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Sunday, Sept. 29, 2002

By Staff
Gun to the head'
To the editor:
Once again Mayor Smith uses a gun-to-the-head tactic. This time he will get a rate increase for water, even though the city council did not see fit to increase rates. This time he has had the auditor, bond counsel and financial advisor write letters to the council members. Each of these letter writers are paid by the city, one way or the other.
John Robert claims the $790,000 is needed to balance the budget. BULL! He uses the threat of lower water productions, the loss of 29 jobs and closed plants. MORE BULL!
It appears he will use almost any tactic to get what he wants. A good case in point is the appearance of underhanded activity that occurred in the engineering firm evaluations. When questions came up about the changed evaluation forms, John Robert was out of town, as he usually is, when some controversy of his administration is uncovered. His parakeet, Ken Storms, had to cover for him again.
It appears the city of Meridian is not his top priority. He seems more interested in Amtrak and Triple I. The citizens of Meridian are paying him to work for us, but apparently Amtrak and Triple I send bigger pay checks.
If state Auditor Phil Bryant would spend a few weeks looking into things at City Hall, I'm sure he would not be pleased. Do I think there is blatant illegal activity going on? No, but only because I believe City Clerk Ed Skipper is above such shenanigans.
Do I believe there is significant gray area creative accounting going on? You bet I do. Especially when it comes to budget preparation and giving the council the real numbers and information they need to approve a budget. The words Enron and WorldCom come to my mind.
The media must be pleased with the job the mayor is doing because they accept anything he tells them, even when his story and his parakeet's story don't match.
I am sure that many citizens of Meridian share in my displeasure of the job John Robert is doing. Voters, if you are unhappy with the mayor and/or the city council, let them know. If no improvement is made, let them know again at election time.
M.W. Stuart
A larger story
To the editor:
The author of "Legislative needs" (The Meridian Star, Sept. 24, 2002) expressed her outrage at the state Legislature and lieutenant governor for the manner in which she obviously was "caught" for speeding by the Highway Patrol.
This loathsome lament was followed by the letter, "Enjoy the precious moments," mourning the tragic loss of an 18-year-old daughter and 7-month-old granddaughter who were killed in a two-vehicle accident.
It's interesting how letters, when combined in this column, can sometimes tell a larger story.
Armond "Si" Simmons
Pell City, Ala.
Faulkner lives
To the editor:
Mr. Heidelberg's first sentence in his letter concerning the Briarwood residents, "Around town annexation abounds" (The Meridian Star, Sept. 24, 2002) made my head hurt. Faulkner lives.
David P. Smith
Driver appreciates
help from MHP officer
To the editor:
It was a dark Friday night, Sept. 13, 2002. My wife Regina and I had left Tupelo late that evening headed back to our home in Lamar County near Hattiesburg. We were traveling on Interstate 59 South. My truck was running bad, but after passing though Laurel we hoped to be at our home in about 30 minutes.
But, as fate would have it, a few miles out of Ellisville my check engine light came on, then my oil light, so at the one mile to Sanford exit road sign I pulled over and turned the engine off. We sat in the darkness beside a busy interstate highway wondering what to do.
After a few short minutes the blue lights of a law enforcement vehicle pulled in behind me. At that point I got out of my truck to meet one of the nicest officers I ever had the pleasure of meeting. I would find out later his name was Mr. Bradley Byrd. He was a nice outgoing young man and helpful in every way. Through him we got a tow truck to haul my disabled vehicle off the road and to a shop. Mr. Byrd stayed with us all this time, talking pleasantly and making us feel at ease. He never left our side till our ride came and we were secure and on our way home.
Though my frustration that night I may have forgotten to thank Mr. Byrd, so I would like to take this time to thank him, and Troop J-15 and the Mississippi Highway Patrol. I know there other men like Mr. Byrd out there serving us when we need them. These are men we as Mississippians should be proud of.
As a driver I've never liked blue lights behind me especially if I'd been speeding, and I was never appreciative of the man writing the ticket. But after talking with Mr. Byrd and seeing how helpful he was to us and, I'm sure, to others along the way, I now realize how much these men are so needed by us.
Thank you, Mr. Byrd. That's not saying very much for all you did for us that night, but thank you.
Douglas McVey
About those
heavy backpacks
To the editor:
Is it Giles or Davis? Ha! The TV station can't even get that part right. Her name is Cindy Giles … and thank you, Cindy, for stepping up to the plate. We need more parents at West Lauderdale Middle and High school to do so.
If you don't, then you can't complain when your child comes home with a 50 pound backpack. And as for Mr. Little's response, none of it was the truth. The backpacks being so heavy had nothing to do with the renovation of the middle school.
They took the high school lockers away from them a long time ago and the school administration was told that two textbooks would be issued in every class. Come on, David, we knew that was a white one when we were told it. We can't afford to buy the newest textbooks, let alone buy two for each student.
Although, I think maybe Southeast and Northeast may have two textbooks in some subjects, that hasn't happened at West Lauderdale.
Two textbooks would prevent the backpacks being so heavy. Lockers would prevent the backpacks from being so heavy. And you can blame the drugs and weapons for the lockers being taken away. The trouble is we won't expel anybody from school anymore.
When you're bad, you're bad. Send them home to that whining mom and dad and let them do something with them. But, no, we spend taxpayer money shipping them to alternative school because they can't behave.
All of this is connected, you see. But first you have to have a strong leader and a principal who will enforce the rules and not try to keep everybody happy. David Little, do your job and get rid of the troublemakers. And treat all of the county schools alike. What one has they should all have. Either give the kids the lockers or buy the books, but don't get on TV and try to tell everyone it was an oversight.
Other parents need to speak up just like Ms. Giles.
Sandy Gardner