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Letters to the editor — Monday (4-24-2017)

Good-paying jobs begin with education system

Tuesday’s (April 18) editorial states  “ young men who, without easily accessible, good-paying jobs, may be tempted to crime.” Good jobs do not come to a community because the community  needs the good jobs. Good jobs come when the community has a dependable, skilled workforce.

This workforce does not occur by accident. It starts in the home and continues in the schools. If by third grade a child is not reading well — there is trouble ahead. We have no control in the home. We have lots of potential input in the schools. But, not as much as we should. For us to have good schools, the community must be more involved. The involvement must be perpetual and allow citizens to actually make a difference. People will lose interest and any organization will fail if members feel they are not able to make a difference. The School Board, school administration, county commissioners and municipalities cannot get the education job done without  the positive involvement of the community. I am reminded of a Mark Vitner saying that any area that solves its educational challenges can write its own economic ticket.

I propose a district-wide group organized on elementary, middle and high school levels. This group would include School Improvement Teams, PTA and Communities in Schools. Their purpose would be to involve the citizens and provide networking opportunities. The group must be independent of the school board and administration. They would discuss challenges and opportunities and what is necessary to improve the schools. We have the opportunity. If we do not do it for ourselves, who will? The youth in our community deserve an opportunity at good jobs. We need good jobs to have a better life for all. Do we want to solve the educational challenges and write a better economic ticket?

— John Leatherman

Salisbury

There’s still work to do  on getting citizen input

Maybe it was spring break?

Maybe it was council fatigue?

Maybe muzzling citizens worked?

Maybe people were really busy that day?

I mention this because on Tuesday, April 18, at the City Council meeting, I got to see the new Public Comment Resolution in action. Only six citizens spoke and the chamber was far from full. But here is what I really noticed. … The public council sign-in sheet was in a very inconvenient location. While the mayor did make an announcement once the meeting started, citizens sometimes can’t attend on time and therefore miss the process. For those who are aware, they may not want to draw attention to themselves by walking up to the front of the room to sign in. Thanks to Kelly Baker for navigating the name pronunciations. Thanks to Chief Parnell for assisting confused citizens upon arrival on the process. Both made this as friendly as possible.

Maybe we need a BETTER solution. How about a door greeter at both entrances? Multiple city staff are at every meeting. Be a great place to meet citizens as well as create a friendly environment. Hand out the agenda and welcome citizens to the process and inquire if they are interested in public comment. How about a sign-in sheet at the table instead of a sign-up sheet? This would eliminate the embarrassing roll call similar to one of my favorite movies — BUELLER, BUELLER, BUELLER.

Maybe we can still improve in citizen relations?

Maybe citizens can participate more?

Maybe more transparency will occur with the council actually responding then and there?

Maybe citizens will stay after their comments and get some resolution?

And maybe — just maybe — together we can move Salisbury forward!

— Tamara Sheffield

Salisbury

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