Election letters to the editor: Aug. 30 - East Valley Tribune: Opinion

Election letters to the editor: Aug. 30

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Posted: Saturday, August 30, 2008 6:45 pm | Updated: 10:27 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

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.

Submit your letter to the editor

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.

Submit your letter to the editor


Orlando ready to serve again

For more than 30 years, I’ve been privileged to serve our nation, state and the city of Chandler. I recently retired as a colonel with 30 years of military service, both active duty Air Force and in the Arizona Air National Guard.

Although my military service to the nation and state has ended, with your vote, I would be honored to continue serving the residents of Chandler.

Pat, my wife of 30 years, and my three children have made Chandler our home for more than 25 years. For most of those years, I made service to our community a major focus of my life. Whether it was serving as chair of the YMCA board, coaching one of your children in youth sports, or my 12 years on the City Council, I have enjoyed serving Chandler and making our community one of the best places to live in the U.S.

Over the past four years, I made open and honest government as well as listening to residents the cornerstone of my service. I worked hard to improve public safety and to provide safe, clean, and sustainable neighborhoods.

I worked hard to ensure we had a great economy with employment growth of more than 21,000 new jobs. I worked hard to improve our transportation infrastructure. Most of all, I pride myself on working with you and your neighbors on issues that affect your neighborhood.

With all of our progress, there is still much more work to be done. With your support, we can make Chandler an even better community to live, work, and play in. You can find out more about my vision for Chandler by going to my Web site: www.mattorlando.com.




Schmuck knows importance of service before self

The other day I was reading the editorial section and I came across a letter by retired Maj. Frederick Ferguson endorsing Frank Schmuck for state representative in District 20. As a fellow service member and veteran, I recognized Ferguson’s name. His article strongly endorsed Schmuck, but it did not make any mention of Ferguson being one of 102 living recipients of the Medal of Honor. This important piece of missing information let’s us know what types of people are supporting the Schmuck campaign. In this case, a renowned man of unwavering fortitude, selfless service and sound judgment is supporting Frank Schmuck.

Ferguson received the Medal of Honor as a result of his gallant and selfless service during the Vietnam War. Ferguson’s actions as an Army aviator illustrated what it means to put others before self as he saved the lives of five American soldiers who were besieged by enemy forces. The Medal of Honor is the highest military honor bestowed by the president of the Unites States.

Ferguson’s actions of putting others before himself reflect what the Schmuck campaign is all about. Frank Schmuck’s momentum to serve is derived from his passion to serve the collective will of the good people of District 20. Just as Ferguson served a cause greater than himself, Schmuck yearns to do the same for the people of District 20.



Time for Pearce to go

As a self-proclaimed national leader on mass deportation, Russell Pearce has offered a “fanatical solution” to the immigration problem by declaring on air waves, “We know what we need to do. In 1953, Dwight D. Eisenhower put together a task force called 'Operation Wetback.’ He removed, in less than a year, 1.3 million illegal aliens. They must be deported.” The derogatory comment was offensive to Latinos. Pearce never apologized and was rewarded with re-election.

Re-electing Pearce in 2006 was electoral amnesty and a setback in the Reagan “big tent” movement. I look at this election in District 18 as an intervention. Mesa doesn’t need the continued embarrassment and should reject Pearce.



Pearce serves self, not people

Long before immigration became an important problem for Arizona, Russell Pearce was an Arizona problem. The governor is correct; Pearce’s public record is reason to reject his being elevated to the Senate.

Anti-government and anti-tax, he has been on the government dole most of his life as a deputy sheriff, state employee, justice of the peace pro temp and eight years as a state representative. One of those who campaigned for term limits, he is among the legislators who exhausted terms in the House and then runs for the Senate.

At one time, former Chief Justice Robert Jones decreed that all pro temp justices of the peace were required to be attorneys because it was common for those not educated in law to apply their opinion of the law with no consistency. Pearce took it as a personal affront and he led in introducing several bills in the Legislature to take control of judicial appointments and other ways to exert more power over the courts.

His followers are admirers of Sen. Karen Johnson, another anti-government, anti-tax, pro-term limits and English-only resident of legislative District 18. They have no concerns about Pearce filling Johnson’s shoes. For those of us who try to communicate with Pearce’s type or who belong to another party, you run the risk of being ejected or arrested if you try to interrupt their lobbyist dog-and-pony shows with real-life problems.




Anderson best GOP choice in CD5

The election to replace Rep. Harry Mitchell, D-Ariz., will be held soon. One candidate on the Republican side stands out. State Rep. Mark Anderson, R-Mesa, is the only one running who has legislative experience and has never lost an election. There is a reason why he has been elected seven times in a conservative district. He is consistent, principled and an effective lawmaker.

I am very grateful to him for sponsoring the tuition tax credit bill and shepherding it through the minefield of the legislative process. This has empowered hundreds of parents like myself to have options and choices for our children to attend schools that support our values.

