Letters to the Editor

By NEMS Daily Journal

Marty Russell criticized for letting his dog roam
Columnist Marty Russell (See May 11, 2011 column – “Beau’s short life certainly touched ours”) and his wife should be ashamed for being such irresponsible dog owners.
I was saddened to learn of the demise of Beau, who had only four years of life. Living in the “country” is no excuse. Haven’t the Russells heard of a fence? Didn’t they know they could have walked their dog using a leash? Now, some innocent driver must bear the burden of guilt for having stuck and killed that poor dog.
In my opinion, people such as the Russells are the equivalent of animal abusers; and, if it were possible, they should be banned from owning a dog in the future. They should be forced to have a cat. Of course, if they lived in the city of Tupelo, they would have to comply with the stray cat ordinance, which no one seems to know how to enforce.
Ken Patterson
Tupelo

Tupelo seems to seek a design for the 1950s
Having watched with interest the past month or so as Tupelo ties to discover why it is failing as to become larger and more modern, I have come upon what I believe is a likely answer.
Perhaps the effort to become more modern by trying to look more like a 1950s town was not such a good idea. Just how many people wish to live in homes that cost a lot of money and look like they did a hundred years ago, and how many people can afford them?
What business owner wishes to spend a lot of money on a look that is out of style and unlikely to draw more customers? Sure, they may drive by and say, “look at that cute little store,” and then they go to Walmart and shop.
It seems to me Tupelo has too many associations and boards trying to recreate what was instead of trying to become something new and different. Let businesses do what they do best, make money and create jobs. Let the citizens build homes to their own tastes and style. Heck, how bad would it be to have a house color and shape you like or a business that looks like what the owner is paying for?
And this, stop building roads and raising taxes for them until you start growing Tupelo. With more people and more money coming in you can more easily afford to construct them; Tupelo can become a 1950 town by committee rigidity and stubbornness or it can become a workable, successful 2011 town. It’s a simple choice.
Now, the school problem. Simple. Strict discipline, fairly applied combined with teachers who are good at their job. If they aren’t, get new ones.
I am sure the average citizens want good services at a fair price. Open up the boards and committees to fresh faces and Tupelo will get the new input it needs.
A time comes when you have to decide if you like the old ship so well that you are willing to go down in it, or do you get on the new one and see how it sails?
James A. Crabb
Booneville

Saltilloan backs Crews on views of schools
I would like to express my opinion on the paid advertisement, “Front Row Seat,” by Billy Crews in Thursday’s paper.
First, let me say the only connection I have with TPSD is that I know a few teachers who teach in the TPSD, and I do not know Billy Crews. My connection with Tupelo is I work in Tupelo, spend some of my dollars in Tupelo, and attend events held in Tupelo.
I read the Daily Journal every day, therefore I have read of the “happenings” of the TPSD. After reading Crews’ article it is clear that he was an outsider with the TPSD and outsiders usually aren’t accepted in any situation in any place. Outsiders sometimes have the best viewpoint, the best clarity, and the best read on the situation, therefore it would have benefited everyone to have taken him seriously, especially with his 32 years of experience, wisdom, and knowledge.
You don’t have a career and get as far in a career as Crews did without being well balanced in your work ethics and principles.
Crews, in my humble opinion, is right on target. I believe he spoke the truth, and sometimes the truth hurts and that leads to arrogance on the part of those “in charge” and causes them not to listen. His report is full of very important advice. I hope everyone that fits in any of the five areas listed in the article goes forward with the attitude of what is best for students and being a team player. You have to be a team player in order to be successful. You are only as good as those you surround yourself with. My husband and I lived in Memphis for 26 years (1977 – 2003) and we saw firsthand what happens when your city elected officials are not strong, when your school board is not strong, when your school administrative team is not strong, and when your school leadership is not strong.
We can look back and tell you the exact point in time when the Memphis city school system and the city itself started to crumble and families started to flee to the suburbs: when Willie Herenton became superintendent of education and then was elected mayor.
We have already seen families moving out of Tupelo and the bleeding is here. Whether you can stop the bleeding or not would depend on some major changes made and made quickly. I would think changes have to start in the first three areas Crews described; the TPSD Board of Trustees, the TPSD superintendent, and the TPSD administration.
I cannot stress enough for all of you to pay serious attention to Crews’ assessment.
Shelia Lansdell
Saltillo

Let the free market decide Tupelo’s issues
My pen has been silent long enough.
First, on the rental percentage vs. crime rate, does this percentage include the subsidized rental market? If this does, why is it a good thing for government to be able to rent as it deems fit and not private citizens – without extortion fees?
In this weakened economy and unsettled job market there are those people who cannot qualify for a home loan – a harsh lesson for the American dream. The local market determines rental price. It is incumbent on me to pay property tax, mortgage loans, garbage fees, utility deposits, insurance, unit maintenance, and repairs. The reality of it all for me as a taxpayer and rental property owner is that I am to pay more in tax and code inspection fees and surety bond expense to put myself out of business.
If our city is so strapped for cash taxable fees, tax the bicycles that use the bike lanes downtown, but wait, I have not seen one there yet. OK, then let’s tax and fine the drivers that have the radio turned up to window rattling, ear-bleeding decibels. Wait, that might be profiling.
As these examples are absurd, so is the proposed increase in landlord extortion fees. If an obscure percentage causes this much consideration by, I hope, some soon-to-be-unelected council members, then I have to wonder if the real mayor of Tupelo is in City Hall or just east of it in a Realtor’s building.
My second point is about the proposed Tupelo Promise of college tuition. Does not ICC already offer free tuition for local graduates? I certainly was not college material, but I did receive loans to struggle through my courses and worked to repay them.
Let the graduates attend ICC to get the prerequisite basics out of the way and to decide if they are college material; offer a one-year stipend at four-year school after ICC with a minimum of a 2.8 GPA. Again, let the free market decide.
Austin Long
Tupelo