LETTER: Herald should facilitate peace

Dec. 11, 2013 @ 04:59 AM

To the Editor:

In Saturday’s editorial about the new mayor’s positive goals for Sanford, you mentioned that County Commissioner Kirk Smith spoke in favor of cooperation between the city and county. The Herald then conjectured insincerity, appearing to torpedo Smith’s request for goodwill.

Rather than create mistrust, I challenge The Herald to be an agent of constructive change. For example, host a public forum to hear the pain expressed in the bumper sticker, “Hell for a Hometown,” which has been posted downtown for months at Steele and Carthage streets. Then follow up by mobilizing positive change.

What topics might the disgruntled public bring? High crime? (An Oct. 29 letter complained of crime and a murder in his neighborhood; another murder occurred there this weekend). Poor education? (Only 40-some percent of K-12 students perform on grade level). Living-wage jobs with potential for upward mobility? (A goal of our new mayor). Failing septic systems? (City charges are too expensive for the poor and elderly to connect to the city sewer system when they cannot afford to fix their septic). Below-the-radar racial and other bigotry? Other heart-breaking concerns?

The Herald can facilitate hearing the concerns behind the “Hell for a Hometown” statement and mobilize private organizations, government and volunteers to take productive action toward improving circumstances. Please use your newspaper’s voice to pursue peace with all men (Hebrews 12:14), and not to stir up more discontent or controversy.

Martha Underwood

Sanford