Both get my respect, Decosimo my vote

I have the utmost respect for both candidates seeking the District 2 school board seat. Marco Perez and Tom Decosimo have sacrificed a lot to run for public office.

Make no mistake about it — they both do this with a passion for lifting public education in Hamilton County. It takes guts to run for this position.

Unfortunately, the District 2 race has become a reflection of what is wrong in D.C. and the media. The politicos and the news buffs have to start looking for weaknesses of one candidate or the other.

Tom and Marco have chosen to do something helpful and not harmful. Their debate a couple of weeks ago showed a respect for one another regardless of their individual views and opinions. They did not try to tear each other down or apart.

I see two respectful, intelligent and caring candidates for which District 2 is blessed to have. District 2 is fortunate to have these two gentlemen willing to serve.

I cast my vote for Tom; my reasons are personal and warranted. But I have nothing depreciative to say about his opponent.

Vance Travis, Signal Mountain


Decosimo should've defended Perez

There comes a time in political contests when a candidate must do the right thing, even if it means defending one's opponent from vicious slurs.

That moment came for Tom Decosimo, a District 2 school board candidate, when his opponent, Marco Perez, was attacked as a "socialist" in an online site's opinion column, and on the Chattanooga Tea Party's Facebook page.

Unfortunately, Decosimo chose to ignore the attacks — only to say, in effect, "My hands are clean."

The writer of the opinion column wondered why Perez, born to an American mother, doesn't move back to Costa Rica "if socialism is so great." The message: Love it or leave it.

The tea partiers went further, editing the photo of Perez over a Socialist Workers Party flag, and adding the slur, "Importing socialism one child at a time." They called Perez a Transplant[ed] Costa Rican Democrat," although he is an American citizen.

Politics "ain't beanbag," as the saying goes. But District 2 voters can have the final say by electing Perez, thereby refuting loathsome "birtherism" and Decosimo's thunderous silence.

Michael Loftin


GOP lawmakers send mixed message on masks

Page one of a recent Times Free Press: two Republicans running for office surrounded by two incumbent Republican senators, and a state Republican senator, all in hugging range with no safety masks.

All the medical experts and scientific doctors have studied that wearing a mask and social distancing will not only protect your family and neighbors but also will get our infections down so our jobs can start going again, and our economy will prosper.

These representatives like these senators (all not doctors) are not giving us a good example and are showing disrespect for our safety.

This, of course, has been causing confusion on the subject, and our country is showing it. Until this changes, we will have a hard time coming out of this crisis.

By the way, this is not a political thing, but a virus with no party affiliation.

Jack Pine, Dunlap, Tennessee


Decosimo is 'right' choice for school board

Now is the time. What do I mean by that? I believe that we are at a crossroads with our public education system in Hamilton County. I'm so thankful that my good friend, Tom Decosimo, decided to run for the District 2 school board seat.

Public trust needs to be restored to our school board. Tom is a man of the highest character and integrity. He has the ability to cut through the "noise" with his clear-thinking, analytical approach, listening to all viewpoints.

He has demonstrated for many years that he is capable of bringing people together, whether through his experience in business or his civic experience. He is able to provide the leadership skills, not only to help develop plans, but also to execute on those plans.

I agree totally with Tom that each child has a fundamental right to a foundational public education. Tom is the right man at the right time. We highly commend Tom to you. Please join my wife and me in voting for Tom Decosimo.

Del and Tom Francescon, Signal Mountain, Tennessee


Perez best choice for school board

Hamilton County Schools have made significant advances during the past few years. Schools that have been failing are making progress, and test scores are improving in several areas. Much of this can be attributed to new leadership and involvement by the business community.

Kathy Lennon has been integral in following this path of success, so it is confusing why Tom Decosimo would find it necessary to use Facebook posts to discredit her, especially in light of the fact she is not running for re-election to the District 2 school board position. It is deplorable he would attempt to sully her reputation, especially after the health crisis that caused her not to seek re-election.

Unlike Decosimo, who is running to advance his political agenda, Marco Perez is running a positive campaign to best serve the interests of students.

Perez has an impressive platform based on steps to better the educational environment. He wants to strengthen early intervention programs, address bullying, recruit teachers from top educational programs and so much more. His platform can be viewed at VOTEMARCOPEREZ.COM

It is for these reasons we believe Marco Perez is the best choice for school board District 2.

Bob and Kay Hobgood


All ethnic groups share blame for slavery

The truth matters. Now, Black people are still upset about slavery 170 years ago.

Slavery has existed for most of human history. Whites, Blacks, Asians, indigenous peoples, etc., all had slavery within the racial or ethnic groups themselves. Romans enslaved my ancestors in Britain.

Black people enslaved other Black people before any contact with Europeans. Indians enslaved other Indians. In other words, no one is guiltless on the slavery issue. No ethnic group has the moral high ground.

In the European slave trade, the slaves were provided by other Black people in Africa. The Europeans were guilty of buying them, other Black people were the source. A comparison is that the Blacks were the drug pushers and the Europeans were the junkies.

Why are Black people only upset with white people about slavery? They give the "pushers" a pass. Without the supply, there would not have been any slavery in the new world. If Blacks want to blame someone for slavery, there is plenty of blame to go around.

Ignoring these "pushers" is an expression of Black racism. They blame whites and give people of their own race a pass. These people are hypocrites. The truth is the truth.

Tim Price, Hixson