The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

February 24, 2013

Letters to the Editor 2/24/13


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 adam@athensnews-courier.com.

Sick of GOP rhetoric

Dear Editor:

Never have I seen any political party act the way this one does; they say so many things that are very misleading, distortions and outright lies as do so many Republicans in the Congress, and a few in the Senate.

I watched the speech by Obama, and the speaker of the house looked as if he was having gas pains; he also had a very hostile look throughout the speech. Just what can be driving someone that should help us, but instead seems to be trying to destroy the middle class, elderly and this country?

About all they have done is obstruct Obama and just about everything that would help this country and its citizens, although most of the country approved of his plans. Since 2008 they have tried everything they could do to discredit his administration.

I’m not sure if it’s because they lost the election, hate, discrimination or angry because they did not get a chance to implement a terrible agenda. The same old Republicans are on TV almost every day with more distortions trying to brainwash everyone with their propaganda (it makes me sick to listen to them).

I also believe the majority of this country’s citizens know just what they are trying to do to this country, and most of the Republicans will probably be voted out of their taxpayer’s luxurious office. Then they’ll receive a taxpayer-funded retirement entitlement.

I feel sure there are some that are not controlled by the NRA, corporations or super rich and “famous,” but the good has to suffer with the bad. If you want to see and hear what many believe is the truth, stop watching Fox News and switch to MSNBC. I believe you’ll find it very informative.

Oh well, it’s just my opinion along with many others that I have talked to. Maybe if they would read Proverbs 11 it would provide them with a small ray of wonderful light. I am a happy independent, no connection to either political party. Let everything that has breath, praise the Lord.

Sincerely,

Capt. F.E. “Jack” Morgan (retired)

Athens

Less control,

more living

Dear Editor:

There are many reasons that we residents of Athens and Limestone County choose to live here. Ultimately though, most will agree that we like living away from the bustle and confinements of big cities. 

The boundaries and confinements of a metropolis are not just the physical limitations of small or nonexistent front yards, of traffic-clogged streets, or of hundreds of apartments and multistory buildings on every block. There are numerous regulations, edicts, rules, laws, and codes that facilitate government controls that are placed on people living so close to each other.  These various controls are considered to be necessary because city residents have seemingly lost touch with a part of reality. Generally, they don’t know their neighbors, and they don’t care; they live in a constant me-first world; they tend to distrust everyone around them. These sentiments lead to higher crime rates, less civility, and lowered ethical/moral expectations. 

I’m not saying by any means that Limestone County residents are better than anyone else, but perhaps we have managed to reach a more balanced concept of what entails a more relaxed and peaceful existence. We have federal and state level constitutions that, when followed properly, effectively establish guidelines for American citizens. We have our local elected government officials whom have sworn to uphold these constitutions, and with reasonable and moral residents, that is all we need. We don’t need to be saddled with more regulations and controls such as those that home-rule and noise ordinances would bring. 

Earlier this month, in this newspaper, was an article about an Elkmont resident who was seeking to have a noise ordinance put into place in Limestone County. He was plagued by his neighbor’s barking dogs, but rather than resolving the issue on his personal level, he wants all of us Limestone residents to suffer the wrenching consequences of added controls, which are really quite unnecessary. Will there be a time when we too, in our comfortable Limestone County dwellings, might be tempted to sever another tie with reality, and succumb to home-rule controls and noise ordinance restrictive conditions?

Perhaps that may come about, or perhaps we will be able to recognize what these things can take away from our lives, before it is too late. Then, we could try to work together as functional and rational human beings to resolve differences in ways that don’t adversely affect the lives of everyone else around us.

Sincerely,

Mike Wahl

Athens

More on visibility,

accountability

Dear Editor:

In response to my letter to the editor of Feb. 10, suggesting that the city leaders and administration provide certain financial information to Athens citizens, City Council President Harold Wales contacted, and met with me regarding the data I had requested.  Council Wales and I discussed the data the city has available at this time. 

What he presented to me was a complete and comprehensive view as to how well the city is managing taxpayer revenue versus its budgeted items. The discussions, review and explanation of what I had requested were excellent. In my opinion, and based on past professional experience, it reflected that the city’s administration is doing a very good job, across the board, of managing taxpayer dollars. Also, it appears the impact of the tax increase, which went into effect beginning Jan. 1, is happening as forecasted and planned.  Councilman Wales noted that as additional data becomes available, a better and more comprehensive review of my entire request would take place at that time.  He suggested the meeting and review take place in early April at which time a full three months of data would be available.

In closing, I found Councilman Wales, as usual, to be most responsive to one of my requests. He and the entire council provide an excellent stewardship of our city. I want to express my many thanks in particular to Councilman Wales. For me, he is the correct “go to” guy when trying to obtain support and answers for my many questions and requests for information.

And as a definite PS, I would like to add that I have found the Courier continues to be most proactive when covering our local government’s actions and activities. Their reporting of the latest news and continuing updates is crucial to our knowing what is happening and what the levels are of continuing county and city administrative performance.

Sincerely,

Ralph Diggins

Athens

Use intelligent procedure

Dear Editor:

Ms. Linda Nelson is a fine person who says she doesn’t understand why the courthouse’s one set of stairs needs to be removed. She further states that she has hundreds of people’s names on a petition to retain the stairs. Those stairs need removal for two reasons:

1. It does not in any way inhibit the use of the duplicate set of stairs in the courthouse. 

2. It will cost the taxpayers $256,000 to make the necessary elevator replacement if they can’t remove that one set of stairs and will impede the addition of space to be used for our court system. 

The new elevator is necessary to accommodate the needs of disabled persons to easily use along with their wheelchairs and walkers and escorts. There is also the need for greater security for transporting prisoners to and from the courts. This county has over 84,000 residents that use the courthouse versus a few hundred people that want to keep the stairs because a certain judge once used them. This is ludicrous.

Historical sites and buildings, if representing important enough major historical events or uses and certain examples of rapidly disappearing architecture, are reasonable examples of justified situations. There is no reasonable justification to take an unreasonable position to satisfy one’s personal desires or ego at exorbitant taxpayer expense.

Let’s take a moment and look at the real world and the hard pressed taxpayers and what is and is not critical to the needs of everyday citizens, not some inflated ideas of what is of critical importance. Instead of saying we don’t understand why the stairs must be removed, why not take the time to confer with the construction manager to determine what other choice there is that won’t unnecessarily cost the taxpayers badly needed funds for other more pressing problems.

The bottom line is that proceeding as recommended by the architects and construction manager, at the least cost to the taxpayer, is the most intelligent procedure. This unnecessary delay is causing the courts, the district attorney’s office, alleged law violators, and the citizens that have suffered due to criminal activity, impediment for no good reason.

Please show your support for proceeding with the original plans with no further delay.  Support the County Commission and the construction manager’s original decision to make needed renovations to improve citizens’ safety and the disabled person’s ability to use the courthouse.

Sincerely,

Quentin D. Anderson Sr.

Athens