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Our readers write

Our readers write

Posted: Wednesday, August 1, 2012 7:00 pm

Local agency
merits support

To The Editor:
I am writing in regard to the article in the paper where United Way distributed the money raised in Obion County. It said the Obion County Red Cross received $8,000. There is no Obion County Red Red Cross; they took the Obion County Red Cross and combined it with Dyer County. So, everything given to the Red Cross goes to Dyer County and they, in turn, are supposed to assist Obion County. But, did you know their transportation to the meeting was a helicopter? Makes me wonder where our money went.
When they removed the Red Cross from Obion County, the volunteers formed the Northwest Tennessee Disaster Services. We have helped with almost every fire and flood in Obion and surrounding counties. (Volunteer CEO) Rob (Adcock) is usually the first one there and helps with housing and any needs, but there is never any mention of this service. The Messenger always says the Red Cross was there.
This organization is made up totally of volunteers. We distribute food and monetary items to people in need. We purchased cots and bedding and cleaning supplies for disaster purposes and these were given to Red Cross by one of our own councilmen. We have receipts for these.
You would think that Obion County officers would like to keep the donations in the county to help Obion County citizens. By the way, we took our own vehicles to the meeting.
Barb Sheppard
Northwest Tennessee
Disaster Services
board member


Voter ID fraud
not the issue
To The Editor:
According to the U.S. Election Commission, absentee ballot fraud is the most prevalent kind of voting fraud. Yet in Tennessee, those 65 and over without government issued photo ID’s are being encouraged to vote by absentee ballot, a voting process which requires no proof of identification at all, a process where their votes are the most likely to be stolen, “lost” or altered.
Want to know the type of voter fraud least likely to occur? Voter impersonation fraud, the kind where someone votes in someone else’s name. The only kind of fraud that the voter photo ID law will prevent. What’s going on here?
I decided to investigate. The only problem was I couldn’t find a problem. Going back 10 years, no voter impersonation fraud anywhere in the state. Even Tennessee State Elections commissioner Mark Goins could cite only one case of voter impersonation fraud. Of course, there were those 30 votes cast in the names of dead people in the Ophelia Ford state Senate race in 2005. But those were cast by 3 election workers, and not voters. No voter photo ID law would have prevented that fraud, yet this case is commonly cited by lawmakers as the main reason for that law.
So why have the law? The answer by those legislators supporting the law is that they want to protect future voter purity. But if these legislators are truly interested in voter purity, instead of enacting a law for the type of voter fraud that is least likely to occur, why didn’t they address the fraud that is most likely to occur, that concerning absentee ballots? Were they ignorant about the nature and scope of voter fraud in Tennessee? Evidently so. Did they make an effort to find out? Evidently not. My question to the lawmakers is this: when are you going to address the voter fraud that is most likely to occur, that associated with absentee ballots? You are going to address it, aren’t you?
Lynda Hamblen
Union City


Time to learn
to live with less
To The Editor:
A few years ago a resolution was introduced in the Tennessee Legislature which would have exempted residents age 65 and older from property tax increases — not the entire tax, just the increases. It is my understanding that in some Tennessee counties, that exemption became law.
Adoption of the resolution was discussed in the Obion County Commission and it was unanimously defeated. In other words, “Make them old people keep on paying as much as we can get out of them. They are the tax base.”
Last year, Social Security benefits for the elderly were increased for the first time in three  years. Now, the Obion County Commission proposes to take a substantial portion of that increase away from us by way of higher property taxes. We must pay those taxes; if we do not, our homes will eventually be taken away from us by sale at public auction.
Many farmers in this county will suffer financial loss this year because their crops are dead or dying. So what does the county commission propose to do for them? Raise their taxes, that’s what.
This county has the second highest unemployment rate in the entire state. Many of these unemployed will have problems paying any kind of taxes. So what does the county commission propose to do for them? Raise their taxes, that’s what.
Dozens of Obion County businesses are now shut down, their buildings vacated and their employees out of jobs. I suppose that the only solution to their problems, too, is raise their taxes.
We are told that the Union City School System has a $90,000 shortfall. Too bad, but the city will in all probability work the problem out: Raise taxes.
Somewhere in all this taxation mess there is the straw that will  ultimately break the back of the camel.
Or here’s a suggestion: Until the economy improves for everybody, let the county and the city and the school system do what I, and most other old people, will have to do: Learn to live with less.
Charlene Fowler
Union City

Published in The Messenger 8.1.12

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