I have had nothing but positive interaction with Charles Hester thus far. I have not had many conversations with Mr. Hester, but those I have had were pleasant. He seems to be a well educated and intelligent man, as well as an obviously successful business man. For that, I respect him and have nothing negative to say about the man.
I do wonder, however, about a viewpoint or two as expressed in yesterday's "The Selma News". I have been pondering it since I read it, and even commented about it in yesterday's blog entry. There are a few conflicting viewpoints, as I see it.
QUOTE: "Hester believes the town needs to "reduce spending, therefore reducing the amount of utility charges to our citizens." Also, he believes that all town management needs to be accountable." I agree with the accountability. However, the cutting of spending will not necessarily reflect in our utility bills. The overall spending is not necessarily directly linked to the cost of electricity or water, sewer, and trash pick up. Yes, we may very well need to reduce spending. Yes, I would love to see reduced utility bills. However, the reduced spending needs to be directly in those areas. Quite honestly, it looks as if we may need to increase spending in the utility construction area to keep pace with future growth. That is one of the very few areas I have no problem with spending more money. Infrastructure is important to sustaining population and expansion.
I have a problem wiht the town aiding in "the restoration of homes and businesses in town through tax breaks". Such as? Cutting specific property taxes to help people restore their houses and businesses at the expense of the general tax paying population? Sorry, but I do NOT want to subsidize private restoration efforts with my taxes, nor should any sensible citizen.
QUOTE:"We need to beautify the town signs, walks, streets, and appearance of all real property." At who's expense? Do you force people to beautify or take their property by eminent domain? Or do you provide civil penalties for non-compliance? Do you use public tax dollars to paint and maintain privately owned businesses and homes? Do you simply have the town perform all maintenance to beautify and then bill the property owner? I think that the town could encourage the behavior desired of property owners, but there is a limit as to how you treat private property rights.
QUOTE: "We should stress health care for all citizens and seek means to enable this to be done with no costs to the taxpayers." Uh...yeah, right. Sorry, sir, but since when is it the town's responsibility to ensure health care for anyone? Where is it in the town's charter that the municipality has the responsibility to provide health care for its citizens? Why should I pay for health care for someone other than my own family? How the heck are we, as a town, going to do so "with no costs to the taxpayer" other than having a charity run a program? Or with grants from other governmental agencies that we are funding with tax money? Health care is not cheap and there will be expense to the tax payer if the government even touches it, regardless at which level of government. I especially have a problem with the idea of even thinking of supplying anything but life saving emergency health care to anyone here illegally. We have a county run hospital that can provide critical care. Why should the town even think about health care for anyone other than those in its employ?
QUOTE: "Also, we should work to eliminate noise that is a nuisance with better and more stricter ordinances" NEWSFLASH: We already have noise ordinances.
QUOTE: "Also, he wants the town to pursue and correct illegal immigration." It is sad that we even have to consider this, but in this, he is correct. It is the federal government's job to work on this, hence the existence of the Immigration and Naturalization Service and Border Patrol. However, the feds are not doing the job that we are paying them to do. So, we have to take action at the local level. Personally, I believe that we should refuse city services such as water, sewer, and electricity to anyone who does not have the necessary documentation to show that they are in this country legally. It is my understanding (based upon conversation with our town clerk) that the town is regularly shafted on utility bills by illegal immigrants who are very transient. If it is so difficult for the average citizen to get utility service, why is it so easy for illegals to get service in the first place and then skip out on the bill? Why allow this at my or your expense? Why even think about allowing those who refuse to follow the law to enter this country the possibility of priviledge or of breaking further law and take advantage of our system?
I don't write all of this to be severly critical of one mayoral candidate over the other. I debated about whether to write this or not. However, if elected to the town council, I will have to deal with issues like this, and will specifically have to deal with these issues if Mr. Hester is also elected. Now you all know exactly where I stand on these topics. That has been the aim of this web site from the beginning. I have been open in my viewpoints. You have the opportunity to contact me, make comments on this web site, and question things as you see fit. As long as I don't get spammed with the porn ads in the comments area, you are welcome to write comments. You are also welcome to click on my email link to the right side of the page.