Letters to the editor
July 3, 2009
Congratulations, city staff, on parkway completion
While it is customary for newspapers to have opinionated editorial pages, we in Newcastle are provided with the biased viewpoint of Jim Feehan in most articles, as well. The most recent example is the “controversy” (stirred up by the Talk of the Town feature in Newcastle News) over the city spending $5,000 to celebrate the successful completion of the $42 million Coal Creek Parkway project.City staff, in objective fact, has done an outstanding job in securing funding from county, state and federal sources and in managing the project in an on-time and under-budget manner.
As a career human resources leader, I understand the need to celebrate successes in life, including at the workplace, as a way of lifting morale. When employees have their efforts and successes recognized, they feel more committed to their employer and their jobs, while organizations experience increased employee engagement and lower turnover. I will also add that $5,000 represents .012 percent (that’s roughly 1/8,000) of the $42 million project’s total costs.
If Newcastle News is unwilling to congratulate our outstanding city staff for a job well done, I will happily say thank you to all involved in the Coal Creek Parkway project for an outstanding job.
Parkway party should be on weekend
At first, I thought $5,000 is a small amount to spend to celebrate the end of such a substantial road project that has been a stressor to all the city’s residents.
Then, I reread the article and went to put the date in my calendar and was dumbfounded. This party is on Thursday, July 16, at 1:30 p.m. This is the only city-sponsored summer event that I have seen scheduled in the middle of a weekday.
Typically, such events are in the evening or on the weekend. This date and time is causing me to wonder if it is a “company picnic” in disguise. How many people are going to be able to attend a weekday afternoon event, besides the construction workers on the project and the city representatives?
In fact, in the article, “$5,000 approved for Coal Creek Parkway party” (June 5 Newcastle News), all of the praise is for the city staff and state Department of Transportation’s hard work on this project.
I am a stay-at-home mom residing in this city and I cannot attend. If this were truly for the residents, I believe, it would be on a Saturday.
In this economic climate, many local companies are canceling their company picnics and a city picnic would be a taxpayer-provided relief and alternative. If it is indeed a company picnic, then it should be cancelled. Since it is on a Thursday, I doubt that it is truly intended for the city’s residents, also known as those paying for the party.
Party ‘horrendous waste of taxpayer monies’
I have spoken to no one in the past few weeks that agrees with spending taxpayer dollars for a celebration of the parkway opening.
This is a major recession and a horrendous waste of taxpayer monies. I have neighbors who have lost their jobs that live in this city. Let’s not waste theirs and everyone else’s tax dollars for a celebration of the parkway.
I can see an announcement and comments at Lake Boren Park on band or movie night. Let’s save our tax dollars if we can!
Let’s stop this city spending now.
Parkway party expenditure questioned
I could not believe what I read in the last Newcastle News. I don’t see how any of you can even think of a party without tremendous guilt.
The money you will be using is from our taxes, which are too high anyway. You are always complaining that there isn’t enough money for this or that, and yet you seem to have $5,000 to throw away. If you have that much extra money, how about returning it to we who live in Newcastle?
I agree with a couple of people whose photo was in the paper and saying with the economy the way it is to donate the money to a food bank in the honor of the freeway or to charities. To me, with so many hurting right now, and there are those in Newcastle, I’m sure throwing away $5,000 is not a wise decision.
There may be a lot of rich folks who live here, but we are not among them and neither are my neighbors. We’ve been here for more than 40 years and are now retired, and we are not happy about being always told we have to pay more money to you for something.
As far as this “405 of Coal Creek” goes, I am not celebrating. I can’t use this road in the early morning hours going north or in the early evening hours going south, because the traffic is bumper to bumper for miles and miles. And these people don’t even live in Newcastle or pay taxes here. Yet, I’m the taxpayer and can’t even use the road.
Why don’t you people figure out ways to get businesses in here so we can really be a city someone wants to shop in. How about a Walmart? That would bring in a lot of tax revenue.
Also, how about more police grabbing speeders on this new freeway? I go the speed limit and the other cars go past me like I’m standing still. You could probably take in a lot of revenue just from speeders, if you police the area more often.
Carrol R. Merrell