Letters graphic

Please remove medians from West Broadway plan

Reflecting on the actions taken by the city staff and the Council Bluffs City Council in regards to placing the medians back into West Broadway last night (Ed. — A portion of medians from segment three were moved to segment four because of construction delays, see page 1A for more).

I urge those who have an interest to do what you can to persuade them to remove the medians in the next phase of this project before the public hearing in December. I have expressed my thoughts.

Postpone this matter is an option for the new council if you will however it would only delay the bidding process and would I assume time and money for not only the staff but the bidders.

The city has the option to remove the portion of this letting by removing the medians before the public hearing so the project could move forward. And would defuse some ill feelings.

There would be an upside to removing the medians, the price of this project would decrease, save the taxpayers more relief by not paying for the yearly maintenance and replacement costs. Thus these maintenance funds could go helping the Playland area water issues.

And lastly Iowa West could be a good neighbor and remove the funding for just the medians.

Sam Irwin

Council Bluffs

‘Spoils’ system vs. ‘Deep State’

The dilemma for President Donald Trump involving the current House impeachment hearings originated in the early years of this country.

Prior to 1883, it was not uncommon for newly-elected incoming administrations to replace carte blanche those existing civil service workers by those deemed more loyal to the incoming one. Nicknamed the “spoils” or “patronage” system, it was replaced in 1883 by a merit-based system under the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act.

This act had the side effect of creating a somewhat permanent bureaucratic civil service. Although remnants of the earlier “spoils” system remained at the highest levels of the bureaucracy — eg. ambassadors, etc. — the newer merit-based system retained those mid-level employees and below from the previous administration.

The “spoils” system had the advantage of eliminating suspected disloyal employees from the previous administration, as well as hindering the growth of a permanent bureaucracy — what those of us on the conservative right refer to as “the swamp” or “the deep state.”

There is a tendency for governmental employees in any bureaucracy to “homestead,” staying in place, favoring like-minded employees and resisting change to their routines.

President Donald Trump was elected in 2016 to, among his many promises, “drain this bureaucratic swamp” by whatever means necessary

For example, he has recently entertained the notion of relocating some agencies under the Department of Agriculture from the Washington D.C. beltway to Kansas City, Missouri — in essence, returning them to “Green Acres.” A survey of those employees affected by a possible relocation found that a sizable number of them stated that they didn’t want to move.

In 1932, a number of Midwestern state, county and municipal employees founded the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union, a public sector union known for supporting Democratic Party causes.

Civil service employees unionizing is the conservative right’s quintessential manifestation of the “swamp” or “deep state.”

This now brings us back to the aforementioned impeachment hearings.

The former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, should have done the honorable thing and simply resigned if she felt that she could not work with this president.

In essence, she is validating the existence of the much feared “swamp” or “deep state,” which President Trump has vowed to eliminate.

Greg Casady

Council Bluffs

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