Prop. 121 would end a lousy system
The Arizona Daily Star's editors are "afraid" that Proposition 121, this new experiment in how we elect our representatives, could be manipulated. Are you kidding?
What Prop. 121 will do is blow up the current system. This is a good thing. This makes room for more thoughtful and ingenious ways of building constituency without the party or affiliation labels.
The Star is stuck in past thinking that with a new way of doing business it will be the same old stuff. However, I have confidence that those who understand social media and how to engage voters of all ages will abandon the old TV, radio, robo calls and ridiculous campaign signs that line our streets. If we care about our government, then I guess we will all have to invest time and energy into learning the new ways of doing business.
Prop. 121 is the most exciting and simple idea of giving us all a new fresh platform from which to decide how we wish to be governed.
The old guard who lock-step along party lines will eventually die out, and the new generation of "the thoughtful voter" will hopefully abandon party politics in exchange for simple and thoughtful problem solving.
I can't wait.
Sales tax can't promise improved schools
Arizonans voted for a sales tax with the promise that it would be temporary until our budget would be in line. Now, contrary to a public promise, a great movement is under way to create a permanent tax in spite of the fact that our state economic picture has stabilized.
Perhaps the biggest deception touts this as essential for education. This is misleading because a number of earmarks for special interest groups are also included.
Nowhere is there a guarantee that education will improve as result of this tax because schools should already be accountable in assessing and improving student learning.
Nor is there a guarantee that the money will reach the classroom and be applied in a manner that engages today's learners.
This permanent tax will give our state the second-highest sales tax rate in the nation. It is regressive and, with inflation, will negatively impact many families and may affect business interests as well.
Propositions, if passed, can help to create financial disaster, because with fixed expenditures, they help bankrupt a state in tough economic times. No one wins when a state is bankrupt.
Retired educator, Tucson
Stegeman a good choice for TUSD board
Re: the Oct. 17 letter to the editor "Stegeman poor choice for TUSD board."
Contrary to the letter disagreeing with the Star's endorsement of Mark Stegeman for TUSD Governing Board, I fully support it. Having served on a school board myself (Catalina Foothills School District, 1994-98), I appreciate the time and effort it takes to be an effective board member.
Stegeman has been thorough in exploring TUSD's problems and successes, and creative in recommending new approaches and solutions. He is unwilling to settle for the status quo. Although his probing and recommending may have been unsettling to some, Stegeman is always careful to focus on the issue, not the personality.
Stegeman is endorsed by four former presidents of the Tucson Education Association and by several well-known Tucson citizens.
Visit his website to see a list of his priorities and ongoing initiatives and a catalog of articles by and about him (stegeman4tusd.com). And then please vote for him.
Regulation should be applied with even hand
Most people agree that neither the rich nor the poor hold a corner on the market of vice or virtue. Does it not follow that if in the name of free market economy we decide to refrain from regulating the business community, accepting a certain amount of malfeasance to protect the majority from time-consuming and soul-crushing bureaucracy, should we not give wide berth to recipients of public welfare, realizing that a certain percentage will scam the system but a majority will use this safety net responsibly?
Alternately, if we decide to "reform" welfare creating layers of complexity to filter out the scofflaws, should we not do equal diligence to the workings of corporate America? Which will it be? It is the height of hypocrisy to privilege one sector over another as we form policy to address issues of trust in public policy.
Museum curator, Tucson
City's bonds for streets are a bad idea
Re: the Oct. 10 editorial, "$100M bond to fix local streets deserves support."
I disagree with the Star's recommendation that we vote for the $100 million bond issue to repair the city's streets.
According to that recommendation, these repairs will only cost $36 per year for a $200,000 homeowner. But, proponents admit that this $100 million is just a down payment on the $600 million to $1 billion that we'll need to spend for repairs in the next 10 years. As a nation and a city, we're living way beyond our means.
Mayor Jonathan Rothschild is trying to solve this problem, but this idea is a sad hoax. Nonetheless, it works because the voters want to believe that they can have it all and they don't have to pay for it. Borrowing this money to pay for years of neglect and then expecting our children and grandchildren to pay off our debt in 20 years is unconscionable.
Go back to the drawing board!
Loring K. Green
Retired stockbroker, Tucson