Monday, November 2, 2009

Letter-to-the-Editor and Letter to Neighbors

Dear Friends and Neighbors,
As Election Day approaches, our stomachs are in knots with worry and anxiety. We realize that these elections will impact us so much more than what we originally thought. Having listened to the debates and read more about what the candidates’ platforms are, we are scared and intimidated by Mayor Watts’ positions and the support that Holly Daines and Dean Quayle give to his ideas. I’m not joking when I say that Mayor Watts wants to financially destroy people like us.

When we were getting married, we thought ahead to when we would have children. Due to Chris’ modest salary, we knew if Michelle wanted the chance to be a stay-at-home mother, we needed a home with a LEGAL basement apartment to help us pay our mortgage. We found our fixer-upper on 200 N. and bought it with this idea in mind. We gutted the basement and rebuilt a very nice apartment (with a city permit) and have spent much more on the basement than we have on the upstairs (where we live). Now we find that Mayor Watts wants to FORCE us to turn our home “back into single-family housing.” On the record many times, he has said one of the goals of landlord licensing will be to “find homes that have basement apartments (whether legal or illegal) and turn them back into single-family housing.” One of his targets is “older homes,” “with apartments,” “in neighborhoods.” Well, that is us! The government already gave approval of our basement apartment long before we bought it. Why should our “trusted” leaders try to take that away?

If Mayor Watts follows through on this promise, our home will be devalued $25,000-$35,000 and we will lose a monthly income between $300-$400 a month for 30 years. That is a $150,000 loss to our financial future (and I’m not exaggerating). If this happens, Michelle will have to get a job and put the kids in daycare. This will also set back our retirement a few more years. We simply cannot afford for Mayor Watts, Holly Daines and Dean Quayle to win. (This would also affect other members of our neighborhood who also have LEGAL basement apts. and count on that income for survival.)

There are many other issues in this election which you may have read about in Michelle’s letter-to-the-editor. Mayor Watts wants to spend more money on fancy buildings (raising taxes). He wants the city to have more control over citizens and private property rights. MAYOR WATTS NEEDS TO BE STOPPED!!! At first, we started by telling our friends how awesome Mike Morrill, Tony Wegener and Steven Stokes would be for elected office. Since we have become more educated on the issues, we have actively encouraged people to vote against Mayor Watts. A vote for Morrill is a vote for common sense. Please vote for Mike Morrill, Tony Wegener and Steven Stokes on Tuesday, Nov. 3. Remember to take your ID. We would also appreciate if you would encourage your friends to do likewise through facebook, your blog, phone calls and word of mouth. Our future depends on it!
Michelle and Chris Johnnie

It’s Not About Fancy Buildings (LETTER TO THE EDITOR)
Published: Saturday, October 31, 2009 2:36 AM CDT

I’ve been reading letters to the editor about the candidates for mayor and City Council. Most of them focus on the candidates’ outstanding characters, honorable families, love of Logan, or how long candidates have lived in Logan. These are important in voting for candidates. However, ALL six candidates have outstanding characters, love Logan, have lived here the majority of their lives and come from great families. As citizens, we should vote on the issues facing us and how the candidates address those issues. The following are a FEW issues.

In the past year, Mayor Watts built a new building to house the police department. City Hall was moved into the former police building. In all, the cost of this was approximately $8.5 million — paid for in cash by taxpayers’ money. At the same time, city employees were not given raises and were forced to pay more for health insurance. If times are so hard, why was this building built? Now that the north side of the library building is empty, Mayor Watts wants to tear that building down and build a new library for approximately $26 million, which will probably be paid for by taxpayers. Mike Morrill would like to see that building remodeled for approximately $5.5 million. In a time of recession, unemployment and tighter finances, which candidate represents which is best for you?

Morrill has been endorsed by two different groups (to which neither I belong). One reason that Morrill was endorsed by them is because he took the time to listen and respond to them. The other candidate did not. Why? I want a mayor who is willing to listen and respond to citizens even if he disagrees with them. Isn’t that one of the major duties of a mayor?

Will landlord licensing solve the problem of lousy landlords? Characters and attitudes are hard to legislate. A lousy landlord will still be a lousy landlord, but with a higher price. There are already ordinances in place and they aren’t being enforced. Renters should have rights and inspection of their “homes” by the government at anytime is intrusive. Morrill believes that citizens are competent enough to make decisions for themselves regarding their living conditions. Do we need government to have “their foot in the door” in our homes?

Based on the issues, I am voting for Morrill, Tony Wegener and Steven Stokes. Their goals include providing essential services, being citizen-friendly, attracting more jobs to Logan and allowing citizens to control their own lives, property and checkbooks (taxes). Morrill, Wegener and Stokes’ priorities include focusing on the essentials that government should provide (sidewalks, curb and gutter, replacing aging infrastructure, improving roads, etc.), not fancy buildings and greater control over citizens.
Michelle Johnnie

1 comment:

Miranda said...

Very well-written. Way to focus on the issues and NOT on character, image, etc.

BTW - I had no idea that making single-homes single again was part of Watts' plan. Scary!