By Anthony Baranowski
I recently read an article that was published on Jan. 19, 2011 in regards to the recall that is currently going on in Omaha. I have a few reservations concerning this article.
First, I was interested to know if an article depicting the pro-recall side of the argument would be written as well.
Second, after reading the article thoroughly, I was extremely upset at the lack of fact-finding and use of passive language the writer chose to invoke in his writing. My three biggest areas of concern involve his discussion of the wheel tax/winter road conditions, his depiction of the restaurant tax and his understanding of the police/fire budgets.
Last year, Omaha received record snowfalls that led to an increased amount of plowing of city streets, which led to an increased amount of potholes and road problems. This year, snowfall has been at a minimal amount, leading to less snow plowing and leaving the streets in a better condition than last winter.
In terms of the restaurant tax, if the writer would have thought to delve into the situation better, he would realize that Suttle broke a promise to many restaurant owners and businesses by issuing the tax. He flat out told these owners that he would not issue a tax of that nature, and a few weeks later turned his back on the business people and issued the tax. Also, what is very concerning to me is the way in which the writer discusses the restaurant tax benefit, which he states, “this small fee helps to replenish the city coffers.” A government entity is not supposed to collect money from the people and then hold onto it in their “coffers.” The role of government is to tax people only when it is necessary in order to maintain and progress the overall well-being of a city. Coffers should be filled in a time of financial progress, when existing money is left over and can be used to benefit the people of the city. At no time should government look to tax the people simply to build up an abundance of cash to use on a “rainy day.”
Finally, I was very disturbed when the writer stated, “he brought the fire department under budget.” I am not sure where this writer is getting his information, but from people I know working within the city government, the fire department blew through its budget three months into the fiscal cycle.
As a graduate student of this university, I am upset and appalled at the writing that is being published in this paper. I am not attacking the writer for his view on the recall, because I agree that everyone has a right to vote his or her own way. But when it comes to making false accusations and using passive language in order to make a particular candidate look better than what he is, I feel almost unable to associate myself with a university that allows that. As one of the most recognizable communities in the city of Omaha, I feel like the university and this newspaper should be doing a better job of checking on the facts of their writers and looking to portray both sides of the argument, both the liberal view and conservative view.