Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Dooley doesn't respect rights of south county residents, reader says

It gladdens our hearts that an Aug. 7 letter-to-the-editor in the Call Newspaper a writer is so pleased with trash districting. He is certainly entitled to his opinion.

What's great about the United States of America is that, so far, citizens still have the right to free speech, the right to a free press and the right to vote. Oh, wait, except that St. Louis County citizens were not given the right to vote on trash districting.

No matter how you feel about trash districting or whether you feel that saving 35 percent in the immediate future is worth the gamble of what lies ahead after local small haulers are forced into bankruptcy and all that is left are international haulers, the St. Louis County Charter states that citizens have a right to vote on trash districting — except that this voting right was denied to citizens.

Read the charter for yourself; you can find it online at the county's Web site at Of course, County Executive Charlie Dooley is now parsing the wording of the charter, which brings to mind a quote by a former president who said: "It depends on what the definition of 'is' is." Well, we guess that with Dooley it depends on what the definition of "vote" is.

If trash districting is predicted to be such a wonderful program, then what is the fear of putting it to a vote of the people per the charter? If it's so great, then it will surely pass. If it doesn't pass, then it means citizens prefer spending their hard-earned money with the company of their choice. As taxpaying citizens, ask yourself: "Why is Dooley denying us the right to vote when the charter grants us this right?"

A primary election was held Tuesday, Aug. 5, whereby citizens had the right to vote on candidates and various issues. Many people chose not to vote; that is also their right. However, what if your right to vote in the Aug. 5 primary was denied merely because the outcome might prove disagreeable to the "powers that be?" Well, that is seemingly what occurred with regards to trash districting: An unsure outcome equals no vote allowed on the matter.

Folks, we get the government we deserve. If you want a county executive who doesn't respect your rights, then be happy about trash districting and with Dooley. However, some of us still feel that, along with the right to a free press and the right to freedom of speech, voting is also our right.

Charlie Dooley has chosen to deny us this right. He has chosen to disenfranchise us. The questions to ask yourself are: "Why?" and "What are we citizens going to do about it?"
. . . . Celeste Witzel - South Couny

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