Readers Write 6/8

SCHOOLS

Superintendents’ perks run afoul of cost control

Thank you for your great reporting. Every day I open the paper, I learn something important about Atlanta.

“Cobb finalizes deal with new superintendent” (News, June 6) was a shock. After all the talk in government of a difficult economy and the need to control costs, Cobb has given its new superintendent a contract in which the salary alone puts him in with the top American earners — plus, he gets free money for a car (and its gas). He gets his Medicare and Social Security paid for. If this is the norm, it is the norm of the outrageously paid chief executive officer.

It has nothing to do with good management. Are bad school superintendents required to pay back their perks?  Of course not. Good or bad, they walk off with plum management packages. You do not need a high-priced superintendent to run a great school system.

Education aside, your article decided something for me. I’m voting “no” on the upcoming transportation referendum. So should everyone else. It is truly time to say “no” to government, which means voting out every incumbent, and against every proposed tax increase.

E. Morgan, Atlanta

ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION

Businesses breaking law should be shut down

Regarding “In Georgia’s fields, a growing anxiety” (News, June 4), most small business owners operate their businesses within the law. To do otherwise would provide them with a competitive edge. Using that edge, other similar businesses could be forced out of business (which would cost jobs, and reduce state and federal tax revenues).

Your article says, “Farmers say they don’t knowingly employ illegal immigrants.” Your article also provides the name of an illegal immigrant working in the field. This raises a question: If the journalist can determine the individual is illegal, why couldn’t his employer do the same? If businesses operate based on breaking the law, then the business either needs to shut down — or find a product in which the business can legally operate. We consumers can pay more for our blackberries, or do without.

Walt Farmer, McDonough

CLIMATE CHANGE

Pattern of disasters spurs need for U.S. policy

Each week, it seems, brings new reports of weather-related disasters. Taken individually, these disasters could just be considered freaks of nature. Collectively, though, they reveal a pattern that scientists have spoken of for decades: rising temperatures, and the frequency and severity of extreme weather.

The only question remaining on climate change at this point is how bad we’re willing to let things get. Given the reluctance of Congress to take any action, we could be in for a rough ride in the future.

We need a national policy to price carbon that will wean our nation off fossil fuels, and lower the level of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. We can make this transition with no pain to average Americans by giving the revenue from a carbon fee back to all households.

Steve Valk, Atlanta