Now’s not the right time for Durham City Council raises

·3 min read

Durham council

Regarding “Durham votes 6-1 to raise mayor’s and council members’ pay. Here’s how much, (Oct. 19):

The Durham City Council voting to increase their salaries is bad form and function.

It is bad form because we are still recovering from a pandemic, which has contributed to rising inflation — meaning a person’s wages are decreasing in purchase power. So, Council members voting to increase their salaries while the wages of Durham residents are losing value is not good leadership.

The salary increase is not a good function of governance because Council members are incentivized to make policy decisions for their own financial security, not based on what improves the well-being of the city and its residents.

Joshua Peters, Raleigh

Vaccine mandate

The Editorial Board’s Oct. 18 response to the lawsuit by 118 city employees, including 53 police officers, seeking to block city vaccination/testing requirements was clear, direct and on the mark. One unspoken irony is that a primary responsibility of police is to enforce laws (“top-down mandates”) often by use of coercion and control to restrict individual “freedom” on behalf of community welfare.

For these officers, I suspect “respect of the individual” does not include allowing citizens to endanger the health, welfare and lives of other citizens. The lawsuit’s wording raises many questions about the actual and perceived role of police in our community.

Doug Jennette, Raleigh

Wake Forest

A proposed Toll Brothers development would put 350-400 homes in a water supply area on the former Wake Forest Golf Club. It would forever change the character of the town and its beautiful northwestern gateway.

Neighborhoods around this property were designed to provide ecosystem protections, such as meeting impervious surface requirements and larger lots to allow maximal groundwater penetration and protection of the watershed.

The town has every right to refuse this massive development and keep the existing Planned Unit Development agreement in place to protect this land and drinking water supply. If they do not, no area in Wake Forest is safe from this unrelenting development for financial gain.

We cannot stop growth in our area, but we can be responsible for the environment and accountable for the ramifications of our growth.

Gina Micchia, Wake Forest

Postal slowdown

It is no surprise that Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has announced further cutbacks and slowdowns in postal delivery. As a Trump appointee and devout Republican, his strategy, cloaked in grandiose verbiage about efficiency and cost savings, is to systematically use his post for conservative political benefits. This was evident during the 2020 elections.

Now, DeJoy continues to serve as a toxic incubus working to bring the postal service to its knees and facilitate privatization. What other nation would tolerate a man overseeing such key public service as the postal service while still paying homage to the current president’s bitter opponent?

Gustavo Fernandez, Raleigh

Truck drivers

If we had a president who would do something rather than just say we need to do something, our truck driver shortage could be reduced in a short time. Offer men and women healthy compensation to apply for training. To determine if they’re coordinated enough test them on a big rig simulator, just as pilots are tested on flight simulators.

This is America. Let’s get moving, folks.

William Taylor, Wendell

Colin Powell

Colin Powell’s death saddened me. He was an impressive, honorable and kind man.

He talked about a veteran who stopped to help him in 2019 when he had a flat tire. Yet, I remember when Powell stopped years ago on the busy George Washington Parkway outside D.C. to assist my 80-year old mother who’d run out of gas and had no cell phone.

He called for help and stayed with her until it arrived. She loved to tell that story, recalling how she stood on tiptoes to place a kiss on his cheek. It possibly was the most exciting thing to happen in her life.

Martha Leisten, Raleigh

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