Two Carson teacher-union activists, Jeff Greb and Lynne Trujillo, admitted illegally using public resources paid for by taxpayers for partisan campaign purposes in Bonnie Parnell's election. The state Ethics Commission fined each of them $15, after fining State Controller Kathy Augustine $5,000 when she copped a plea on a charge similar to the one they admitted to.
School trustee Sheila Ward had earlier complained of the violations in a letter to the school superintendent and school counsel, who told her that such activities are permitted under the district's contract with the teachers union.
Do they believe that a school district contract can override state statutes that forbid public employees from diverting public resources, which taxpayers fund, to partisan political campaign purposes such as Parnell's election? Also, why would the school board ever sign a contract that contained such a provision?
How can Parnell claim, as she did in the Appeal after Greb and Trujillo were found guilty, that they are among our finest teachers? Doesn't she recognize that their ethics violations raise questions about their fitness to be at the front of a classroom in the first place? Does she mean that she condones their actions and thinks they're good teachers because they supported her, even illegally?
Another local teacher wrote in the Appeal that the violations were too "minor" to consider - even after the Appeal pointed out that they sent an "important message on ethics." Does he think it's an appropriate moral message to teach our students to claim that rules don't apply to them based on claims that a matter is, in their self-interested opinion, merely a small transgression?
Does he not recognize that the Ethics Commission pursued this complaint because it raises a pure matter of principle involving statewide systematic law-breaking by teacher unions, aided and abetted by local districts' contracts and turning a blind eye to the practice? If the matter was so minor, why didn't he criticize Greb and Trujillo for wasting further public resources by dragging the commission proceedings out for 10 months before copping their plea, instead of merely admitting their guilt at the start?
There seems to be a bias in favor of employees of the state, county, city and school employees. When are we, who employ them, going to expect them to be treated the same as private citizens? When are we going to require that they stop treating themselves as special? Without you, the private citizen voting to reject those who feel they are above the law, they will continue to misuse there positions.
Don't mess with Carson's downtown
I have been reading about "revitalizing" downtown, and I say leave well enough alone! If it's changed, it will no longer look like Carson City. We have enough changes with the new hospital and our so-called freeway.
So, city planners, leave it alone!
Loud music is more than a nuisance
As I sit here on this cool Saturday evening around 7 p.m., I can't help but notice that all the windows in my house are rattling. Why, you may ask? Because the teenagers next door have the music in their car turned up so incredibly loud.
Now, I know there are a lot of people out there that apparently think this is OK, but aren't there some of you out there that think that maybe, just maybe, something needs to be done about this?
There was one reader just a little while back who thinks things need to change, and I fully agree. And so do my dogs, who also suffer because of this inconsiderate behavior.
They cry as though the tone, or whatever you want to call it, hurts their ears.
I know that the installers of these devices must have some idea what this level of noise can do to someone's hearing, not to mention that it makes it very difficult, if not impossible, to hear emergency vehicles for the rest of the drivers on the roads.
If we get lucky, maybe either the city supervisors or the next Legislature will put some type of restrictions on these noisy vehicles and give all our ears a break.