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Letters to the editor – Wednesday (4-30-140

Are NC leaders trying to drive teachers away?
Kent Bernhardt’s My Turn article in Monday’s Post (“Dear Guv: Why teach?”) poses the dilemma that all teachers are facing: To teach or not to teach.
According to the Raleigh News & Observer, the attrition rate of experienced teachers is increasing dramatically in Wake County. They are leaving to teach in other states and leaving teaching all together. So Kent’s question of “Why Teach?” is a good one.
I’d like to pose an additional question: Why continue to teach?
Why is our political leadership driving good teachers away from teaching in North Carolina?
N.C. teachers are in the bottom few states for teacher pay. They feel unappreciated with no pay raise, larger classes and cutbacks on teacher’s assistants. The increase in new teachers’ pay is a slap in the face to experienced teachers.
I have always believed that great teachers influence students to do great things. How many of those great teachers are leaving teaching, or trying to decide on another career, as in Kent’s daughter’s case?
My daughter is a dedicated fourth-grade teacher in the Wilmington area, and I believe is one of those teachers that impacts students to be great citizens. She has seven years’ experience, and parents are pleased when siblings get to be in her class. Last spring she graduated with her master’s in education and received a nominal raise. Efforts are to do away with that incentive. Why?
If teacher’s pay is not increased, the good teachers will leave and those that can’t get a job outside of public education with be the only ones left to be responsible for our children’s education. Our public education will further erode.
I hope our governor and the legislature can begin to recognize teachers with what they deserve, cut out the rhetoric and do something to turn the tide of good teachers leaving our schools.
— David Lee
Salisbury

Mayor is wrong
Discrimination is controversial. Equality? Not so much.
I was disappointed to read that the mayor of Salisbury has refused to issue a Pride Day proclamation, calling it controversial. I’ve got news for the mayor. Equality and diversity are not controversial. What is controversial is his refusal to acknowledge that everyone in Salisbury deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.
The controversy here is the mayor’s creation. He has unilaterally decided that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender residents of Salisbury do not deserve the respect and recognition that have been extended to numerous other groups. His decision to discriminate against the LGBT community based on his personal prejudices is disappointing, provincial and mean-spirited. Furthermore, it flies in the face of the city’s mission statement, which includes “inclusion and diversity” as well as “fairness and equality.” And while he may not be breaking the letter of the city’s Equal Employment Opportunity policy that specifically bans discrimination based on sexual orientation (among other characteristics), he certainly is defying the spirit of that policy.
I was raised in Rowan County, graduated from Catawba College, and many of my friends and family members still live in and around Salisbury. I would like to say that I am proud of my home town. Unfortunately, Mayor Woodson has sullied that pride with his blatant prejudice.
I hope he will reconsider his controversial decision to discriminate against his own citizens. By issuing the Pride Day proclamation, the mayor can prove that Salisbury practices what it preaches.
— Renee Alexander
San Francisco, Calif.

The conservative choice
I have been involved in Rowan County Republican Party politics for over 50 years. I have worked both as a volunteer and paid staffer in campaigns for county commission. state House, state Senate, Congress, U.S. Senate, governor and president.
I have served many years on the GOP county, district and state executive and central committees.
All my life, I have only supported candidates who are proud to be conservative Republicans. That is why I support Jim Sides for re-election to the Rowan County Commission. Jim is pro-life, pro-traditional marriage/family, pro-public prayer, pro-Second Amendment, pro-private property rights, pro-education and pro-free enterprise.
He is a positive, common sense conservative who looks after your tax cents. He has paid his dues in the GOP and conservative movement.
There are many who say they are conservative, but once elected they will vote differently and it will be too late then. So vote for the candidate who passes my test of a true fiscal and social conservative, Jim Sides for Rowan County Commission, the conservative choice, in the Tuesday, May 6 Republican primary.
— Mac Butner
Salisbury
No support for veterans
I prefer to vote conservative and on issues and not just party. To be a conservative, you must have been given the freedom to be that way, namely by this country’s veterans.
Mention a veteran issue to past county commission Chairman Chad Mitchell or current Chairman Jim Sides and they bury their heads so deep in the sand that Chinese egg rolls come out attached to their ears when surfaced. Mitchell would never discuss a veteran issue and put them off for the past four years he served. You think I want him in Raleigh? No way.
Sides changed his vote last July that caused the failure of a plan to help county veteran issues. Again, eight months ago in September, commissioners voted 4-1 to enhance a veteran program but to this day that item voted on still hasn’t happened. Why? Because County Manager Gary Page will not address veteran issues. As chairman, Mr. Sides should have demanded that Page act on what was voted on and passed, but he continued to let Page jerk his puppet strings.
So will I vote conservative this time? Sure, but not for Mitchell or Sides. I’ll probably single shot a commissioner unless one shows me they support veterans. Veterans and their families need to get involved and stand up for their rights. John Brindle and Sheriff Kevin Auten will also get my vote, along with state Rep. Harry Warren.
— Rodney Cress
Salisbury

Edds a tireless worker
I have had the privilege of working with Greg Edds on several projects. I have found Greg Edds to be a tireless worker. He the ability to listen, communicate and make tough decisions. He exhibits positive leadership and is exactly who we need as a county commissioner. Please consider casting your vote for Greg Edds, County Commissioner
— Ben Lynch
Salisbury

Big gov’t as ‘Tea Party’
We hear the drum beat over and over from Jim Sides, Craig Pierce, Joe Coladarci, Larry Wright and Steve Mensing that the Rowan Tea Party Patriots are in favor of small government and fiscal responsibility. Well, I hope that Rowan County has woken up and seen that deception for what it is.
The current County Commission’s reckless spending of $3.5 million on a dilapidated mall is proof positive that they are not who they claim to be. That mall is 600,000 square feet in size and what are they going to fill it with? Bureaucrats — 600,000 square feet of big government. And they spent $3.5 million dollars for a structure that had been purchased just a few years before for $2.5 million when it still had a JC Penny and a Belk paying rent and in leases. The previous owner sold the Bojangles parcel for $1 million before selling the mall to Sides and Pierce for a million more than he spent on it and depleting our General Fund.
They are going to have to raise your taxes and my taxes to pay for this folly. They have exposed themselves for who they are — Big Government Tax & Spenders. It’s time for a change. It is time for us to send a message to these men who play fast and loose with our money that we will no longer tolerate government spending like drunken sailors.
Vote for a change in leadership. Vote for commissioners who will be fiscally responsible with our money.
— Greg Shields
Salisbury

Writing an endorsement?
The deadline for letters regarding candidates in the May 6 primary is today. Please get your letters to us by 5 p.m. that day in order to be published before the primary.

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