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Garbage fee is a broken promise of trust to citizens

Letters to the Editor • Jun 14, 2016 at 12:41 PM

ONE Kingsport has been devalued with one stroke. This stroke is the upsetting miscalculation that has now tarnished Kingsport’s branding. The timing of the garbage fee/tax, which has been presented as ONE Kingsport’s first policy decision, couldn’t be worse. We are in an election year and we will be taught not to trust from now to November. Many see the fee as a major broken promise of trust and reputation. Since 2017 is the 100th anniversary of Kingsport, we will all be studying the foresightful individuals that designed, built and governed Kingsport from 1917 to 2016, who carefully placed brick upon brick to build a nationally appreciated model city, constructed as a community. Each brick has great value. Trust is our mortar. Must we progress? Yes, but to scar a city’s 100 years of branding is a civil government sin.

ONE Kingsport is not a new movement — which implies we are a failure. But it is the gathering of our best abilities. Recycling worked because of that unique trust. The city gave their part which inspired the people to give their part. We were all using our Fun Fest character to jointly contribute to something that helps us all. That is what ONE Kingsport can be. That is the unique character of Kingsport. The fee has created a great stumbling block. This is not a conservative or liberal or progressive issue. This is the character of Kingsport on the line. If the billboards, which are the citizens, lose that uniqueness of trust and joy of contributing, then the saddest day of our history will be our 100th anniversary. “Welcome to Kingsport, but don’t trust us.” I encourage you to remove the stumbling block and protect Kingsport and its 100 years of leadership. Please restudy your budget possibilities and bring the inspiration of trust back to the citizens.

Tim Mullen


Ship the poor to county

Since Kingsport seems to want to cater to the upper middle class and above, why does it not just ship the poor and those living on a fixed income to the county? That way, all the poor and those like me living on a fixed income would be out of their hair and they could double the garbage fee and instead of reducing the tax rate three cents, they could raise it three cents.

Since annexation is off the table, they wouldn’t have to worry about bringing us back in the future. All the ONE Kingsport initiatives could be funded and a surplus created. Just think, all the elites from miles around would be attracted to the Model City and Kingsport would finally be what they have been trying to make it for years. They could probably afford to put security gates up at all incoming roads. Just a thought. But seriously, Kingsport is never going to catch up with Johnson City or even Bristol. That ship sailed a long time ago.

Larry Davenport


Bad government

Bad government has come to Kingsport. In one simple vote a bare majority of aldermen have voted for an ill-conceived tax that will punish the poor for a vision which is neither practical nor farsighted. I have not spoken to one person in favor of this callous, indifferent approach to government. There is only one way to impose a tax which is fair and just, and that is the property tax, which is based on obtaining revenue based on ability, and not on the basis of each paying a like, fixed amount. This tax, like the AEP tax, is a damnable attack by the rich and arrogant on the people least able to afford it. Have Mr. Clark and Mr. Fleming even considered this? Mr. Clark sounds like a TV preacher who says he can change the world with only 50 cents a day. That approach, on a grander scale, can bring in millions eventually. But I know people who will have to sacrifice groceries and medicines to give Clark and Fleming their money.

I am convinced the majority of us do not favor forcing people on low or fixed incomes to subsidize yuppie dreams with a method sorely lacking in wisdom or compassion. Arrogantly defying the will of the people with such an attitude does not become our leaders. Mr. Clark should reconsider his approach, adopt a servant’s attitude and in humility change his perspective. Our former mayor, Dennis Phillips, did this concerning freedoms of signs in Kingsport, and gained the respect of many for doing so. Let’s pray and hope Mr. Clark, Mr. Parham, and others will do the same. There is a better way.

Cecil Morelock


Read Clark’s column

It would be a good idea for Mayor Clark, Alderman Duncan, Alderwoman Mitchell and Alderman Parham to read the column by Dave Clark June 9. Read it twice so to be sure they comprehend what he and the majority of the good residents of Kingsport have been trying to tell them.

They were elected to serve all of the people in Kingsport not just their few progressive elite. I commend Vice Mayor McIntire, Alderwoman George and Alderman Olterman for their sincerity. Salute to you Mr. Clark.

Reece Jenkins


Nothing but a fraud

First, we were forcibly annexed by the greedy powers that be in Kingsport, the will of the residents of Rock Springs be damned. At that time, we were promised that trash pickup would be included in the exorbitant new city taxes we were forced to pay on top of county taxes already owed. Next came an exorbitant tax to hook up to their sewer I neither wanted nor needed. My water bill was more than tripled. The next shoe to drop was the rate increase from AEP. Now we are told that Kingsport officials intend to levy a new tax on trash/recycling pickup, notwithstanding that service was allegedly included in our outrageous city taxes.

I have received zero benefit from being annexed, only taxes on top of taxes. We are supposedly part of Kingsport, but we don’t even have KATS service here. Many are struggling to put food on the table, pay for needed doctors’ visits, pay for needed prescriptions, and generally keeping their heads above water. I can promise that I will vote against the mayor and the aldermen who voted for this new tax. It’s nothing but a fraud perpetrated by the BMA against us unwilling annexees. If the so-called leaders of Kingsport think that everyone annexed is wealthy, they are sorely mistaken. We need a referendum allowing us to vote to be de-annexed.

Elizabeth McConnell


Heroic lifeguard

My wife and I would like say how heroic and responsive the lifeguard and the other staff were to save this boy’s life (at the Kingsport Aquatic Center Thursday). We watched the event unfold from the time the young boy was pulled from the water to what was at least 10 minutes of life saving measures. Finally he was revived.

My wife and I thank the persons who saved this young boy and hope the city of Kingsport recognizes them and the other lifeguards and staff for their unsung watch over all of us at the aquatic center.

Rick Gabriel

Mount Carmel

Elect a leader

I cannot by my own reason change this country, but with your help, we can do this in November. It is our duty as good citizens to stand up for our country and save the Constitution which for over 200 years led us to and helped raise us to the top. We need to restore our freedom and to free this country from the man in the White House who has done nothing to raise us up or to maintain our place on the top of the ladder. Our once great country that was looked up to around the world is a thing of the past, and if things continue as they are going, we will end up at the bottom.

Obama has only taken away from most and done nothing for everyone in this country. People of all ages are suffering because of this guy. The Constitution means nothing to him; he is there for himself and most others don’t matter. What took working people hundreds of years to build, he managed to tear down in just eight years. People who work hard and support themselves ask for and get nothing from the government, yet they are the ones who pay for everything that is wasted by Washington. Persons that don’t work and refuse to take a job they don’t like are supported by you and me. If one is unable to work, help should be there for them, but if you are lazy and turn down any job offer, you are entitled to nothing. This November it’s time for us to not elect a follower, but to elect a leader if we are to survive. God bless America.

Ralph Struck


Thanks to KPD officer

My neighbor is a Kingsport police officer, and since I’ve moved here he has always helped me feel police officers are good folks. He has an uphill 56-foot driveway he shovels in winter, and he helped my husband shovel ours as well. This past February he did my whole driveway one month after my husband died. Though I can still shovel show, it’s a good warm feeling to be cared for. Thanks, Randy.

Ruth Cooper

Gate City, Va.