LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Council president disappointed with editorial
I read the Daily Journal’s editorial of July 30 titled “Bus system talks” with great disappointment. The editorial certainly seems to suggest that the City Council generally, and Mike Bryan specifically, advocates holding private meetings in contravention of state law. I am confident that was not the intent of Mr. Bryan or any other council member in conversations with Emily LeCoz.
This administration and council have made every effort to transact its business with absolute transparency. Any suggestion to the contrary is unfounded. Further, your lecture regarding the basis on which the council might meet in executive session was uncalled for. Executive sessions are usually called at the behest of the city attorney who in any event in each instance approves the council going into executive session. We have attempted to adhere strictly to statutory requirements in this respect.
All formal council meetings and work sessions are advertised and open to the public. Neither the Daily Journal nor the citizens of Tupelo should be concerned that the City Council will act in violation of the state’s open meeting laws.
R. Fred Pitts, President
Tupelo City Council

Hit-and-run pet fatal breaks family’s heart
A person hit a puppy on McComb Avenue in Saltillo on July 30, 10:30 p.m. Why did that person not stop? Why did the driver not slow down? Did the driver not hear the puppy’s owner scream? Please let me tell about the animal killed and the person who owned him.
That puppy was only 8 months old. His name was Riley and before my mom had him, he had lived an abused life. He was found with a hole deep in his leg and his throat deeply torn by another dog. He endured many surgeries and fought to live. When my mom brought him home, he came home with a deep hole slowly mending and drain tubes in his neck. He didn’t want to be left alone and was always at my mom’s side. Just this past month Riley was really starting to make improvements. He was just starting to have a happy life.
My mom has had a bad year. Her work eliminated her job and to stay employed she has to take a large cut in her pay. She is a single mom and works hard at making sure I have what I need. Everything seemed to be going wrong, then along came Riley. Riley was her life. She was out in the yard when he was hit. She was almost to him – but the driver didn’t slow down. She screamed, but no one stopped. I got the phone call, and mom was crying and screaming, “Riley’s been hit. Help!” I cannot describe what it is like to get that kind of phone call, especially when you have a pet that is like your own family member. We found her at the end of our driveway, crying and holding her dead puppy.
My uncle dug a grave at midnight and we buried Riley. Riley was young and just starting his happy life with us. This was a sudden shock for us and the loss my mom is feeling runs deep. Some people’s pets are more than pets, so please, I just want to know why the driver did not slow down? Why did the driver not stop?
Lindsey Miller
Saltillo

Therapist cites need for public transit
Part of my job as an occupational therapist at NMMC’s Outpatient Rehab Center is to conduct driving evaluations for individuals with medical changes, such as motor, visual and/or cognitive problems.
I see many types of patients for these assessments. Some are from smaller towns and are not familiar with Tupelo. For these patients, I usually take them on a route that includes east Tupelo including the Elvis Presley Birthplace and Museum. My driving patient and I are always amazed at the number of different state/county car tags in the parking lot at the museum. It is obvious that Elvis Presley is still helping Tupelo.
The Daily Journal on July 28 had two articles of special interest to me. First was the front page story of the Tupelo City Council considering no action on Tupelo’s transit plan and second was the announcement of the expansion plan of the Elvis Presley Museum on page 2, section A. The public transit plan is said to be too costly, yet the expansion plan of the Elvis Presley Museum is to receive funds from a bond package signed by Gov. Haley Barbour along with 20 percent local match “with hopes that in-kind services and public and private donations will offset its contribution of about $560,000.”
Sadly, I do have to recommend to some of my patients that go on the Elvis Presley or other routes to discontinue driving. There’s irony in the fact that we cannot offer public transportation for citizens in Elvis’s hometown who cannot drive, yet find funds for the Elvis Presley expansion. Driving is typically the most independent symbol for anyone in our nation, and my recommendation to stop driving is extremely depressing/homebounding for them. I always recommend staying active in the community via alternate transportation; however, the options are very limited here and especially in smaller communities. Tupelo does need to offer public transportation for those who cannot drive, due to vision, memory/cognition, costs, and/or motor problems. Please encourage members on the Tupelo City Council to reconsider the importance of a public transit system in Tupelo.
Melinda Kellum Lamon, OTR/L, ATP
Saltillo

Football decision made legacy choice easy one
As I read the article in the Aug. 2 edition of the Daily Journal about the person from Oregon who is about to become a football player for the University of Mississippi, the words “win at all cost” kept popping into my mind. It appears to me that Ole Miss is more interested in winning football games than in maintaining its integrity. I must say that right now I am ashamed to be an alumnus of the University of Mississippi.
I have been working with the Create Foundation toward creating a scholarship endowment in honor of my wife and my two daughters. Since I am an alumnus of both the University of Mississippi and Florida State University, I was having difficulty deciding which University should be designated for the Endowment. The article in today’s Daily Journal made the decision easy.
Claude Roebuck
Tupelo

Transit system feared as drain on resources
Once again Tupelo displays its small town politics by potentially ignoring the state’s Sunshine Law and continues to try and work the will of the minority upon the majority.
Where is the city attorney in all of this? Is he not there to explain the law to the council or only how to circumvent it? I think Jim High’s letter adequately laid out a sound case against the Public Transit idea.
I lived in Memphis for 35 years. In the beginning, their buses were well used, but over time as they continued to annex territory and for other reasons, the ridership dwindled. Today, you can still see the empty buses plying the streets of Memphis. What a drain on the city budget! Are we going to be next?
Terry Blair Carr
Tupelo

Directed giving suggested for libraries
It is very sad to hear of library after library suffering funding cuts in an time of expanded use. Free public libraries have been a cornerstone of our nation and have provided a means for our citizens to improve their intellectual lives.
After reading about Itawamba Library and their funding dilemma, I was curious if any library in NE Mississippi had attempted to set up a special “Friends of the Library” group who would agree to purchase best sellers from either the fiction or nonfiction book lists, read them promptly, and then donate them to the library for their shelves. I have always been delighted to donate books to my local library as I have no desire to become a book hoarder. Most are sold to generate funds for the library but I understand that the Starkville librarian places some on the shelves. A more formalized volunteer program might allow the libraries to receive the books that they actually desire – just a few weeks later than usual – and allow the donor to take a tax deduction as well as reduce the demand for more bookshelves in the home.
Deborah A. Gaddis
Starkville

NEMS Daily Journal