Traverse City Record-Eagle

January 31, 2013

Letters to the Editor: 01/31/2013


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Democracy disservice

Those who continue to limit or destroy the rights of organized labor to engage in collective bargaining do a disservice to the cause of democracy.

Adopting the practice of labor and management together openly discussing ways to promote productivity and establishing trust between the two entities of the work force seems to be a successful solution toward solving negotiating issues.

Labor unions are able to raise wages, shorten work hours and provide supplemental benefits through collective bargaining and grievance procedures. Justice, fairness and democracy for all will be in place.

Responsibility for our financial crises is not due to the working class, but to greedy Wall Street executives and company CEOs pillaging pensions and outsourcing jobs using their personal gains with off-shore accounts.

Don't forget the more than a trillion dollars in tax cuts given to the wealthiest in our country and more than a trillion spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

It's time for the average American to think of "we attitude" rather than "me attitude."

John Sanchez

Traverse City

They knew the pay

According to the Record-Eagle, road commissioners make $5,500 per year, plus health insurance and a pension. Two commissioners have more than doubled their pay with per diems and this past year were on track to make $8,000 in per diems. All this is totally allowed under road commission rules.

Enter upstart Commissioner John Nelson with his "shameful" plan to limit per diems to $7,500 annually. While still more than doubling their salaries, it is more restrictive than other governmental entities, like the county board of commissioners. It still amounts to doubling their pay, and yet at least two commissioners were vehemently opposed to the idea.

We live in an age when the road commission is consistently short on funds. When someone suggests a way to control spending, albeit only a small amount, commissioners should be considering it as a way to control the budget. Our representatives, whether elected or appointed, were not forced into the offices they hold. They accepted those offices believing they could make a difference. They also knew what the pay was. The question here is, do our commissioners believe they can make a difference for us or for their bottom line?

Bruce Mikula

Interlochen

Put to a better use

First, full disclosure: I am a Catholic.

Second: Is it not fitting that the Record-Eagle on Jan. 23, on the front page, published two articles, "Record set at shelter" and "Carmelite chapel unveiled"?

One would think that with the number of homeless and the dire need for shelter, the monies spent on marble, fine woodwork, stained glass windows and carvings could have been put to better use. The funds, amount not given, "transformed the simple chapel into one of classic elegance.

Really!

Dick Rewalt

Traverse City