Letters to the Editor

BY DI READERS | APRIL 12, 2013 5:00 AM

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Evans wrong on UISG candidates

I am proud to identify myself as one of the HOUSE Party’s campaign managers. As a senior who has never been involved with UISG, Benjamin Evans’s opinion piece [DI, April 11] seems to be a pretentious, hastily written assessment by someone who has obviously never had an extensive conversation with the candidates he quotes.

He claims both campaigns lack critical thought, then proceeds to critique the chosen names of each party, failing to mention HOUSE is an acronym or what TOGA stands for, and does not mention a single platform idea from either side.  

Evans also fails to mention that both sides’ bar crawls began well before 10 p.m., with many students eating dinner during the HOUSE Party bar crawl, which doesn’t constitute illicit behavior to me. There were also not HOUSE Party shots, another false claim.

However, what is most disheartening about this piece is the implicit accusation that these students are not hardworking or do not take UISG seriously. As that full-time student with a serving job on the side who pays for her own out-of-state tuition, the students I have met through this experience amaze me. They care enough about the needs of students at this school to sacrifice their time and jump-start positive conversations about the problems facing our university.

If Evans had been present during our 10-hour meetings, extensive debate prep, and constant revisions of the platform, I think he would retract his statement that “both parties just seem to be going through the paces, creating childish but catchy slogans, inspiring loyalty through liquor, and making poor campaign moves without thinking them through.”

And to clarify, there is a difference between admitting to and then apologizing for an orchestrated effort to place stickers on nearly every newspaper before students wake up and instructing your senators not to repeat the illegal activity and then informing The Daily Iowan about the incident.

Margaret Murphy
UI student

Back the justice center

There are many safety, security and space concerns about Johnson County’s existing Courthouse and jail that make the proposed justice center a critical ballot issue in the upcoming May 7 special election.

Concerns include safety risks for deputies and inmates caused by crowded jail conditions, no way to provide secure Courthouse entrances, and insufficient space and design in the Courthouse to keep prisoners separated from the general public.

As a volunteer with the Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee, I’m convinced that the Board of Supervisors used a thoughtful and open process in developing plans for the proposed center. The cost has been pared down from an original $72 million to the current not-to-exceed $43.5 million bond request.  

It has been done by eliminating noncritical space and reducing the number of courtrooms and jail beds. The $43.5 million bond request now represents the absolute minimum for providing a safe, secure, and functional Justice Center.

The resulting property-tax impact for county residents would be $22.46 per $100,000 of assessed property value per year for 20 years.

This is the right plan and the right time to approve this bond issue.  Interest rates are at an all-time low, and we can expect that current safety, security, and space issues will only get worse over time.

In addition, the more than $1 million now being spent annually to house prisoners in other counties would stay in our county. Keep in mind those in jail are presumed innocent until proven guilty, yet they don’t have timely access to legal representation when they’re in jails in other counties.  

Vote “yes” for justice.  

Larry T. Wilson
Iowa City resident

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