Letters to the editor: July 16, 2017


I attended the Ted Cruz event held by Concerned Veterans of America in Austin on July 6. They billed it as a “town hall.” It was not a town hall; it was invitation-only and highly controlled. Questions had to be written and screened.

The first “question” allowed went straight to liberal-bashing, which delighted Cruz. You could tell it was highly scripted. If it had been an actual town hall, it would be open to the public – to all his constituents. And we would have been able to ask questions that weren’t screened. If it were an actual town hall, the 300 folks outside who are also concerned Americans would have been allowed inside to participate.

LYNN KURTH, AUSTIN

Re: July 10 article, “Proposed Texas annexation reform bill draws many city opponents.”

Smithville City Manager Robert Tamble believes letting Texans vote before annexation is a bad idea because it will “cost the taxpayers additional money and create an unnecessary financial burden on an already limited budget.” While it may be true that elections cost money, the current system promotes taxation without representation and tramples property rights.

Currently, cities annex Texans living on the outskirts without their consent, meaning those folks take on higher taxes, more regulations and big government debt — whether they like it or not. This scheme is simply a way cities bolster tax revenues and control land development through the regulatory process.

This process stands in contradiction to the representative government we proudly believe in. If annexation is beneficial for unincorporated areas, property owners should be given a chance to agree via a public vote. Participation in governance is at the heart of what this state — and nation — stand for.

KIRBIE FERRELL, AUSTIN

Re: July 7 article, “Perry touts importance of coal-fired power plants.”

Energy Secretary Rick Perry has revealed a great truth, noting, “You put the supply out there and the demand will follow that.”

Why hadn’t anyone thought of that before? Numerous examples of how profound that thought is come to mind: steam locomotives, Edsel cars, rotary-dial phones, Kodak film. It’s reassuring to see that Perry is functioning as energy secretary with the same mental acumen he showed as our governor.

PHILIP RUSSELL, AUSTIN

Re: July 6 commentary, “Austin needs public input on city manager search.”

Terrell Blodgett’s commentary about the Austin city manager search hit the mark on every point. Mayor Steve Adler and the City Council should heed his advice. The search for a new city manager must be open and transparent. Real citizen engagement in the search process is critical. Before it is too late, residents should be given additional opportunities to weigh in on the personal characteristics — as well as the professional qualifications — they expect to see in a new city manager.

Full public disclosure of leading candidates’ backgrounds and qualifications is critical as the search narrows to a select few. It should not be narrowed down to just to one take-it-or-leave it candidate from the search firm. Hopefully, the mayor and City Council will take charge of the underqualified search firm to wrest leadership back to elected officials.

As goes this search, so will go the managerial competency of our city government and its ethical behaviors.

JIM RAY, AUSTIN



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Opinion

Celeste Ng’s second novel strikingly illuminates life in America
Celeste Ng’s second novel strikingly illuminates life in America

Celeste Ng’s “Little Fires Everywhere” is an incandescent portrait of suburbia and family, creativity, and consumerism burns bright. It’s not for nothing that Ng (“Everything I Never Told You,” 2014) begins her second novel, about the events leading to the burning of the home of an outwardly perfect-seeming family...
Why Longmire doesn’t — and wouldn’t — carry a cellphone
Why Longmire doesn’t — and wouldn’t — carry a cellphone

People ask me why my protagonist, Walt Longmire, doesn’t carry a cellphone, and my immediate response is: Have you ever been to Wyoming? With more than 97,000 square miles, the state is divided into 23 counties, some of them as large as Maryland but none of them named Absaroka. Taking a cue from Faulkner, I decided to go with a fictional county...
Letters to the editor: Sept. 24, 2017

Re: Sept. 17 commentary, “Sanders’ drug plan puts Texas patients, companies in peril.” I read the commentary by Russell Withers. Typical dialog of big pharma, a group of corporations who seem to think they can pick prices out of the air. Oh yes, the free market will solve this. My question is how? The doctor writes a prescription...
Ken Follett’s new release dominates best-sellers lists
Ken Follett’s new release dominates best-sellers lists

NEW YORK TIMES BEST-SELLERS FICTION 1. ‘A Column of Fire,’ Ken Follett 2. ‘The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye,’ David Lagercrantz 3. ‘Enemy of the State,’ Kyle Mills 4. ‘The Romanov Ransom,’ Clive Cussler and Robin Burcell 5. ‘A Legacy of Spies,’ John le Carré 6. ‘Secrets in...
Commentary: Congress must reauthorize proven family support program
Commentary: Congress must reauthorize proven family support program

This summer, throughout Houston and Texas’ Gulf Coast, many families struggled. They were in a desperate situation, isolated, not knowing where to find relief, needing someone to throw them a lifeline. And that was before Hurricane Harvey. Following the storm, the previously precarious existence of these Texans is now exponentially worsened by...
More Stories