Letters to the Editor

Amending Constitution is only hope

With the new rights of corporations to spend unlimited money to elect their candidate, everything is changed. We now have government of the corporations, by the corporations and for the corporations.

We have only one far-off hope to change this, and that is to support the effort to amend the Constitution. It will be a long, hard struggle — but we should start.

Norma Anderson


Shame on vandals in Sherwood Park

To the vandals who shattered beer bottles on the Sherwood Park toddlers' merry-go-round:

Shame! Shame! Shame!

Mary Gillette


Don't supplement the faux homeless

Homeless people are not the "targets" of the donation boxes in downtown Ashland. The legitimately homeless have safety nets and government resources that will be supplemented by the boxes that have been installed.

The people who are being "targeted" are the ones who deserve to be: arrogant teenagers and twenty-something dropout anarchists with no sense of respect or decency, a contempt for capitalism which seems to conveniently dissolve when they want a handout, and sufficient intellectual capacity to make snarky comments when hard-working citizens refuse to give them one.

Throw the bums out, I say. Boot them into the next county. The local police should spend less time harassing taxpaying citizens for driving at 0.1 mph over the speed limit and more time getting their act together to form a real task force that gets the fake homeless the heck out of Ashland and the legitimately homeless swept up into shelters. Maybe we need vigilante justice, like with the Guardian Angels in New York.

Of course, I'm a libertarian who believes in personal accountability and efficient government, which puts me in the minority around here! How much do the local cops cost us in tax dollars, anyway? Why should we have to supplement the faux homeless, as well?

Jeffrey Gillespie


DeBoer caused city's fiscal crisis

Alan DeBoer's failed fiscal policies during his last tenure as mayor make it easy to vote against him. Irresponsibly, he brought the city to severe crisis by tapping into ending fund balances as a source of revenue instead of making real cuts or allowing modest tax increases. This left the city without reserves and forced subsequent councils to raise taxes and make drastic cuts to stabilize the city's financial position.

Many city funds continue to fail at meeting ending fund targets, necessary maintenance has been deferred, and essential services are threatened. Drastic and superficial policies like those Mr. DeBoer pushed through can and have taken years to recover from. Worst of all, these policies were enacted during a period when the economy was robust and reserves should have grown. Instead, the city has had to backfill against the undisciplined DeBoer era during a period when revenues are down and unpredictable.

At the height of the economic crisis, the situation was so acute for the city that significant staff layoffs mid-fiscal year were the only solution because no reserves existed. Ashland has seen the impacts of this lack of discipline and will not make this mistake twice.

Eric Navickas


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