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Letters To Editor – Jan. 31, 2008

Yalobushian Encourages Volunteers To Get Involved And Work To Change Downward Trend Our County Faces

Dear Editor,

I am writing this letter to express my concern for what I believe is the decline of our county, to give reasons why I think our county is in decline, to explain what I believe will happen if we continue on this course and to offer a suggestion how to reverse this trend.

First allow me to explain why I believe our county is in decline.  As I compare the Water Valley of my youth with the present day one I can see a downward trend.  Once Water Valley had six grocery stores, three new car dealerships, two hotels, two movie theaters, a farm implement dealership and no vacant lots or empty buildings on Main Street.     

Comparing that to the present day city indicates serious deterioration.  Furthermore, our county has one of – if not the highest – tax rates in the state and a rather large debt.  Also, many of our public buildings are showing considerable aging.

If things continue as they are, some of the youth we have will move away, thus reducing the tax base and either forcing higher tax rates or reducing services.  At this point I will remind the reader that everyone pays taxes-– if not property taxes, then car tags and sales taxes.

To change the current trend I would suggest a more aggressive use of computer technology in our county government.  records could be stored on CD’s making them easier to access and take less space.

Out-of-date programs could be downloaded from the internet, adapted for our county and then used to allow citizens to conduct some business after hours and without assistance from county officials.

This would make our county more efficient and allow a reduction in taxes which would encourage people to stay and more to come back, thus allowing more reduction in taxes.  If more people return, then businesses and industry will follow reducing taxes even more.

I realize our county is poor and cannot afford to pay for these things, therefore I suggest volunteers do the extra work.  If only 60 of the nearly 6,000 local readers will volunteer one hour per week, these changes can soon be in place.

Blaming our current situation on the actions or inactions of present or former officials is a waste of time and energy that can be better spent on something productive.

About 75 years ago our county faced a similar situation; the people got involved and turned things around and we enjoyed several decades of population and economic growth.  What has been done before can be done again.

Everyone reading this letter has a skill that can be useful to our county in the current situation.  For anyone who wishes to volunteer, first offer your help to one of the officials, then to a civic organization.  If no one will accept and you feel a strong need to do something, then please contact me and we will try forming our own organization.

I will leave you with this final thought: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.


Bob Rutherford
420 CR 177

Speeding Motorist Strikes Garbage Can, Could Have Been A Child Instead

To: The Person Who Felt A  Need To Once Again Use Our  Road As a Race Track:

  Thursday, around noon, someone who was either crazy, vicious or maybe drunk, was traveling on CR 100 so fast that they left the road and hit our garbage can, which was a good four feet from the side of the road. I wrote once before about my grandchildren using the side of this road to ride their horses,  their bikes, or 4-wheelers, to go visit their cousins a short distance from our house.

    I want to ask that person what would you have done if that had been a child you hit instead of a garbage can?    

    Would you have stopped then? I have had a child killed by a speeding driver and that is one pain I don’t care to go through again. ONCE AGAIN I ask the people of Water Valley, who travel this road (between the library and Hwy. 32), to please observe the speed limit, which is 35 miles an hour.

  /s/Pete & Carolyn Tyler
  CR 100
  Water Valley

Mills Should Have Been Decreased To Conensate For Land Valuation Increase

Dear Editor:

  Upon examining my tax bills, I know how BorgWarner felt when they received theirs. Mine also were increased by about three hundred percent for county and city. Since my land in Lafayette County had only a minor increase, I called a supervisor there and ask why.

    His response was that all the city and county officials knew that a land evaluation was due and that they were supposed to meet and adjust the mills down so the increase would be zero or a minimum. My question to our supervisors and city aldermen is why they did not execute their jobs and tend to this job before the tax rolls were made up.

    I know from talking to one city alderman that his response is, “We haven’t raised taxes since I have been in office.” To me it is apparent that with that many different elected officials, somebody should have spoken up or all should be replaced at the next election.

  Thank you,

  /s/Larry Bell
  250 Dogwood Dr.
  Water Valley

Lake Water Level Mismanagement Affects Fish Spawns

Dear Editor:

  I have given much thought over the years about the way and manner the water of Enid Lake is maintained.

  A person can talk with one of the Corps of Engineer Employees and they are quick to say the lake is not for recreation, and I understand this as I grew up in the western part of Tallahatchie County which was prone to flood each late winter and spring. We certainly received some relief with the completion of Enid Lake, and I must say, at the expense of some very fine land owners in Yalobusha County.

  The years the Lake went over the emergency spillway, 1973, 1983, and 1991, had the Lake been designed to hold twenty (20) more feet of water the spillway would have still been breached, as there was a tremendous amount of rain fall those years.

  The Corps acts as if that is going to happen each year. The water was at its possible lowest point in January 2007, enough rain was received during January 2007 to raise the water nine feet and the Corps let it all out, that was the only significant rainfall until early July of the same year.

  Mr. Tommy Reynolds had an article in the Charleston, MS Sun-Sentinel  in the fall of 2003 that a hatchery was planned for Enid Lake and would be in operation by April 2004. Here it is only a couple of months until April 2008, and to my knowledge, the hatchery is not yet in operation, but we must remember 2003 was prior to an election year.

  In my opinion, a hatchery would not be necessary if a little common sense and good judgement was used and enough water was contained in the Lake for the fish to spawn, a hatchery would not be needed.

  I have enjoyed fishing in Enid Lake ever since it was built, except the first year it held water at which time I was serving in the U.S. Army.

  According to what I hear the local Corps people do not have control of raising and lowering the Lake, instructions come from Vicksburg, or maybe, even Washington, D.C. It’s doubtful in my mind if anyone in Washington, D.C. would even know in what state Enid Lake is located.

  The fish haven’t had a good opportunity to spawn but about twice in the past twenty years due to the lack of water, and again, I believe a lack of common sense and good judgement have been lacking. I feel sure the Corps of Engineers has the knowledge when a year has been predicted to be an unusually dry year and act accordingly.

  The Corps says it’s not a recreation lake but they never fail to accept a user fee.

  If the editor of the Herald sees fit to publish this letter, I take this opportunity to thank you, in advance.

  Jack Biggers
  3063 CR 41
  Oakland, MS 38948
  (662) 623-9893

‘Unity For Christ’ Movement Aims To Organize Revival

Dear Friends in Christ,

  “How wonderful it is, how pleasant, for God’s people to live together in unity!” These words were spoken by a psalmist (133:1) long ago but they are just as true today.    

    Whenever God’s people, regardless of race or denomination value and appreciate one another’s faith, we are part of something wonderful and pleasant.

  “Unity for Christ” is a non-denominational Christian movement made up of concerned Christian leaders from Yalobusha County to give believers the opportunity to come together to pray and work to bring about the revival in our churches and our county. Our ultimate goal, as an organization, is to pray and beseech God to allow us, in the future, to hold a unified revival service that will include our entire county.

  Come, join with us and strengthen your own congregation and help us fight the good fight to win our county for Christ. “Unity for Christ” will be meeting on February 2, at 10 a.m. in the Mt. Moriah District Association Building, located four miles west of the Oakland Road (CR 211, Coffeeville).    

    For further information call Pastor Lawrence Matthews, 675-2683 or Pastor Don Thornburg, 675-2215.

  We hope you will accept this invitation and come and see what God wants done when His people will unify for Christ.

  With anticipation,
  /s/Lawrence Matthews

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