Letters to the editor: Aug. 7 - East Valley Tribune: News

Letters to the editor: Aug. 7

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Posted: Thursday, August 6, 2009 3:51 pm | Updated: 2:10 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

We encourage readers to submit letters to the editor on issues of interest to East Valley residents. Submissions should be no longer than 300 words, factually accurate and original thoughts of the writer. Please be brief and include name, address, city and phone number for verification. Letters and comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Submit your letter to the editor

We encourage readers to submit letters to the editor on issues of interest to East Valley residents. Submissions should be no longer than 300 words, factually accurate and original thoughts of the writer. Please be brief and include name, address, city and phone number for verification. Letters and comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Submit your letter to the editor

STATE BUDGET

Arizona needs sweeping, lasting reductions

Now is the time for massive, unprecedented reductions in the state government of Arizona. Citizens don’t need a tax increase; they need less government! I’m not talking about temporary restraints on growth, I’m talking about permanently eliminating entire agencies, bureaucracies, departments, commissions, entitlements, mandates, advisory boards and governmental excess that have nothing to do with the lawful purpose of government, which is simply to protect citizens’ rights. Look at the major headings in our proposed budget to get a sense of the lineup of overlapping and wasteful departments that once receive funding will never be curtailed. Where to start? How about the $808 million for the state Department of Economic Security?

P.J. O’MALLEY

MESA

PINAL COUNTY EMPLOYMENT

Some convicts deserve second chance

We live in a country founded by people who wanted a second chance in life.

The pilgrims set sail for the new world looking for a chance to start a new life without religious persecution. They were afforded that second chance by hard work, determination and a spirit that was willing to overlook the obstacles of starting over.

Keeping that in mind, I read with interest Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu’s monthly article to the residents of Pinal County. He expressed an interest that the Pinal County Board of Supervisors adopt a policy that would prohibit departments from hiring a person with a felony conviction.

I think it is important that residents understand the hiring guidelines that the county must abide by. I am not advocating the hiring of felons, but an outright ban is unlawful. A prudent and thorough review of an applicant’s background is necessary to find the right candidate for any open position.

Make no mistake. The Board of Supervisors takes the public trust seriously. Under the board’s direction, a draft policy and procedure is currently under review that would give clear guidance for background and credit checks for potential employees.

While recent arrests within Pinal County have been highly publicized, the issue begs a debate on a larger stage. Should we as a civilized society condemn ex-felons, who have paid their debt to the community, to being withheld from trying to earn an honest living and becoming a productive citizen?

For every person that reoffends, there are dozens of stories about people who have rehabilitated and reinvented themselves to make a successful transition from prison to private life. If we do not afford some people who have paid their debt to society a second chance, we take a huge risk of them offending again, thus becoming another burden upon the taxpayers.

PETE RIOS

MEMBER, PINAL COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

DUDLEYVILLE

GILBERT BUDGET

Taxation is not the answer to funding woes

With great interest I read the July 14 commentary, “Gilbert council invites input on budget.” The council stated that $7 million dollars in spending cuts have been made, but they are still $7 million dollars short. More cuts of “essential” government services are still necessary to meet the budget. Their answer to this: We need a tax increase!

How many years could those $7 million dollar savings have been going into reserves? I’m assuming the cuts made must have been items the council has labeled as nonessential government services. If these services are nonessential during tough economic times, then there is a strong possibility they have always been unnecessary government spending. Think what reserves we would have at this point, and maybe “essential” government services would not have to be eliminated.

A homeowner is not extended more credit when “down and out.” Government at any level should not expect taxpayers to always extend more credit in the form of higher taxes. A household running month-to-month with no savings is a disaster waiting to happen, but that is exactly the way government operates. Any financial adviser will tell you to have cash reserves set aside before you spend money on nonessential items. I think we all know that money doesn’t grow on trees! Apparently government officials think taxpayers do.

TAMMY JUST

GILBERT

Apply now to join solutions committee

Gilbert, like other municipalities throughout Arizona, is facing the current challenge and predicted future challenge of providing the current level of public services with declining revenues. As a result, the Town Council invites citizens to apply and also participate in the community’s public discussions over the next several weeks. This group will analyze Gilbert’s current level of service, operational efficiencies, and review of current practices. The goal is to send by Jan. 1 recommendations for best practices, elimination of redundancy and waste and evaluation of the need for increased revenues.

The application is available online at www.gilbertaz.gov or through the Town Clerk’s office at cathyt@ci.gilbert.az.us, and we are hopeful that citizens who have been anxious to be a part of the solution will take the opportunity to do so.

Applications must be received by Aug. 15.

MAYOR JOHN LEWIS

VICE MAYOR LINDA ABBOTT

COUNCILMEMBERS DAVWE CROZIER, JENN DANIELS, LESs PRESMYK, JOHN SENTZ AND STEVE URIE

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