Social programs in the bull's-eye
The big business-Republican Party nexus achieves its goals through the ignorance, gullibility and misguided self-assurance of the majority of the populace. Present goals include elimination of current humane, for millions essential government programs, namely Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, which programs are maligned and decried as too costly. (Sick and old people are really just lazy).
What is sought is elimination of all government benefits and protections, except for large commercial enterprises, making the average citizen almost totally vulnerable to big business and its hired goons in the Republican Party.
War has been proclaimed to be necessary to protect democracy and freedom, etc., but in actuality has been cold-bloodedly promoted for money, e.g. the Iraq War. The mutilations and killings of foreigners, including civilians and young Americans, will probably of necessity be repeated elsewhere, according to the gray heads safely ensconced in lavish business office suites and in government. Of course many of these souls attend church and display the American flag. Admittedly Democrats have previously been guilty of leadership in such immoral undertakings.
The public has largely been effectively conditioned to blindly allow and facilitate moral transgressions and sufferings. How to make it aware of reality.
A. SHELDON GELBURD
Miller has great ideals
I have known of Ralph Miller's work as an educator and administrator for many years and have worked with Ralph many times over the last 10-plus years. I have found Ralph to be a man of integrity with great ideas. Ralph is running to be our representative on the school board for Hamilton County District 7. Over the time I've known and worked with Ralph, one thing has always rung true with me -- Ralph "gets it."
He is a strong advocate for support for elementary education, fine arts and vocational and technical education. Through his musical endeavors Ralph also is a businessman and understands finances and making a business work. Ralph is just the man that the school board needs.
On Aug. 2, I will cast my vote for Ralph Miller as the District 7 representative to the Hamilton County school board. I hope you will join me.
Horn will bring new perspective
I am proud to support Donna Horn for Hamilton County school board. I urge all voters in District 7 to show her your support as well.
I came to know Donna while teaching with her over the last few years. She is such a unique woman who believes passionately in education. Being a recent retired teacher with 25 years of experience, Donna will bring a new perspective to the board by having personal insight into the public classroom.
Since just coming out of teaching, she has the knowledge of what our students need and the drive to make the difference. While working with Donna, I have seen her dedication to her students, her school and community, always going the extra mile to make improvements. She is a leader who will be an advocate for our teachers, our students and improving the public classroom. Her desire for always wanting to do more is what makes her "stand out."
On Aug. 2, please show your support for Donna Horn. Your vote makes the difference.
LISA SADDLER, Ooltewah
Court is in good hands with Norton
A lot of opinions have appeared in this paper about the qualifications of the candidates for the General Sessions Court judgeship currently held by Judge David Norton. How do you decide for whom to vote? This paper's two editorial pages recently endorsed Gary Starnes. But most of each editorial focused on problems with the present system, which Judge Norton had no part in. He was chosen by the Hamilton County Commission by an 8-1 vote to replace Judge Moon a few months ago.
In an anonymous poll of its members conducted by Chattanooga Bar Association, Judge Norton was favored by 53 percent to 7 percent for Mr. Starnes. In another recent poll by the CBA, Judge Norton (as the Soddy-Daisy judge) received an overall 68.7 percent superior rating with almost 31 percent rating him satisfactory. This vote reflected the opinions of those who practiced in front of him in that court.
Judge Norton sat on numerous occasions on the morning criminal docket in General Sessions Court as a special judge, where criminal cases are actually tried. No other candidate has done that. Judge Norton convened the local city court judges regularly to discuss common issues. He has earned his peers' respect. Our court is in good hands with Judge Norton.
DALLAS S. BUNTON
Starnes generous and dedicated
I have known of Gary Starnes, who is running for Hamilton County Sessions Court judge, all of my life. Let's examine what it takes to be an effective judge.
Gary is dedicated. He has known his wife since they were little more than children. This is a rarity and admirable in today's society. Gary is a determined and consistent man who goes after what he wants and sticks to his plan even through rough times.
Gary has compassion. He has had his share of grief; yet Gary remained level-headed and pulled himself through, oftentimes being the one to help his family as well. Gary remains fair and firm with those who have hurt him or his loved ones.
Gary is generous. Each year, he delivers Christmas gifts to those less fortunate and is active in many organizations for various charities in our community.
Who you would rather have on a bench if you were to come before a judge: someone who has not known hardships and struggled with issues in life or someone who is simply entitled to sit in judgment?
Please join my family and me on Aug. 2 and vote Gary Starnes as our next General Sessions Court judge.
