Letters to the Editor - Jan. 7, 2011

Published: Friday, January 7, 2011 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 6, 2011 at 2:52 p.m.

Judge the mayor by performance not hire

It seems our mayor is getting some grief over his choice of personnel. Almost all elected officials get to choose some if not all of those who work for them.

Our state legislators and federal officials choose all their own staff, and the Constitutional officers (Sheriff, Clerk, Property Appraiser, Supervisor of Elections, and Tax Collector) have some choice too.

Gainesville has only had an elected mayor for about a decade and Lowe is only our 4th. It's an evolving position with evolving needs.

We should focus Lowe's issues and his campaign promises. When he's up for reelection in 2 years, I'll judge his performance on these things plus the total number of city employees; not whether he hired one person loyal to him to help him do what we elected him to do.

Roger Austin,


But who pays when he goes over budget?

An article in the Sun indicated that Mayor Craig Lowe and his aide overdrew his monthly travel allowance. How is this resolved? Is it just forgotten, or does Lowe have to pay the overage out of his pocket?

John S. Clark,


The city's finances

Monday's Reader's Page presented an interesting contrast of interests.

Jim Stringfellow questions the non-cancelable contract for the wood-burning power plant verses a thorium fueled facility. Much of the terms of the GRU/American Renewables contract have been redacted leaving the future cost to the ratepayer (us) unknown.

Dr. Thomas Young reviewed the city of Gainesville's comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR) and pension plans and discovered that "Most of Gainesville's municipal and utility capital base is being paid on the installment plan." Besides the unfunded pension liability, the city has issued a $100 million bond and has assumed unrealistic investment returns.

Jim Roscow wonders who would purchase energy under the city's feed-in tariff program and suggests three possible answers:

A: The village idiot

B: GRU and the Gainesville City Commission

C: The Mad Hatter

May I suggest a fourth:

D: All the above

Robert L. Wilson


A balancing act

Balancing the budget 101:

Cut the entitlements you get; they are wasteful spending.

Increase the entitlements I get; they are vital national security/antiterrorism spending.

Phil Denton,


Now even our coffins are made in China

I have just gotten off the phone with a friend of mine in Connecticut who happens to drive a hearse for a funeral director. He did a funeral a couple of days ago and tells me that the coffin was made in China.

Now I have heard everything.

How on earth can they ship this bulky, heavy thing half way around the world and sell it for less than the local manufacturers?

Perhaps that is why we have almost 10 percent unemployed in this country.

John Wilson,


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