Letter to the Editor

Public officials operate under two sets of rules

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

To the editor:

I'm writing because I am tired of the way our government officials operate with two sets of rules. What's good for the goose is not good for the gander.

It is disrespectful for Sheriff Cook to refer to the police officers as "brand new guys." They went to police academy and completed the required course of instruction. They are not guys. They are officers. Would he like to be referred to as the old guy since he is experienced?

In any event, they were doing their job, which is to serve and protect. Sheriff Cook, being an experienced officer, should know if or not he was speeding and should be able to read a speedometer. Just because the officers "didn't have any concrete facts" doesn't mean the sheriff was not speeding.

What Mr. Cook has shown me is that he is not a man of integrity and that he abuses his authority. He should have been ticketed just as any other citizen. I was given a $130 ticket because an officer said I was going 30 mph in a school zone. Not a warning, a ticket. That's 15 mph over same as what Mr. Cook admits he was doing even though he wasn't paying attention to how fast he was driving.

Mr. Cook is talking like a true politician, out both sides of his mouth. He definitely will not get my vote.

Secondly, for the City Council to expect Attorney Walker to explain the actions taken by the courts for Mrs. Bell are asinine. Do any of you hold a jurist doctorate? Prosecute to the fullest extent of the law; "really?" Just as there are no "concrete" facts for Mr. Cook, the evidence was examined by professionals for Mrs. Bell and judgment was made based on the statues. I'm sorry you feel her judgment was a "slap on the hand." I'm sure the anguish she and her family have gone through did not feel like a slap on the hand.

If you don't like the law, lobby to change it. Making some statement out of men of honor, "we strenuously object to the handling ..." It is not your responsibility to try to be prosecutors. If you had wanted to throw someone under the bus, you should start a few years back! Oh no, wait. We don't have concrete evidence.

It seems what is good for the goose is not good for the gander. Now let's quickly look at the street name change. When McHaney was renamed, which removed the name of several streets, it was not an issue. Mathis Street, which was what would now be East McHaney, was named for an African-American. If you looked into the history of street names, I'm sure you would find the majority of them were named for someone of importance at the time. Now we have to make all these rules to prevent a name change. Why not use Main Street or any of the numerical streets? When the city conducts its next audit, I would like to know how many man hours have been dedicated to this street-naming situation.

Blytheville struggles to move forward, but it will never be able to as long as favoritism is shown to the select few. This undermines the integrity of the city as a whole. We are spending thousands of dollars to give Moultrie Street a facelift, yet Sawyer Street looks like it belongs in Sugar Ditch. We justify this by saying it's not costing the city. It is still our tax dollars.

I pray community leaders and officials will someday do what it right and just for all citizens. I do not mean, "To do" because it is legal, because what is legal is not necessarily ethical and often is not just.

Rose Nichols