Letters to the editor for Wednesday, January 26, 2022

·6 min read
Editorial cartoon
Editorial cartoon

Outstanding play at Alliance for the Arts

It has been wonderful to live in Southwest Florida for more than 50 years and experience the growth and development of local theater. Kudos this past weekend to Bill Taylor and the Theater Conspiracy at Lee County Alliance for the Arts. I witnessed an outstanding production of a play written in 1986 by George C. Wolfe. "The Colored Museum" is directed by Sonya McCarter and brilliantly staged in 10 scenes in which the audience moved rather than the sets on stage. The all-black cast was amazing. I laughed, I cried, and I was immersed in those characters. The relevance of this play has carried across the years. How much has changed? Or has it?

Rochelle Lieb, Naples

Under filibuster, the minority rules

Political parties should be judged on the laws they propose and the laws they enact. If they propose bad laws, their members should not be elected. If they fail to enact the new laws they have proposed, their members should be voted out of office.

This country is supposed to run on majority rule, not rule by the minority that runs it now under the filibuster.

Doris Brown, Fort Myers

John Dugan a proven problem solver

The City of Naples needs proven leaders who have the ability to solve a variety of complex problems in an environment that is changing rapidly and who are able to develop relationships to work cooperatively to solve those problems. John Dugan has a proven track record of solving complex business problems and delivering solutions on time and within budget. As a management consultant with the global leadership firm Accenture, John worked for major corporations on projects involving millions of dollars. John has demonstrated his ability to analyze a problem in order to fully understand and define it; to lead a team to develop solutions; to analyze those solutions against best business practices; to work with the customer to choose the solution that will best fit their needs within given financial constraints; and to then implement and monitor the chosen solution. When I asked John Dugan to solve a significant problem, he went far beyond my expectations. I know that he will do the same for the City of Naples. In the current inflationary economy, the Naples City Council will have to make difficult choices on where to spend money without simply raising taxes to fund runaway spending. The council will have to negotiate and monitor every contract carefully to keep on track and in budget. John Dugan is the candidate with the proven track record.

Jan Face Glassman, Naples

Beth Petrunoff best choice for council

Of the three newcomers vying for the open seat on the Naples City Council, only Beth Petrunoff deserves our votes. Of the three, Beth is the only candidate who has clearly done her homework on Naples residential and local small business issues and priorities. She is the only candidate who has proposed constructive, detailed plans that will help the current council move forward toward its laudable goals.

Petrunoff is retired and is truly nonpartisan in her approach to the position. Unlike the two other new candidates, she is not backed by partisan interests, nor by real estate or developer interest groups. Unlike the other candidates, Beth is focused on problem solving and getting things done, not on attacking the current council.

In sum, Beth Petrunoff’s superior skills are demonstrated by her impressive resume, collaborative attitude and dedication to putting residents and local small businesses first.

Mary Wilson, Naples

Council neglects Fifth Avenue businesses

I operate a business on Fifth Avenue South. I am increasingly concerned our City Council has an anti-business bias at worst or an inability to get its priorities straight at best. For more than five years now, I’ve been promised trees for the entrance of my gallery. Two city mangers, both run off by City Council, had committed to make this happen. Yet, City Council has dragged its feet not just on my personal requests, but for all of Fifth Avenue.

Fifth Avenue businesses pay increased taxes into a fund collected by the city to enhance and protect Fifth Avenue South and reduce the costs to our taxpayers. And while our increased taxes go to support the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) in charge of city improvements, not one penny has been committed for major Fifth Avenue enhancements since this council took office.

Yet, the planned Design District between 9th and 10th streets has not only received substantial funding, it has been fast-tracked by council. While I welcome improvements in that area of Naples, it is interesting to note that our mayor not only owns property there, but the chairman of the CRA Advisory Board owns a major business in the area.

Fifth Avenue South contributes so much to Naples’ economy, tourism and taxes. Its businesses care deeply about this community. I think City Council should keep its eyes on the prize and less on what appears to be in its own self-interest.

Martha Schaub, Naples

Spending addiction

President Biden and congressional Democrats want everyone to pay their fair share but ignore spending. Consequently, the national debt is accelerating and, including unfunded obligations, it exceeds $123 trillion or $850,000 per taxpayer.

Social Security and Medicare comprise 78 percent of the unfunded burden. Both parties ignore this obligation and just spend like addicts. The recent Biden green infrastructure bill and his Build Back Better socialistic agenda adds $6 trillion more.

When Washington creates debt, they print more money and inflation kicks in. Some call this a “bubble economy.” It works when the economy grows faster than debt but it turns to a Ponzi scheme when the bubble (debt) expands and grows faster than the overall economy.

We can vote people into office who are fiscally responsible but there is very little appetite for restraining. Republicans have always preached paying off the debt and controlling spending but their intentions aren’t consistent with actions. Democrats are always compulsive spenders.

Voters need to challenge politicians on fiscal discipline. They can advocate a balanced budget amendment, line-item veto and/or support Sen. Rand Paul’s “Penny Plan” that requires a one penny per dollar reduction in spending off the top line. Paul says his plan would balance the budget in five years. Finally, voters can impose congressional term limits.

We didn’t get here overnight but politicians through decades have made many irresponsible decisions. It will take sacrifice and discipline to restore fiscal accountability.

Frank Mazur, Fort Myers

CRT and history classes

I recently watched WGCU’s rebroadcast of "Reconstruction: America After the Civil War." The series follows the post-Civil War years as the nation struggled to rebuild itself from the war. I highly recommend watching it.

However, admittedly not familiar with the issues surrounding Critical Race Theory (CRT) and current legislation banning schools from discussing certain racial inequality subjects, I wonder if high school teachers would be reprimanded for discussing this important series. So, for those who are familiar with CRT, can you shed light on this?

My question is: At what point does discussing a PBS history program about white suppression of blacks after the Civil War transition to a CRT discussion?

Steve Hosick, Cape Coral

This article originally appeared on Fort Myers News-Press: Letters to the editor for Wednesday, January 26, 2022

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