Letters to the Editor

February 18, 2009

Jones: Why I'm not on Williamsport ballot

To the editor:

As you may have read, the Town of Williamsport will be holding its election on March 2. I have chosen not to seek a third term on the council as my youngest sons will be graduating from high school this summer. One will be off to the Navy and the other off to college.

I am not sure I will be living in the town limits for four more years as my boys hopefully settle into their adult lives. The four- bedroom home where we raised our three children may be more than we want to keep up with. I am sure we will be here a couple more years, but probably not four more years.

I want to thank the wonderful folks in this fine little town for their support during my two terms. It has been a great learning experience for me and quite a challenge at times. Just a couple years after my first term, my son was run over by a car while playing in our front yard. It was a life-changing experience for me and I became very bitter for some time after this tragic accident. However, as he healed, so did I.


Now I still have a lot of regrets as to how I treated the young man who was driving and his family. If they read this, I hope they will accept my sincere apology. May God forgive me for my couple of years in this mindset!

As I said, I will not seek a third term. But I would like to express my utmost respect for Mayor James McCleaf. I actually contemplated running for mayor this past term but had I chosen to do so, I would have been running against Jim. Had I won, we would have lost his sound mind on the council.

And to be completely honest with you, I know I could not have run the town without him. Mayor McCleaf has done a great job of turning around the financial position of the town. He has guided and inspired every positive move any council member has taken credit for. Honestly, Jim has a heart for Williamsport and not just as a town.

He cares about the everyday American folks who make up this true small town America. Yes there have been issues bigger than all of us and issues we just can't solve in one term. But Jim meets all of these head on and has chosen people around him to support his efforts.

Mayor McCleaf has put together a team of great citizens to join him this term. I hope the voters of the great town of Williamsport will recognize his efforts and support his team with their votes in March.

Running for assistant mayor will be Tony Drury, a lifetime resident and council member, Tony also has a young family in town and has proven over the years to have a sincere heart for our town. Tony has a sound mind and a financial background - a leader who we can trust with our town.

Running for council seats with Jim and Tony will be Joan Knode and Tim Fraker. Joan has been at almost every town meeting and town function I can remember. She brings a true heart for the history of our great town. Joan's children are now raising their young family in our great town. Not to mention her mother-in-law, who has been a downtown resident for as long as I can remember.

Then there is Tim Fraker, who will add another dimension to the council. Tim also has raised his young family here and his youngest son will graduate this year also. Tim is a successful business owner and has a true creative mind. Anyone who has done business with Tim will tell you Tim's work is first class.

Tim, of course, has had to deal with budgets and employees for many years in his personal business and has done so with great success. All of the above candidates own property and have a great stake in our town.

In closing, I will miss working hand in hand with most of the council and will keep each of them in my prayers as I exit my active role in town government.

Monty R. Jonesassistant mayorTown of Williamsport

A year of hype on an unproven theory?

To the editor:

I see from Allan Powell's column of Feb. 14 that we will have to endure a year of hype for a theory that has produced more bad science than even the alchemists could come up with.

We seem to forget that in the case of those like Newton and Einstein, mentioned by Powell as comparable, none of Darwin's theory has been proven by the rigorous application of the rules of science.

There is in fact no doubt in the field that his "Tree of Life" which is the backbone of his work on the origin of species does not exist. I remind readers that 16 leaders in the study of evolution at last year's conference at the Konrad Lorenz Institute in Austria politely said that Darwin, as taught today, is wrong and that "a paradigm shift is on the way." I did not note that in Powell's article.

I also happened to catch part of a PBS news show the other evening where a couple of famous evolution experts were extolling "natural selection" as an absolute truth. However they did say that after 150 years they had not figured out how it works. One gave three possibilities, one of which was at the gene level mentioned by Powell as proof.

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