I question whether Charlotte City Council members deserve another pay raise

·4 min read

City Council pay

In June 2021, when individuals and businesses were still reeling from the government’s overbearing COVID-19 measures, Charlotte City Council members — in a 10-1 vote — voted to give themselves a 50% pay raise. Tariq Bokhari cast the dissenting vote. Now, the City’s proposed budget for fiscal 2023 includes an additional 4% increase. Do they deserve a 54% increase in pay over two years?

Let’s see: affordable housing is practically nonexistent, economic upward mobility is stagnant, and violent crime is rising. I’ll answer with my vote.

Jason Huber, Charlotte

Gun laws

With the death of Roe v. Wade in sight, red states are already passing laws to ban or severely restrict access to abortion, including abortion pills. These states proclaim that these laws are necessary to protect the “sanctity of life” of the defenseless and innocent.

Why not pass laws to protect the sanctity of life of the defenseless, innocent victims of mass shootings and gun violence? The same states don’t even consider passing red flag laws or assault weapons bans. Such laws might have prevented the shooting deaths of 10 innocent defenseless people in Buffalo, N.Y.

Joseph Salerno, Charlotte

A plea for police

Regarding the Buffalo, N.Y., shooting... It is long overdue for police everywhere to come forward with loud demands for gun control. Yes, including confiscation. Their jobs would be easier and safer. It should have been done 30 years ago. With all the respect accorded them, they are the only solution.

Steve Craig, Charlotte

Student debt

In her May 18 NC Voices op-ed, Dorothea Martin-Hoffman states that student loans should be forgiven because of the rising costs of a college education over the last twenty years. What about the rising cost of housing, vehicles, insurance, groceries, cell phones, etc. over the same period? When you sign the dotted line on any purchase you are accountable. Passing student loans on to taxpayers is absurd.

Pat Reynolds, Charlotte

Voting in NC

In April, I completed an application for an absentee ballot. According to BallotTrax, the Mecklenburg Board of Elections received the application, approved it, and mailed me my ballot. This was verified when I called to let them know I never received the ballot.

I’m 80, without a car, and can’t possibly walk to my precinct. Rather than complain, I have this suggestion: Delivery of the absentee ballot by the post office should be electronically validated in the manner of most delivery services.

I don’t want to be deprived of my right to vote again. In this instance no one can tell me what went amiss. Without accountability, suspicion is born.

Jack Beasley, Davidson

Abortion

In her May 16 Opinion, Tami Fitzgerald of NC Values Coalition wrote that the abortion issue would be better if settled by the individual states, rather than the Supreme Court. If the civil rights issue had been turned over to the states, there might still be “whites only” water fountains in several states. Yes, the writers of the Constitution did not imagine a woman’s right to an abortion. But they didn’t imagine women or Black people’s right to vote, either.

Elias Roochvarg, Charlotte

Pro-life?

I’m impressed by Tami Fitzgerald’s concern for the unborn. But what about concern for the child after it’s born? These unborn that you want to save become babies, toddlers, and young children. When I see the NC Values Coalition and others lobby as hard for healthcare, freedom from food insecurity, and a good education for these babies they want to save, I will believe they are really are pro-life.

Linda Thede, Matthews

Majority view

Urging the return to state legislatures the question of a woman’s right to seek an abortion leaves unanswered which state’s law would apply to a North Carolinian who conceives while attending college in Alabama, but discovers she is pregnant when visiting Vermont.

NC Values Coalition is entitled to its theory of when life begins. However, I — and a majority of Americans — value the right of a woman to control her own reproductive choices. We agree with the Supreme Court in Roe — that a state cannot adopt “one theory of life” to override the rights of pregnant women.

Amy Lefkof, Charlotte

Safeguarding rights

To paraphrase the late Lutheran pastor Martin Niemöller, first they came for minority voting rights and I did not speak out — because I was not a minority. Then they came for a woman’s right to choose, and I did not speak out because I was not a woman.

Then they came for LGBTQ rights, and I did not speak out because I was not LGBTQ. Then they came for my rights — and no one spoke out for me because I refused to speak out for them.

Every time politicians and black-robed autocrats erode someone else’s rights and we sit silently by or even applaud, we should bear in mind that it’s only a matter of time before rights that we hold dear may be on the line next.

Thomas J. Strini, Spencer

Thomas Strini
Thomas Strini
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