What has happened to our country?
Many of the large corporations and medium businesses look at employees as if they are pieces of machinery that have no value except to produce profit for business.
My father, who fought in World War II, went to college on GI Bill and graduated in two years, would be appalled by the current lack of respect for American workers.
He had a small business with 60 employees. He treated them with respect, paid them a living wage, set up pension fund for them, thought of them as family, and hosted company parties or gatherings once a month.
He expected them to work hard and he worked even harder. He put in 60-plus hours a week. Many of his big earning years were during 1960s and '70s when the income tax rates were 50 to 70 percent for higher earners. Our country was paying off World War II and Korean War debt.
He did not complain. He told me he thought it was his duty to help his country.
I guess the people in upper income brackets do not have that feeling of patriotism anymore. They do not recognize that their success is tied to freedoms our country provides.
My father still retired at 55 and lived a comfortable life until his death at 80.
Since I was only allotted 350 words in my last letter, published Jan. 17, I wasn't able to finish all my comments.
I would also like to know what will happen to the tens of thousands of dollars the city of Rifle collected for the higher water fees for the last few months of 2012.
I still have no idea as to how they came up with a $25 million price tag for the water plant when no bid has been let, or why they would borrow the money early and pay interest on it before it was needed.
I am also concerned that the city can take $714,000 out of other city budgets and remodel the Ute Theatre. Does that mean we had a budget that was bloated?
It reminds me of Washington. This does not include all the money they spent purchasing the theater, taking out all the asbestos and putting on a new front.
Somehow Rifle's priorities have changed, as there are at least two projects that I know of that are far more important than something that maybe only 30 percent of the town will use. They are the completion of Fairway Avenue, which has been on the books since the early 1980s, and the upgrade the ballfields common areas with concrete so handicapped people can move around these areas without sinking into mud.
I believe, like the Rifle Fitness Center, that we will be subsidizing the theater.
Another thing to remember is that the finance director told us that the sales tax for 2012 was flat and they expect the same for 2013.
I would like to add that I just read in the Telegram that Rifle is now looking at spending $1.2 million on the theater. It also bothers me that a present and past councilman's firm is involved in the procurement of bids and negotiation services and they will be awarded an 8 percent fee if the project is put on hold for 30 days or more. Why go out for bids for a project that is not supported by a majority of the people? This should be something voted on by the people of Rifle.