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Wednesday, Sep. 17, 2014

SpeakOut 2/6

Thursday, February 6, 2003

Call 471-6636

What planet do our school board members live in? Sikeston Public Schools is experiencing a staffing crisis in which our experienced teachers are fleeing our system in great numbers in favor of better paying jobs. There are not enough qualified teachers to take their places. If you want the answer to solving this problem, I will put it in simple terms. It's the money, stupid. Teachers are in such demand that in many instances, they can literally name their price. They are showing us that they will go where they can get it. Our school board needs to show our teachers that it is doing all it can to provide fair compensation. Instead, I read in last week's paper that our board approved the creation of yet another layer of bureaucracy in the form of a new human resource director, whose functions include hiring, firing and personal management. Presumably, this will free up some time of the other administrators who have been performing those functions. Is the Board going to reduce their pay, since they have reduced their responsibilities? I doubt it. In a recession you tighten your belt up, you don't let it out. However, over the last few years our school has created several new administrative positions, so many that they had to nearly double the size of the central office to hold them all. Everyone has an assistant except the teachers, even though their duties and paperwork have increased dramatically. The administrators need to knuckle down and do the jobs they were hired to do. Then the Board could fire half of them and give each teacher a well deserved raise. As anybody who has run a successful business knows, the output of your business is borne on the backs of the people who do the actual work, and not on the soft bellies of their administrators and supervisors.

On Section 8 houses, I think the Standard Democrat has been concerned about this same problem for years. Based on this fact, why doesn't the newspaper get a list of Section 8 owners and publish them in the paper so we all know what properties are available for rent? I'm assuming the information is public knowledge. Why don't you do the investigative work you used to do and put pressure on people like you used to do when you were just the Democrat Advertiser? Don't say people can go look it up at city hall. We all work too. We depend on your newspaper to get information out. Twenty years ago you would have been down there getting it yourself.

For a number of years, we have requested the same information. Unfortunately, those records are closed under state law, according to the housing authority.

I break my years-long boycott of SpeakOut because of some cases of human disregard for animals. As sweet as your intention is to keep your pet with you, letting a dog ride in the back of a truck or hang half-out of an open car window is dangerous. Have you ever thought of what could happen if you should stop suddenly or if someone should run into you from behind? There are safety harnesses available for cats riding in vehicles. Please consider purchasing one of these. One more thing before I resume my boycott of SpeakOut, humans, they say, need at least four hugs a day to grow up and live psychologically sound. For dogs and cats, this is doubly so. How can you (and you know who you are) get a cute, cuddly puppy or kitten, shower it with attention and when it grows up, totally ignore it except for food and water. These creatures thrive on a kind, gentle touch. How childish of you if you can't give your pet kind affection or give it to someone who will? The dog or cat grew up, but you, the human, didn't. Please run this on a Wednesday so people who can't afford to buy the paper can read it.

Our poor Charter Cable System must really be hurting for money. They have now taken away our senior citizen discount. It's pretty bad when you have to start picking on the older population who live on fixed incomes.

The discount was not omitted. Instead of the 10 percent discount previously offered to senior citizens, a flat rate of $1 on basic cable only is available.