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Letters to the editor — Monday (7-14-14)

It’s time for city to show transparency
A great thing about living in a small town is that you know many of the leaders personally. A bad thing about living in a small town is that you know many of the leaders personally, which makes the following comments difficult to write. I urge you to read and re-read David Post’s column in the Sunday Salisbury Post. He says with style and grace what I will now express crudely.
The Salisbury City Council is a disaster. They insult the intelligence of the citizens of Salisbury with statements like “I really don’t know why the city manager is leaving,” “I’m not sure who decided to give the PIO a severance package,” and “Everything I’ve heard is positive, that the city is doing a great job.”
They issue a glowing recommendation on city letterhead under the mayor’s signature without thought of the far reaching implications of such an action. I hope the council is not receiving counsel from legal or human resources, for if they are the competence of these resources is also in question.
I realize that there are times in life when the best strategy is to ignore that something has happened so you can move on. This is not one of those times.
In the age of the Internet, there are no secrets. I would not be surprised if Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s, Fitch and all other rating agencies are again taking a look at the credibility of the city’s statements and reports. The members of the city council need to make teamwork and solidarity a priority second to truth, transparency and changing the ethical environment in the city offices.
— Rip Kersey
Salisbury

Vets deserve care
God bless America and our veterans — the young, old and in between. With all the bad news about the veterans’ hospitals around the country, I feel obligated to write my 2 cents’ worth.
The all-volunteer military is carrying the load, one half of 1 percent of our American society. I do not understand how they do it or how we can expect them to.
John F. Kennedy said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” This is truly their credo. These veterans deserve everything the VA offers.
The Greatest Generation was made up of draftees and volunteers. They deserve all the VA medical care they surely earned.
The military draft ended in 1973. That’s 40 years of draft-free military.
The VA is overwhelmed with veterans from all wars and so-called police actions. With a large federal bureaucracy and the largest union of federal employees, how can we not expect some scandal and people trying to scam the system?
The VA has a priority system, with categories 1 through 8, to schedule veterans into the system. Vets with the highest disability are assigned Category 1, and less disabled are assigned 2 through 8. All vets should know what their category is. If this priority system is followed, there should not be any waiting list.
Congress has come up with a plan: The VA will issue a Choice Card to vets that live more than 40 -45 miles from a VA hospital or clinic. Vets can use the card at any doctor or hospital of their choice.
How will this work? The priority system will still have to be used. Just how much will the Choice Card be worth, and will any doctor or hospital honor them? Good luck on this concept.
— Hugh Martin
Salisbury

Freedom to leave
In reply to the “Equal rights” letter in the July 7 paper: The reason we have a socialist in the White House is because of women and men thinking they can’t take care of themselves anymore.
Why should an employer be mandated by the government to provide women birth control or even health care?
You have the freedom to leave an employer if you so choose. You can even start a company of your own and provide all the health care you so choose.
The “Equal rights” writer needs to go back and check what the Founding Fathers meant by religious freedom, not what the text books of today state.
— Lillie Burleson
Richfield

Obey parking law
I would like to know if something can be done about people who park in handicap parking spaces?
I was in Walmart on a Saturday and only three cars had handicap cards in their windshield. The signs say they will be ticketed, but they never are, so they keep parking there.
It doesn’t matter if it’s Walmart or a grocery store, you see it all over.
It would be nice to see someone handing out tickets to these cars. If it doesn’t cost people anything, they don’t learn anything.
— William Doxey
Salisbury
Sex-based? Really?
Men’s basketball. Now there’s a sex-based group. How about women’s softball? Again, sex-based. Men aren’t allowed on the women’s softball team. No girls on the men’s basketball roster. But a gay-straight alliance? That can include every student no matter one’s gender.
I’d name the reporter, but my experience with media and this sort of thing tells me it’s likely a “copy-desk” issue. In other words, that’s how the editor dictates it must be written.
Please be more responsible with your words, Salisbury Post. This terminology is confusing for everyone.
— Rev. Nathan King
Davidson
Editor’s note: The school board used that term in its discussions.

Jail time in order
Makinzy Smith was not related to me but because I have grandsons his age I feel especially bothered that the woman driver who wouldn’t stop on that October morning wasn’t required to serve any jail time.
It defies credibility that Barbara Smith did not notice the flashing lights of the school bus even with her fogged windshield.
While it is true that no one in Makinzy’s family, nor Mrs. Smith herself, will ever forget this tragedy, I am disappointed that the judge changed the sentence from jail time to probation.
I am very much in agreement with the family of this promising young man that there needs to be much tougher penalties when a student’s death results from a stopped school bus accident.
— Lee Hall
China Grove
Too expensive
This past week I received a notice from my insurance company advising me of another 25 percent increase in my health insurance premiums. Since ObamaCare was implemented, my premiums have increased almost 35 percent to approximately $16,000 per year.
I also have the highest deductible available from my individual health insurance company.
When I called the insurance company to question my premiums, I was informed that my former insurance policy had been cancelled under ObamaCare and later re-instated under ObamaCare with pre-existing coverage and maternity benefits. I do not want or need either.
I need insurance but do not want to pay the ObamaCare fees and penalties required by law under the IRS regulations.
I was also told I should consider myself lucky. According to the Congressional Joint Committee Staff Report (March 2013), the estimated average premium increase for individual market health plans in North Carolina under ObamaCare in 61 percent.
I have now written at least three times to North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan, who supported this legislation. I have yet to receive a satisfactory explanation.
The great majority of people who work for a living, earn a taxable income and pay taxes simply cannot afford ObamaCare. What if every citizen had to pay $16,000 or more for their government-regulated health insurance? It’s time for a change!
By the way, I have never had a paid medical claim in almost 20 years with my insurance company.
— Janis Smith
Salisbury
Timing is everything
Regarding the former Salisbury city manager, Doug Paris, and public information officer, Elaney Hasselmann, timing is everything.
First they were employees, so it was a personnel issue and could not be discussed. As soon as they were (suddenly!) no longer employees, the issue cannot be discussed because they are no longer employees.
Now the mayor and city council want to put the whole issue behind them.
Seems that the only timely issue is the fact that the citizens of Salisbury will be paying tens of thousands of dollars for an issue that cannot be discussed.?Timing is, indeed, everything!
— Lawrence O. Walser
Salisbury

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