Seniors, take action at election time

Posted: Tuesday, June 20, 2006

I found your Sunday editorial (June 11) highly entertaining and somewhat amusing by encouraging the seniors in Juneau to calm their emotional overflow regarding recent Assembly actions.

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The editorial merely reflects our community seniors' concern for our Assembly's actions. But we have to remember that the Empire makes big money stirring up our community with alarming headlines, biased reporting and filtered news. And now that seniors are reacting on their own, the newspaper wants us to "calm down?"

We have every right to threaten action at the polls in the next election. I personally have been highly disappointed with the direction our Assembly has taken our community over the past several years. In my opinion, they have been completely out of control in their fiscal and personnel management.

Seniors must take action at the next election and make their wishes known. Many of us are not as liberal as our community, and we have every right to be concerned over the action taken by city government representatives. After all, Juneau has been politically out of synch with the rest of our state for years.

Nevertheless, perhaps we only have ourselves to blame. After all, based on voting results in past elections, the registered voter turnout has been so low, the minority within our community elects our representatives. If you are voting or don't fully understand the candidate's position, then shame on you.

To me, it was very encouraging to see Assembly members are feeling the heat and must be complaining to the Empire's reporters and management to have generated the editorial.

I personally believe the Assembly should be more fiscally responsible and not always follow the recommendations of the hired city staff.

Mayor Botelho is a master manipulator, and I suspect behind most of the Assembly's actions. He deserves recognition, especially when it comes to out-of-control spending and efforts to reduce senior benefits. Or the mayor may have based his reported "about face" on higher political ambitions.

Our budget is maxed to the extreme. Our city personnel number (my best guess) is about 2,000 employees to operate our little town of 30,000. With the city labeling of various enterprise funds, however, it is very difficult to pinpoint the exact number. I suspect the city intentionally uses "smoke and mirrors" or fund labeling to hide actual employment numbers.

Joe Poor


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