Observer Forum: Letters to the editor

In response to “Fuller appeals for unity after re-election as chair” (Dec. 2):

Fuller earned trust, with it chairmanship

I just don’t understand all the brouhaha about Trevor Fuller’s re-election as chair. I voted for Pat Cotham and Trevor Fuller for commissioner; I didn’t vote for either as chair.

While it’s generally been traditional for the highest vote-getter to be chair, it’s only tradition, not the rule. Commission members are best situated to know who would most ably fill that role.

It sounds like Trevor Fuller did a good job earning their trust, and I hope Pat Cotham will demonstrate an ability to get past this and work effectively with the full commission. That’s what we elected her to do.

Mary S. Stokes


Cotham had the courage to step up when others wouldn’t

It bothers me that Pat Cotham continues to be vilified for the firing of Harry Jones.

Let’s remember that Jones presided over numerous scandals and mismanagement at DSS and mental health that cost taxpayers dearly and deprived constituents of necessary services.

Regardless of Cotham’s disputed leadership style, let’s appreciate that she had the courage to step in and do what needed to be done when others had failed to take responsibility.

Pepper Hair


Better to use a carrot rather than a stick on recycling

It surprises me to see that we are finally inching to where Europeans were a decade ago.

Getting rid of trash is an expensive proposition. European leaders did it using a carrot, contrary to our case here, where a stick will be used.

In Europe, recycling is free and strongly encouraged. Those with large quantities of trash pay greater fees and face fines.

People naturally best respond to a carrot rather than a stick. Our trash collecting leaders should consider this.

Raphael Basisa


City staff must make it easy

to comply with recycling plan

Sounds to me like City staff has totally forgotten its objective: to increase recycling and reduce trash in a way that gets the buy-in of the majority with the least resistance, least cost, and least loopholes to bypass.

Do our decision makers get it? Make it easy to comply, with no additional cost to the citizenry.

Gail Halverson


In response to “One-size-fits-all single payer health care system a bad idea” (Dec. 3 Forum):

Absurd to say single-payer system a bad idea worldwide

Respected databases like Physicians for a National Health Program (pnhp.org) make clear that Americans pay about twice what industrialized nations pay for health care and have lower life expectancy and higher infant mortality.

I can’t claim to know Forum writer Ben Fletcher’s world, but the one I live in favors universal health care for all that is privately delivered and publicly funded. Americans need actual health care for all, not health care insurance for some.

Tom E. Bowers


Deportations would tie up federal courts for decades

Although I am of the opinion that President Obama’s action on immigration was 95 percent political, it is nevertheless a practical impossibility to deport even a large fraction of the undocumented immigrants in this country, much less all 11 million of them.

Under present law, each one is entitled to an extensive legal process that would tie up the federal court system for decades. It simply cannot be done.

Philip F. Howerton Jr.


In response to “CDC proposal encourages circumcision” (Dec. 3):

Circumcision study raises

a lot of questions for me

To snip or not to snip, that is the age old question... It seems the CDC has been working on these guidelines for seven years. But the wait is not over just yet.

There will be a 45-day window for public comment and the results will be finalized sometime in 2015.

Several questions come to mind: What did the study cost, why did it take so long, and while we’re at it, is there nothing the government won’t try to control?

Jim Hatfield