<CENTER><B>Letters to the Editor</b></center>
Verde Village is a city without services
I believe we the residents of the Verde Valley need to be good neighbors and work toward our common good. Recent letters from residents Martin Rathjen, Gene Birkeland and Bob Meddleton contain errors and attempt to vilify the City of Cottonwood.
Mr. Rathjen tells a story and attempts to apply it to all city employees as being wasteful. Mr. Birkeland associates city planning with greed and alludes to what attracted him here. Apparently it was the lack of planning.
Mr. Meddleton believes septic tanks in our neighborhood are safe and require little cost to maintain. He also implies being a resident of Cottonwood means extra cost and hardship of “floating bonds.”
In addition he believes our police security is excellent. And, lastly, he believes he lives in a “semi-rural” area.
These gentlemen need look no further than the county plats to see the Verde Villages are subdivided as small city-size lots and have no sewer system. In reality, Verde Village is not semi rural, but, rather, poorly planned on a city neighborhood scale. The population exceeds that of the City of Cottonwood and enjoys none of the benefits we pay for though the sales taxes collected.
Cement septic tanks last approximately 20 years before they need expensive replacement. The concentration of so many septic tanks in our area is an invitation to disaster though the great amount of discharge on the condition of many of the aging systems. We need to be and likely will be required to be on a sewer system. Better now than before disaster strikes.
Under the last annexation proposal our federal dollars would have paid much of the cost of a sewer system and the cost to the individual homeowner would have been a minor hook up cost with larger hook up cost to the construction of new homes. That cost is still less than the cost of the installation of a septic tank.
On the issue of public safety, we have one sheriff's deputy on duty for the Camp Verde to Clarkdale area per shift. That is too large a county area to be patrolled. Residents regularly speed on Camino Real (old 179) and Rio Mesa Trail far exceeding the 25 mph limit. The City of Cottonwood would provide a shift supervisor and sufficient police protection for us under no additional cost.
There is no property tax in the City of Cottonwood, therefore no cost to float bonds to the property owner as suggested by Mr. Meddleton. We are paying Cottonwood sales taxes and should be annexed to receive our share of the benefits.
Basically we are in an urban neighborhood without adequate police protection, sewer system nor parks and playgrounds for our children. This situation is due to the greed of the original developer of Verde Villages and his poor planning.
It is time to stand up for American Rights
Open Letter to President Bush:
I would write to you personally, but I know you do not get to see dissenting views — certainly there is no way a middle-class person from a small town in Arizona would ever be able to tell you of his or her concerns. But my concerns are real and they should be heard.
My husband and I have four children, one granddaughter in Oregon and another about to be born near Washington, DC. Like many Americans, I am concerned not so much for myself, but what legacy I leave to my children, grandchildren and the world.
I am not rich. Since I don’t have over a million dollars, there is no death tax I am responsible for. What savings and assets I have may very well be eaten up with medical costs even before I die. The environmental integrity of America has been destroyed. The deficit is growing out of control. American people are jobless and without medical insurance.
So what can I leave as my legacy? I can say I tried to leave a better world than it is now. But I am afraid that our position in the world, and our way of life that we treasure as Americans, is so weakened that we have become once again the Ugly Americans to the world and increasingly distrustful of our government here at home.
I don’t have the answers to the situation we Americans find ourselves in. What I do know is that we are not taking care of our Armed Forces; we don’t even pay them or their families a living wage. Yet we send American men and women to battle shadows and the shadows are killing them one by one.
Why can we not find these enemies you and your administration have told Americans are crucial to eliminate for our well-being? Where is Osama bin Laden and Sadam Hussein? We know where North Korea’s Kim-Jong-Li is. He is building an arsenal of real weapons of mass destruction and shoving them in our American faces. With our Armed Forces spread so thin and getting more tired and demoralized every day, we are not in position now to defend ourselves.
We lost our chance to free the people of Afghanistan. We did not rebuild the country or drive out the "evil doers" once and for all. The Taliban is back and both Afghanistan women and men are afraid of what the future will bring. The same thing is happening in Iraq. The rest of the Middle East and almost the entire continent of Africa lives in poverty and fears for their lives — this is the breeding ground of terrorism.
If we can’t even learn from the mistakes we are making, we certainly can’t change our position and tactics. We are doomed to an endless cycle of terrorism — both home and abroad. Mr. President you must take responsibility for what the government is doing in America’s name before it is too late. It’s not Show Time; but it is time to stand up for American Rights.