Sound Off for Sunday, March 23, 2014
On Watson proposal: People opposed to Bill Watson and Jeff Helgesen are the same people who want family-supporting jobs so their kids and grandkids stay near them. If we keep beating up the builders, developers, investors and risk takers, then those employers and the jobs will go where they are wanted, down south to the right-to-work states.
-- What Watson and Helgesen are trying to do for Milton and Janesville is to bring industrial jobs to their hometowns. The Gazette should champion these entrepreneurs instead of giving coverage to the very few who cry “not in my backyard.” Watson has the land and will pay for the interchange. Helgesen has the building experience and a national reputation.
On mobile food vendors: I saw on TV this one state has lots of vendors. They even park in front of the state Capitol, and the people who work there love it. They come out to eat at lunch hour.
-- In reference to Page 1A March 17, why doesn't Gale Price just enforce current rules? We don't need more ordinances and zoning rules when we're not enforcing the ones we have.
On fire station: It's time The Gazette printed the actual contract and what these fire people receive in compensation so we can make an intelligent decision on just what they are costing us versus value.
-- I know we need a new fire station. It is in bad disrepair. However, they could use other buildings for training and other purposes. It's disrespectful to homeowners that they weren't notified well in advance. The council should have never made decisions in closed session that wasn't allowed under state statute. It wouldn't be a bad idea for this to go to referendum.
-- I was impressed with suggestions in the March 19 Sound Off, especially building on the old baseball diamond on Woodman Road, adding a bay on Joliet Street and building up rather than out. Citizens of Janesville are really thinking this through, coming up with excellent solutions. Now if we can only get the council to do the same.
On foreign affairs: What is the problem with John McCain? Every time there is a foreign problem, McCain accuses the president of being weak. I wonder if the bin Laden family thinks our president is weak. I haven't seen any foreign countrymen throwing shoes at him the way they did at George W. Bush.
-- As Vladimir Putin is busy reassembling the Soviet Union, Barack Obama is busy releasing his bracket picks for March Madness. To be fair, though, Obama slapped heavy sanctions on the Russians, and as a result their stock market went up. That'll teach them.
On plowing: The town of Johnstown could make a much better effort in plowing its one-lane winter roads.
On tax cut: A brief on Wednesday said “Walker's tax cut plan approved.” It seems any story that makes Republicans look good is a brief if run at all. Notice that Walker reduced taxes in the lowest bracket from 4.4 percent to 4 percent, for people at the bottom. Gee, I thought Republicans hated the poor. Why is this evil Republican focusing his tax cut for people at the bottom rung?
On superintendent: It would have served the public interest well during Sunshine Week for citizens to hear an update on the status of Superintendent Karen Schulte's contract. This item was on the school board agenda for closed session March 11. Why the delay in reporting on what happened to the public?
On immigrants: I am sick of hearing about illegals breaking our laws to come here and think they deserve jobs to better themselves. We have poor people in this country who want jobs so they can get out of poverty. We have a right to limit how many illegals the United States can accommodate.
-- Regarding Thursday's front page “Dreamer expresses frustration to Ryan,” first they went from illegal aliens to undocumented workers, and now they're dreamers. So the transformation from lawbreaker to victim is nearly complete. I'm all for immigration reform, but granting amnesty to people who have broken our laws rewards bad behavior.
On JCPenney: I was taken by surprise that JCPenney is leaving our mall. I hope we get a nice store in there. Ikea would be wonderful, or Burlington Coat Factory.
Parkview referendum: Question 1: Parkview makes it sound like you will only pay taxes on your house. That's incorrect. You pay on the land and improvements. Question 2: A $350,000 operating referendum, a large portion of that goes to paying the superintendent's salary/benefits of $130,000.