Letters to the Editor

Verona alderman defends his position
I would like to answer a letter to the editor written by a Verona citizen Sept. 20. This citizen lives in Ward 4 in Verona. This is the ward that I was elected to serve. This citizen has never called me to discuss the fire department, yet he attacked me without knowing what my thoughts are. Anyone who has been to Verona in the last six years has seen the things I have done for the city at no cost to the city. I have also recruited five sales-tax-paying businesses that are operating in Verona today.
Verona is not a wealthy city and like most small towns, our revenues are down. I have looked for help on the revenue side, but none is available. I have asked for ideas on how to increase our revenues. The only ideas have been to increase property taxes or set up a speed trap to write more tickets. I will not vote for either of these. The only idea that would have increased revenues was voted down.
We spend $24,500 each year on streets and sidewalks in Verona. We spend $250,000 each year to operate our fire department. Nettleton spends $18,450 each year to operate their fire department, and they have a fire rating of a seven. Shannon spends $25,000 each year to operate their fire department, and they have fire rating of a seven. Plantersville spends $13,780 each year to operate their fire department, and they have a fire rating of an eight. Verona spends $250,000 each year and we have a fire rating of a seven. We spend over four times as much as the other three towns added together. We do not have one fireman that lives in the City of Verona. Verona citizens do need to come to the meetings and ask questions. We are spending every dollar of our sales tax receipts on the fire department. With this type of spending, we will never have money left for any of the needed improvements to our city.
Some Verona citizens do not want anyone to question the operation of any department or the spending of the public’s money. That is not good government. Each citizen has a right to question the expenditure of all public monies, but a member of a board has an obligation to question the expenditures of public monies. I was elected to look at the operation of all city departments and the expenditure of all public monies, and I will continue to do so. This is good government.
Julian Riley
Alderman, Ward 4

Many passed without aiding stranded driver
On a recent Tuesday night during the pouring-down rain my daughter’s car died in the left hand turn lane at Coley Road and West Main. Sitting there with her flashers on, everyone’s blowing his horn at her, and a policeman goes on by, offering no assistance. Luckily a very nice man stopped and pushed her vehicle into the Exxon parking lot. Thank you so very much, sir, for your much appreciated act of kindness.
Patsy Grissom

Health care: There’s a skunk in the pantry
There has been a lot of news lately about health reform and its costs. One solution that would help reduce the cost is to take a few million from what is left in the stimulus package and hire investigators to investigate Medicare/Medicaid fraud and overcharges. What can be saved would more than pay for the health care program. Some examples are: Medicare paying $1,200 rent on wheelchairs that can be purchased for less than $300; paying $6,000 for a single shot; and drug companies charging $697 for a prescription that can be purchased in Canada for $55. Doctors overcharging on their bills because they know Medicare will only approve 80 percent of the total bill.
It has been reported that drug companies will pledge $8 billion a year for the next 10 years to help reduce the costs of prescriptions. What? The drug companies have numerous high priced lobbyists to influence favorable legislation and they want to reduce their bottom line by $80 billion? There has to be a skunk in the pantry. There has to be benefits for the drug companies somewhere down the line. Whatever the benefits are, they will certainly not reduce the cost of drugs.
Earnest “Dee” Streit

Flood insurance is too often neglected
For several days we looked outside and saw the rain fall almost every few hours. Had it rained here like it has in Georgia, about half of Lee County and Tupelo would be under water.
To get to my point, most businesses and homeowners in the flood plain don’t have flood insurance. The reason most give is, oh, we won’t ever need it. Why buy flood insurance when the government will help us if it floods? Just keep thinking that way and learn the hard way.
Flood damage to your home or business is not covered under your business or homeowners policy. Your home can be flooded even if you don’t live in a flood prone area.
With all the new developments and road building, when it rains nonstop, the rain has no place to go but to flood.
Flood insurance is readily available and the cost of a flood policy is determined by the elevation certification of your location. Some have been misinformed about whether your home or business is in a flood zone.
I have seen this area under water several times during my lifetime. We just missed this one by intervals between showers.
Lamar Smith
Lee County

