Letters to the Editor 5/09/2003

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 8, 2003

Reader questions Hammett's actions

Dear Editor:

I am very disappointed in Seth Hammett. He voted to allow convicted felons the right to vote in elections (House Bill #104) on Tuesday, May 6, 2003. In addition, he voted to stop the state budgeting process for the next fiscal year so the Alabama House could vote on a pro-gambling bill (HB #280BIR). I guess he believes lining the pockets of the gambling interests is more important than the financial crisis our state faces. He also kept delaying the vote to put President Bush on the ballot for the 2004 election cycle (HB #127) so the house could vote on restoring convicted felons' right to vote. This is a shame.

In 2000, George W. Bush garnered over 60 percent of the votes in Covington County. Likewise, in 2002, Bob Riley got over 60 percent of the votes in Covington County. This tells me that the people of Covington County are conservative. Since Seth Hammett represents the conservative people of Covington County, then why does he vote like he represents the liberals of Berkley, Calif.

- Brad Gooden

Possible funding source for schools

Dear Editor:

Everybody knows our schools, yes our children, are in a funding crisis, plus other spin offs from lack of proper funding.

Schools will close, students will suffer, teachers, counselors, custodians, security guards, others will be laid off. Sports will stop and college scholarships will be lost.

But all the others can be easily prevented. There is ample funding available if the legislature will only do what at first blush may appear to be politically unpopular - but really won't be.

That is tax federal and state retirement income. I am a federal retiree. Alabama is the only state with state income tax or at least one of the only few that does not tax this income. All give a generous fund so low income will not be hurt, plus usual deductions and exemptions.

I do not believe AARP, federal and state retirement organizations need seriously interpose any objections. We all have children and grandchildren in the schools and are willing to make tough choices to help eliminate this crisis.

I wonder if the governor, school officials, and parents are aware of this possible source of funding which could maybe close the gap and save our students?

I know our legislator Mr. Hammett is because I wrote him on it.

There must be someone out there with more credibility than me that would verify this possible source of funding for our schools and write the legislature and the governor to tap this source of income - federal and state retirement pay. Besides, I don't see where there is any other choice or source. The alternative is chaos.

- Bob Reid