I have decided to come out in the open (and not hide behind Word of Mouth) to publicly denounce the insulting statement of our mayor about senior citizens who are receiving tax exemptions. For the city officials' information, although I have a tax exemption card, I usually use it only when I am short of cash. Like the other seniors in this beloved city, I was heartily offended by the mayor's derisive statement.
I believe that the original intention of this privilege was to honor the senior citizens who have lived here that long and have helped in making Juneau what it is today. It was irresponsible of her to say that it is "a reward for having cheated death." She and the city Assembly can remove this tax exemption from us, if they so decide, without having to add insult to injury. Her comment was uncalled for in that Finance Committee meeting. And we wish to thank Assemblyman Marc Wheeler for speaking for the elders.
Although I did not vote for then candidate Sally Smith because I have promised my vote to Jamie Parsons earlier, I thought then that she was a potential city official who can "unite" all of us in building a better community. Now, I have a different image of our mayor. An apology from her on this matter will be very difficult to accept. Should she run for re-election, I will actively campaign against her even if death will cheat me before the next election.
Thank you for publishing this letter for and on behalf of the offended senior citizens of this city and borough.
Loy G. Maturan