope they have done away with quotas. It is not fair to anyone.

As I understand it, the NAACP wants the city of Athens to have a quota system where minorities would be given special preference. I could be wrong about that, but what else could they want? “Diversity” has become a code word for hiring less qualified minorities over more qualified non-minorities. That just doesn’t seem right to me. I agree with the goal (more minorities hired), but don’t agree with using quotas to make it happen. I do agree it is a problem that should be addressed.


Bruce Wilson



Lions Club grateful for support

Dear Editor:

In spite of two rainouts, the Athens Lions Club had a very successful 2012 Kiddie Carnival. We would like to thank all the kids, parents and grandparents who came out to support the carnival.

Thanks to all volunteers who helped our Lions Club members operate the rides, take up tickets, do bingo and operate our concessions. A special thanks goes to our Lions, their spouses and families for all your hard work. Thanks to the Sub Deb sorority, the Phi Beta sorority and employees of CDPA accounting firm for your support and help with the rides and concessions.

Thanks to The News Courier for providing publicity regarding the Kiddie Carnival. Also, a special thanks to the Athens Police Department for your support.

It is a pleasure for the Athens Lions Club to operate the carnival for the enjoyment of kids and the community. We appreciate all the support by Athens and surrounding communities.


Lee Watkins


Athens Lions Club