Letters to the editor
Highlands TodayCheck the facts
Published: October 15, 2012
Published: October 15, 2012
In early September, Mike Pirkkala from Sebring listed seven House bills related to veterans which are, he states, "Bills blocked by Republicans since President Obama took office."
These bills originated in 2009 when Democrats held the majority in both House and Senate.
Here are the titles of the seven bills and the status according to our own government websites.
H.R. 466: Wounded Veteran Job Security Act; Democrat sponsor, passed in the House and died in the Senate.
H.R. 1168: Veterans Retraining Act; Republican sponsor, passed in the House and died in the Senate.
H.R. 1171: Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program Reauthorization; Republican sponsor, passed in the House, died in the Senate.
H.R. 1172: Requiring List on VA Website or Organizations Providing Scholarships for Veterans; Republican sponsor, passed in the House, died in the Senate.
H.R. 1293: Disables Veterans Home Improvement and Structural Alteration Grant Increase Act of 2009; Republican sponsor, passed in the House, died in the Senate.
H.R. 1803: Veterans Business Center Act; Democrat sponsor and referred to House Committee on Small Business.
H.R. 2352: Job Creation through Entrepreneurship Act; Democrat sponsor, passed in the House, died in the Senate.
Randy Ludacer of Lake Placid recently wrote, "However, last month, a bill entitled 'Veterans Job Corp Act of 2012,' a bill to provide training and job placement of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, was defeated in the U.S. Senate by the Republican senators."
With a Democratic majority, the bill needed 60 votes to pass, but only received 58. How can that be? The bill added $1 billion to the VA budget and pushed the VA budget over spending limits set by last year's Budget Control Act. This bill also violated our own Constitution that states all revenue bills must originate in the House.
It appears Pirkkala and Ludacer should research official sources before putting veracity-challenged statements on paper for publication.
Wally Cox is the best choice
This letter is to ask for your support for Wally Cox for superintendent of schools. I have known and worked with Wally for many years and have found him to always be interested in what is best for the students of Highlands County. I feel his 12 years of experience will be an asset to our school system.
When the economy was strong and there was a shortage of teachers in Highlands County, he sent recruiters to other states to search for good teachers for our students. As the economy worsened, he focused on keeping good teachers in the classroom. To do this, he often had to make difficult budget decisions, which were sometimes unpopular. His main focus has been to make budget cuts that would have the least impact on the students in the classroom.
He has taken seriously his responsibility by seeing that all departments are staffed with qualified individuals whether for curriculum, bus drivers, custodians, lunchroom workers, office staff, teachers, etc. Each employee is responsible for taking care of the students' needs, including feeding them, getting them safely to school, planning the curriculum, teaching them and many other things. They each carry out the job that they have been trained to perform to ensure a good education for the students.
Mr. Cox has also gained the respect of many of his peers. He was elected Superintendent of the Year for 2012 by the Florida Association of District School Administrators. He previously served as president of this organization and continues to serve as vice president. Governor Scott recently appointed seven of the 67 district superintendents to a board that will advise him concerning school issues. Mr. Cox was one of the seven. In addition, he has been endorsed by the Highlands County Realtors Association and Adam Putnam, commissioner of agriculture.
I respect Wally Cox for working to keep our district financially sound in these difficult times and for hiring competent people to carry out the many jobs required in a school system.
Please get out and vote and cast your ballot for Wally Cox.
Cox has all the right skills
This letter is to encourage you to vote to re-elect Wally Cox as our Superintendent of Schools.
I have been to all but one forum since they began in the primary. During every forum, our school system and Mr. Cox have been attacked. Each time, Mr. Cox has remained calm and responded by explaining that school grades continue to rise despite the bar being raised and that teachers in our district work extremely hard despite the pressures of being expected to raise the children as well as teach them the academics.
He has also explained that he has had to make tough decisions in these tough economic times. He explains that he makes many decisions by involving his team and that he feels that his principals are the instructional leaders of their schools.
He sees much of his job making the financial decisions and dealing with personnel issues. He realizes that we are all blessed with different talents and abilities and that a good leader sees this and places those talents together to form a team. He is a man of integrity.
Mr. Cox has been with the School Board of Highlands County since 1976 when he began in the finance department, where he spent 24 years. He was elected as superintendent in 2000. He represents 67 Florida superintendents as Florida's Superintendent of the Year 2012 and was recently appointed along with six other superintendents to work with Governor Scott to reduce unnecessary regulations on school districts.
He is committed to our community as a member of Bible Fellowship Church and many other civic organizations. He and his wife, Tricia, have two adult children. Tricia recently retired after 35 years as a school media specialist. Wally, a lifelong resident of this community, is dedicated to providing the best for its children. He will continue to seek ways to provide a top-quality education while making the most of taxpayers' dollars.
When you vote, please allow your moral compass to be your guide. Wally Cox is the man for the job!
James and Celeste Mabe
President Obama should resign
I have been watching the news and listened to much of the Congressional hearing yesterday regarding the situation in Libya and the death of four Americans last month. I have come to the conclusion that the only honorable thing for our President, Barack Obama, to do is to immediately resign.
The president is the commander of our great country, just as a ship's captain is the commander of the ship. Both are ultimately responsible and accountable for the actions of themselves and their subordinates. Both Obama and his State Department have not only been negligent in their duties, but all parties have been untruthful to the American public. The seriousness of their actions in this event calls for resignation of the president and the Secretary of State.
Understanding the nature and egos of both these individuals, I realize that neither of them will take the high road. The only option, then, for the benefit of our country is to remove President Obama from office on Nov. 6 through the ballot box. Unless the president resigns before the election, I would hope that all citizens registered to vote will cast their ballots for one of the other nine candidates for president that appear on the ballot.