Writing a letter to the editor is one way to get educated. Since Jerry Schumacher and I exchanged thoughts in letters to the editor two, three, and four weeks ago I’ve learned quite a bit. I wrote a response to Jerry’s last letter, but somehow it was electronically lost and did not appear in the paper. Patty Pourier’s excellent letter did appear. Her letter plus a number of conversations led me to this.
Essential information is missing. What are the Nebraska Department of Roads actual plans? How about before the City Council votes on the roundabout the public should hear some specifics. Exactly how big a roundabout? Evidence that it would safely accommodate trucks? Exactly where would it sit? How, exactly, is it related to the Heartland Expressway, if at all? A knowledgeable person told me there is no way, roundabout or no roundabout, that the Heartland Expressway will come into Chadron when (if?) it is completed between Chadron and the South Dakota border. That would defeat the purpose of “Expressway”. At this point I don’t think the council should vote on the roundabout at all. Buying a horse without seeing his/her teeth?
Who is seriously in favor of the roundabout? Let’s hear why. Is it really worth the (possible) improvement in traffic? From what I’ve learned, normally only a few times of the day, around noon especially, is there much of a wait for anyone at the intersection. Personally, I can count on one hand the number of times I have spent more than a minute there, since 1976. Compared to places where drivers spend hours a week stopped in traffic, we have it pretty nice.
This letter sure reverses what I wrote before. Easy to change my mind when I had no stake in the matter. Mostly I wrote because I didn’t like the negativity in Jerry’s otherwise good and informative letter, and I wrote what I had heard and thought. Jerry and I have yet to have coffee together, but I believe we will before this letter reaches print. Here is what I wrote in response to his last letter.
Last week Jerry Schumacher responded to my letter of two weeks ago. He wrote that I was one of the “shouters” at the town hall meeting hosted by Congressman Adrian Smith . I apologize. I was out of order. Congressman Smith conducted the meeting with diplomacy and skill. Near the end of the meeting Congressman Smith was taking a few more questions and many people wanted to speak. In that excitement I forgot proper comportment. I didn’t exactly shout, but when Congressman Smith was about 15 feet away, without being called on I raised my voice so he could not miss what I said, which was essentially that it would be nice if Republicans passed something that didn’t primarily benefit the top 10 percent.
P.S. Not building the roundabout won’t save tax money because the money is allocated and will be spent somewhere.