I wanted to send my response to the article "A black and white issue" in Sunday's newspaper. This is not a black and white issue; never was and never will be!
Everyone in Gainesville, regardless of race, agrees that the number one goal of our city school system is to provide all children the very best education, the highest test scores and the highest graduation rates possible.
The issue is: How do we achieve this goal without breaking the bank -- the taxpayer? The current system doesn't work. While it achieves part of the goal, in that test scores and graduation rates are up, it fails in the fact that the price tag is too heavy on the Gainesville taxpayer.
The system in place requires a large administration at the central office, multiple principals at each of the schools and a host of other staff expenditures that are not seen in other school systems. It may be the greatest system in the world, but the Gainesville taxpayers cannot afford it.
The solution, then, becomes to hire a new leader. The school board could hire someone with a track record of high student achievement who has experience in operating a system in a fiscally responsible way. What an opportunity we have! We can improve our school system and cut taxes, too. It can be done. Everybody wins.
So understand, this is not a black and white issue. This is an issue of how can we provide our children the best education at a price we can afford. Everybody agrees with this.
Governments have plenty of jobs to offer
How can there be unemployment in Georgia? We have 159 counties and the people they employ are in public safety, utilities, administration, recreation and the biggest employer of all, the school system.
Within the counties there are countless municipalities employing a similar group of people that the counties employ. In addition, unknown quantities of people, retirees and such, are re-employed as "consultants." This in addition to the thousands of independent "consultants" hired by county and municipal governments to tell the government employees how to do the job for which they were hired.
At the top of the list, of course, are the politicians and their support staffs. More people are elected or hired to fill positions at the state level and each staff level requires its own group of people who then must hire "consultants" to figure out what they should be doing.
Along the way, the state legislature creates acronyms like GRTA, ARC and MARTA to try and figure out how to move more people in and out of Atlanta, and each needs staff to operate. On top of this, the governor then hires a consultant to help GRTA, ARC and MARTA at a cost of $2.5 million.
I have no clue as to how many people work in or for the various governments in Georgia or how many are actually needed. What I do know: If you can't find a job in Georgia, you don't want one.
Bruce W. Hallowell
City marshals helpful and easy to work with
The article in Saturday's paper about the city marshals I found to be negative in tone, with no one quoted in support of the marshals.
We live in the middle of town and have had numerous interactions with the city marshals, and we have never found them to be "overzealous, rude or intimidating." In fact, they have helped us and our neighbors several times over the years with zoning issues, noise violations and property maintenance. The marshals have always been courteous and helpful, especially officer Gary Kansky.
I can speak for many of my neighbors in saying that we like having them around and feel comfortable knowing we can call them at any time with issues in their jurisdiction, and they will respond in an expedient manner. I am not threatened by their firearms as some of the work they do puts them in harm's way.
We are fortunate that Gainesville has a separate office for city marshals, and that they are readily available to help the citizens of Gainesville enforce our local ordinances.
Before banning nukes, let's work up a full list
Dear Joan King: Before we continue the ban on new nuclear power plants, let's first ban a few horrendous things that have already killed millions of people.
Let's first ban cars, airplanes, trains, coal-fired power plants, boats, motorcycles, ladders, bathtubs, food buffets, eggs, steak, knives, hot air balloons, guns, bridges, meteorites, electric toaster ovens, hospitals, all high school sports, cigarettes, alcoholic beverages, rock and roll bands, music, skateboards, glass, church-league basketball, commercial construction, mountains, beaches, lakes, trees, bees, bugs, dogs, horses, fertilizer, natural gas, medicines, Six Flags, the entire Kennedy family and last, but certainly not least: hot dogs.