News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Hartselle councilman 2 for 2 in upsetting residents

To The Daily: Over the years, one might say I’ve gotten the attention of several people with my letters and opinions. Many responses have been positive, and there have been a few negative replies.

One thing for sure is I have never managed to upset so many people as Hartselle Councilman Bill Drake has on two separate occasions.

His first slap in the face of Hartselle’s citizens was when he refused to allow them to vote on a property tax increase to fund the new high school. Single-handedly, he has done what is nothing short of a filibuster. Way to go.

Second, my observation is that he’s grandstanding and attempting to interfere with an individual’s (Robert Clairday) private business (cage fighting), which consequently could shut the business down. What business is it of any individual to interfere with something where grown men and women make decisions, knowing the risks and consequences of events that involve pugilism? If you don’t like it, don’t attend it.

These events have been held at Sparkman Civic Center periodically for approximately 25 years. Suddenly, when it moves to a location where the city doesn’t get any revenue, there is an issue of legality. Many people are asking just how the fire marshal was notified to look at the building where it is being held. Could there be a separate issue as to who owns the building?

Mr. Drake is not Tarzan, and this is not the jungle. He’s not God, nor the godfather of Hartselle. He is one councilman who apparently wants his 15 minutes of fame to be extended to 30 minutes. Like many voters of Hartselle, I cannot wait for the complete house cleaning to begin in ’08. Maybe then, we will get a business-friendly council and mayor.

Mike Dowdy

Third-class citizens also should have a place to go

To The Daily: Since I have recently been demoted to second- or third-class citizenship because of my “filthy and disgusting” smoking habit, I hope my letter will still be printed.

I would like for someone to explain why restaurants and bars shouldn’t be allowed to choose between being nonsmoking and all-smoking, with restrictions on age.

I believe that 98 percent of these establishments would choose nonsmoking by popular demand of their customers. This plan would allow for a few places where “filthy, disgusting” third-class citizens like me could enjoy a meal, a cup of coffee or a glass of beer while smoking, without putting the lives of nonsmokers in imminent danger.

Seriously, I would like an explanation.

Jim Shook

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