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Letters to the Editor

January 29, 2009

Seniors aren't confused



To the editor:

Well, Hagerstown Councilmember Penny Nigh has finally spelled out her reasoning for backing separate elections solely for city office holders. She thinks we old and confused senior citizens need a separate ballot to understand the issues involved in running the city.

Maybe that is because she is one of us, but I'm not sure. Sometimes she does act a little confused. One thing I do know is that city elections have shameful turnouts. The last city election drew about 3,500 general city election voters, or 23 percent. That works out to about $17 per final vote cast.

I will bet a large percentage of those voting had a vested interest in the outcome (e.g., city employees, family and friends).

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As far as I am aware, the city employees provided substantial backing for Lew Metzer, Nigh and Alesia Parson-McBean. Maybe that is why they got the raises that are going to put us old confused senior citizens in the poor house.

It does not take a rocket scientist to see that the position of several council members is nothing more than an attempt to suppress the vote. Change the elections to the off-year general elections now.

Tom Immer
Hagerstown




Keep the secret ballot



To the editor:

To all Americans who understand the value of the "secret ballot," the bill in the U. S. Congress known as the "card check" is the most dangerous idea to come along in my lifetime.

Thirty years ago, the Teamsters Union attempted to organize our route-sales people. They claimed enough signed cards to force a secret ballot election supervised by the National Labor Relations Board. Our salespersons voted by secret ballot, 16 to one, to remain free of unions.

Today, the salespersons would have been forced to accept the union if the "card check" was in force, which eliminates the secret ballot process. I know of examples of union organizers confronting route sales people and telling them that they know where they live and they hope they love their families.

This country has been founded on using secret ballots to eliminate intimidation and to help support a free democracy where one person equals one vote of their own free choice.

This bill takes away the shelter that prevents intimidation from the voting process and resembles more of the process Saddam Hussein used to receive 99.96 percent of the vote in Iraq, where hundreds of thousands of people were put to death by him. Is this the America we want for our children? Please support the secret ballot by stopping the card check bill and avoid intimidation from entering into the voting process.

James A. Martin
President
Martin's Famous Pastry Shoppe, Inc.
Chambersburg, Pa.

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