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Reader gives response to editorial

By Staff
Dear editor,
This letter is written in response to the editor's article, "Can we fix a broken government?" dated August 24, 2003.
A few years ago my son, who was about 12 at the time, and I went squirrel hunting one afternoon and I set him up about 100 yards from me. As it approached dark I heard him shoot. A few minutes later he shot again much farther away than the shot before. I called to him and he was getting farther away.
I finally caught up to him and asked what was he doing. He said he got turned around and was not sure that direction to go and unfortunately, he was running – the wrong way. The moral of the story, if you do not know what direction you are heading, it is best that you do not run.
I took it as a put down that you mentioned that Rep. Greg Albritton did not have an answer to the state's financial and other woes. Actually, that is an admirable answer. If the answer were easy, we would all know the answer. If someone had the answer, we should make him king. This is not simple and surely not easy. One thing for sure is that there is not a "right" way to vote. An awful lot is at stake.
I have heard several times recently, that Mississippi's education budget is a billion dollars more than Alabama's. I take this as a proof that money is not necessarily the answer. Education cannot improve as long as Paul Hubbard is allowed to continue to hold the best legislators that money can buy.
Also, education cannot improve as long as we have teacher tenure. I have never seen a quality teacher who needed tenure protection. So, what is tenure protecting? Money cannot solve these two problems.
Voting "yes" will take a significant amount of money from the Brewton and Escambia County economies. In the same edition of The Brewton Standard there was an honest editorial response from Robin Swift of Atmore lamenting the potential loss of jobs in his company if this amendment passes. When people lose jobs, other services and retailers see declines in their sales and on and on. I estimate that a minimum of $2 million in additional taxes on timberland will have to be sent to Montgomery banks and taken out of our banks. This is great for the Montgomery economy, but disastrous to the Escambia County economy.
A "no" vote will no doubt cause some state assistance programs to be curtailed or terminated. Some of these are probably good programs. Some of the terminated programs may have to be picked up by churches or families, etc. (as they should be). Some of them may be resurrected or continued by other state agencies. We are Alabamians and we will take care of our less fortunate with or without more tax dollars.
To quote from your article, "Is Amendment One perfect? No." I agree with that and contend that it is better to have no plan than a truly bad one that devastates all of your circulation area. If this amendment passes, it will cost many people their jobs. If one's job is lost, a subscription to your paper may be a luxury that is first to go.
W. Earl Cooper
Brewton