As another election cycle quickly approaches, I have a few requests: 1) Vote. Election Day is Aug. 7. Voting is a privilege and is the formal process for you to express your opinion about whom you wish your elected officials to be. In my opinion, if you don't vote, you lose your right to complain about who won the election. 2) Vote for Greg Martin, Hamilton County Board of Education, District 3. Mr. Martin is what you would expect all of our elected officials to be. He is a well-respected member of the community. He gives his honest opinion, based on knowledge and conviction, whether you agree with him or not, and votes on the board the same way. He worked hard with parents and county employees to diffuse and understand issues at McConnell Elementary, where my kids attended, and he worked to get funding directed toward rebuilding Gann's Elementary. He meets regularly with parents and is seen at many school functions from PTA meetings to football games. He has made a difference in our community and is worthy of your vote on Aug 7.
I couldn't help but notice Gov. Haslam, the pied piper of hypocrisy, happily doling out federal money for infrastructure the other day like the mayor of Munchkinland. Tennessee is one of the largest recipients of federal money in the country. Forty percent of state government revenues are federal funds, yet Haslam proudly draws a line in the Yellow Brick Road when it comes to health care for his munchkins. That federal money is off limits, say the flying monkeys of his Republican Party. That will turn us into a welfare state, they screech. Well, wake up and smell the poppies, governor. We already are.
I am an attorney in Chattanooga who wholeheartedly supports Gwen Tidwell for Criminal Court clerk. I recently saw a television news story where Gwen's opponent appeared in front of the courthouse condemning her for someone else who had posted copies of an endorsement of Tidwell's candidacy by over 60 lawyers at the courthouses. It is obvious that this is a candidate-initiated story. I can understand why he is so upset. Some of the most well-known and respected trial lawyers in Chattanooga are represented on the endorsement, including prominent members of both major political parties. Tidwell's opponent may have just realized that this office is more than just about a political party; it is about competence to serve. That is a scary thought, indeed, when one suddenly realizes that he is not competent for the job he is seeking. Serving as Criminal Court clerk requires specialized knowledge, experience and training. Gwen Tidwell possesses all of these qualities in great abundance -- qualities her opponent simply does not have. I will be voting for Gwen Tidwell because she is the only choice if you want to elect a qualified professional for Criminal Court clerk.
BARRY L. ABBOTT
When it comes to the topic of the sanctity of life, many don't know scripture. Let's look at scripture. The unborn child is to be protected: Ps.139:13-16. "For you have formed me in my mother's womb ... All my days were written in your book before they came to pass." Jeremiah 1:5 "Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you ...and called you as a prophet." God cares for the disabled: Exodus 4:11 "Who is it that makes the deaf, the blind? Isn't it the Lord? God requires action: Proverbs 24:11-12: "Deliver those being led towards death..., slaughter. If you say, I didn't know. Doesn't God know it? He will repay each person according to what he has done? 31:8 "Open your mouth for those who can't speak, for those who are appointed to die..." Out of 25,000 churches, only 200 spoke against Hitler. To be truly pro-life means to put actions to words. Jesus taught in Matthew, it's not those who quote His word that belong to Him; rather it's those who put them into practice!
As a retired member of the U.S. Air Force, I was pleased to see Gen. Burwell Bell and Medal of Honor recipient Charles Coolidge announce their support for Weston Wamp. A key aspect of military service is the ability to have confidence in those who are your leaders. I have that confidence in Weston. Some have suggested Mr. Wamp is too young to be our congressman. Age is not a factor in leadership abilities. Ask any 22-year-old lieutenant or noncommissioned officer thrust into a battlefield situation. It is their preparation and willingness to listen to those they serve that makes them leaders. Weston has those characteristics. Our government is in disarray. It needs new, young blood to get us past these times. Weston will return governance to the people of our congressional district. Our current congressman is always playing "catch up" and speaking after the fact about national as well as 3rd District issues. At best, Mr. Fleischman pays lip service to our issues as veterans. I respectfully ask all my fellow veterans to support Wamp's candidacy.
Patsy Hazlewood has been serving Chattanooga for over 20 years. She has volunteered countless hours to civic organizations such as the Rotary Club and United Way of Greater Chattanooga, and she has helped our region progress in economic development by recruiting businesses and increasing job opportunities in her position as regional director of economic development under the current governor. As a public servant for over 20 years myself, as a retired police sergeant, I want Patsy to represent me and my fellow residents of District 27 in Nashville because it is something she has already been doing for years, and she has done an outstanding job. Patsy is a leader in business and in the community, and there are results to prove it. Early voting starts July 18, and Election Day is Aug. 7. I encourage all residents of District 27 to make an effort to vote in the state representative election, and vote for the candidate who has earned it, Patsy Hazlewood.
I worked with Vince Dean for many years in the Chattanooga Police Department. We worked together in the burglary and robbery division and at the Southside Precinct. The first thing I noticed about Vince while working with him was that he was always mentoring others in both their professional and personal lives. I can assure you that Vince will bring the level of transparency we all hope for in our elected officials. Make sure on Aug. 7 you vote Vince Dean for Criminal Court clerk.
NEALIE HOGG JR.
The June 20 issue of the Chattanooga Times Free Press had an article, "Gay marriage gets church boost," under the heading of National News. The gist of the story revealed the legislative body of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) voted in favor of redefining marriage to be the union of two people, not just between a man and a woman. Can you believe the audacity of these mere men agreeing to supersede and replace the laws and commands of God? They also voted to allow pastors to preside at gay weddings in states that recognize same-sex marriage. Now you can expect unbelievers to endorse such practices, but individuals, who profess to be religious leaders, blatantly disregard God's instructions. Those who endorse such deviations from God's word leave me sorrowful and flabbergasted.
DALE E. YODER