Letters to the Editor

BY DI READERS | MARCH 04, 2013 5:00 AM

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John Etheredge will represent students

John Etheredge (28) was born and raised in Johnson County, attending Iowa Mennonite school and earning an associate degree at Kirkwood Community College. He possesses a strong knowledge of himself and his positions, while not being afraid to say he doesn’t know everything. He wants to know our concerns and problems, how government is hurting — not helping — our lives. Sound familiar? John is every college student on Iowa’s campus.

We need more young people taking leadership in our country, looking to the future. John will be a breath of fresh air compared to some on the Johnson County Board of Supervisors, who have little respect for the office they hold, for differing opinions, or for hearing from the citizens they are supposed to represent. Those who definitely don’t listen to the students concerns about unfair arrests to fill the new jail. Or how high property taxes will result in rent increases. John will listen — has been listening and campaigning on campus the past few weeks.

John Etheredge is not a political insider. He will listen to the young professionals and students, like him, who want to be successful and happy in safe, healthy, and strong communities. Strengthening our communities, where neighbors know and take care of each other and where we must have good jobs is important to John, as it is to us — whether Democrat, independent, or Republican.

This is the most important election in recent Johnson County history. John needs our votes. It will make a difference. Vote John Etheredge this weekend at the Iowa City Public Library, or Tuesday at your regular polling place. If you voted in November — you’re registered to vote now. It will take fewer than five minutes. Call 319-621-8625 to find out where to vote.

Deborah Thornton
Iowa City resident

No vote on Moen, incompetence on both sides

In a letter in the July 20, 2012, DI headlined “No vote on Moen” from Carol deProsse, she complained that at the July 10 City Council meeting, Councilor Susan Mims said that councilors were thoroughly vetted during the campaign process and were elected to do the city’s business.
Councilor Rick Dobyns added his factoid that the council should “make such calls,” i.e., giving Marc Moen $2.5 million TIF grant.

As for the city manager, he might at least try to not to appear so superior when members of the public address the council. However, one must understand that the city manager serves at the pleasure of the council. And if you would like an illustration of this, watch Don Knox’s The Ghost and Mr. Chicken and recall what happened to the last city manager.

Both councilors were out of order. Councilor Dobyns — the people have a right to petition their governmental bodies for a redress of grievances. Thereby, citizens should not have been treated like wayward children or delinquents. Councilor Mims: to say that councilors are thoroughly vetted in Iowa City is a gross misrepresentation. In the so-called civil discourse process, all questions are written, filtered, and censored in this process, which effectively silences questioners, preventing cross-examinations.

DeProsse states that to ignore the wishes of 862 signatures of residents on a petition calling for a vote on this [$2.5 million] was clearly done because they [City Council] knew the TIF gift is highly unpopular.

However, Section 7.03 of the City Charter shows where deProsse went wrong. The petition did not have enough signatures.

Section 7.03. Petitions; Revocation Of Signatures. A. Number Of Signatures. Initiative and referendum petitions must be signed by qualified electors equal in number to at least 25 percent of the number of persons who voted in the last regular city election, but such signatures shall be no fewer than 2, 500 qualified electors. Any petition that does not, on its face, contain the minimum required signatures defined herein shall be deemed insufficient for filing under this article, and no supplementary petition shall be permitted. (Ord. 90-3462, 6-26-1990)

All the bad feelings between the council and petitioners could have been avoided if each had read the City Charter, located in the Iowa City Code books, which are in the Iowa City Public Library, online, and at City Hall.

Mary Gravitt
Iowa City resident

RE: ‘Editorial: Pending sex-offender bill a sensible solution’

I can’t imagine allowing sex offenders to reside in nursing homes with elderly and often disabled residents. These residents are almost as vulnerable as children. This shouldn’t even be legal.

Maria Houser Conzemius

Every time I see a story about someone getting sexually abused in a nursing home, it is one of the staff members committing the crime. Don’t they do background checks on their employees?

Actually, background checks don’t reveal anything about people who have never been caught, such as Sandusky. So really, how safe is anyone?


I used to work with ex-cons who worked in nursing homes — only job they could get except motel work. That is no longer true. Now I believe that nursing home staff have to pass criminal background checks. If they don’t, they should.

Maria Houser Conzemius

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