News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion
WEDNESDAY, JULY 4, 2007
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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Let voters decide whether to ban indoor smoking

To The Daily: This concerns the June 26 article about the proposed smoking ban ordinance. In Evan Belanger’s article, we heard from two councilmen, our mayor, a restaurant owner and a cancer survivor. Will we hear from “we the people”?

Let me explain. My job requires me to travel weekly throughout the United States and sometimes overseas. Each week I read in the local newspapers a trend that is troubling. The trend is that our elected officials are taking away a basic freedom: the right to vote.

Unless I miss my guess, “we the people” will not be able to vote on any of the proposed smoking ordinances, either for or against. Yes, there is a council meeting to attend so that we can voice our opinions; however, in the end our elected officials will make the final decision instead of allowing the citizens of this city to do so.

More often than not, our elected officials act as if they know what is best for us; quite frankly, I am highly offended by this arrogant attitude. A council meeting allowing us to express our opinions is merely a formality, as the vote by the council will be taken immediately after the meeting.

In closing, until “we the people” turn out to vote and elect officials who understand that we do not require a nanny, then we will keep getting what the rest of the country and world is imposing on themselves: socialism.

Full disclosure: I am not a smoker. If the ordinance will not be voted on by the people, I agree with Mayor Don Kyle and Councilman Gary Hammons’ approach.

By the way, I am still looking for a vote by the people to keep or reduce the 9 percent sales tax. What say you?

Degan Wilder
Decatur

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