IT MIGHT BE TIME TO DISSOLVE UNITY
Baker Countys commissioners should seriously consider whether the disunified community of Unity should continue to be incorporated as a city.
CITY COUNCILOR Glynn Murphy resigned Monday after 25 people signed a petition supporting his recall. When Murphy stepped down, the rest of the council followed suit, including Mayor Eddie Greenwood and councilors Karen Boehlke, Jerry Hunter and Rex Schoorl. Connie Murphy, the wife of Glynn Murphy, also resigned from her position as paid city recorder.
The effort to remove Councilor Murphy appears to be a misuse of the voters right to recall. Recall petitioner Don Kandle said he disagreed with the way Murphy voted to spend money. Another petitioner, Steve Bradford, has had a dispute with the way the city handled his failure to pay a water and sewer bill. The city shut off water to Bradfords mobile home park in September, and Baker Justice Court ordered him to pay the city $3,978.
Some residents of the small Baker County community also have been critical of the councils proposal to enact an anti-nuisance ordinance, governing such things as weed control and storage of abandoned vehicles on their property.
NONE OF THESE ISSUES seems to be the grounds for a recall. Removal from elected office by a public vote should be reserved for officials who fail to attend meetings, demonstrate they cannot do the job, steal money from the treasury or are guilty of some other misconduct. Disagreements over policy issues are not grounds for recall.
Its curious why the mayor and the rest of the council would also step down. Is it because they wanted to show unity for Glynn Murphy? Or is it because city government is no longer performing a valid function and should be discarded? If the latter is the case, Baker County commissioners should work with the people of Unity to disincorporate the town. The commissioners could take responsibility for the water and sewer system and other public matters related to the ongoing functioning of Unity.
OBESITY COME OF AGE
Its good to see that the Internal Revenue Service and hopefully the rest of society is identifying obesity as a major health problem.
IN THE PAST, the IRS only allowed a deduction for weight-loss programs if a physician prescribed it in the treatment of another disease. The IRS now has agreed to recognize obesity as a disease itself, contributing to problems like diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.
To gain the deduction, the taxpayer must participate in a weight-loss program under a physicians guidance for medically valid reasons, and not just because he or she wants to join a gym.
Hopefully, the fight to control obesity will spread throughout society, including the fast-food chains that so far have been reluctant to come up with much of a low-fat, healthy menu.