Speak Out 08/08/04

Sunday, August 8, 2004

Pick up the signs

I HOPE the politicians have enough responsibility to pick up all the signs they planted all over our landscape.

Mini-golf and carp

WE NEED to be realistic about a proposed full-fledged downtown golf course in Cape Girardeau. It's not going to happen. Neither is an all-you-can-eat catfish buffet. As a reasonable compromise, I would suggest a mini-golf course, perhaps on the courthouse lawn. And instead of offering fresh Mississippi River catfish, I think we'd be better off serving the easier-to-catch and more plentiful carp.

Money lying around

$825,000? WE just got asked to vote on a tax to help our firefighters and police, and we have all this money lying around. We should be thinking about keeping our tourists safe when they come to town. If it was so easy for the council to funnel money to the special-interest group at the Glenn House, why didn't it funnel some towards the police and not ask us for more out of our pockets?

Matter of integrity

IN THE city council meeting, Freck Shivelbine said that the request for $31,000 was a small amount of money. That's more than most of us out here make a year. Sounds like someone has figured out where there is a pot of money, and it's burning a hole through their pockets. The council has lost the respect of the residents of Cape Girardeau by spending tax dollars so carelessly. Next time you want to ask for a tax increase, don't bother. There is no integrity left.

We deserve it

I ALWAYS like to turn in on the council meeting and watch the soap opera. Did anyone else hear the woman's comment on the Glenn House: "We deserve it." I deserve a new car. I'll put a Cape Girardeau logo on it on the weekends and promote the city wherever I go. Will that work?

Let us have a say

I BELIEVE the Glenn House is a good asset for the community. But why does the council so freely spend my tax money? I eat out regularly in town and pay the tax. Shouldn't we have a say in how the money is spent versus letting the special-interest groups lobby the council into doing what they want?

Time to make a call

IN JANUARY, the Cape Girardeau School Board cut only $1.3 million out of a $2.2 million operating deficit. Now the board intends to raise our taxes without a vote by $770,000 instead of reducing spending. To see if you agree, think about district performance over the past five school years. Enrollment fell to 3,998 from 4,227. Average daily attendance fell to 3,665 from 3,994. Expenditures rose to $26.4 million from $20 million. Expenditures per average daily attendee rose to $7,205 per student from $5,087. Call the school board office and ask to speak with your board member. Maybe they need to hear your voice.

Teaching reading

I TEACH third grade. I don't understand why we're getting reading coaches. We know how to read. It's how to get young students to read that's the problem. We need to take them down a totally new path to reading and writing, because the one we're on isn't getting us anywhere -- not now and not for the past 25 years. It's such a shame.

More teachers

I HAVE children in Cape Girardeau School District. Why is the district hiring reading coaches for elementary schools? Did they not hire teachers who know how to teach reading? Why waste money for coaches when they could put an additional teacher in our elementary buildings to work specifically with children having reading trouble. I want the best for my kids? I pay a lot of money in taxes, and I want the school board to use it on teachers who can teach and not need to be coached.

Dangerous driving

SELLING PIECES of the old bridge would be a good idea. I liked the Berlin Wall analogy in Speak Out. Frankly, driving across the old bridge after an early morning departure from the Colony Club was a lot more dangerous than trying to escape from East Berlin to West Berlin.

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