Letters to the Editor

5/28 Letters: I wouldn’t say we’re “willing” to pay higher taxes. We just have to.

The county government will conduct more frequent appraisals on all Wake properties, likely leading to more frequent tax bill fluctuations.
The county government will conduct more frequent appraisals on all Wake properties, likely leading to more frequent tax bill fluctuations. rwillett@newsobserver.com

Wake taxpayers

Your editorial board thinks people in Wake County are “willing“ to pay higher taxes for quality services (“Wake taxpayers are willing to pay for a quality county,” May 23). I believe the definition that fits that use of the word “willing” is “inclined or favorably disposed.” It’s gonna be 95 degrees here for the next week, but that doesn’t imply that all of Wake County is “favorably disposed” to the heat. There are many of us who are not inclined and very reluctant to pay higher taxes. We accept it because we don’t have a desire or need to move elsewhere, not necessarily because we love living in Wake County. We accept it because, like the heat, it’s an unfortunate occurrence.

I applaud the overall move of some government services down from the state to the local level, as this makes the cost of things more apparent. Thankfully our county tax rate is still lower than many others.

Robert Rose


Basis for skepticism

The assumption about conservatives and climate change in the article “Study: Children can sway parents’ views on climate change,” May 22. Conservatives do not doubt climate change. The climate is constantly changing, and the earth has undergone multiple ice ages and warming periods since before man existed and clearly before the use of fossil fuel. What conservatives question is that climate change is caused by man and his activities alone. The article proves the basis for the skepticism when it states “The consensus among climate scientists is human activities are causing global warming.” The term “consensus” is a political term, not a scientific one. Does a consensus of scientists believe that H2O is water or is it a scientific fact? As long as the left is going to inject political terms into science and use those “findings” to advance an agenda with significant consequences to our economy and way of life, it is healthy and important to be skeptical.

John H. Ruocchio


Educate and arm

Regarding the unarmed security guard that was gunned down in a parking garage in downtown Durham on Tuesday evening (“Durham police seeking black pickup truck in shooting of parking-deck security guard,” May 21): this is a disgrace. Although Durham has repaired its image with many more upscale activities, this is not a safe area. Our citizens would love to take advantage all Durham has provided. Can Durham not educate and provide a weapon so that our brave guards can defend themselves, citizens and visitors? I’m sure there are some very frivolous things Durham could give up to save innocent lives by doing the humane thing for these brave men and women.

Tammy Cohn


The real problems

Police Chief Deck-Brown is absolutely correct in rejecting the Raleigh City Council’s attempt to establish a civilian police oversight board (“Raleigh police chief opposes citizen-led police oversight board,” May 22). The men and women of our Police department face dangers every second of every day. They choose to do this to keep us all safe.

If the council is really concerned about a perceived increase in police involved shootings they should try to openly face the problems that bring about those shootings.

Guns and drugs, mental health issues, babies having babies, a 50 year failure of our education system and expansion at the expense of homeless and less fortunate are all contributors to the frustrations that face our fellow citizens, particularly minorities, every day.

The police do not run around hoping to shoot someone. We should support them instead of trying to hinder their efforts to keep us safe. Fight crime, not the police.

Steven Metzler


Broken redistricting system

This year, North Carolina has an opportunity to reform its broken redistricting system. Some legislators, including Rep. Donna McDowell White, are doing the important work of supporting a bipartisan effort in the General Assembly. White has joined 64 of her colleagues on both sides of the aisle in supporting the FAIR Act (HB 140), a state constitutional amendment that would inscribe nonpartisan, commonsense rules for the redistricting process into the North Carolina Constitution. Those rules would include requiring the data and methodology used in the process be public, prohibiting the use of partisan data that could identify the voting tendencies of any citizens and requiring voting district lines to take into account county lines and other geographic boundaries.

Simply put, enhancing the accountability and transparency in the redistricting process will make our democracy stronger. White understands the time is now for the legislature to unite behind this bipartisan effort to bring gerrymandering to an end once and for all, and I hope others follow her lead.

Mary Wills Bode, executive director of North Carolinians for Redistricting Reform