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Letters to the editor February 11, 2009

Local governments seem to think that secrecy from public is proper


I’d like to offer The Daily Triplicate a huge thumbs up for its editorial (“Since when is tourism a low priority?” Jan. 31), which had a very quick response from the City Council on the Visitors Center money.

Some people are slow in realizing how important tourism is to this community. The transient occupancy tax  money is only one aspect; don’t forget the monies spent in our stores, restaurants, and possibly the Sunday church coffers.

But this letter has another purpose as well — to bring attention to this idea that seems to run through our local government entities that secrecy from the public is proper. The example of Mayor Schellong’s e-mail to the Visitors Bureau members of not wanting to address the TOT money in the public forum (“Chairman: Visitors Bureau in peril,” Jan. 31) is, I’m afraid, commonplace.

When I ran as a candidate for a seat on the Del Norte Health Care District Board, I did so because of the secrecy of the board and how it is spending the money it receives from the property tax portion it is entitled to. While Clarke Moore stated in the article (“3 candidates vying for 2 seats on Health Board,” Oct. 29), “I feel I have helped the district and community work together more successfully,” they failed to invite, until recently, the public to board meetings. Mr. Moore even mentions in his Coastal Voices article (“Health District has vital role in county,” Dec. 16) that the board operated under the radar.

These local government entities also find ways to prop each other up, even to the point of giving monies to create boards they can also be on (“Waste panel to pick member,” Dec. 9) to collect more of our funds. The Del Norte Solid Waste Management Authority chose for the last spot available “a public representative,” Jack Reese, who, by the way, was just voted onto the Harbor Commission.

Enough said, we need to make these people accountable at their positions we voted them to be in. I happen to agree with county Supervisor Gerry Hemmingsen that we should look into disbanding the Solid Waste Management Authority (“Is Solid Waste Authority needed?” Jan. 30). That’s a start.

Don Johnson
Crescent City

Country is on perilous course that hopefully will be shortened in 2012

I wish to defend a letter from George Pantell published Jan. 29 (“U.S. has elected partisan with no record of accomplishment”) that was ganged up on by three other writers. What he said about President Obama’s very partisan and liberal track record of no accomplishments prior to winning the election is absolutely correct, except I would add that his involvement with community organizing was worse than nothing at all when election fraud is considered. Now, the president thinks that closing Club Gitmo would make our country safer! I think it’s more like he doesn’t care about our safety.

Mike Tompkins wrote (Jan. 30) that Mr. Pantell’s letter has “the values expected from a very vocal ... segment of America.” What I have noticed however, is that the liberal segment during this election cycle has been far more vocal, as well as rude and lacking personal responsibility.

Yvonne Cipressi wrote (Feb. 3) that Mr Pantell’s letters are always “filled with vehemence toward Democrats.” Vehemence is actually a positive term (Webster sense 2: intense feeling or strong passion). I am just as vehement in saying that the bandits in control now have the Republicans way trumped in the lying and fraud departments.

Walt Morse wrote (Feb 3) that “your guy lost badly,” and I say John McCain did not lose badly: 55 million votes, 44 percent; 10 more states, 300 times the square miles won, and more population of counties won is not a bad showing — all that without defrauding the election or having a well-oiled group of filthy rich supporting organizations. It is the unjust Electoral College that made it look worse than it really was.

Let us not forget that Congress is as much to blame as President Bush for the fix we are in. And now the new Congress and president want to sneak through this $1 trillion “porkulous” monster that will mortgage our children’s future to pay off this well-oiled group; I call it patent robbery. No Republican House member voted for it, and the three Republican stooges in the Senate likely to support it should be ousted next election.

This country is now headed down a reckless, irresponsible and perilous course that I only hope will be shortened by 2012.

Rey Kleinsasser
Crescent City
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