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Letters to the editor

Help save the trees!

I am amazed that the City of Hartselle and the State of Alabama want to cut down the beautiful pear trees that line U.S. 31.
I am sure the politicians involved have forgotten how the pear trees came to be along the highway.
Back in the mid-1970’s the Hartselle Chamber of Comerce and local businessmen chartered a bus and drove to Sylacauga to view what that city had done to win a beautifcation award. The Hartselle group wanted an idea of how to improve the looks along highway 31.
Sylacauga had planted pear trees along their median going through town and it was a beautiful addition to their city. And their citizens were happy with the trees.
So the Hartselle group returned to Hartselle and decided to do the same thing to beautify our median. A campaign was started and people began buying trees to line the median. Local people gave personal donations; people made donations as memorials to loved ones;  businesses donated money; and the City of Hartselle donated.
After almost 35 years the pear trees have matured nicely and offer a nice view as people drive into Hartselle from either direction.
Last year a woman lost control of her car and hit a tree. She complained that the tree was a hazard to her. Well, if she had kept her car under control she wouldn’t have hit the tree. And the tree probably saved her from serious injuries or even death. She could have slammed into an oncoming car from the opposite direction.
The trees are a great safety barrier between the traffic lanes. I would hate to face a car coming towards me from across the median because someone couldn’t keep their car under control.
Don’t take the trees. They are important to Hartselle for their beauty and safety.
Robert Jaques

Board should be appointed

The Hartselle Enquirer and the Decatur Daily both ran articles last week on the  mayor and city council-appointed Hartselle School Board. The board wants to get  into politics and educate the people of Hartselle on why the appointed board is  better than an elected board. Sure they do. They want to keep their appointed  positions and realize that if the board is elected some would go and some might  stay. They want to keep the status quo, which is one of the main things that  is wrong with Hartselle not being a more progressive small city today. They  are on the board now because they were friends with the mayor or a council  member or the wife of a former council member. In other words ‘the good old  boy/girl network. The 800 Hartselle voters that signed the petitions to allow  the citizens the right to decide whether they want an elected or  appointed board want a better school system. We don’t think that teachers in  Hartselle should have to pay for all of their classroom supplies. We think they  should receive a good supplement to their salary so that they make more than a teacher  in a small county school. Many had rather teach in the county rather that the Hartselle system.
It is not felt that a new super expensive high school will add one point to the  SAT or ACT scores. Good teachers and good students make this happen. This new  school is to be built by the board at the worst possible location in Hartselle  and will cost a lot more than what they anticipate. Ever think of moving the middle  school out on Bethel Road and totally remodeling the high school? The money saved could go to the teachers and  classroom materials.
We all want the very best education for our children and this can come about  through an elected board who is responsible to the people and not to the mayor  and city council who appointed them. They actually, along with the city council,  should be elected by districts so our citizens would know who to go to with a  problem, a suggestion, a compliment, etc. As it is now we do not know what  person to go to on any of these matters.
Let me end by saying no more status quo. Vote to elect the Hartselle Board of  Education on Nov. 2.
Richard White

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