Mark Anderson sets high goals for our country and uses the law-making and legislative procedure to accomplish them. He is a political leader in the best sense of the word and will represent us well in Congressional District 5.




Cox would work hard for Highland

JC Cox will work for you if elected Highland district justice of the peace. He is an outstanding citizen with a wide variety of skills and abilities, as well as formal educational and business training. JC is the best man for this position because he is honest, understanding and able to work with people well. I’ve known JC for more than seven years, and looking at his family life and educational background, you can see that JC will be dedicated, work hard in his position, and excel at what he does. His honorable status in his pending graduation from law school also shows that he has experience with law that other candidates lack.



Penson has the best skills

I do not personally know any of the four Republican candidates running for Highland justice of the peace, but I have done my homework. Jolene Penson is the best candidate to hold the job. She knows the laws through her paralegal training and experience .

Penson has volunteered at the grassroots level, helping kids and teenagers at risk in the community. She volunteers in a Maricopa County Sheriff Office’s drug rehabilitation program helping inmates study for their high school equivalency diploma. I spoke with her briefly at the recent Gilbert forum held for school board candidates and she told me she has three passions: 1) help our youth, 2) keep our community safer, and 3) education. There were two Town Council members at this important forum, but Penson was the only justice of the peace candidate in attendance.

Penson has conservative values, is pro-life and against gay marriage. She has a strong legal background and has a lot of experience in dispute resolution, conflict resolution and progressive discipline. She is also a civil traffic hearing officer, so she possesses all of the skills she’ll need as a justice of the peace.



Dodge’s experience carries day

Dan Dodge is my choice for our new justice of the peace. Why? No other candidate has his background working in both court administration and as a hearing officer and commissioner. No other candidate has his many years of commitment to Gilbert in so many appointed and volunteer positions. No other candidate has served the town as a volunteer commissioner and hearing officer for more than 17 years. Dan is a person you can trust and be trusted. His character is sound and one to be emulated. I know from working with him that he will certainly get the job done.





Use vote to boost downtown

We have candidates for our City Council who claim they want to “preserve” Scottsdale by restricting elevations and density. What they don’t mention is that the higher elevations and densities inside our downtown footprint are what was needed to make development projects economically viable.

Without these progressive changes, a quarter of the downtown buildings on Scottsdale Road sat vacant, an Old Town/5th Avenue business went bankrupt nearly every month, and a prime 10-acre waterfront parcel languished dormant for more than a decade. For our economic vitality, we need a council that supports progressive programs in our downtown — progressive programs for higher elevations, increased density, simplified zoning, streamlined project/permit approvals, even more free parking and improved pedestrian connectivity.

Nearly every candidate supports “traffic improvements,” but there’s a major difference in the cost-effectiveness of their ideas. Once the new hotels and condos are completed, downtown traffic will gridlock unless we take decisive action now. A study by a national traffic expert found that more than 25 percent of vehicle trips in downtown areas are less than a half mile in length. This means Scottsdale could reduce downtown traffic congestion by more than 25 percent by providing better/safer pedestrian pathways, most significantly, getting pedestrians quickly and safely across streets.

For a fraction of the cost it would take to widen roads, pedestrian underpasses and overpasses could keep downtown residents, workers, and hotels guests out of their cars and off downtown streets. This would significantly reduce traffic congestion and create an urban pedestrian paradise, making downtown Scottsdale an even more desirable place to live, work, and shop. Please help make this a reality and vote for the progressive candidates for the Scottsdale City Council.



Time for change

Let’s get serious folks — eight is enough! With current Mayor Mary Manross, that would be 16 years (eight on the council and eight as mayor). Being mayor of a city was never intended to be a career position. Evidently, Manross thinks differently. Therein lies the problem. Look at the endorsements she has been able to obtain — heartfelt or twisted arm?

When politicians get entrenched in their positions, unfortunately perception outweighs reality and those who do business with the city can feel compromised. What will happen if I buck the system? Can the mighty hand of government come down on me? Which begs the question — is this how citizens should feel when addressing the City Council and/or conducting business at City Hall? Wouldn’t it be nice to have openness and honesty return to City Hall?

It’s time to give Scottsdale’s wannabe career politician her retirement notice. Just say no to the status quo!



Chamber actions questionable

The Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce does not represent the citizens/residents of Scottsdale. Information they provide will be in the best interest in representing those who fund them — included are the developers.

The Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit, membership-driven organization representing nearly 1,800 member businesses and individuals. They are funded through membership dues and corporate investments. My understanding is that about 50 percent of their membership does not live in or pay Scottsdale taxes.

The Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce has recently actively supported Mayor Manross, Betty Drake, Ron McCullagh and Suzanne Klapp with colorful mailers and TV spots, this during an election period where all four individuals are running for re-election/election.

It appears that the chamber of commerce, a nonprofit organization, is spending funding from membership dues and corporate investments on the promotion of these select individuals. If this is the case, the developers have been helping to fund the additional exposure for these three incumbents and City Council candidate right before an election. Red flags anyone?



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