Time to decide on Amendment 1
Published 9:15 am Wednesday, September 3, 2003
It is time to decide which way to vote Sept. 9. There is little time left for rhetoric, no time to shilly-shally. The undecideds have to decide.
Each camp is really pouring it on, spending money left and right to promote its vision of the future of Alabama, its version of the truth.
And although we at this paper have tried to present each side of the issue, it is time to come down solidly on the side of the amendment.
It is time to change the way things are done here, have been done since time immemorial.
Time to do away with pass-through spending where a legislator may say 'I need X amount of dollars, I will let you know where to send it when it is needed.' Granted, Gov. Bob Riley has outlawed that by executive order, but what will happen when he is no longer governor? The past will come back and bite us, and those ways will be picked up again.
It is time to stop being afraid of the unknown, much of which is not really unknown, it is just not understood. Some homeowners may pay more in property tax, but Alabama would still be one of the lowest taxing states in the nation.
It is time that 'good enough' be called what it truly is, not enough.
Not enough for our children, who have shown what they can do when given adequate resources to work with. Time to have something to show to businesses and industries that show interest in relocating to our state.
We need to be able to say our educational systems are second to none, your employees' children will learn here, can go to college here, can find good jobs that pay well here, can rear their children here.
It is time to stop the brain drain out of Alabama, where bright promising students go elsewhere for opportunities. It is time that those opportunities come here, and pay their fair share of taxes.
It is time to fix our roads, protect our elderly, keep those who commit crimes against our people in prisons.
It is time to ensure that Medicaid and Medicare will keep the promises made to the least among us, the young, the old, the poor and the infirm. Those promises are to keep them healthy, keep them fed, keep them safe.
It is time that state police officers' pay become commensurate with the danger their job entails. It is time that there be enough of them so that our roads are safer.
None of these things happen for free.
It is time that those who would enjoy the quality of life that are guaranteed by meeting commitments to our citizens recognize that.
It is time that those who do business in our state, big corporations that for the most part do not have headquarters here, pay their fair share of the burden of making this Alabama the beautiful for all its citizens.
It is time that the poor, who have next to nothing to begin with, are allowed to keep what little they do have.
It is time for Alabama to step out of the dark ages, out of the shadow of being near the bottom in every category, away from the way it has always been. It is time to stop making excuses and make the right choice.
It is time to do the right thing.
It is time to vote yes for Amendment One.