To the Washington County Board of Supervisors:
I was one of 15 people that canvassed the city of Washington when the city presented a referendum to the property owners of Washington, asking them to support a property tax increase to build the new YMCA. Our group felt that using public property tax revenue to construct a building for a private club was not right.
The bond issue to use Washington city property tax funds for the YMCA project was defeated 75 percent against to 25 percent for.
I know of no one who is against the YMCA and all the good programs and services it offers. In addition to not wanting their property taxes used to fund this project, many do not approve of the location.
Thank you, Jim Gorham Washington
To the Editor:
My wife and I were recently the beneficiary of helping hands in Washington, and we wanted to write this letter to express our thanks for this tradition of Washingtonians and Iowans reaching out to assist someone in distress.
First, a little background: We moved to Fairfield from California in 2003 to work at Maharishi University of Management. Our battery light was blinking as we drove into Fairfield so we took the car to a gas station. When we came back in the evening to pick up our car the attendant told us, ?Your battery is all charged, but we are ready to go, and the cash register is closed. Please come back tomorrow to pay us!?
We knew this was a great beginning to our Iowa adventure. Since then, we have had many such experiences of trust, neighborliness and helpfulness, the last two of which happened last month in Washington.
A tire that had been problematic, losing air, finally gave out, and my car limped into Washington, for an appointment I had. Patrol Officer Seth Adam saw me driving slowly into town with my warning lights blinking and stopped me.
After hearing my story, he suggested that he escort me into town on a side street, off the main drag, and then return after my appointment to help me put on my doughnut. I was amazed, but gratefully accepted his offer.
When I called the Police Dispatcher after my appointment she notified Officer Seth. Before hanging up, I asked her if this was the normal procedure, when a patrol officer spotted someone with a flat. She said it was! Again, amazement!
Officer Seth showed up right away, and together we removed the damaged tire and bolted on the doughnut.
It turned out his wife works in Fairfield, so we visited for a bit before we both went on our way.
Then, on May 27, another helping hand with our car. We pulled into the BP station in Hwy. 1, with our air conditioning totally blowing hot air. The gal there pointed across the street to Auto Zone.
We went there and met Mike Weber. He found an a/c charge kit, showed us where to attach the gauge to measure our Freon count, and then, when he got off work, helped us with all the steps of charging up the system. (We found out that his daughter and I had worked together in Fairfield.)
We thanked him profusely and he simply said, with a big smile, ?I enjoy helping people!?
Well, that is Washington and that is Iowa. Actually throughout the Midwest we have met people eager to lend a helping hand.
And there are people like this everywhere in the world.
But in Iowa, the density of helping hands is the greatest we have ever known. Help Thy Neighbor ? a wonderful Iowa tradition, where almost everyone is a neighbor ? almost like we live amongst an extended family, always ready to lend a hand.
Thank you, Washington! You can feel very proud.
And thank you, Iowa! America?s great hidden treasure ? truly the heartland.
Joseph Boxerman Fairfield, Iowa
To the Editor:
As summertime events unfold, celebrations around the nation are being hosted with the pride that comes from all cities and towns across America. Mine happens to be the 108th Brighton Whoopee Days. The theme this year, democratically voted on, of course, is ?Made in the USA.?
This brings me to my friend that was the epitome of Every Man USA. He was born here, raised his family here and recently died here. My friend?s name was Wesley; he made a terrific impact on me.
This friendship surely would not have happened, in a previous chapter of my life, while in the big city corporate world.
I moved back to my hometown and met several wonderful people, including Wesley. By most people?s standards, our friendship was surely considered unlikely.
My point being, get out and meet new friends, whatever their names may be.
I hope to be like Wesley, my friend so dear to me.
Mary K. Arnold Brighton, Iowa