Simply asking questions

Posted: Monday, October 15, 2001

I must respond to Ms. Metcalfe's extremely negative and divisive letter in the Oct. 10 Empire. I consider myself a "political moderate" in most instances - I vote for the individual not the party. I am also a small business owner-operator and a land owner in the Juneau Borough.

I felt that Mr. Anderson's "My Turn" was timely and to the point. He simply was asking questions about the propriety of spending taxpayer money, at this time, to purchase land which may or may not be used in the immediate future. He did not question building or developing a new library or swimming pool. He asked some questions which he said were not adequately addressed by the Assembly. Ms. Metcalfe, apparently, does not agree that questions of Assembly action can be asked.

Ms. Metcalfe described Mr. Wheeler as a "political moderate." I strongly disagree! I have never met Mr. Wheeler (I've only met Mr. Anderson once), but Mr. Wheeler's record belies Ms. Metcalfe's claim. Mr. Wheeler was one of three Assembly members who voted against returning excess property tax revenues to us taxpayers. His reasoning was that at some time in the future they (the Assembly members) may wish to spend that money on something. There is label for politicians who think they have the "better" interest of the citizens and the spending of their money than the citizens themselves and it is not "moderate."

Attempting to move the "moderate" label to the left of political center is well planned. If successful then extreme positions can be seen as reasonable and, on the other side, actually moderate positions can be labeled extreme. Sorry Ms. Metcalfe, but calling a daisy a rose doesn't make a daisy a rose.

The other issue is why Ms. Metcalfe is so adamant to malign Mr. Anderson and his questions of this land purchase. It appears that this particular purchase has nothing to do with a library.

Is this really the case? If so why is the land being purchased? It was only this summer when Mendenhall Library patrons were being surveyed about a new location. Now, only a few weeks later, a purchase is being made.

If this purchase is a good one, then it will still be a good one in a couple of weeks when the raised questions can be answered.

Jim Preston

Auke Bay

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