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Letters to the editor – Thursday (8-28-08)

Election board rulings aren’t final answer in Lyerly caseI would like to respond to your Aug. 25 editorial that I should not continue my protest of Laura Lyerly’s candidacy.
You are correct that it is better for this sort of question to arise before a candidate assumes office. However, if Ms. Lyerly had admitted last fall that she had entered a plea of guilty to a felony embezzlement, rather than just saying she “took things that did not belong to me,” the entire legal process might have been completed by now. Therefore, if the timing of my protest causes a problem, the fault lies with Ms. Lyerly.
You also noted that the rulings by the local and state boards of election can act as a “guide in future cases.” However, these rulings are not binding precedent because the issue has not been taken through the full legal appeal process. In other words, if I fail to pursue my protest, and if Ms. Lyerly is elected, anyone else could file the same challenge and take it through the entire legal process. This would include Wake County Superior Court and, if necessary, the North Carolina appellate court system. Furthermore, if Ms. Lyerly is not elected in November, she previously ran for Salisbury City Council and could choose to do so again. Therefore, this issue is not going to be finally resolved as a “guide for future cases” until the entire legal process has been completed.
I respect your editorial opinion and share your concern about the timing. However, I believe it is in the best interest of Rowan County for this question to be resolved, once and for all. Therefore, I intend to pursue this matter until I have no further legal recourse.
ó James Pete Hoffman
Salisbury
Avoidable fire tragedy
I am a retired lieutenant from a metropolitan fire department in Florida, now living in Salisbury. After so many years working fire rescue, I can’t help but take issue when firefighters die.
The events of the Salisbury Millwork fire, which I have repeatedly combed over, show a lack of philosophy on Chief Parnell’s part that would have prevented the loss of the lives of a son and a father.
As a retired combat/suppression officer, recent comments in the Post, such as not knowing an annual fit test was required by OSHA (even though my department has been conducting those tests for 10 years), seemed outlandish.
Another item that caught my attention was that OSHA outlined “mechanical faults for the outcome of the incident,” yet didn’t list administration faults. Specifically, that a hose team conducted an interior (offensive) attack on an 80-year-old building where there was no report of trapped civilians. Firefighting is a risky job. Back in my day, I was comfortable with “laying my life down for a friend.” Nowhere in that scenario does it say “lay your life down for a bunch of bricks and wood.” (That is what fire insurance is for).
Any time firefighters die, it is a tragedy. But when they die for the wrong reasons, it’s a shame. A shame for the city and the people who manage it.
David Treme and Mayor Kluttz need to re-evaluate their support for Chief Parnell so as to not go down in flames with him. He needs to come to the realization that he was overwhelmed by an incident that should have been a textbook case but resulted in the loss of two rookies in the wrong place at the wrong time.
I welcome further discussion if it will be constructive. My goal is to prevent this from happening again.
ó Dave Lannon
Granite Quarry

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