YOUR OPINION: Letters to the Editor

By NEMS Daily Journal

Chivalrous Army men aided in driving distress
Driving down West Jackson St. recently I was on my way to the veterinarian with two cats in carriers in my car.
Suddenly my car lost power and I couldn’t restart it. Cars piled up behind me and two U.S. Army men, Cleveland and Etheridge, who worked at the armory, came to my assistance. They pushed my car off the street and tried to get it started. They were successful and then drove me to the repair shop downtown. Many thanks to these two guys!! (from me and the cats!) Who says people aren’t chivalrous now-a-days? Thanks again to them.
Jane Kellum
Tupelo


Tupelo should elect its city school board
Given the important role of school boards, the method which we use to select their members should be treated with equal importance. School board members should be responsible and experienced individuals who are very well qualified. Members of the Tupelo Public School District Board of Trustees are appointed. The majority of school boards in America are elected. Election of school board members is preferable to appointment for several reasons. Many believe election holds the board more accountable to the public and more responsive to issues within the community. An election would also allow candidates to run on a platform of their goals and experience, not their name; a more democratic method.
In Mississippi, additional concern has been expressed due to the fact that appointed school boards have the power to cause tax increases. People contend this violates the “no taxation without representation” principle alluded to in the Declaration of Independence. There is some indication that appointed school boards are less responsive to citizens with regard to taxation. When comparing Mississippi school boards in the same county, consisting of both elected and appointed board types, appointed school boards more often have a higher taxation rate. For example, for the current fiscal year, Lee County Public Schools, which has an elected school board, set a millage rate of 62.62, while the Tupelo Public School District, which has an appointed board, set a millage rate of 65.31, enacted by the City Council.
One argument in favor of appointment of school board members is that it will ensure equilibrium of races so minorities can be represented on the board. In Virginia, 78 percent of school districts changed from appointed to elected from 1992 to 2005. There was no decrease in minority representation. The change to election of school board members in Virginia actually resulted in the number of women serving to increase. Regardless, the most important qualification of a school board member is not race or gender, but the policies to which they are devoted.
School board members should be elected because that method would establish a closer board-citizen relationship, and an increase in accountability is and would be more democratic. An elected school board is better for the community and students it oversees. Tupelo students and taxpayers deserve better.
Jeffrey Chase
Tupelo High School, Class of 2006
Columbus


Tea Party’s budget holds all the necessary changes
After nearly 3 full years of the Obama administration and economic experts telling us we are on an unsustainable path to economic disaster, where do we stand today? Since January 20, 2009 when Barack Obama took office average gasoline prices have increased 100.6 percent, food stamp recipients have increased 35.1 percent, long term unemployment is up 146.2 percent, people living in poverty is up 9.5 percent and the public debt has increased 41.5 percent from $10.6 to $15 trillion. During that time Congress has not passed a single budget and the joint deficit reduction “super” committee could not come up with $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction over 10 years which is less than the yearly deficit of $1.5 trillion. Is there any hope for change?
The Tea Party has its own Debt Commission that held public hearings all across the country. A budget based on input from the public meetings has been published. The Tea Party found $9.7 trillion in savings that would result in balanced budgets in only four years. Details of the budget are too extensive to address here but you can view the complete Tea Party budget at http://www.freedomworks.org/the-tea-party-budget.
What is Washington’s reaction? Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) scheduled a meeting in the Russell Senate Office building with over 250 citizens and Members of Congress to discuss the Tea Party budget. Sen. Charles Schumer (D–N.Y.), chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, had the group evicted from the meeting room forcing them to move to outside facilities. Some in Congress do not want people to see a budget plan that can solve our problems. The only way this budget plan has a chance is for the public to get behind it and demand Congress consider it. It is up to you and I to save America from financial disaster. Study the Tea Party budget and, if you can support it, demand that your Representative and Senators support it. It is the best hope we have right now.
Raymond Settle
Blue Mountain

LETTERS POLICY: The Daily Journal welcomes letters from readers. Letters should be brief – not more than 350 words. Shorter letters are preferred. Letters must be signed, with the name, address and daytime telephone number of the writer.
Anonymous letters will not be considered. Letters are subject to abridgment. Send letters to The Editor, Box 909, Tupelo, MS 38802-0909, fax to 842-2233 or email to opinion@journalinc.com.