We have a very important City Commission election coming up on Jan. 25. Please review the credentials of each candidate and decide who would make the best city commissioner.
You may remember Gail Johnson vacated this seat out of frustration with commissioners who kept a city manager that truly needed to go. She was also frustrated with unkept city promises. As a matter fact, three other resignations were made between May and September by other City Commission employees.
Some argue that we need a new face on the City Commission. That is a ridiculous argument. Why would we want an inexperienced person, someone with little leadership experience? Why should we have a commissioner in training?
We don’t need a new face. We need someone that is seasoned with experience, that can accomplish campaign goals such as lowering electric bills. We need an authentic, mature candidate who is seasoned with a wide range of experiences.
Cynthia Chestnut is the candidate who fulfills that role. She is intelligent, educated, well spoken, listens to the voices and makes good decisions. Cynthia is in touch with the people of Gainesville and is deserving of your vote.
Linda Williams, Gainesville
Antidote to divisiveness
Matt Howland’s breakthrough success in the November election is the clearest signal of his broad appeal to city residents. A political newcomer, Howland went from unknown to earning the right to go head-to-head with one of the best-known political veterans in our city. City residents spoke loudly and clearly in a greater-than-expected turnout because Howland’s voice resonates.
From the beginning, his campaign has consistently focused on job creation, sustainable economic development and solar energy. His focus on addressing these challenges, using the tools the city already has rather than tools the commission wishes it had, is the pragmatism that city residents want after too much dysfunction. Howland’s fresh voice gives hope to a city distrustful that its elected leaders can set aside political posturing and deploy readily available solutions.
Residents from all of Gainesville’s neighborhoods are supporting Howland because they see he offers an antidote to the divisiveness of recent years. Gainesville has already begun turning the page on these divides to face community problems with honesty and grace. Howland will continue this trend, bringing hope that we can all grow stronger in the process.
Let’s speak with one voice and support Matt Howland.
Robert White, Gainesville
No ‘accidental’ overdoses
In response to the article about the mystery of fentanyl deaths in our country: Many times, the drug is spiked with other lethal ingredients that our bodies cannot tolerate. But every time a prominent entertainer dies of cocaine or fentanyl, the news media glorifies that person with huge memorials, and they call it an “accidental overdose.”
A parallel to that would be like someone who plays Russian roulette with a loaded gun and shoots themselves, and calling it an accidental shooting. We all know, or should know, that when a body consumes dangerous drugs, many times laced with who knows what, you will end up at the morgue.
We saw this with Prince, Tom Petty, Whitney Houston, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Chris Farley, Heath Ledger, Michael Jackson and oh so many more. We need to stop calling it an “accidental overdose.” They knew the consequences, yet the high overruled common sense.
We all cry at funerals. Get that friend or relative help, before the grim reaper takes him/her.
Ken Krug, Melrose
Join the conversation
Send a letter to the editor (up to 200 words) to firstname.lastname@example.org. Letters must include the writer’s full name and city of residence. Additional guidelines for submitting letters and longer guest columns can be found at bit.ly/sunopinionguidelines.
Journalism matters. Your support matters.
Get a digital subscription to the Gainesville Sun. Includes must-see content on Gainesville.com and Gatorsports.com, breaking news and updates on all your devices, and access to the Gainesville.com ePaper. Visit www.gainesville.com/subscribenow to sign up.
This article originally appeared on The Gainesville Sun: Gainesville City Commission election and fentanyl deaths | Letters