Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

Opinion

December 19, 2011

Letters to the Editor

The Index welcomes letters to the editor on a variety of topics. We reserve the right to edit letters for style, grammar and taste. Letters should be concise and to the point. They must be signed and include the author’s address and phone number for verification. We will accept only original letters – no form letters. Letters that do not conform to this policy will not be published. Deadline for submitting letters for Sunday publication is 5 p.m. Wednesday, or via e-mail by noon Thursday. Submissions may be dropped-off, mailed, faxed or sent electronically to editor@mineralwellsindex.com.

Kudos to police chief, MW officers

Dear Editor,

First I would like to say thank you to Mike McAllester. Your years of service has and always will be appreciated by me.

I, like most people, find change hard but in the past month I have come to find out firsthand that change can be for the better. The past three weeks I have experienced a series of bad luck – an attempted break-in at my business. Our electric box was stolen and a bay door was damaged in an attempt to break into my shop. There was damage to the storefront windows and a stolen service truck.

Scott Mitcham and the Mineral Wells police officers have done an outstanding job in what the are trained to do – aid and assist. With every call I made an officer responded with in minutes. Chief Mitcham has been right with them. They treated my issue with concern, respect, accuracy and speed.

Because of such accuracy and speed, arrests have been made and items returned, but I do not think this would have happened as quickly as it did with out the role and direction of Scott.

Thank you Chief Mitcham and all MWPD officers. My greatest hope is that I’ll not need you again, but if I do, I sure am glad I have you in my corner.

Respectfully,

Kevin S. Cross

Mineral Wells

Willing to shop local with good merchants

Dear Editor,

Once again it is the Christmas season and time of year when local merchants look forward to profiting from customers. We see signs and posters around the city that encourage us to “Shop Local.” We as consumers and local residents would love to “Shop Local,” allowing the local merchants to realize a profitable Christmas sales season and the City of Mineral Wells to profit from the merchant’s taxes.

Many times the reason we, as consumers, give for not “Shopping Local” is the cost of items we are looking for or the availability of what we are searching for. However, there are times that consumers decide not to “Shop Local” because of a reason that is much easier to resolve.

On Dec. 3, my wife decided that she would “Shop Local” and ventured to downtown Mineral Wells to look for a present for a friend. She was shopping for old metal lawn chairs that the friend wanted to refinish and enjoy. We decided the best place to begin our search for the chairs would be at one of the antique stores downtown.

The place we decided to shop did have three metal lawn chairs in front of the store, but they were priced a little higher than the amount we had decided to pay. Since we were at an antique store and the chairs were at least 40 years old we decided to offer the dealer a “bundled” deal for two chairs instead of one, lowering the cost of each chair by $10, but the dealer would still realize a sale at a reasonable profit.

My wife found the owner of the business and asked if the owner would consider selling two of the chairs at the “bundled” price my wife and I thought would be reasonable. The answer was that the price shown on the chairs was what the owner would take. My wife asked if the owner really thought he would get that price for the chairs. Up to this point it was an amiable conversation, however, here is the point of the editorial.

The owner turned and looked at my wife and told her she was “very rude.” After she collected herself she replied, “No, you are the one that is being very rude” at which time the owner proceeded to tell her to get out of the store. Which, of course we did with no intention of ever returning to this place of business.

In general we find the local Mineral Wells merchants very friendly and desiring to help their customers. However, it only takes one merchant with a very degrading, hateful attitude to turn patrons away from “shopping” the city of Mineral Wells. Fortunately my wife and I know that the majority of Mineral Wells merchants treat their customers with respect and care, so we plan on continuing to shop with many of the local Mineral Wells businesses. However, what about the customers who really take offense to an encounter like the one we had and decide they are fed up with shopping Mineral Wells?

Whatever happened to the old adage that “The customer is ALWAYS RIGHT and when the customer is not right, the customer is still ALWAYS RIGHT”! Merchants, don’t lose sight of the fact that your patrons are the ones who keep your stores open for business!

By the way, my wife did find and purchase metal lawn chairs “locally.” Thanks to Richey’s for the friendly “shopping” experience!

Jim Mann

Mineral Wells

Lack of response from elected officials

Dear Editor,

I have tried many times to contact our elected officials over concerns about the City of Mineral Wells and have had no solid reply to questions. There are times where our elected officials seem more distant to us than we would like.

They have been elected to positions where they are supposed to represent the will of their constituency, yet they often take viewpoints which seem to run against what majority actually believes. Whether they hold national offices such as congressmen, Senators or even the president to the mayor or council of the smallest townships, getting good responses from our elected officials is important to understanding why they take the positions on issues that they do.

Perhaps you have sent an email about a particular subject and have yet to get a response. This is a fairly common occurrence for most elected officials no matter what their offices.  You can keep sending the email which will increase the chances of getting a response.

One way to get directly in touch with your elected official is to attend a town hall or meeting that is conducted by the representative. I have asked for this many times. In fact, at the last public forum just before the last election, all seeking election said they would do this. Well, that has not happen and I believe it will never happen with the current elected officials. This is a popular method used by almost all elected officials to hear the voices of their constituency. You can have your question ready to ask and no doubt others may have similar questions that the elected official might answer even before you get to ask your question.

Knowing where your elected official stands on the issues is fairly straightforward, what’s important to understand is that what they say may differ from how they have voted. Finding their voting record is a matter that falls into the public domain and you can certainly access their record at any time. If you have a concern that your elected official has a position on an issue that you either do not understand or seems rather vague, their voting record on similar issues will definitely shed some light on where they truly stand.

An elected official is a servant to the interests of their constituency. Of course the people who elected them may have widely differing viewpoints on many different issues meaning that no elected official will share the same point of view as everyone they represent. But on certain specific issues the elected official should voice the general view of their constituency with their votes.

Of course even in seemingly clear-cut cases, an elected official may differ from the point of view of the people he or she represents if there are other pressing issues that may conflict. For example, a bridge that most of the community feels needs to be built may have costs that exceed what the community wants to pay for. Such complex issues are quite common.

Providing accurate information and giving their constituents the service of hearing their views is what makes representative democracy work. An elected official’s first job is to make sure that the people they represent are informed about vital issues and in turn listen to their concerns before casting a vote or making a decision.

The email addresses of the elected officials is always listed in the Sunday edition of the Mineral Wells Index. One positive note is the city manager and the city clerk. In times when I have needed information about any subject, they have answered my questions and would make sure that I was satisfied with the answer. Lance Howerton and Juanita Formby are both excellent employees of the City of Mineral Wells and the city council could look to them for guidance on how to keep the public informed.

Clif Wright

Mineral Wells

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