Letters, July 9
Revising the Pledge of Allegiance
Those of us who have difficulty reconciling our conscience with some of the wording in the Pledge of Allegiance, take heart. The insertion of “striving” makes it possible.
Here’s the outcome: “I pledge allegiance ... one nation under God, striving toward liberty and justice for all.” You may also want to change, or omit, the word “God”. Diversity is a cornerstone of a healthy democracy. Take heart!
Opinion helpful but incomplete
Thanks to Stephen Gagne for his recent guest opinion providing an insightful analysis of the fractionalization plaguing our city’s council and government.
He posits that there are two “starkly opposed narratives” underlying the differences. The problem he finds with the first of these groupings is that the comparison being made is between Ashland and only with other towns of similar size. Based on his research, he believes there is a subset of towns not only of similar size, but also of similar reputation and levels of enhanced services and programs. He offers this comparison as the one that should guide us going forward.
However, Gagne fails to provide what his research shows regarding how this comparable subset of towns successfully funds the enhancements (if they have). Perhaps he will do so. Because it must be acknowledged that the “expressed needs and preferences of our citizens” have recently been clearly provided in at least three ways:
- Rejection of the Pioneer refurbishment bond;
- Rejection of Tonya Graham’s candidacy for mayor; and,
- Election of a mayor and at least two council members who make up the first narrative group.
These are indications that the second narrative group not only maxed out legally permissible funding sources but also the patience and will of the public providing the funding for, and burdened by, its excesses. So, if there are funding lessons and sources to be learned from Ashland’s subset of similar towns, both narrative groups and the community as a whole, would be happy and grateful to know of them.