Letters to the editor – Friday – 10-23-09

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 22, 2009

Column erred on Marching Wonders
“Well, all I know is what I read in the papers.” (Will Rogers)
Having read “After years of growing, ‘Big Green Machine’ no longer so large” by Norris Dearmon, we noted several inaccurate statements. Many facts notated in the article can be found in the school’s annuals. Many more could be attained from previous band directors. The last four directors are still in the area and can easily be interviewed.
The legacy of Louis V. Bean is not served very well if he is referred to as “Lewis Beam.” “… 339 in the band” ó a quick head count from an annual picture will correct this. “After the retirement of Mr. Beam (sp.) in 1980, the band began to decrease in size. …” In looking at bus seating lists, rooming lists, annual pictures and uniform assignments, one will ascertain that the largest bands were in the 1980s.
“Each new director wanted his band to be the largest.” Having a large band was always important, but was not, and is not, the ultimate goal. Quantity and quality are not necessarily equal. We have always been very proud of the band’s accomplishments and have been very pleased when a large number of students could participate.
There are several contributing factors relating to the decrease in size of area bands. This situation is not completely localized. Fortunately, there are still many high school bands that are able to achieve performances on high levels.
With the demands of fulfilling class requirements to accommodate ever-rising state standards, many students have had to relinquish or limit their involvement in the fine arts.
Gordon Snyder, the current A. L. Brown High School band director, is doing a most commendable job with both quality and quantity. With continued administrative and community support, the “The Marching Wonders” will continue to represent the school and community in a most admirable and positive way.
ó Mickey Driver and Lu Graham
SalisburyDriver was A.L. Brown High’s director of bands from 1980-2003; Graham has been a Kannapolis City Schools band director since 1984.
Time for term limits
Consider these numbers: 6, 12, 12, and 16. These are not lucky lottery numbers. They show the time served in office by four city council members up for re-election.
Two bodies of municipal government need change: The Rowan County Commission and the Salisbury City Council. This has nothing to do with the incumbents’ competency. It has everything to do with placing principles of good government before personalities.
Returning politicians to office because of their “experience” can lead to corruption. Limiting time served through voter-imposed term limits would give more taxpayers a greater voice in public policy and the political process; a voice that represents each community’s needs, not just those of political donors and wealthy special interests. It also would reinforce who is actually in charge, the people or the politicians.
The latter also would be far more effective if city council elections were partisan, like the county commission. Increase both bodies from five to seven members. Add district representation, and we would have the beginnings of a formula for improved local government and positive growth.
The problem with politicians running again and again, like the Energizer Bunny, is not necessarily that those politicians are not doing an adequate job. But, could the job be done in a manner that benefits a greater number of taxpayers?
Voters have the power to impose term limits, if they would just see the value in doing so. The current city council annexed a significant part of the Rowan County Airport. Would a different city council be willing to give back that part of the airport and allow one government entity, Rowan County, to run it? And the jury will be out for a long time to come on the $35 million fiber-to-home project.
Let your vote help impose term limits on Nov. 3.
ó Bill Ward
Thanks, supporters
The Landis Elementary School PTA would like to thank the local businesses of Landis, China Grove and Salisbury for the wonderful community support that was shown for our Fall Festival that took place on Oct. 9.
In such difficult economic times, we found a number of local sponsors that were very gracious in their donations, and helped make our festival a great success. It was a night of nothing but family fun and fellowship in an exciting, yet safe environment.
Thank you so very much for supporting our children and our school!
ó Susan Blume and Rebecca Page
The writers are co-presidents of the Landis Elementary School PTA.