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Letters to the editor – Thursday (7-10-08)

Citizen apathy enables overreaching officials
Regarding the July 6 article about Terry King not being reappointed to the Juvenile Crime Prevention Council:
Having also been refused reappointment to a board as punishment for not complying with demands, I sympathize with King. Commission Chairman Arnold Chamberlain and others on the city and county boards have appointed only those whose views are mirror images of what the city and county elected officials desire. Have any appointees had to compromise themselves to serve? For instance, as an example of self-interest, his honor, Chairman Chamberlain, became involved in the annexation issue when he was personally affected, not when the populace needed assistance.
His refusal to accept contrary opinions is not the mark of a statesman but illustrates his desire not to tolerate opposing views. He is not to blame for refusing to appoint concerned, qualified citizens to the boards; public neglect empowered him. Even though King’s record appears full of civic contributions, he lacks the power of Chamberlain, whose judgment is tolerated by the people of Rowan County who don’t vote. Chamberlain is one of many commissioners, present and past, refusing to appoint individuals to the various boards. He, like others, has personal motives for refusing to look to the welfare of the county and city.
In order to prevent continued abuse of authority, the citizens of Rowan County and Salisbury will have to get involved. Of course, most will find reasons to remain inert. Unfortunately, the few voters lack the power to act successfully. Developing a system where appointments are not subject to the mayor’s office or the county commission can prevent this type of appointee abuse. Until then, we should thank the Post for recording the event for posterity.
ó Arthur Steinberg
Salisbury
Helms’ virulent views
Thomas Jefferson and John Adams both died on July 4, 1826, within hours of each other. Two of the nation’s founding fathers dying on Independence Day is appropriate. I read that Jesse Helms’ death on July 4 was also appropriate.
I disagree. Jessie Helms was no patriot. Instead, he was a bigot and a racist who gained notoriety through his opposition to racial equality, gay rights, foreign aid and modern art.
Helms’ virulent views never changed. I am sure that the decline in his health and his eventual death were in no way helped by the recent events leading to a black man being a presidential nominee for the first time in history. It is ironic that Helms died at a time when America is sending a message that now is the time for change.
ó William Alexander Jr.
East Spencer

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