Sound Off for Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013

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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

On wheel tax: To put additional money for streets onto the property tax is very wrong. Why not take the $25,275 spent on lap swimmers each year and put that toward streets and let volunteers beautify the medians? A lot of us would volunteer; I’ll volunteer plants and time. The lap swimmers can pay their own way.

-- If the council votes to raise it, remember that election time is coming. We can vote you out of office, too.

-- They can’t find enough money to take care of streets, but the city bought Adams roofing in the floodplain. They can find money for stuff like that but can’t come up with money to help taxpayers.

-- I am terribly disappointed that the council is not willing to take the political risk and raise the wheel tax by $38 for the next three years to fund street maintenance. This is the fair way because everyone owning a car pays the same amount to maintain roads. Come on, council, let’s make a tough political decision.

On spying: We find out that 35 world leaders had cellphones tapped. First, the president didn’t know anything about it like he didn’t know about selling guns to drug dealers or about Benghazi or the train wreck Obamacare rollout or siccing the IRS on tea party people. The president’s the smartest guy on the planet; he just doesn’t know anything.

-- Much of Europe is up in arms after discovering the United States tapped their phone conversations, but there is little outrage from our politicians or the public here. When we don’t challenge attacks on our freedom and blatant disregard of the Fourth Amendment, our democracy will perish.

On Obamacare: People talk about their freedom being taken away with Obamacare. Well, what about my freedom? Who do you think ends up paying for your medical bills if you don’t have insurance? Do you think they just evaporate? No. Those of us who have insurance pay. So where has our freedom gone?

-- They’re saying the website will be fixed by the end of November. They know that’s a lie. They are trying to buy time while they develop a PR strategy and blame it on someone else, hopefully Republicans. It’s going to be hard though because not one Republican voted for this mess.

On superintendent: Karen Schulte apparently has no idea we are in a recession. She goes to China several times for unimportant matters and now wants to give Janesville teachers bonuses for doing their jobs. Time for a change.

-- She wants to reward employees, and citizens are working hard to pay taxes to give teachers their salaries. They’ve already been rewarded; she thinks she needs to dip into our pockets again. I don’t think she’ll be satisfied until we end up like Detroit—lots of benefits for public employees but nothing for citizens but grief.

-- Will Schulte’s plan to give teachers bonuses raise questions? Yes. One, will teachers with students with no test scores or low test scores get money? Two, will Studer Group parent and student satisfaction ratings for teachers—bonus or not—finally be made public?

On Gazette Our Views: Your editorials say Janesville teachers deserve bonuses for good grades and the city should raise the wheel tax to fix streets. Apparently the recession is over, and everyone has extra money. Your paper must be looking through rose-colored glasses. Why not look out for taxpayers instead of promoting more taxes that we can’t afford?

On firefighters: I guess if a firefighter was sleeping in my home, response time would be 2 minutes instead of 10 or 20 minutes. That would be my preference. I also prefer that each child be escorted by a private armed police officer when going to school, but we can’t afford that, either. Nor can we afford to pay firefighters to sleep in the station.

On PolitiFact: Sunday’s uses its usual spin to avoid addressing the real issue Congressman Duffy was talking about. Obama and his family and his press secretary are not in Obamacare. If Obamacare is so wonderful, why is that?

On Halloween displays: Thanks to the people at 1805 Ontario Drive for their beautiful display. Just the time and the effort to put something like that up would be tremendous.

 On auto racing: It would be nice to see The Gazette do more on NASCAR and the driver in Cambridge, not far from here. I know the racing season is over, but it would be nice in the future to see coverage of local racetracks, too, instead of just football and baseball.

On Mary Burke: Gov. Scott Walker’s challenger was born with a silver spoon in her mouth. Her father built Trek Bicycle. She was sent to Harvard and when she returned was given employment in her father’s company. She’s a limousine liberal. If Mitt Romney’s wealth disqualified him, and he earned his own, hers should disqualify her.

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