Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

Opinion

January 15, 2012

Letters to the Editor - Jan. 15, 2012

No pay raises for city employees

Dear Editor,

Recently in a letter to the Index I questioned the wisdom of one city council member’s suggestion that the city spend extra money to have four voting places instead of one because of the limited funds the city has to operate on.

The city council voted unanimously to continue with one voting location but I am not naive enough to believe that my letter was a factor in that decision.

The reason I am writing this letter is because I used the term “minimum wage” to describe the salaries level of the employees of the City of Mineral Wells. When I wrote the letter I used the term “minimum wage” as a way to describe the salaries level that many of the employees were at. I did not intend to imply that employees of Mineral Wells were actually drawing the federal minimum wage. That was a mistake and I apologize for that. No employee in Mineral Wells draws minimum wage. I am told that the lowest salary level is $10.80 an hour.

But I want to point out that the employees of the City of Mineral Wells have not received a pay raise since 2008. Those of us on a so called “set income” and are drawing Social Security as the primary base for that “set income” received an increase every year except one including this year.

Medicare costs those of us who are on a so call “set income” $99.90 (doesn’t include prescription plan or a Medicare supplement) a month. Insurance for an employee with a family working for the city of Mineral Wells costs the employee at least $858.

Charles Thompson, Mineral Wells

Need independent probe into shooting

Dear Editor,

The definition of a sheriff is not judge, jury and executioner.

Everyone has the right to “due process of the law.” We, as Americans, have fought for this right since our country was founded.

Recently the local sheriff took it upon himself to be the judge, jury and executioner of a troubled young man. The sheriff had options and means at his disposal other than gunning this kid down. His shots were no accident. If he had aimed at the tires of the tuck in all likelihood he would have hit at least one.

It is the duty of law enforcement to try to protect and stop people from committing suicide. That is what is taught to law enforcement. It was not the sheriff’s right to decide if this young man was going to kill himself or maybe kill others. There is no time to play the games of “if he, would he, had he” thoughts like suicide or murder on his mind.

Clearly the sheriff took the law into his own hands and he killed this young man. The sheriff went way outside his job of protecting and serving and actually broke the law himself. Anyone in the position of sheriff knows better than to do what this sheriff did.

The laws we in America live under are the best laws in the world. When someone breaks the law we all are at risk of paying the price – no matter who you are the law is the law.

We as citizens need to ask that this crime not be whitewashed or covered up. We ask that this shooting be investigated and a special prosecutor present this case to the grand jury as no one, not even a sheriff, is above the law. We want the full truth applied to this case.

As this sheriff had other opportunities to use negotiations but chose to use deadly force, this begs the question does it serve justice to shoot first and ask questions later? So often all that is needed to resolve a crisis is time, with time to think, to cool off, to consider the family and friends. Killing someone should be the last possible action in circumstances where time is a better option.

Most law enforcement professionals go through their entire careers without ever killing anyone or shooting anyone. For the sake of justice and for the safety of our community at large there needs to be a serious investigation into this case.

Ronnie Burns, Mineral Wells

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