Letters to the editor: Oct. 28

Vote for referendum Seniors on a fixed income and all other voters: Do you want your property taxes to go up $120 a year or more? This will happen because the school board voted to pass the Red Plan without the people of Duluth getting a chance t...

Vote for referendum

Seniors on a fixed income and all other voters: Do you want your property taxes to go up $120 a year or more?

This will happen because the school board voted to pass the Red Plan without the people of Duluth getting a chance to vote on the matter.

These people running for the board -- Harry Welty, Deborah Anderson, Tim Grover and Gary Glass -- will let you vote on the school bond levy. Vote for them.

Gordon Downs



Vote for Grover

Hard work, a positive attitude and pride in what you represent are all qualities that make a good leader.

Tim Grover encompasses all of these, and this is what enables him to be such a strong voice for District 3 of the Duluth School Board. His expertise and experience in school finances, along with his ability to work with a number of different people and different viewpoints, make him the best person for the job. He is not afraid to listen to and stand up for the people he represents. It is clear that he takes pride in our schools, the school district and the city in general. And with his commitment to increase things like music, athletics and other extra-curricular activities in our schools, he obviously takes pride in the students also.

He is a man of integrity, intelligence, and motivation. Grover has been and will continue to be a strong representative for the third district. I encourage you to join me on Nov. 6 in voting for Tim Grover.

Julie Birman


Doty wrong about Little


Ralph Doty writes that "Councilor [Tim] Little has generally opposed using street funds for anything other than streets."

This statement is incorrect.

In the past year, Little has voted to remove $10.4 million from the street fund for non-street-related projects: $1.2 million for the Heritage Hockey Arena, $7.2 million for the Kroc Center and $2 million for retiree healthcare. The Kroc Center project ultimately failed, but this was not due to any lack of commitment on Little's part.

Little has voted no on CIT fund expenditures twice. In April 2005 he voted against transferring $3 million to the Housing Investment Fund, and in April 2007 he opposed transferring an additional $8 million to retiree healthcare.

This record does not reflect a person who is "generally opposed" to street fund expenditures.

By perpetuating the myth of a fiscally responsible Tim Little, Ralph Doty does his readers a disservice.

John Ramos



Freedom going up in smoke

In response to the Oct. 14 letter to the editor "In Russia You Can Smoke," I just want to say thank you. I have been saying the same thing to my husband for years, and it's good to know I'm not the only one realizing the slow demise of our freedoms. So, to the author of that letter, well said.

Kelly Brown


Vote for change

Election Day is nearly upon us and I hope Duluthians stand up and say enough is enough. The current city council has raided millions of dollars from the Street Improvement Fund for pet projects that benefit a very small portion of the citizenry. This happens at a time when the intended use of the fund, the streets, are in the worst condition since the horse-and-buggy days. In fact, I'm sure horses would get around on some of Duluth's streets better than my vehicle does.

This same city council has voted for two new employee contracts for city workers that nearly doubled the employee retiree health care crisis to more than $300 million dollars. On top of that, we are told of a potential $7 million dollar deficit for 2008!

If we ran our family finances like this we'd all be bankrupt, which is exactly the path the current city council is sending us down. As a city councilor, Don Ness is a part of this massive


problem. He's been on this council for eight years and has had his chance to say no and stop the madness! He hasn't! In fact Councilor Ness voted yes twice to city contracts that brought us to the mess we are in today. Why would we promote a

councilor that has been part of the problem to the highest office in city government? That makes no sense.

It's time for change. Charlie Bell has dedicated a big part of his life the last 30 years trying to make this a better place to live. With Duluth in desperate need of a mayor who understands budgets and economic development, Bell is the best choice for mayor.

Tracy Lundeen


Not voting for Fedora

"Special interest this," "conflict of interest that," ... the Todd Fedora campaign is doing quite the job of slinging mud at one of our most upstanding councilors, Laurie Johnson. I guess Todd doesn't know that we in Duluth do not stand for name calling and fear mongering.

The letters we read and the phone calls we get about Laurie Johnson are appalling. The mayor's administration and the union's negotiating team (not Laurie Johnson) have negotiated a contract; the City Council will vote it up or down based on the merits of the contract for both taxpayers and employees.


The administration, after its media firestorm of front page headlines and TV commercials, began negotiating in good faith just days after Herb's primary election loss. Now the administration is telling us the hubbub was not the full truth. What was portrayed as a fight over retiree health care was apparently a dog-and-pony show by the mayor.

Unfortunately, Todd Fedora did not learn from Herb's mistake and has continued to pit citizen against citizen by implying Laurie has something to gain from voting on the contract.

My hope is that voters will see through this tactic of his campaign and do as they did with Herb's attack campaign. In polite Minnesotan fashion, I hope we will politely ask him to stop it -- with our ballots. As of August, Todd had $16,000 on hand which is twice what Laurie's campaign had -- apparently the "special interests" supporting her aren't the financial interests supporting Mr. Fedora.

As for conflict of interest; would Mr. Fedora have abstained from the votes on the council concerning the development project just east of 21st Avenue and London Road? The one with Fedora's company, M&I Bank, emblems all over it? A project he will directly -- and financially -- benefit from.

I'm sure he won't address that in the commercials he is probably planning to run, but I won't know. I think I'll change the channel with my vote on Nov. 6.

Chad McKenna


A better Halloween


It is so tragic that today's children and teens have no concept of what a "violent-theme-free" Halloween is. As Christians we celebrated the Pagan holiday in a non-pagan way. We never had gross bloody costumes or decor. They were child-friendly haunted houses, even teens enjoyed. The typical teen costume was a "bum." not some sexy Hooter-like or slasher costume of today. No wonder kids are killing their classmates which never was heard of 25 plus years ago.

The haunted houses in Duluth and Cloquet have sick violent themes that make you wonder what kind of person would find this fun. Parents need to boycott these Pagan-like sick entertainments that are hurting our children. Being popular is never the best choice in most things in life, if we care about the safety and mental health of our kids. Kids and teens have a hard time saying no when the parents themselves are pushing it and telling them to not be such sissies, especially to boys. We, the people, decide what our children should see. So, save your money and put on a simple party for the kids and teens at home.

Dennis P. & Rosemarie Mitchell


Mayor Bell sounds good

Duluth, we are at a crossroad. Two candidates vying for mayor. If you vote for Don Ness, first read this.

1. What has he done after eight years on the City Council?

2. He aspires to be a professional politician.

3. He was Oberstar's employee, and what has that man done?

4. He's involved in years of no business growth.

5. He's not trying to expand the tax base.

6. He's not trying hard enough to create jobs.

So Duluthians, if Charlie Bell is your man, check these out.

1. He hasn't been on the City Council.

2. He is not a professional politician, nor will he ever be.

3. He's a native Duluthian, raised a family here and knows what our city needs. He cares.

4. Years of expanding business growth.

5. He has been on and chaired numerous committees, diligently making things happen.

6. He is smart and savvy business man. Once again, he cares.

On that last note, do you think a business man has what it takes? Look at Superior's growth and success. So, Duluth, get out and vote. Make it count. We need to go forward, and our city has only taken giant steps backward. Mayor Bell. It has a nice ring to it.

Jim Mattson


Editor's note: Because of the large number of letters this week, there is no editorial.

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