We encourage readers to submit letters to the editor on issues of interest to East Valley residents. Submissions should be no longer than 300 words, factually accurate and original thoughts of the writer. Please be brief and include name, address, city and phone number for verification. Letters and call-in comments may be edited for clarity and length.
CHANDLER CITY COUNCIL
Sepulveda not the bad guy
It appears that Dennis Welch’s reporting on Chandler Councilman Martin Sepulveda’s phone bill has created quite a stir, and his political opponents can hardly conceal their glee. The biggest overreaction is from Councilman Lowell Huggins, who is actually calling for a criminal investigation into the matter. I would think the city manager, who’s supposed to be nonpolitical, would be responsible for mistakes whenever taxpayer funds are spent. The story has turned into a political witch hunt, with the city manager, other council members and
now the mayor now circling the wagons.
The council should do more than just “weigh in” on the issue; they should settle it by creating a policy that will clear up the confusion. I just hope that they scrutinize the rest of Chandler’s proposed $1.1 billion budget as much as they have the phone bill of one council member.
Overall, it appears to be a case of blaming the messenger, though there are still some outstanding questions: Why would the city manager pay anyone’s phone bill without having the bill, why would the city manager pay a bill without a written agreement to do so, and why is it so hard to understand that his phone was in his wife’s name when he was in Iraq?
Sepulveda’s merely being caught in the crossfire between some ornery council members and a city staff trying to cover themselves for not doing their job properly.
WOMEN AS LEADERS
Other countries have them
If Chile can have a woman president, and Norway can have a woman president, and Germany can have a woman president, why can’t we? Then maybe we wouldn’t go to war all the time and kill people. We could have universal health care and things would be much improved. Or would that be too civilized?
MARY F. RICHARDS
Continue IRA rollover
During 2006 and 2007, Congress authorized the charitable IRA rollover, permitting taxpayers age 70½ and older to make tax-free charitable gifts totaling up to $100,000 per year from traditional Individual Retirement Accounts and Roth IRAs. Lawmakers should extend such privileges beyond 2007, recognizing it will encourage increased charitable giving by rewarding Americans who make donations to charitable organizations.
Do charitable contributions from IRAs count toward your annual IRA distribution requirement? Yes, you can give your required distribution to a qualified charitable organization without having to count it in your taxable income. In order to benefit from the tax-free treatment, you must obtain written confirmation of each IRA rollover contribution from each recipient charity. Consult your tax or legal advisor for professional guidance as to these tax advantages. And write your congressman asking for extension of the 2006-07 charitable IRA rollover before it expires in 2008.
Do you read own paper?
I found your editorial “Gore’s Nobel isn’t so hot” (Our View, Monday), which slammed Al Gore, his film as well as the notion that global warming is a legitimate threat, to be a bit perplexing. A search of the Tribune Web site revealed no less than 237 articles that have appeared in your newspaper, most of which validate the notion that global warming is a concern, including the facts that the Earth has experienced two of its hottest years on record in the past three years and the Northwest Passage will now allow ships to pass through, something unheard of in recorded history. The next time your editors decide to trash someone, they might do a little research first, starting with the Tribune itself.
Ignoring major parties selfish
I haven’t heard anyone make my point about what James Dobson and others are proposing. When I hear them speak, the word they seem to use most often is “I”. I’m tired of being taken for granted. I can’t cast my vote for someone who doesn’t think like I do. I have to make my voice heard. Why do people think their vote is like a letter to the editor? That it’s their way of making a statement? These people, many of whom feel morally superior, are acting in a completely immoral way. But they don’t see it. Voting is about setting policy. It’s about setting the course of the nation or states. And it has long-lasting ramifications on everybody.
It is a reality, for good or bad, that this presidential election will be won by a Republican or Democrat. Sorry, that’s the way it is. Any voter who refuses to vote for who they see as the better of the two, is helping to burden the nation with the one they admittedly see as the worst. That is not a principled stand. That is the absence of principle.
Most of them like to use cute clichés like “the lesser of two evils is still evil.” While it may make them feel better, it doesn’t change the fact they are participating in forcing the greater of the two evils, by their own standards, upon the rest of us. If Dobson and the others succeed in propping up a third party candidate, they will need to run under the Narcissism Party.
This left me feeling melancholy
This anonymous quotation from a California dog club newsletter prompts more sad thoughts of the Chandler police K-9, Bandit: “He is your friend, your partner, your defender, you dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.”
Preserve community excellence
Good schools are the foundation of a healthy community. Most people understand that to attract new business and maintain property values, a healthy public school system is vital. We in Scottsdale have all benefited from a school system that has a reputation for excellence. But in order to continue this excellence, we must make a commitment to maintain high standards and a willingness by the community to make wise investments in staff, teaching tools and technology. That is why we urge voters to vote “yes” on Nov. 6 for the Scottsdale Unified School District’s maintenance and operations override and for the capital override.
The overrides will benefit all voters. Communities with excellent schools are more attractive to homebuyers. Investing in your local school enhances your most important measure of wealth, the value of your home. Good schools attract quality jobs. Businesses rank quality of life as a major factor when looking to relocate or expand existing facilities. Good jobs require people who are smart, well-educated, and familiar with the newest technologies. Investing in our schools creates a knowledgeable workforce. Providing students access to today’s technology prepares them to be competitive.
The state of Arizona has set a floor for school support that provides for only the basics of an education. Overrides give local voters the opportunity to say that our children, our schools, and our community deserve more than the basics. Let’s preserve our successes by maintaining the quality of education we have come to expect from our schools. Please vote “yes” and “yes” for the SUSD maintenance and operations override and the capital override on Nov. 6.
CAMPAIGN MANAGER, YES TO CHILDREN
VIRGINIA KORTE BRAD CASPER
Show us the money
I agree with Rickie Currens’ Oct. 6 letter to the editor that more information be made available by your publication, so that the taxpayers can see where the large increases in the Scottsdale Unified School District’s budget are going and why the increases are needed. The total tax revenues flowing to the district will be increased dramatically just by the increase in property values. In my case, the school budget will increase 19.4 percent, the bonds by 100 percent, and the override by 32.8 percent — a total increase of 36.1 percent, or $955 in my case. True, the assessed values of properties were increased greatly — in my case almost 100 percent — but there should be a somewhat corresponding decrease in the tax rate.