What Do You Think?

May 19, 2008

Editor's note: Each week, The Herald-Mail invites readers to answer poll questions on its Web site, Readers also may submit comments about the poll question when voting. Each Sunday, a sampling of edited reader comments will run in The Herald-Mail.

Last week, there were three poll questions. The first question was: Are you more likely to vote for a presidential candidate who visits your area?

· No, as anybody can come to the area. That has no bearing on whether they are a good candidate for president. As far as I am concerned, there is no one really good running. The country could do as well if no one was in charge as with the ones running now."

· "Candidates visiting our area are like relatives you never see or hear from unless someone dies and they show up at the funeral. I think that pretty much says it all."


· "In 49 years as a voter, I have only missed two elections, primary and general. One was due to illness and the other due to apathy. This may very well be the third one or I may write in John Doe."

· "I think people are smarter than that. We vote based on who we think will serve our interests. Plain and simple, regardless if they've ever heard of our neighborhood. But I tend to think higher of the candidate that takes the time to say 'hello' when they can."

The second question was: Who should be responsible for repairing public sidewalks?

· "You know this always baffled me, as we are taxed on this strip of land, but we can't use it or block it, must keep it clean of ice and snow, and pay for its upkeep. Now if it's a public right of way, why do we have to pay tax on it, keep it free of ice and snow, and be responsible for the repair? I understand the need for public walkways, but this seems like just another way of taxing us."

· "Just wait until they decide that you are responsible for changing the bulb in the streetlight outside of your house. They may even go a step further and require you to contract city employees to do the actual work."

· "If it belongs to a private individual, it should be done by the municipality, but if it belongs to a business which has a lot of use by customers shopping at their establishment or shipments of goods continually being unloaded and using the sidewalks, then they should pay."

· "Sidewalks are public access easeways. Just because the sidewalk is in front of your home or business does not make you its owner. If that were the case, there would be no pedestrians because we'd all be in jail for trespassing. Besides, if the city wants them all done according to their rules and regs then they should take care of it themselves."

· "The municipality has employees in its work force who can do the work of maintaining sidewalks. Let them do it. This way, a standard can be established and maintained. If independent contractors do the work, so many times the sidewalks from section to section will be different. For safety reasons, uniformity of construction and maintenance is important."

The third question was: How should governmental bodies balance their budgets?

· "The last resort should be raising taxes and fees. The opinion of making the newcomers pay is not sound planning. Developers should pay impact fees, not their home buyer clients. Reducing waste is the most important, and it can include cutting services, cutting staff and dropping programs that are not effective. Maybe the citizens should vote on the preferences of which programs and services should be kept. Politicians are pulled in too many directions by benefactors that they can't make impartial decisions. Instead of just listening to the vocal supporters or detractors, let the people who have to pay the bills decide. Don't underestimate the ability of the voters to make overall good, sound decisions."

· "The government should be required to keep its spending in check. We cannot expand our income to meet the cost of inflation or the changing economic conditions. Neither should they."

· "By reducing waste we will help balance budgets."

· "Try acting like you have an ounce of sense! You don't have the money to waste, so stop tossing it into empty ideas with no yielding return. Make doing your job a priority and realize that money is not an infinite resource for anyone."

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