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franklin county times

August 19, 2004

By Staff
Tired of city's double talk
I just finished watching the "don't be mad at me" show on Channel 12 (Monday's Meridian City Council meeting). Many, many citizens still don't understand all the double talk by the city administration, and most likely never will. Which is just the way the administration wants it.
This whole show was brought about just to save future votes. I am sure nobody thought for a minute that anyone on the council or the mayor's staff would say they wanted to raise the water rates. That would mean political death.
The question that needs to be asked is, where is all the tax money going, if we are so broke in this city? Could it be we could do without some of the high-paid staff Mayor John Robert Smith has? Maybe we could have done without the multimillion-dollar parking garage. Maybe we could have kept the money we gave to the opera house. Maybe we shouldn't give any money to the multimillion-dollar arts hall at Bonita Lakes. Maybe we could have a nice coliseum for much less than $35 million.
All those things are nice to have and can make a city proud. But this country is in a mess right now, and it's hard for the average family to go to Winn-Dixie, much less park in a multimillion-dollar garage. Most people can barely afford a car.
It's time for the mayor and city council to cut back on those staff positions that aren't absolutely mandatory.
I heard much talk about this being a senior citizen community. An increase in water and sewer rates will hurt senior citizens, and they are already under attack from our governor, legislators and, whether they admit it or not, from the federal government as well.
There seems to be a lot of raising things in Meridian with little return.
Ken Rainey Jr.
Meridian
Volunteers thanked
Earlier this month, a large group of volunteers was the guest of Applebee's for the Annual Pacesetter Campaign and Day of Caring Kick-off Breakfast. Their generosity was the beginning of a huge volunteer effort held the following day.
Early on Aug. 6, volunteers from 11 Pacesetter companies went to work at 11 of the 16 agencies served by United Way of East Mississippi. They performed tasks that included yard work, painting, filing, cleaning and more. It was a tremendous day that demonstrated the caring of businesses and citizens of Meridian and Lauderdale County.
This year's Pacesetter companies are Alliance Health Center, Anderson Regional Medical Center, Mississippi Power, Avery Dennison, J.C. Penney, Dillard's, Citizens National Bank. Community Bank, AmSouth Bank, Rush Health Systems, Mitchell Companies, Coca-Cola, East Mississippi Business Development Corp., and Long Wholesale. They are conducting their United Way campaigns early in order to set the pace for reaching the $700,000 goal for the overall campaign that kicks-off on Sept. 21. Thank you, Pacesetter companies, for your participation and for allowing your employees to volunteer.
In addition to Applebee's contributing the breakfast on Thursday, the following restaurants contributed lunch to the teams on Friday: Caf Latte, Squealer's, Quiznos, Papa John's, Captain D's, Popeye's, Arby's, Little Caesar's and Subway. We sincerely thank all of these restaurants for helping to make Day of Caring 2004 a tremendous success.
I also want to thank The Meridian Star, WMDN-TV, and WTOK-TV for the excellent coverage of the event. It enabled the community to learn more about the agencies and see people helping people. That's what it's all about.
Carolyn Starnes
Day of Caring 2004 Chairman

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