News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Candidate did not apply for appointment to post

Running a campaign is not only hard work, but can be very expensive and requires a tremendous amount of sacrifice, not only for the candidate, but for his or her entire family. I applaud James Ray Bowling for making this commitment.

However, I would like to set the record straight on the appointment to fill the vacant District 2 seat to which James Ray feels he should have been appointed. The local chairman appointed seven members from the local Republican Party to the Selection Committee. The committee was charged with seeking interested appointees, interviewing those candidates, and submitting the name(s) to the governor for the appointment.

The goal of the committee was to recommend the best person for the job based upon education, career background and his or her ability to manage the millions of dollars that the commission budgets each year. Party affiliation was a consideration, but not a deciding factor.

For James Ray to say that the governor did not follow protocol is wrong. James Ray was asked to submit a resume for consideration, but he declined, instead saying that he had a friend that rode horses with the governor and he didn't have to go through the selection process. "Playing games," as James Ray put it, is secondary to good government. Coming in second in a political race does not entitle a person to anything except to say that he ran and lost.

Bill Wood


First Amendment does not apply during war

It is sad when a person takes other people's statements out of context to support their own warped idea of what is right.

A letter published Dec. 7, quoting Teddy Roosevelt concerning criticism of the president, which was not in any way connected with criticism during war, was off base.

Anyone who criticizes the president during a war is either extremely dumb or is intellectually dishonest.

It does hurt our troops and encourages the enemy. It is treasonous.

When such people are called on it, they jump up and down screaming, "freedom of speech," which again is dishonest. Freedom of speech doesn't apply in this case any more than it applies to yelling fire in a crowded theater.

Edwin J. Slaten


Reality and fantasy hard to distinguish in Hartselle

The Dec. 4 story "Hartselle proactive in BRAC recruiting" has made the rounds and yes, the jokes are flying regarding the validity of some of the story. Seems like we have a few more people of notoriety than I originally thought living in a fantasy world.

Chamber President Susan Hines was quoted, "Hartselle has a quality of life and a lot to offer that some of these folks will be interested in." Unless your child can play ball, or you are rich, you are nothing or no one. We have no theatre, no good places to eat out, no nightlife options, because we are known as a "bedroom" community. The low crime scenario can be related to all of the above. The "back room" decision making, pandering and politics is pathetic.

When the school is the only thing that you can brag about, don't brag. The need for a new high school is a reality. Between the dilapidation of the current high school building and the major overcrowding of classrooms, time is the worst enemy. When Ronnie Abercrombie was school board chairman, he addressed this, only to have it fall on deaf ears. Now that he is no longer on the board, it suddenly becomes an item of needed interest. How odd!

As long as Hartselle is known as a "bedroom community," you shouldn't brag or tout. No retail or industrial growth is quite an eye-opening issue when people are relocating. Pothole-infested streets, vacant buildings, annexations just to be doing something; these don't make anyone or anything look any better. Lastly, but surely not the least, actions from an ineffective council removes the icing from any cake.

Mike Dowdy


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