Letters: May 15, 2006

Is SB 304 really better than ‘nothing’?

A few proponents of Thurman Adams proposed SB 304 bill that would add two districts to the Sussex County Council in 2012 are suggesting the bill would be “better than nothing.”

As we all know, that argument is the weakest of all excuses for doing anything, much less justifying legislation which would have a major impact on the lives of 170,000 county citizens. The very nature of this excuse shows the low esteem in which it is held.

Add to that the fact that it really would not be better than “nothing” because it wouldn’t change anything (nada, zip) for six years. So pray tell, how is it better than “nothing” for the next six years?

In addition to the fact that “better than nothing” is the weakest of all justification, in the case of SB 304 it isn’t even true. The truth is “nothing” would be better than SB 304 because if SB 304 became law it would act as an obstacle, an excuse if you would, to discourage or even prevent the passing of better legislation that might be proposed between the year 2006 and the year 2012.

If SB 304 did not become law then no such impediment to potentially better legislation would exist. Furthermore, under SB 304 council members would still end up drawing the new council district lines, and under the circumstances that would not be reassuring.

On the other hand, we already have HB 170, passed overwhelmingly by the House, popular with the majority of citizens, would go into effect in 2006 and by all accounts would pass the senate if Adams would bring it to the floor for a vote. Were it not Adams who opposed HB 170 and was SB 304 not Adams’ legislation, SB 304 would be considered a laughing joke by everyone so far as meaningful legislation was concerned.

One of the real ironies in this struggle is that those who oppose HB 170 but would accept SB 304 have obviously not thought this matter through to its logical consequence. Those who seem most concerned with the possible shift of power from the western to eastern districts ultimately would be more negatively impacted from SB 304 than they would be from HB 170.

Adding two new districts based on the 2010 census will undoubtedly shift the majority representation to the more populous coastal areas. The net result is that each Sussex citizen will still only be represented by one council member and in 2012 each of those seven council members would have less voting influence than the five members do now.

On the other hand, HB 170 would do nothing to disturb the existing five districts, leaving them intact. The candidates for the “at large” seats could be from any part of the county, so, unlike SB 304, the possibility exists that they could increase as well as reduce the representation for any given geographical section of the county depending on the voter-appeal of a particular candidate.

And regardless of what part of the county they came from they would be responsible to all the citizens in the county. That means that, unlike SB 304, where each citizen would be represented by only one council member, under HB 170 they would be represented by three council members. Given that most council decisions impact more than one district, often all districts, HB 170 would provide Sussex citizens with far fairer representation than SB 304 ever could. “Nothing” is even better.

Allen Ide

Reader: Castle does not represent our interests

Last month I wrote to ask if the “real Mike Castle” would stand up, based on his flip-flops on federal budget proposals that affect the lives and well-being of everyone in Delaware.

Since my last letter, Mike Castle has stood up for what he believes. He has voted in favor of a $70 billion tax giveaway to the wealthiest Americans. He voted to give a tax cut of about $42,000 to a taxpayer who earns $1 million, while only giving back about $20 to middle-class taxpayers.

Mike Castle does not represent the interests of the vast majority of Delawareans. He has not earned our support, and he should not be re-elected in November.

Richard Legatski

School board should continue its path

Hopefully, the recent school board election will not affect the rejection of the settlement of the law suit filed against the board

Part of that settlement, according to Thomas Neuberger, working for one of the school board members, would have required the board to bump one of the plaintiffs’ children to the front of the line for admittance into the Southern Delaware School for the Arts.

That tells our children that you do not have to work hard to obtain what you want. Just hire an attorney and file a lawsuit.

Leo Brady
Bethany Beach

Reader: President needs to take drastic steps

The following is an address to be given by George Bush. It may somehow restore some semblance of respect for his failed administration.

“My follow Americans: Tonight Dick Cheney has advised me that he will be resigning and returning to his Wyoming ranch. Likewise, I have accepted the resignations of Secretary Rumsfeld and Secretary Rice.

“These changes are as a result of an investigation conducted by my father, former President George H. W. Bush. He has informed me that early in my administration I offered the opinion that the United States would be better off if we got rid of Saddam Hussain. My administration could claim credit for his removal then my re-election in 2004 would be a certainty.

“What I did not know was the fact that I set in motion a series of events that has resulted in the deaths of more then 2,400 American soldiers and Marines, 18,000 additional casualties and the deaths of 40,000 Iraqi men, women and children. What I did not realize is that my comments created an atmosphere in which my appointees selected only information that supported my worldview. Within months, filters were put in place on all intelligence that may have a more realistic view of the truth.

“The events of Sept. 11 created an internal atmosphere that compounded this ‘group think’ mentality. Attacking a bunch of Muslim zealots in Afghanistan did not seem to bring the kind of military victory associated with great presidents, but a quick victory over a real nation like Iraq would give the American people a sense of retribution and secure my presidential legacy. Those who either offered caution or facts that were in contradiction with ‘my way’ were no longer invited to the decision-making meetings. My staff made sure that I did not read any opposing views. Karl Rove and his team of conservative radio hosts made sure that any public officials who voiced opposing views were treated as traitors.

“These actions on my part have created a rift in our long-standing relationships with our allies, and caused me to neglect several important issues here at home.

“I will be asking the Senate to confirm my father as Secretary of State. For too many years I have ignored his advice and the council of his seasoned foreign affairs professionals. His mission will be challenging. He will attempt to repair the standing and trust of the United States in the world community.

“Before asking him to accept the position of Secretary of Defense, I apologized to Colin Powell for ignoring his wise advice. Gen. Powell is a good soldier and has earned the respect of the men and women in uniform. He will have the dual responsibility of extracting our forces from Iraq, and rebuilding the command structure of our senior military commanders.

“As a replacement for the vice president, I will be asking the Senate to confirm one of their own, Sen. Joe Leiberman of Connecticut. He has indicated that he will not seek higher elective office. I have asked him to be an independent advisor and a bridge to members of the Democratic Party.

“I leave it to history to judge my legacy, but I will do my best to heal the wounds that I have created for the nation. Please pray that I make better decisions in the next two and a half years then I have in the past five-plus years.”

Dennis P. Cleary
Bethany Beach

Bireley thanks voters, volunteers for election

I want to thank the fourth district voters of the Indian River School District for supporting me on May 9, 2006. Your many calls, comments, and prayers have been very much appreciated during this campaign. I would not have been successful without the many people who gave their time to help with all the things that needed to be done on election day. It would be impossible to mention all that played a part in my campaign so I just want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. I will do my best to represent you to the best of my ability for the next three years.

Charles Bireley, District 4
Indian River School District School Board