Officials listen up: Stop raising taxes

Stop it. Stop raising our taxes.

Listen government officials: We the people, whom you serve, not us serve you, are tired of being told to open our wallets when you will not tighten yours. Don’t let the government and wealthy elitists do it over and over again.

Simple answer: lower taxes and in the relatively peaceful and pristine environment of Polk County businesses will flock in, and there will be bounty for all who care to work for it.

Rose Bajorins

Falls City

Without legitimate ideas, levy needed

There is a lot of emotion surrounding the Polk County public safety levy.

I don’t like paying taxes, but I see the value in education, roads and public safety.

Those who have ideas on how to address our current funding issues need to face one reality: Does your idea violate laws that the agencies we are funding are responsible for upholding — federal, state and labor laws, as well as contracts? Most ideas don’t seem to be able to pass this simple test.

What we are left with is unacceptable. I don’t think anyone would disagree with that. We need the levy.

Noreen Holsapple


BOC resolution ignored key point

In the Feb. 18 Itemizer-Observer article “Gun rights resolution receives BOC support,” the I-O reported that the Polk County Board of Commissioners, at the behest of American Outdoors owner Micky Garus, had passed “a resolution supporting the Second Amendment and opposing restrictions on gun rights.”

The BOC in passing the resolution by, as Chairman Ainsworth said, supporting the Second Amendment, leaves out an important part of the Second Amendment, the beginning passage that states that arms ownership is there to secure a “well-regulated militia.”

The whole issue of the “right to bear arms” has become a non-issue as a result of recent Supreme Court decisions and no public official — up to and including President Obama — is challenging that right. So the questions that each political entity in the U.S. needs to answer are about an appropriate level of regulation — about the size of gun (hand gun, rifle, semi-automatic, automatic, bazooka, cannon, atom bomb, etc.); the quantity of magazine; concealed or not; and location (home, car, on the person at all times, government offices, schools, churches, etc.). The Supreme Court has also affirmed the right to regulation.

By always shifting the debate to “the right to bear arms,” supporters of unregulated and, apparently, unlimited arms are able to prevent a meaningful discussion on well-regulated weaponry. By allowing Mr. Garus to essentially write its resolution for it, the BOC abdicates its responsibility to the public to create a level of regulation that best serves and safeguards the people of Polk County.

John Krenkel


County, not cities, pay for services

I wish to point out a very important fact concerning the need for the Polk County public safety levy: Cities in Polk County do not reimburse the county for costs of persons arrested by city police and sent to the only county jail.

All jail costs, plus sheriff patrol deputies, district attorney’s office, juvenile court, parole and probation, serving civil papers, and search and rescue, are paid out of the county general fund. The current fund tax rate of $1.71 per $1,000 assessment could soon allow lawbreakers to go free without prosecution.

Please vote “yes” for this small insurance policy.

Wayne Simmons

West Salem

Issue is more than just ‘gun rights’

I live on a farm and own a couple of rifles, a shot gun and pistols. I’ve been sitting patiently waiting for some government official to come around and confiscate them. No one has and I wonder what the Polk County Commissioners know that I don’t that makes them think that firearm confiscations are just around the corner and that a county resolution supporting the right to possess firearms is needed (“Gun rights resolution receives BOC support,” Feb. 18 Itemizer-Observer).

Maybe it’s a Second Amendment issue. As we all know, the Second Amendment begins by stating “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State ….” The text of the Amendment clearly and literally focuses on the connection between our armed forces and firearms. So if the commissioners want to focus on Second Amendment issues, they should pass a resolution encouraging supporters of the Second Amendment to enlist in the National Guard or regular armed forces and bear those arms, while in the military, to support our country.

A number of folks that I know who seem to be interested in gun rights haven’t taken that opportunity. Maybe encouragement from our commissioners would point them in the right direction.

Dan Van Otten

Amity (Perrydale)

GOP is unfairly attacking unions

So Scott Walker, the current Republican presidential frontrunner, says that since my fellow union members and I regularly exercise our Constitutional right to free speech and assembly, we are no different than the ISIS terrorists.

Really? There is a reason why the Republican Party is constantly attacking the largest cohesive group of politically active citizens who are standing together to preserve the rights of working Americans. This appears to be the only way these politicians can hope to win — turn Americans against Americans, get them fighting, and hope they pay no attention to the little man behind the curtain.

What’s next? Requiring union members to wear gold stars so you can identify us, round us up into cattle cars and take us to the gas chambers and ovens?

You may be surprised to learn that union members are proud America-loving, gun-toting folks who believe that democracy is not a spectator sport, and that the “tree of freedom” doesn’t grow without occasional nourishment.

When you come for our union cards, you better hope we actually live by the First Commandment.

Greg Creal


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