City government needs to be more transparent

To the editor:

I initially planned to respond to the guest column in the July 4 edition by Jason White concerning the controversy over the Missouri City power plant. Noting the following day that there was to be a public hearing on the topic the following Thursday. I held off responding until I could attend the hearing and base my comments on all the facts.

For those unable to attend, it should be noted that on a Thursday, in the morning, when many had to work, the room was full. Many citizens spoke to the issue, the president of the corporation involved spoke, the members of the Public Utilities Advisory Board spoke and the normal political process was allowed to unfold. It should also be noted that only one City Council member attended, which seemed odd in light of the controversy surrounding this issue.

The entire situation that unfolded and continues to develop caused me to remember some advice I had been given when I began my career in public service. A very wise woman once said to me that when you work in the public arena you live under two rules, which she called “the rule of threes” and the rule of thirds.” The rule of threes was that you owed them three things unconditionally – honesty, fairness and transparency. The rule of thirds said that no matter who you are or what you do in your position, that one third of the people would like you because you do the job and support your efforts, one third don't care one way or the other and the last third won't like you because of what you do and represent. I found her advice true throughout my entire career and pretty much true throughout all my endeavors.

What is becoming apparent in this situation is that some in city government don't know these rules or choose not to heed them. Without transparency they are going to lose the support of that first third that care so much and always support their efforts and the middle third will go when the bill comes due.

There appears to be no reasonable cause for all the resistance to be open about an action by city government that will affect us all. Dealing with this matter in the fashion being used at present gives the public reason to suspect bad things and feel deceived. Or as one speaker stated, “maybe we need a little more sunshine around here.”

Steve Cauveren

Independence

 

A reminder to wear seat belts

To the editor:

Think seatbelts aren't necessary?

In every Missouri State Highway Patrol fatalities report, a vast majority of the accidents that results in death the person wasn't wearing a seat belt. No telling how many of these deaths might not have happened if seat belts were worn.

How many fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, grandparents – will you get the drift? – would still be alive? Yes, there would be injuries and deaths, but a lot fewer. So, people, wear your seatbelt, leave more space in the paper for important stuff, like comics.

Mike Bauman

Sugar Creek

 

A single-payer system is needed for health care

To the editor:

Universal health care – in what form?

Yes, we need a bipartisan effort to solve our nation’s health care challenges. ACA (Obamacare) was an attempt to establish a universal health care system. It may have worked if all the states had expanded Medicaid and everyone who did not have insurance had signed up. That may well have provided health care financing for everyone that would meet the definition of “universal health care.”

However, even if this had occurred, we would still have the for-profit health care insurance industry in charge, taking 30 percent-plus of your/my premium dollars away from paying our medical bills. We would continue to pay too much for too little as the insurance industry adds no value to our health care experience.

The subsidies for low-income citizens would continue to be a form of corporate welfare for the insurance industry.

It is my hope that some Republicans and Democrats will see that an improved Medicare for all, single-payer system such as HR 676 would provide the best financial protection for our citizens while also reducing our nation’s cost of health care.

I hope that more of our citizens will support HR 676 and contact their elected officials to let them know.

Terry Flowers

Independence