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Councilman To Ask City Council To Consider
Raising The Minimum Wage To $10.00 Per Hour

Dear Editor:
I plan to ask the City Council to consider raising the minimum wage of Decatur workers to $10 per hour. 
The Founding Fathers understood that the new Republic would not survive unless the people exhibited civic virtue - placing the welfare of the community ahead of self-interest and private profits.
Democracy is a rare event in human history. Democracy has no recipe or ideal form. Democracy is what the society wishes it to be. But to
endure, democracy must be tended daily like a garden.
Our country seems to be moving faster than ever on the outside.  But inside we are weakening.
A historic tension exists between private profits and democratic (community) values. Community requires equality, justice, participation and cooperation.
When the minimum wage increase is proposed, we will see how the tension plays out between private profits and the needs of our community and the thousands of low-paid workers who make Decatur their home.
May God bless America, stand beside her and guide her.

Bill Faber

Same-Sex Marriage Right Nonsense
Dear Editor:
The recent same-sex marriage opinion issued by the Supreme Court is a travesty of justice. 
Power over marriage belongs to the states; only the states have the authority to define marriage, the Supreme Court doesn’t. 
No person in any of the fifty states was denied marriage; all persons of legal age could choose an opposite sex person to marry. 
The five majority justices relied heavily on the 14th Amendment to bolster their argument; problem is, in 1868, when the 14th Amendment was ratified, homosexual contact was a crime in every state in America. 
So, suggesting that the meaning and intent of the 14th Amendment was to grant a same-sex marriage right is laughable; it’s simply ridiculous, because doing so would have immediately made anyone openly homosexual, a criminal and subject to arrest. It’s obvious the five majority justices on the Supreme Court just made up a right, they pulled it out of thin air. Those five unelected justices wrote law by redefining marriage; they should be impeached for their immoral judicial tyranny. Rule of law matters and they need to be held accountable for unlawfully forcing their will onto the country.

Roger German

Decatur’s Pathway To Prosperity

Dear Editor:
For positive transformation to take place, a city needs a strategic plan and dedicated stakeholders working together to achieve success. Decatur is fortunate to be anchored by initiatives,
businesses, organizations, and citizens that are fostering collaborations and partnerships that will enable our city to prosper.
Grow Decatur is an initiative led by volunteers that is helping to shape a shared vision for our city.  Over the past several weeks, leaders of Grow Decatur have facilitated several workshops on critical community imperatives including poverty, education, housing, and workforce and economic development.  Through its inclusive approach, the volunteers of Grow Decatur are helping to bring together the people who will ultimately develop and implement solutions to our city’s challenges.
Fulfilling a shared vision requires capitalizing on our strengths.
One of Decatur’s many strengths is its citizens and the neighborhoods in which we live.  Many entities in our city have strong community service programing and our neighborhood groups under the Coalition of Neighborhood Organizations can provide significant grassroots support that
will help our city and its citizens prosper in fulfilling our shared vision.
The cooperative spirit and strong capabilities of our citizens are Decatur’s greatest assets.  When we combine initiatives such as Grow Decatur and City Limitless with strong neighborhoods and affiliated organizations, Decatur’s pathway to increased prosperity is assured.

David Horn

Only Half Of The Story... 
Dear Editor:
Many Macon County residents recently received postal correspondence from 'E-ON'  the homegrown, clean energy people.  They're touting the benefits of renewable wind energy in support of our local farmers and other Macon County taxing bodies.  The data they present is compelling even when its not projected over 30 years.  However, as with many GREEN ENERGY cost/roi  projections they only relate half of the story, i.e., the good half. 
  In a real world with a free market not a single dime would ever be invested in "clean energy' because without the 35% federal subsidy the 'return on investment' is simply not there.  a Billion dollar project only costs the investors $650 million since the rest is taxpayer dollars.  (Never listed as a line-item expense on the Federal Budget).  So, once again those of us who do pay taxes are footing the bill.  But here's the real kicker. 
  The out-of-pocket cost to the individual or commercial electric consumer will ultimately sky rocket since the subsidized cost of wind energy production is 92 times higher than natural gas production costs.   All this data was well documented by a recent Decatur Club speaker, Ms. Deneen Borelli in her book, BLACKLASH.  Government provided data reveals that Wind energy costs $23 per megawatt hour.  Natural gas energy production costs is $0.25 per megawatt hour.  See for yourself in the subsidy link at www.eia.gov/energy.  
  So under the current regulations, the next time someone is touting GREEN ENERGY, ask them if they are prepared to have a potential 92 times increase in their power bill.

