Monday's letters: Open season for crime; lower tuition, less debt; no to county amendments

[Sarasota Herald-Tribune] Monday's letters: Open season for crime; lower tuition, less debt; no to county amendments

Monday's letters: Open season for crime; lower tuition, less debt; no to county amendments

Politics block solution to unjust bail

The crime wave we are dealing with is not surprising. What did Democratic governors and mayors think would happen when they allowed their cities to be destroyed in the wake of the George Floyd killing, including the temporary takeover of a Seattle police station by activists.

If the government wasn’t going to stop that, it was now open season for crime. And the no-cash-bail movement only made matters worse when criminals were returned to the streets hours after committing serious crimes.

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Whether to grant bail should not be determined by the ability of the accused to pay, but rather by the nature of the crime.

Anyone who commits violence, uses a weapon against a person or in the commission of a crime, or commits any act against a police officer, should be denied bail to keep the community safe, and the defendant should be given a speedy trial.

For nonviolent crimes, the accused should be released pending trial. That would satisfy those who feel that the cash bail system is discriminatory while protecting the community from repeating violent offenders.

It is a fair solution that balances the interests involved, and yet none of the Democratic mayors and governors has even considered it. Another example of politics over good governance.

Artie Reiss, Sarasota

Don’t lend students more than they can pay

I have read many articles regarding the president’s plan to write off up to $20,000 of student loan debt. Some people are totally in favor of the proposal, and some are totally against it, pretty much a microcosm of our political situation today.

What I have not seen is any mention of fixing the conditions that allowed so many individuals to amass such high levels of debt. Unless we make changes to the process now, we will be looking at the same problem in another few years.

Let’s tighten up the student loan approval process. Every student applicant must qualify as a person who “should” be able to repay the loan once employed in his or her career choice.

Different careers offer entirely different potential incomes and vastly different loan repayment capabilities. We are not helping students when we allow them to take on more debt than they can realistically pay back.

Let’s also put pressure on our colleges to reduce tuition to reasonable levels. 

Bob Williams, Sarasota

Reject attempt to stifle voter initiatives

The current Sarasota County commissioners and Charter Review Board members cannot take “No” for an answer.

In March, they attempted to undermine the will of the voters by trying to overturn single-member districts. When voters once again overwhelmingly supported single-member districts, they decided to hatch another plan.

This November’s ballot contains two county charter amendments supported only by the review board and the Sarasota County Commission. These amendments are a blatant attempt to stifle the voice and power of the people and thus have drawn bipartisan opposition.

These amendments would make it virtually impossible for any citizen initiatives to make it to the ballot. 

The proposed amendments would impose the strictest parameters of all the charter counties in Florida for how citizens can petition for amendments to their charter. The county’s charter is similar to a constitution.

Just as we did back in March, Democrats, independents and Republicans must vote "No" on these two charter amendments. “We the people” have the right to be the architects of our constitution.

Rhonda Peters, Sarasota

Pick candidates who can do the job

The Republicans are very efficient at hurling labels to distract from issues, such as referring to candidates as “radical left” and “dangerous.”

I do know for certain, however, what vital programs and policies the Republicans have tried to obstruct:

Capping insulin costs.Respecting the right to contraception.Lowering drug prices.Protecting marriage equality.Tackling the climate crisis.Passing rational gun safety laws.Providing health care for veterans and 9/11 first responders.Cutting energy costs.Advocating for equal pay.Allowing Medicare to negotiate pharmaceutical prices.Creating clean energy initiatives.Safeguarding voting rights.

Which will you vote for? A party that makes up demeaning labels and cruel policies? Or a party that has competent people who know how to govern and deliver a better life for you?

Alan Sprintz, Sarasota