Letters to the Editor: Aug. 29, 2012

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Challenge to school board


At last Thursday night’s school board meeting, those of us who think we don't need another increase in school tax got close to a win. For about five minutes, we had a 3-2 “no” vote from the board. Then Chairman Eddie Mathis asked that the decision be reconsidered. It was.

At that time, board member Sam Hinkle let loose with a presentation that would have the writers of a Matlockrerun jealous. At one point saying "if we can't afford to educate all these students, can we just ask some to leave?" It worked. Board member Brenda Jackson changed her vote.

I suppose you could give Mathis or Jackson the credit for this latest tax increase on the citizens of Shelby County. For me it all rested on the shoulders of board member Hinkle. When he was giving what mirrored a courtroom summation, he insinuated that some of us who spoke against the increase were questioning how Superintendent James Neihof handled the funds in his budget. Saying that if an audit ever showed any miss use of funds, he would be all over that.

For me that has never been in question. I would trust James Neihof with my personal checkbook, if need be. What I do question is how hard the board is looking for small points where tax money could be better spent. There were three school administration numbers crunchers at the meeting, four if you count the superintendent. They all seemed to be doing a great job. What I didn't hear from was the board’s efficiency expert. I am not suggesting the superintendent should use any part of his budget on an efficiency person or group. That’s the school board’s job. That's the job we, as voting taxpayers, entrusted to them when we elected them to the board, to be sure our tax dollars were used wisely and efficiently. I would like to be sure that is happening. It's not always easy to see everything if you are standing close.

Here is a thought: Teachers, if you know of a place your tax dollars could be better used, bring it to the board. Maybe there is savings there that could be used to increase teachers’ pay. I would be all for that. This tax increase would be much easier for me to digest if more of this money was going to teachers.

John Wills


Good deed noted


On Aug. 12, I had to go to Walmart for some things and then returned to my son’s home. When I got there, I realized I had left my purse in the shopping cart out in the parking lot. I told my family to pray about it and returned to the store. The purse was not in the cart, and I went inside to see if it had been turned in. It had – and nothing was missing!

I praised God and thanked him over and over again for his watch over me. I also want to thank the person who found my purse and turned it in – all in, as you found it. I am so proud of you. I thanked God for you, and I asked him to bless you.

Jayne Axline


More on immigration


Eugene Maynard is correct in every aspect but one in his response to my comments about immigration (“About those immigration complaints,” Letters to the editor, July 25): Before law, people came to and fro freely from every part of the world with no regulations or passport. With the law, and its application, I agree with him 100 percent. However, the way the law is implemented is benign at best.

But since when is “slavery” an issue? We complain, but we let American corporations enslave constantly populations with less pay as we do here to our people who don’t receive decent wages or benefits. That in itself constitutes “enslavement” of our own. Mexico as well as America is “guilty” of this, but we complain about China.

Edgar Oliveras