In the past few days I have seen lots of opinions about the sanitation fee and tax decrease proposed by the BMA. What I have not seen is lots of citizens at the BMA work sessions every first and third Monday to learn about why these things are considered. The sanitation fee needs to be separate because the state “prefers” — will eventually and sooner rather than later, demand — that each service be an enterprise fund that shows it is paying for itself. The fee has been resisted by the BMA for years. Before we are forced to do this, it is time to give up and give the state its way.
As for the money that stays in the general fund being used for One Kingsport, the projects in that package are far from all beautification projects. Some that are sorely needed, such as renovations at Lynn View Community Center, neighborhood upgrades in our five highest crime, poverty and obesity neighborhoods, and other important projects are started in this first-year funding. Come out and find out what your dollars are paying for. You will be surprised and impressed. Your elected leaders have thought long and hard about the programs they support, and they are doing a great job.
Mary McNabb, Kingsport
No one to vote for
As I watch the political campaign on TV, I am amazed at the theme of each candidate. As a Christian, I have no one to vote for as both candidates are strictly against me and my lifestyle. They remind me of a colony of ants on a log in a swift stream, just running back and forth trying to figure out who is doing the steering.
May God help us in this trying time.
Joe Redman, Mount Carmel
Fees are taxes in disguise
Mayor Clark and some of the BMA members are taking a page out of President Obama’s playbook. Tax everything, just change the name to “fee” and it will be okay. No matter what you call it, it is still more money out of my pocket.
My pocket has a hard time increasing because interest rates are under 1 percent and Social Security has increased one time in three years. On the other hand, the BMA increased taxes last year, a windfall tax (fee) from Appalachian Electric Power, and a constant increase in water and sewer rates. A new tax (fee) would just be another avenue for the BMA to increase every year. Increased taxes (fees) will not encourage people to move to Kingsport.
Harold K. Egan, Kingsport
Sentence too lenient
As was reported May 12, Samuel Huffine pleaded guilty to having a blood alcohol level of 0.15, driving 73 mph into oncoming traffic, and hitting Bobby Jarrett head-on, killing him. The article isn’t completely clear, but it appears that since he was driving “into oncoming traffic,” he was speeding down the wrong side of a four-lane highway and could have struck a van full of people or multiple vehicles and killed many more.
The possible penalty for the crime he pleaded guilty to was reported as between eight and 30 years in prison. The combination of speed, intoxication and reckless disregard for anyone but himself should have been met with something near the maximum penalty, but instead, a near minimum sentence of nine years was handed down.
Adding outrage to the lenient term, it seems that all of that might not be served in prison because it was reported that “a judge will determine how Huffine serves that sentence.” It is outrageous that a man lost his life and many more could have been killed and the judge thought that a minimum sentence was appropriate. Mr. Huffine murdered a man with his reckless disregard for human life, and his family will never get him back. Guilty plea or no, he should have received the maximum sentence in prison.
Chuck Lane, Kingsport