City’s e-ticket plan violates your rights

Regarding the mayor of Monmouth’s “Community Notes” included with my recent utilities bill where the adoption of an e-ticket by the local police department is rationalized by the saving of precious police department staff time.

If the only thing that a police officer needs is information from a driver’s license to enable the automated search of state data bases to fill out a ticket, the person being charged with a law violation may have absolutely no knowledge of what they are being charged with.

The information will then be transferred directly to the municipal court software and this will force the appearance of the owner of the driver’s license to find out just what they have been charged with and pay the related penalties.

Somewhere along the line of rationalization regarding the efficiency of the process, the right of the citizen to confront his accuser has disappeared. And since the intent is simply to reduce the precious municipal employee workload while increasing revenue flow from traffic violations, abuses to the public relative to the traffic law violations would appear to be apparent.

The right of a citizen to confront their accuser when being charged with a violation of law is one of our basic rights and should not be compromised for the sake of municipal employee efficiency.

Richard C. Evans


Let’s keep church and state separate

We often hear that our country was founded on Christian principals. In fact, a study of history reveals this to be untrue, as the following short list of quotations from founding fathers clearly illustrate:

“The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason.” — Benjamin Franklin (1758)

“Christian establishments tend to great ignorance and corruption, all of which facilitate the execution of mischievous projects.” — James Madison (1774)

“During almost 15 centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less, in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution.” — James Madison (1785)

“Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, then that of blindfolded fear.” — Thomas Jefferson (1787)

“Congress has no power to make any religious establishments.” — Roger Sherman (1789)

“Persecution is not an original feature in any religion; but it is always the strongly marked feature of all religions established by law.” — Thomas Paine (1791)

“I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people build a wall of separation between Church & State.” — Thomas Jefferson (1802)

Every single U.S. President until George H.W. Bush publicly stated his commitment to the absolute separation of church and state. We should all well understand that American principle.

Michael Cairns


Vote ‘yes’ to help keep county safe

There are only two deputy sheriff’s available to patrol the entirety of Polk County. This area is 744 square miles with 79,000 people living in mostly rural areas who can only rely on these two deputies.

There is a proposed Polk County safety levy that would provide the funds to increase the number of deputies. It is my professional experience, as a retired deputy sheriff, that leads me to support this levy without reservation.

Join with me to keep our community safe and secure and vote “yes” on the Polk County safety levy, Measure 27-117.

Jesse Lanou


Foundation steps up to help locals

On March 12, as the executive director of Community Mediation Services for Polk County (formerly known as VORP), I had the privilege of receiving a $1,500 grant from the Dallas Community Foundation.

The grant will assist CMS in keeping our phone service active so that Dallas residents can access help in conflicted situations.

I express my gratitude to Dallas Community Foundation for its generosity, not only to my program but also to the many other nonprofits that received grant funds to serve the citizens of Dallas. It was inspiring to see how the Dallas Community Foundation funds impacted so many people in Dallas and the surrounding area.

Thank you Dallas Community Foundation for the good work you assist.

Ken Braun


Ongoing tax hikes need to stop now

Polk County Sheriff Wolfe told the Statesman Journal that he wanted to return to funding levels and staffing for 2008, when there were timber funds of $2.4 million.

What was not mentioned was that staffing from 2004 to 2008 almost doubled even though Polk County’s population only grew a little.

The underlying assumption is that the bloated staffing levels and expenditures in 2008 need to be re-established on the backs of property owners by increasing their taxes. At some point the ongoing tax increases need to stop. This levy election is that point. Voters need again say “no.”

John Frei


More deputies are needed in county

I am tired of the aggressive, speeding, law-breaking drivers on Highway 22.

We need more patrols and unfortunately the levy is our best option.

I hate taxes and big government, and we need to fix our tax system, but denying there is an immediate problem with lack of sheriff deputies is not it.

Jim O’Brien


Crosswalk would improve safety

I recently went past the state capitol and noticed they installed flashing lights for the crosswalks ... push the button and be noticed.

Since I’ve had a few close calls and seen a kid on a bike get hit, wouldn’t one be nice for the crosswalk in front of Walmart. It is such a busy area ... too many distractions.

Hey, Walmart, most of these people are your customers. Your driveway entrance is so close ... makes getting in and out even more dangerous. It would be nice if you and the city of Dallas got together and figured this out before something happens.

Dennis Bouchard


Corrections needs additional funding

There are 499 individuals on parole in the cities of Polk County. The county corrections department, part of the county public safety team, keeps watch on them — not the city police.

With the continued cuts in the public safety team, I do not feel safe. I worry about who is around our schools, in our parks and what they are doing there.

Let’s keep our community safe by giving the corrections department the resources they need and we deserve. Vote “yes” for the county public safety levy.

Cheryl Williams


Many can’t afford increase in taxes

What is it about “no” that you don’t understand?

A second attempt to pass the county public safety levy is a tax that we can’t afford. We are senior citizens and my husband is a disabled veteran. Our income is fixed and COLAs amount to 1.7 percent this year. We have to live within our means and that means doing without frivolous items.

The county should be held accountable for how it spends taxpayer money. Vote “no” on the proposed public safety levy.

Nelda Carroll-Allegar


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