CHARLIE AND KAREN SHEPARD
Hoss will rule with respect for the law
I support Bryan Hoss for Soddy-Daisy judge. Soddy-Daisy would be well served having Bryan on the bench. My husband and I have known Bryan and his family for at least 20 years. Bryan has always been a kind, thoughtful, intelligent and caring person. He is dependable to a fault, and his dedication to his family is unwavering.
Bryan Hoss has worked hard to become a great lawyer in our community. He is not afraid to help the "little guy" when no one else will. He works tirelessly for his clients and strives to get them the best outcomes possible for their cases. Bryan Hoss appreciates the judicial system and has a deep respect for what it means for our society.
I know that Bryan Hoss will rule from the bench in Soddy-Daisy with compassion, sensitivity, impartiality and most of all with a true respect for the laws of Tennessee. He is dedicated to the people of Soddy-Daisy and is eager to become a part of the Soddy-Daisy community. I urge you to cast your vote for Bryan Hoss on Aug. 2.
KATY RUSSELL WUNDERLICH
Give youthful Wamp a chance
The time is near and we must vote for the right person.
Chuck Fleischmann and his office people admitted they lied and gave wrong information two years ago against Robin Smith. They also wanted the information not be released to the public until after August's election. I Wonder why?
Scottie Mayfield told us early on to elect him and we could find out what he stood for and believed. I think Nancy Pelosi told us something like that when Congress was making the vote on the health-care bill. "When you vote for it you will know what is in it."
I have listened to enough of that. The law says a person 25 years of age can serve in Congress.
I have known Weston Wamp for about 18 years and know he comes from a family of high value and good Christian faith. The old saying is he comes from "good stock." I know the grandparents, aunts, uncles -- and believe Weston will serve us well. Youth can go for or against you, but this time I think we need to give him a chance.
MARGARET H. CHASTAIN, Soddy-Daisy
District 1 needs to elect Benefield
As a former resident visiting my family in Chattanooga, I was outraged to read some of Rhonda Thurman's comments in the Times Free Press (July 20). Specifically, she said "we get paid to educate students, not to educate teachers."
In order for a professional to be successful at their job, they must have knowledge and strategies. There are similar experiences in a myriad of fields. For example, police officers have firearm practice and doctors attend conferences.
It's the greatest irony that Ms. Thurman would suggest it's not a school system's responsibility to ensure teachers have access to ongoing professional development. How can children be expected to grow and develop if their teachers aren't learners themselves?
While I can only speak from the information on her website, Katherine Benefield has outlined specific ideas and areas for growth. Ms. Thurman had almost no information except a personal biography. If District 1 residents want the best schools for their children, they need to look beyond rhetoric and think about a candidate who will work with others on the school board to make thoughtful, measured decisions for the future of the schools.
I urge residents of school District 1 to learn more about Katherine Benefield.
Mayfield avoids recipe for failure
Like most readers, I knew very little about Scottie Mayfield. I knew that he had been the successful head of Mayfield Dairies for many years, but not much more. I now know that over a period of several decades, he managed to grow the business substantially and the number of people he employed nearly tripled. Why is this important? Because these facts alone tell me the following:
• He was keenly aware that an enterprise where costs exceed revenue for an extended period is not sustainable.
• He knew that tough negotiations with suppliers, customers and employees could not have one winner. Their long-term viability was as important for his business as it was for them.
• He knew that many times the right answer was "no" instead of "yes." Long-term results trump short-term appeasement every time.
Someone who understands that continuing deficits, one-winner negotiations and decisions based on short-term results are all recipes for failure is exactly the person that we need in Congress. We should take advantage of Mr. Mayfield's background and his desire to serve.
J.T. OLIVER, Ooltewah
We can't do better than Norton
While serving 20 years on the County Commission for District 7, I worked with lots of people in county government. No one exhibited more willingness to do a good job at everything he did than David Norton. He has the temperament, calmness, integrity and willingness to do the job of Sessions Court judge.
The county commissioners overwhelmingly chose him to fill Judge Bob Moon's vacancy, and he was the Bar Association's No. 1 choice to be elected in August.
I voted for David Norton, and I respectfully suggest that all of us can do no better, so please consider voting or him on Aug. 2.
HAROLD COKER, County Commissioner District 7, Retired
Back Gardenhire's vision, commitment
We have a fine and unusually qualified man running for the state Senate District 10 in the GOP primary: Todd Gardenhire. I have known him for many years.
Todd has said that we not only need to help the private sector create jobs, we also have to train a workforce for the jobs we have. He has proposed to fund and strengthen career academies in high schools and a vocational technical school closer to downtown Chattanooga.
Please support Todd's vision and commitment to sound business principles. Vote for him on Aug. 2.
KITTY CLEMONS SORRICK