LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Mayor’s salary considered
In 2014 there was a potential opposing candidate for mayor of Pea Ridge against the current sitting mayor. The current mayor went to the City Council and volunteered by ordinance to reduce his salary by nearly half, suggesting that a candidate’s starting wage should be based upon their qualifications and experience. Following the election in which he retained his seat, another ordinance was presented to the City Council to reinstate his salary including an increase. The Council passed this ordinance.
One of the aldermen kept hearing from citizens that this was not right and they were not in favor of this practice. He took it upon himself to research the issue and upon calling the legal team at the Municipal League in Little Rock, was told that the practice was legal, but “ill advised” and should be discouraged. Prior to an election it gives the perception of discouraging competition for that office because of the low salary.
Ultimately, it is neither the mayor nor the City Council’s responsibility to determine if a candidate is qualified for the position. It’s the responsibility of the voters to decide if an elected official is qualified, and they do so at the ballot box. Any elected official should start at the same wage as the person he is replacing regardless of tenure.
Here we are in another election cycle and again an ordinance was presented to lower the mayor’s salary for the upcoming term. The alderman who had researched it previously explained to the other three aldermen what he had learned, but they rejected what he had to say and passed the ordinance three to one with the one alderman stating: “I want the record to show that I am strongly opposed to this ordinance.” These records are available to the public under the Freedom of Information Act at City Hall. Ask for a copy of the minutes.
In my opinion, if the mayor retains his seat, I hope the Council has the courage to enforce the ordinance on record that shows he voluntarily reduced his salary and he should have to serve the upcoming term at the amount agreed upon.
I would also hope that if we elect a new mayor, the Council will have the integrity to raise the salary for that person by ordinance to give that person the salary they rightfully deserve as a person duly elected by the citizens of our community. SUE COTTINGHAM Pea Ridge
Contrasting Political Views
Tensions over contrasting political world views are dividing America!
In the coming political season, voters need to choose candidates wisely. Too many people choose a political candidate simply for his or her pleasing personality or because they make great promises in 30-second TV sound bites. But voters should fully evaluate the candidates before voting. For instance during the primary season, Ted Cruz was my first choice. And Donald Trump was my last choice because of how he talked and his history. But after the primary, Trump was my only choice. If I didn’t like Trump, why did I vote for him? Because there are other important criteria to consider before voting for or against a candidate. As Obama said, “Elections have Consequences!”
To receive a political party’s support, candidates must pledge to support the party’s core philosophies. And between the parties, many of the opposing policies are non-negotiable polar opposites. For instance, Democratic leadership believes: The government can give or remove our Rights; They say there are no absolute truths, and that our Constitution and Bill of Rights are evolving so that there is a “Separation of Church and State.” They believe abortion is a right, and gender is fluid. They want more government regulations, higher taxes, and limited law enforcement. Democrats believe that anyone can vote, they want to abolish ICE, open our borders, have unlimited immigration, and to be part of a New World Order.
Republicans believe the “Constitution is the Supreme
Law of the Republic.” As our Declaration of Independence states, “We hold these truths to be selfevident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” They revere the First Amendment, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” They believe that unborn babies have the same “Right to Life” as all people, and they defend the Biblical definition of Family and Marriage. Republicans want limited government, lower taxes, national sovereignty with secure borders, and that only citizens should vote. They want strong law enforcement and ICE; They know that the 2nd Amendment is necessary to secure our Bill of Rights.
Since these contrasting positions aren’t negotiable, it is important to know which party a candidate supports! Sometimes, we may not vote for a candidate as much as we vote against the opponent. For those us in the “Basket of Deplorables,” who are “Hanging onto our God and our Guns,” we voted against Clinton more than for Trump. And now, I’m glad we elected President Trump, and that he is trying to keep his promises like moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem! ALLEN MERRITT Rogers