Child Safety chief needs to get into the field

As a recently retired assistant attorney general with 13 years experience representing Child Protective Services, I offer the following recommendations to Charles Flanagan as he attempts to reshape the new Department of Child Safety:

1. Forget whatever you think you know about the child welfare system and ride several times with investigators/case managers in different counties. See for yourself the conditions case managers face each day while trying to serve their assigned families.

2. No one in the agency will tell you the truth due to press/legislative intimidation that has resulted in discharge of dedicated workers trying to do an impossible job. You need to get out of your office and follow a number of workers over an extended period of time to understand the process in the field and in court.

3. Raise the pay for employees to find qualified personnel to fill these extraordinarily difficult jobs.

If you don’t understand the tools and structure this agency needs from the bottom up, children will remain at risk.

Your move, Mr. Flanagan.

Karyn Vampotic

Attorney, retired, Oro Valley

US should allow pope to help resolve conflicts

Re: the May 26 article “Pope expresses support for Palestinians on visit.”

Bravo to Pope Francis for demonstrating that it is possible to be an honest broker in the protracted stalemate of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. And he did so by personifying three essential prerequisites:

1. Moral clarity.

2. Honesty and courage.

3. Acknowledging the suffering of both sides, past and present.

It seems the time has come for the United States to step aside and let a less biased party resolve this “increasingly unacceptable” situation.

Rosemarie Carnarius

Retired minister, Tucson

Bicyclists should pay for roadways, too

I have not seen anything written on the subject of bicyclists being responsible for any of the money the taxpayers are putting out to build them bike paths and now we are into building them “roads” with guardrails. Our potholes should come first. I hit a pothole to keep from having a head on collision with a car that was passing a bicycle. It cost $1,000 to replace a rim and two tires. This was on South Houghton Road.

I was told by the city/county they would not pay as I chose to leave the road. The bicyclist should have to pay to have a license and insurance. Use this money for their roads! Cars and motorcycles should not have to cover the expense to build their roads that are better than the ones we drive on.

Pat Soetaert

Retired, Corona de Tucson

Lying about completed tasks creates culpability

Re: the May 28 letter “Underfunded CPS asked to do impossible.”

Let me start by stating that I agree with most of Phineas Anderson’s letter. But to say that the CPS workers who filed false reports are blameless is ridiculous.

If you have a job to do and do a small percentage of it and claimed to have completed the task, you are lying and are culpable. If that job concerns the welfare of children known to be in a questionable home environment, you are doubly so.

This would never fly in the private sector. If you do 50 percent of the work, accept only 50 percent of your wages.

Jack Hewitt

Roofing contractor, Tucson

School district leader should show stability

Re: the May 30 article “Isquierdo reverses course, tells Sunnyside board he does not want buyout.”

What is with this man? Manuel Isquierdo, a man who did not pay his taxes and was late on his house payments, was fortunate enough to be able to keep his job, thanks to the generosity of the Sunnyside School Board.

However, now, after requesting the school board to buy out his contract, Isquierdo has recanted and said that he wants to continue as the superintendent of the Sunnyside School District.

Anyone who displays this instability does not need to head up an organization that is responsible for the teaching of youth. One of the tasks of a school district is to teach young people not only academics but also responsibility, and the best way to teach is by example.

Obviously, the superintendent displays neither the necessary responsibility nor the stability to model for his students.

Kenneth Wright

Retired, Tucson