We need City Council members who can make tough decisions

A friend asked why I support Maureen Laflin, Anne Zabala, and Sandra Kelly for Moscow’s City Council.

I told her I looked at what all candidates did/had done to evaluate activities or jobs that revealed inclusive community and business commitment, and concern about quality of life issues such as transportation, affordable housing, and employment. Of all candidates, Maureen, Anne, and Sandra had the longest, strongest community, civic involvement and/or careers (independent of church).

Maureen, Anne, and Sandra have said they will base decisions on broad community and business input to work toward a sustainable quality of life and community infrastructure.

I also related that the candidates’ comments on the use of $200,000 in foregone taxing authority to provide salary raises for police officers and some recreation staff was quite revealing. Maureen and Anne expressed definitive positions and rationales. Berends said she “could go either way” but has experience making “tough decisions.” Mitchell disagreed with the decision to tap foregone taxing authority because property taxes have increased too much. This may be true, but he didn’t offer solution(s) for raises and/or how he would prioritize spending decisions. Urquidez wasn’t against tapping foregone taxes but he just didn’t “know if there was a better way.” I want City Council members who can step up to the plate.

Please vote for Maureen, Anne, and Sandra. They have the right mix of skills, experience and vision to keep Moscow the city we love, a city that welcomes business and looks out for the welfare of all its citizenry.

Tina Baldwin, Moscow

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Community has needs, and bond will help it keep up

If we want to ensure that there will be family practice doctors in the future, after the wonderful providers that we have now retire, we need to provide a place for the family practice residency, which means to vote yes on Proposition 1.

Pullman has a wonderful chance to join with the Elson Floyd Medical school and provide a residency program for rural areas to continue to have first-class care into the future.

A new medical records program is a huge need. If we want to continue to be a hospital that provides for the community we need to keep up with technology. If we don’t keep up, we will fall behind.

Margaret Werre, member, board of commissioners for Pullman Regional Hospital, Pullman

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Bipartisan hope on climate change

Some of us might find it remarkable, given partisan divisions, but it appears Republicans and Democrats are coming together on a surprising issue: climate change.

Lawmakers are responding to public opinion. Last month, a CBS News poll found that two-thirds of Americans view climate change as a crisis or serious problem; a majority want immediate action. A survey by Ipsos and Newsy this fall found that 77 percent of younger GOP voters call climate change a serious threat.

It’s encouraging that Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers recently wrote constituents that the “climate is changing, and global industrial activity is a contributing factor. We must play a role in reducing carbon emissions” without damaging our economy.

Carbon pricing can effectively reduce emissions quickly and protect the economy. It is supported by thousands of U.S. economists. Newsweek reported that 95 percent of 300 multinational corporations favor mandatory carbon pricing. Luntz Global found that carbon pricing that includes a revenue return, or a “carbon dividend” to Americans, has four to one support among all voters. Among GOP voters under 40, that support rises to 75 percent.

The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (H.R. 763) would initiate a fee of $15 per ton of carbon, rising by $10 each year. All revenue would be paid out equally to every household. Resources for the Future estimates this policy would reduce carbon emissions 47 percent by 2030. The bill targets 90 percent reductions by 2050.

Moscow and Pullman city councils have issued resolutions in support of such a carbon pricing proposal. Many community leaders have signed a letter asking our members of Congress to act on climate change. That support sends a signal that backing H.R. 763 can be a politically astute move.

Please contact Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers and ask her, too, to support H.R. 763.

Judy Meuth, Citizens’ Climate Lobby of the Palouse, Pullman

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Council must serve people, not a church or business

Jim Boland and Kathryn Bonzo, our two retiring city council members, served Moscow well. I graciously thank them for their dedicated service and accessibility. Their time was a labor of love, humility and selflessness, dedicated to the public good and born of informed decision making and inclusivity.

Public service is the highest form of civic engagement and is designed to help integrate the past, present and future of a community into a cohesive and functioning society of equals. There is no man behind the curtain and his band of 12 elder men, calling the shots. There is no narrow, divisive and demeaning theology that demands a higher allegiance than all the women and men of Moscow do. Councilors must serve only us; not their church or business. The only special interest is us! I want my city council members to be unabashedly dedicated to the public good and civic service. That means listening to, understanding, appreciating and supporting all the good that Moscow represents. I want my council members to have shown that they can serve in the public good, that they can speak for and serve all of us equally and without hesitation. I seek representation by fellow citizens who have served and volunteered on public committees and boards and who have a demonstrated record of supporting inclusive public causes through their work with nonprofit organizations or state institutions.

Join me in electing Sandra Kelly and Maureen Laflin, and reelecting Anne Zabala, to the Moscow City Council. Their service, altruism and dedication to the public good have already made us a more resilient and sustainable community.

Nick Sanyal, Moscow

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