Grow paychecks as well as jobs. Free press threatened. School Board changes needed.

Grow jobs, grow paychecks

The editorial, “Plenty of jobs, but pay is poor” (Aug. 9) was excellent and hit the nail on the head.

Our mayor, City Council, County Commission and economic development members all shout from the rooftops when a company announces it is building a facility here in Ocala. Seldom, however, do any of them make mention of the fact that most of these jobs will be low-skill, low-paying occupations.

Now I have nothing against a FedEx or Chewey, but let’s face it, these warehouse jobs are not skilled and will not command above-average wages.

Any high school graduate in Ocala, if they cannot afford full-time college, should get a job (there are plenty out there) and enroll at College of Central College evening program.

Attend at least three nights a week. Earn that certificate or, better yet, a degree and then go find that corporate starter job (you may have to leave town) and start building a career.

That is the pathway to success. Nobody says it is easy, but it will be worth it.

One final thought, and I suspect it will not be well received by those referred to. It seems to me that our “horse culture” has played down, or at least has not been fully supportive, of the idea of courting companies to the area that require a skilled workforce and dictate good-paying jobs.

Many of Ocala’s horse farmers, I suppose, would prefer that a third of Marion County’s workers remain uneducated so they are assured of having an ample supply of people willing to clean stalls and put hay in the manger and work for less than a lot of states pay for minimum wage

This is not the way to grow a city that has a thriving economy.

Bill Aker, Ocala

 

Free press endangered

According to a new public opinion survey conducted by Ipsos, 43 percent of self-identified Republicans said that they believed “the president should have the authority to close news outlets engaged in bad behavior.” Forty-eight percent of them said they believed “the news media is the enemy of the American people.”

That is madness! That is how an autocracy works. Anyone who would like to live in a country where the president can decide which news outlets are to be closed, there are options. Russia comes to mind.

It is my opinion that President Donald Trump wants to turn the USA into an autocracy, with himself as the autocrat. This has a familiar ring to it. Shades of George Orwell’s “1984”.

Tony Jarvis, On Top of the World

 

New blood needed

A political action committee (PAC), “Floridians for a Better Florida,” has been exercising its constitutional freedom of speech by asking voters to consider three new candidates to replace current School Board incumbents. The three candidates being: Shelia Arnett, Nancy Thrower and Ed Wilson (all Republicans).

However, this has put the local Republican Executive Committee (REC) in panic mode because these are not the establishment candidates the REC would like in office. The establishment favorites are Kelly King, Angie Boynton and Jane Moerlie (all Republicans). The three establishment candidates will help assure things remain just as they are on the School Board.

The chairman of the REC, Rocky Stacy, is even threatening Republicans with “consequences” if they ignore the directives of the REC to support its establishment candidates, and considers the communications from the PAC divisive. Here is what Mr. Stacy’s directive concerning the communications to voters from the PAC says:

“This type of partisan attack on Republicans must be exposed. This is a divide and conquer tactic by a PAC to promote their own agenda. Any Republicans participating in such tactics should be held accountable.”

The nonsense of the chairman’s statement is that the REC and the PAC are each promoting an “agenda.” But what he is telling us is that ONLY the REC can do that! By the way, the PAC is non-partisan as is the election for School Board. Importantly, I’m not sure why Mr. Stacy thinks his small organization feels it has any power to dictate to 106,000 county Republican voters.

So voters, we have two choices concerning Mr. Stacy’s directive: (1) vote in a personal way that gives our community a better School Board, or (2) do what Mr. Stacy tells us and support only the establishment-backed candidates. The choice is ours.

Stan Hanson, Ocala