At the Itemizer-Observer, we encourage and welcome letters to the editor. We appreciate the time you take to let us know what’s on your mind, from thanking people and organizations who have helped make a project reality, to letting us know when you have an adverse experience, to sharing positive thoughts, to criticizing us.

We get letters from a variety of people with a mix of opinions — and, unlike some of our colleagues in the media, we print them all, so long as they fit within our letters policy.

One of the caveats of our policy is not allowing “letters to the editor that are obvious promotions for a business, products or services ....”

In that spirit, the Itemizer-Observer will begin taking a second look at letters that use what we see as scare tactics against a business.

We have received a number of “what if” kinds of letters regarding a business planning to open in Dallas.

We think that the best way to get a “what if” question answered is to ask the business directly — or, in some cases, the city of Dallas or the Department of Environmental Quality — not in the letters to the editor section, where these questions will not be answered, but instead linger for readers to infer (perhaps) worst-case scenarios of doomsday situations.

Those of us at the Itemizer-Observer welcome new business and industry to Dallas, particularly when it has a clean track record. We believe family-wage jobs are a good thing.

This does not mean we won’t share your negative opinions. We understand the concerns about traffic. We know some people don’t want it in their backyard. We are happy that this page gives a forum for discussion within our community.

But when it comes to scare tactics, enough is enough.

Furthermore, as we inch closer to the May elections, we will decrease the letters printed about federal and national issues, so that readers may focus on local issues on the May ballot. We’d like to remind you to keep your letters to the editor on ballot issues or May candidates to 100 words or less, and that each letter writer is allowed one election-related letter each election season.

While we think the letters we receive on national issues are a snapshot of the divisive nature of politics at a hyper-local level, please hold your thoughts on national issues until the election in May is over so we can have room to allow local debate and discussion.

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