Letters to the editor

Elections have consequences

Reflecting on the results of the local elections that were held on Nov. 5, it is clear to me that the citizens are at their wits end with their elected officials going against the will of their constituents. Not only in city elections do I think this trending, but also state and national elections.

Locally, I can think of a couple examples that were very newsworthy in the last couple years. Being a strong advocate for labor and the labor movement, I still vividly remember the sting when the Council Bluffs City Council stripped their union employees contracts away and put their contract into a handbook that can essentially be changed at anytime, without the input of the employees.

Five hundred people marched in front of the mayor’s office, countless petitions were given to the council, letters to editors and dozens of speakers spoke at council meetings! At the end the council, with the exception of one member, decided to strip the contract anyway, although it cost the city zero dollars to leave the union contract.

When I asked why you did this to your supposedly precious employees, I was told “Because we can“ — wow! A similar story could be told for the school board on the same topic.

Then fast forward months later when it was unexpectedly brought to vote to go against the will of the people and add the medians anyway! This fired up west end business owners and residents! They disregarded a 5,000 person petition, throwing the community in a uproar!

They did it anyway.

I know at times you have to go against the will of the people, especially when the city or school boards cannot afford something. I know these positions are a lot of work for little or no money. But I feel this is the time voters have had enough and the election results showed it.

This should sound alarms off in members of boards and councils that weren’t up this cycle. It’s time to start working for the will of the community. If you don’t, there is no political action committee or amount of money that will get you out of it. It’s your choice.

Jeff Shudak

Council Bluffs

Repelled by Grassley’s impeachment comments

I am greatly offended by Senator Grassley’s Thursday, October 31st e-mail communiqué to Iowa constituents entitled “Grassley Statement on House Impeachment Resolution Vote.” In his gripes about the lack of due process or restrictions on Republican committee members to call witnesses, Grassley grossly misrepresents the procedures of the House impeachment inquiries and deliberately misleads readers into believing that the procedures are unethical, if not illegal.

However, every informed citizen knows that the Constitution allows the leadership of the House considerable latitude to establish the rules for conducting the impeachment inquiries. Grassley needs to stop lying that the current procedures are not conforming to the previous three presidential impeachment inquiries. The truth is that the previous three were each considerably different from one another. It’s also appalling that Grassley wants to depict the current impeachment inquiry as a trial. But every informed citizen knows that the trial occurs in the Senate, where it is conducted in ways similar to conventional trials with both parties represented by counsel who have the authority to call and cross examine witnesses.

Informed citizens know that the House impeachment inquiry functions very much like a grand jury. As with a grand jury inquiry, the House proceedings may, in fact, be conducted completely in secret. A grand jury issues indictments upon completion of its inquiry, just as the House shall make its articles of impeachment public in presentation of them to the Senate. Grassley needs to stop disseminating provocative alternative facts.

Steven Pokorny

Urbandale

Not diplomacy, but attempted extortion

Diplomacy is the main instrument of foreign policy, which consists of the broader goals and strategies that guide a state’s interactions with the rest of the world.

International treaties, agreements, alliances, and other manifestations of foreign policy are usually negotiated by diplomats prior to endorsement by national politicians. Diplomats may also help shape a state’s foreign policy in an advisory capacity. (Source:Wikipedia)

So, diplomatic affairs are between countries.

The ask by President Trump was for a public statement of investigation to be made, tainting his own political rival.

Until that happened, President Trump held back military aid and, in fact, Ukrainian soldiers were killed during that period.

This was not diplomacy.

To me, this was attempted extortion.

Lee Hazer

Council Bluffs

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