"I just read Steve Hammer’s Oct. 31 column with incredible disappointment (“Don’t Forget to Vote!” Oct. 31-Nov. 7). Mr. Hammer spent the entire column attacking the people running for office as inept and not worthy of support — which translates to “there’s no one worthy of your vote, so stay home.”
For starters, Mr. Hammer made his attacks without doing his homework. How many of the council candidates did he actually talk with before tarring them all with the brush of self-centered incompetence? He did not talk with me, nor was he present for any of my presentations to voters. And I’m sure I’m not the only one he failed to talk with.
People who run for City-County Council in both parties are, with a few exceptions, people who are talented, involved in the community and who genuinely care about making this a better city. While I disagree with my opponent Bob Cockrum about the direction I believe the city should take, I applaud him for being involved and for standing up for the policies he thinks are right. Agree or disagree, Bob has made the effort to be involved.
It doesn’t take much talent or effort to simply spew criticism. You just sit down at your computer and start pounding out your attacks. But helping build a community does take work, and commitment, and effort. It also takes the involvement of all citizens. If Mr. Hammer doesn’t like the course of things in this city, then he should do something positive to impact the direction we are headed; he should write something to inspire people to become involved in the process and have their voices heard.
Rather than just write, “They’re all losers,” why not actually look into the issues? Educate people on the issues and candidates. Do meaningful [interviews] with candidates, then follow up on whether their positions are supported by facts. Look at the history of the police and fire pensions, the impact of non-funded liabilities and the options that the city faced in funding the pension plans. Analyze the program for rebuilding our sewer system, the impact on the environment and the overall cost of the project. Look into the financial impact of consolidation of fire departments and compare it to the quality or deficiencies in fire services in the townships.
There is another election next year. Maybe Mr. Hammer can do a better job. He and NUVO owe that to their readers.
Stephen M. Terrell