Our country seems ‘enveloped in fear’
Whatever possessed Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., to act in such a manner during the recent presidential address remains an enigma. As we often hear, maybe it’s something in the water.
However, this incident is just one of numerous attacks levied against President Obama. Initially, his birth certificate was put on the witness stand. Following this, when health care reform discussions began, former Gov. Sarah Palin, through vindictiveness, chose to go the fear route with her threats of death panels, commonly described as “pulling the plug on Grandma.” Recently, amid accusations, the president delivered an invigorating message to students around the country. President Reagan, as well as Presidents Bush 41 and 43 addressed the nation’s school children, yet many parents were terrified of our present commander-in-chief as if we were under nuclear attack.
Simply put, this country is enveloped with fear. For the GOP, this is manna and they thrive on it. Obviously, it’s the foundation of the party. Now that they’ve been hammered in the election last November, it’s time to move on and re-group. In other words, “get over it.”
Concerning the health care debacle, this should be a no-brainer. Anyone of even average intelligence should be able to comprehend that health care is a right, not a privilege. Reform is desperately needed to provide affordable insurance plans for patients as well as create accountability for the insurance industry.
Parents and teachers, the president is sending a wake-up call to the nation’s children. Stay in school! Does this terrify you? Re-examine yourselves. If you want something to fear, think of nuts such as Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh.
It’s rather amazing, don’t you think, that with two wars being crammed down our throats, an economy that has yet to find its bearings, and a health care brouhaha continually being kicked down the road that we have so much time to concentrate on a birth certificate ?
Maybe this is the American way.
Kathy Fealhaber

Obama’s health care promise can’t be true
In his speech to Congress, President Obama promised people with health insurance that it will be against the law for an insurance company to deny coverage because of a pre-existing condition, for an insurance company to ever drop your coverage, to place any limit on how much could ever be paid out on a policy, to ask you to pay more out of your pocket for health care than the limit set by the government regardless of the care required, and to charge you higher premiums even though all policies must pay for checkups and preventative care.
Sounds good, doesn’t it? But to make all of these promises with the understanding that you can keep what you have and that premiums will not go up defies common sense. It just does not add up.
President Obama’s plan would require every individual American to have health insurance and every business to offer it to its employees or pay a fine. Yet he says he would exempt “95 percent of all small businesses” from the requirement. Small businesses employ over half of all the private sector workers in the country. How can he achieve his goals without including them in his plan?
Obama said he “will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits.” He admits that his plan will cost nearly $1 trillion over 10 years and says that it will be largely paid for with savings from Medicare and Medicaid and new taxes on health insurance companies. Taking $500 billion out of Medicare and Medicaid will have a big impact. The president’s waste may be the health care you need.
The president said, “I am not the first president to take up this cause, but I am determined to be the last.” I am concerned about anyone who thinks he is the last word on an issue. Health care is complex and intensely personal. A little humility in listening to people would go a long way toward developing a better approach.
Linda Pearson

Glenn Beck some day will answer to God
It really disturbs me that certain commentators think that it is okay to disrespect the president of the United States of America.
They continue to distort facts and make wild accusations about the president’s proposed policies that they know are not true. I believe that this has caused a lot of hate and has made some people distrust our president. I wonder if he and the other people that have been doing this realize that conjuring up all of this hate is doing nothing to help or heal this country. I now realize that things like racism will never truly go away. I also know that this is 2009 and not 1609.
People will never go back to those days, not ever, and as an African-American woman, I can tell you that those days are over. It is over and they need to accept that and deal with it. As for Glenn Beck, he may not have to answer to me but he will have to answer to God some day. I hope he realizes that the lies will for sure stop then.
We as a country can do better than this. We are supposed to be better than this. Let’s start acting like the great country we are and try to work together for the common good.
Janice Floyd

NEMS Daily Journal

Click video to hear audio