Robert Kimmons

World Wants To Change Beautiful Union
That God Has Created

Dear Editor:
I totally agree that we all have rights that should be respected and be treated equally. 
The gay community do love each other and show their love in a very special way and deserve to be respected but this is not marriage.
Marriage is the bonding of the male and female in total commitment and physically bonding to make them one to bring new life into the world.  
This is never possible in the gay community.  
Unfortunately the world wants to change the beautiful union that God has created.  
It saddens me that the Supreme Court has gone the way of some who want it changed.  
Something I will never be able to live with.

Mary Lou Meyer

Above Letters Posted 6/30/15


Very Disappointed In New City Manager

Dear Editor:
We are writing this letter in response to the most recent study session of the Decatur City Council regarding the City of Decatur’s Administrative Court.  
At the beginning of the study session Mr. Gleason, for some unknown reason, felt compelled to give a 45 minute or more opening statement defending the Administrative Court.  His figures I believe are skewed and are not consistent with the information that has been released pursuant to various FOIA requests.  
Of even greater concern is his choice of words during his “opening statement”.  Mr. Gleason stated that his recommendation to the Council would be to not make any changes to the City Code regarding the Administrative Court.  This statement was made prior to Mr. Gleason hearing any of the citizen’s suggestions for modifying that Court.  
If this opening statement was the work product of Mr. Gleason then it is incumbent upon this City Council to begin its search for a new city manager.  Citizens of this community deserve better and do not deserve a closed minded City Manager who is proceeding with his own agenda.  
If this was the work product of some other individual or group of staff members his, her or their positions as employees of the City of Decatur should be evaluated because they chose to insert that closed minded language into that opening statement”.
Of equal concern is the city’s trickery, the staff choose to pack the council chambers with employees of the legal department, neighborhood standards officers, and even children of the employees thereby taking up the seating in the council chambers so that the citizens who were there to voice their opinions were forced to stand for several hours before being heard.  This is the manipulative nonsense that the citizens of Decatur have had to tolerate.  
One comment which I have read after the meeting which I think is most appropriate came from one citizen “I am saddened to read this.  I was truly hoping the new city manager wasn’t drinking the Kool Aid” (presumably that same Kool Aid served by and consumed by the city staff).  
What concerns me the most is the City Manager’s lack of interest in affording the citizens of Decatur the bear minimum due process rights.  Administrative Court is a tribunal which has the authority to impose fines against citizens, because of that authority those citizens must be afforded some fundamental due process rights.  The most basic due process right and one which is recognized throughout the English speaking world is the right to confront and cross examine your accusers.  Mr. Gleason has stated on the record that it is not necessary for the neighborhood standards officers, who are the accusers that write the citations, to testify.  This comes from a man who purportedly was a police officer and should be very well versed in the area of due process and basic fundamental rights.  From my research other municipalities have the inspectors testify for each violation and those municipalities’ ordinances provide for cross examination.  
Justice Stevens, of the United States Supreme Court, wrote in the case of Lily v. Virginia that cross examination is the “greatest legal engine ever invented for the discovery of truth.”  Because of the manager’s recent public statements we can only glean that Mr. Gleason has no interest in discovering the truth but only making sure that the Administrative Court remains intact as a significant revenue source for the City.
There are two things that Mr. Gleason needs to be aware of:
The Administrative Court repeatedly violated the notice provision of city ordinance for the first year and a half of its inception.  The former ordinance required that the citations be mailed certified mail return receipt requested to the alleged violators, instead those citations were mailed via regular U.S. Mail.  
Once that was discovered staff prepared an amendment to that ordinance and then buried it in the consent calendar.  In discussing this with a council member we were informed that no discussion took place nor was the council informed that the City Administrative Court had been violating its own ordinance.  
Next is the recent article regarding the Administrative Court published in the Herald & Review.  The interview of the former head of the Neighborhood Standards Officers carries a significant indicia of reliability.  His statement that staff members directed him to go bring the Administrative Court “low hanging fruit” is consistent with the complaints made by numerous local landlords.  
The end result is that the City of Decatur Administrative Court has engaged in a practice of selectively prosecuting local landlords which clearly violates the Constitution of the United States of America.
Lastly, it has always been our understanding that the Council-Manager form of government provides that the Council established the policies and the Manager and staff implement those policies.  In Decatur it appears as if the tail is wagging the dog and the staff is establishing policies and implementing them in a very selective way.  
The citizens of this community deserve better.

