‘We are watching’
As a member of one of the many retiree homeowner households in this county, I want to point out that we are not able to vote a raise for ourselves, nor do we have a union to negotiate for us. Yet our cost of living is constantly going up.
We get squeezed by hikes in taxes and fees, increasing costs for Medicare and medical services, the nation’s highest cost for electricity, and groceries and gas are also very expensive here.
We are not convinced that (Mayor Billy Kenoi’s) entire proposed hike in real estate taxes is warranted at this time. The proposed increase far exceeds the rate of inflation, but we are not getting a cost-of-living adjustment for our home budgets.
This is not yet the time for all kinds of “nice to have” projects. The votes at a recent County Council meeting were largely devoted to shuffling large sums of money between accounts so that the funds could be used during this fiscal year. Therefore, it appears that the current budget may have had some slack in it, and the proposed budget for the next fiscal year has some items in it that should be removed.
We support funding the police, fire and prosecutor departments and the contracted obligations of the county. We have to have clean water to drink and safe roads to drive on (safe sidewalks would also be appreciated). We object to giving council members a $900,000 slush fund to make themselves popular in their districts with a view to re-election.
We also object to increasing the vast empire of the Parks & Recreation Department, which already sends employees to mow grass when there is nothing to mow and just churn up the mud.
We suspect that there are other items in the proposed budget that could be slashed or trimmed and that further economies and efficiencies could be found in each department. That is what we have to do in our own households. County Council members, we are watching you closely.
Adrienne S. Dey
Heal the planet
In the wake of the Oklahoma tornado disaster, everyone has to question the way mankind is going about its ways. I personally think that mankind is destroying this God-given planet, Earth. In my mind, more trees, population control and cleaner energy (solar power) is a key to the healing of beautiful planet Earth.
Worldwide, I strongly feel there should be a push for more trees or forestry. Trees clean the air of contaminants and supply the oh-so-important oxygen mankind needs to survive on.
Yes, we are living in a time of dire straights on planet Earth, where mankind has virtually destroyed this pristine planet. A strong emphasis on tree growing (forestry) worldwide, population control and cleaner energy (solar power) can help heal planet Earth, which is definitely hurting. Just look at the Oklahoma tornado disaster.