Letters to the Editor

This is Viewpoints for Sunday, October 8, 2017

Warner Robins mayoral candidates, from left, Joe Musselwhite, Chuck Shaheen and Randy Toms responded to questions during a forum Tuesday evening attended by more than 200 people at Central Georgia Technical College.
Warner Robins mayoral candidates, from left, Joe Musselwhite, Chuck Shaheen and Randy Toms responded to questions during a forum Tuesday evening attended by more than 200 people at Central Georgia Technical College. bcabell@macon.com

Same thing, different results?

Warner Robins deserves professionally educated, trained, and experienced municipal leadership. We need to take the next step in professionalizing top leadership. We have capable department heads, supervisors and workers. We owe it to them to ensure that the top leader brings the requisite experience and education to organize, plan and coordinate the city’s activities.

Of all the cities in the state of Georgia, the grand majority have either a city manager or a city administrator. Why? Because it’s a good idea. It makes sense. It provides apolitical stability, decision making and recommendations to council. It also continues to provide elected oversight and direction of city affairs.

Recent mayoral elections gave us as many as six candidates, all of varying experiences, training and education. Contrast that to hiring an administrator where a great city like Warner Robins could attract 50 or more candidates from around the Southeast. A keen vetting process will set baseline education, experience levels and even certification requirements (e.g. certified public manager). From this pool of dozens, the very best, most highly qualified would be offered the position.

To my knowledge, only one mayoral candidate fully supports an immediate move toward a city administrator; Chuck Shaheen. For this reason I support Chuck Shaheen in his candidacy for mayor as well as Eric Langston for City Council. They’ll move us to professionalize our top leadership for our great city.

Chuck Chalk,

Warner Robins

Why change?

We have a problem in Warner Robins. We have a mayoral election soon and three good candidates. In most elections, there are usually one or two candidates who can be crossed off immediately.

Our three candidates are Joe Musselwhite, Chuck Shaheen and Randy Toms. Things have gotten done well the past four years. If it isn’t broken or worn out, why replace it? We surely don’t need a city manager in a growing city like Warner Robins and our public safety and public works programs are well supported by the current administration.

With that said, Randy Toms is the best candidate for mayor of Warner Robins.

Tracy McCollister,

Warner Robins

More division to come

The Catholic Church is an institution whose origins go back to before the Edict of Thessalonica (380 AD), under Theodosius (“Reformation or revolution?” Oct. 1). It made the Christian “religion” (an oxymoron — faith in Christ is a relationship, not a religion) compulsory, in an attempt to unify the crumbling empire. True faith in Christ cannot be compulsory; Jesus never forced anyone to do anything. The history of Roman Catholicism has a sordid side, full of worldliness, corruption, political intrigue and crime (including the confiscation of property and wealth); man-made rites and rituals and unregenerate priests and popes.

The true Church is composed of the body of believers; those who are redeemed through their faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ, and his physical resurrection; and it transcends every boundary of religion, denomination, nationality, race, class, sex and ethnicity.

As for the divisions alluded to — as I recently wrote to a friend:

It is my settled opinion ... that we are blessed to be living in a time when things are being fully revealed for what they are. I believe that is the source of the stark division that has bisected our nation; not coincidentally (“coincidence is not a Kosher word,” and “there are no coincidences in God’s kingdom”) like the dark line of shadow described by the recent eclipse’s path. C. S. Lewis used those exact words (re: “things becoming more fully what they are”) over 70 years ago, and the trajectory has remained unchanged. I think the divisions will deepen, and we will become more fragmented, as a result of our losing sight of, and relationship with, the God who made us, and to whom we are beholden.

W. Wade Stooksberry II,


Tax cuts for whom?

Tax reform is needed. It has to be fair. The cuts should benefit all, not a select few. The existing tax code with its thousands of loopholes has to be replaced. Taxes come in many forms. There is the individual tax. There is the corporate tax. There is the small business tax where income is taxed at an individual’s rate. Tax cuts reduce revenues. Therefore, how will the government pay for cuts? Will it reduce spending? Will it borrow? As the debt increases so does the percent of tax revenues needed to pay the interest that’s over 7 percent.

The GOP wants to establish three individual tax brackets, each with its own tax rate. They have not identified the income range for the brackets or the rate for each bracket. They have not identified which personal tax exceptions will be retained. They claim taxpayers will be able to prepare their tax returns on a one-page form. They want to establish a new small business tax of 25 percent. They want to lower the corporate tax rate to 20 percent and keep the existing loopholes.

The GOP claims the tax cuts will pay for themselves. They will create jobs and grow the economy, but it will take years for this to happen.

Eliminating the Alternative Minimum tax will benefit the wealthy. By lowering the top individual tax rate, those earning $730,000 or more, will get a .085 percent rise in their after-tax income. Individuals earning $67,000 will get a .012 percent rise in their after-tax income. Raising the bottom rate will hurt low income wage earners. Tax cuts should not result in a billion dollar decrease in corporate taxes and increase individual taxes by millions.

The best tax being proposed is the one time repatriation tax on the $2 trillion plus corporations have in off shore accounts. This will bring trillions of dollars into the country. It will result in millions in tax revenues. The revenue should be used for infrastructure improvements. This will create thousands of jobs and spur demand for manufactured products.

Jim Costello,