Mark and Jane Morthland 

Elite Energy Show Choir’s 25th Reunion
Was Tremendous Weekend

Dear Editor:
May 22-24, Elite Energy Show Choir held their 25th Reunion.  It was a tremendous weekend that brought together former students, their parents as well as honoring their previous 5 directors. Eisenhower Elite Energy began in 1990 when Joe and Kathy Brown established the show choir as an opportunity for graduating Thomas Jefferson students in TJ Music Machine to continue their show choir opportunities at Eisenhower.  
A few years ago, MacArthur students began to have the opportunity to participate in show choir and thus, a name change occurred dropping the Eisenhower name to create Elite Energy.
The chairperson of the 25th Reunion was Beth Mason Creighton who also was a previous director of Elite Energy.  Other directors honored were Connie Mulligan, John Satterfield and Scott Hines.  
Additionally, Scott Hines is moving on to other opportunities after serving as Elite Energy Show director since 1999.  Scott has impacted many young men and women during his tenure by enhancing their love of music and giving them the stage to perform in public.  The show choir community has suffered a loss with his moving on to other opportunities but the impact he has left with the former students will last for decades to come.
As William Wordsworth wrote “Life is divided into three terms—that which was, which is, and which will be.  Let us learn from the past to profit by the present, and from the present, to live better in the future.”  
A special thank you to Beth for pulling together a great reunion, the students who traveled back to Decatur to celebrate 25 years of great memories and to all the directors, especially Scott, who have kept the choir going to perform in many top-notch competitions.
Wishing continued success to Elite Energy.   Keep the memories alive.

Mark Pieske

People Need To Be Reminded How Far We’ve Come 
In Race Relations

Dear Editor:
I wanted to commend you for not stumbling into the inadvertent, but nevertheless "politically correct mud hole", put forth by your reader.  No doubt the guy did probably do so unknowingly and with what he perceived as noble intentions, but it did need to be addressed.  
You did a marvelous job of explaining why accolades for Sherri Perkins for being elected Decatur School Board President was not necessary at this time, and would have been noticeably behind the eight ball, considering Jeanelle Norman held that position for many years.  
Continuing to treat the achievements of Blacks as something different or exceptional based on their race is pandering and insulting.  Inherent in it is the assumption that they achieved something unique above and beyond expectation.  
Well, as you noted, maybe 30 or 40 years ago, but it is not unique, nor should it be treated as unique, now. 
Like you wrote, most of us have moved past that.  The "first" belongs to Dr. Norman, and to continue to give notoriety to those who follow not only takes away from her achievement, but goes on to look like pandering.
Here's what everyone needs to realize: the Civil Rights movement was a wonderful thing.  It finished the work that started 100 years earlier with the Civil War. 
But, if you weren't there, you missed it.  The March is over and Martin Luther King led it.  The bus already left the station, and Rosa Parks was on it.  
We can honor and carry on the work of those who worked so hard and even gave their lives, by moving forward as a color-blind society, taking advantage of those rights so hard fought to gain, and judging people on the content of their character rather than the color of their skin, without fanfare.  
While each election won or achievement gained is a celebration for the person doing it, they should not continually be viewed as uniquely exceptional to their race. 
Instead of getting caught up in the events of Ferguson, MO and Baltimore, MD, people need to be reminded of just how far we have come.  
We should not allow those with agendas to take us back, delude us into thinking we are still stuck there, or that nothing has changed.  
Your column showed a lot of thought and inspiration in addressing this issue and hopefully enlightening your readers.
Congratulations to Ms. Perkins on her position.  My husband knows her and says she will do a fine job.

Cindy Koshinski

Above Letters Posted 6/2/15

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