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Don’t buy trust, earn it

At the Feb. 10 Iowa City School Board meeting, Superintendent Steve Murley asked the board to approve $103,000 from the district’s Physical Plant and Equipment Levy fund to buy trust in district leadership. Yes, folks, I’m not kidding. This money is for an amazing new software package that “combines a software-driven online process with facilitation services in an unprecedented way to engage stakeholders in a meaningful dialogue, which in turn creates trust in the district.”

Wow. You mean Murley and the board can buy the community’s full faith and trust in our administration for $103,000? And people say money can’t buy everything.

Some board members are fully on board with this snake-oil treatment. If we’d only known that district trust isn’t created here by district leaders but comes in a $103,000 box from Spokane, Washington, we might have bought it sooner. There’s probably a cheaper version offered by “WHAM-O” or the “ACME” Co.

Remember, this is a limited-time offer, so act now and you will get School Board “trust-in-a-box” that will instill trust and virtue in elected officials who pay for contractors’ mistakes, redundancies of services, and allow administration to cut curriculum for students without taking any meaningful cuts of their own.

A superintendent who asks for the public’s trust before the Revenue Purpose Statement vote and days later applies for a job in Nebraska has not earned our trust, no matter how much money is spent. Administration has to spend the personal capital of time and character. Then the community will judge their actions to see if they deserve our trust. No, Virginia (district administration and board), you can’t buy trust in a box at any price. Trust is free to those who have earned it.

Phil Hemingway

Online comments on ‘Soyer: Ban indoor tanning for youth’

There should be no comparison between the profitability of a small business (particularly one that sells a carcinogenic product) and the priceless lives of our loved ones. Tanning beds killed my 29-year-old daughter Jaime and way too many other young adults. It really happens … with or without parental consent. Parental consent does not make tanning beds any less dangerous, and if the parents really knew the facts about their risks, they wouldn’t sign away their children’s lives. So obviously they are not as well informed as they should be. And that is not entirely their fault. The tanning salons use lies and misinformation to keep the customers coming into their business. This bill is absolutely necessary for the health and safety of Iowa’s children. Please support it!

Donna Helm Regen

Thank you for this article, Hannah. You hit the nail right on the head. My daughter also died from melanoma from tanning beds. Skin damage from tanning is cumulative. There is tremendous peer pressure on teens (and from teens on their parents) to tan. I am a registered nurse, and I did not realize how my daughter was taking her life in her hands by tanning. I can never go back and change that, but hopefully, these bans will eliminate the need for teens or parents to be placed in those situations. Indoor tanning is classified as a Class 1 carcinogen, the same as smoking. Parents can’t grant permission for their child to buy cigarettes, and they shouldn’t be allowed to grant permission for their child to tan.

Peggy Ryder Alteri

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