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Opinion

Norton resident plans to hold officials accountable

10/18/2012 - West Side Leader
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By Letter to the Editor

To the editor:

I am submitting this letter as a rebuttal to a letter submitted to the West Side Leader from fellow Norton resident Danny Grether (“Norton resident offers thoughts on election,” West Side Leader, Oct. 11, 2012). I am not able to attend most of the Norton City Council meetings due to my employment, but when able I attend. During one of the Council meetings that I did not attend, Mr. Grether references angry residents that “were spitting as they spoke.” I was not present at this particular meeting, but during none of the meetings I have attended have I witnessed angry residents spitting, not even outside the building. I have witnessed our fellow citizens expressing their concerns and engaging in spirited debate. Freedom of speech is a foundation of our democratic process.

Regrettably, it is common in our democratic process to make our own position look stronger by either attacking the character of those we disagree with or painting them as caricatures, such as people “spitting as they spoke.” I interpret Mr. Grether’s letter to say that he supports the EMS levy and encourages others to. I understand and accept that position. I understand and accept the position of those that oppose the EMS levy on its own merit. I also understand and accept the position of those taking a stand and voting against additional tax levies as a means to hold our elected officials accountable for their actions. Tax levies in our community are very complex issues due to our elected officials. In Norton we have a majority of elected officials that place their own agendas before the best interest of the community. Citizens are responding to the actions of those elected officials and giving their best effort to correct the problems these officials have created. One place to hold those officials accountable is at the polls.

In Norton, there is a propensity to blame the voters. After the fire at The Father’s House Church, our mayor immediately spun the story placing responsibility for the loss squarely on the shoulders of the voters. Other articles I have read regarding this have been the same. Has any elected official accepted responsibility for or acknowledged that it is their policies and legislation that have contributed to or caused this problem? Our mayor and Council had opportunities to change policies and legislation and put the best interest of the community ahead of their own agendas. They did not. While some of our Council members do put the community first, unfortunately, they are the minority. In one way, voters are responsible. We elected the officials that created this mess. 

I encourage citizens to vote by your convictions. Is the mishandling of the sewer issue and the economic difficulty it will bring unacceptable to you? Is there another tax in place that is unacceptable to you? Are you ready to hold our elected officials accountable? And I am not spitting as I write this.

Lee Beaty, Norton

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