Letters to the Editor — February 7, 2014

Reader disputes higher minimum wage impact


There appears to be a wide disparity of income in the U.S. today. Instead of investigating why it exists or why it is widening, our leaders want to use the “minimum wage” to correct this disparity.

Take a moment to think: When an employee earning $7.50 per hour is raised by law to $10 per hour, what happens to the guy earning $8, $9 or even $10? Everyone gets a pay raise. Now, how does the employer cope with this increase in his/her costs? They have to raise the cost of their product.

The workers are all earning more, but everything now costs more, and we are back where we started, except now the guy earning $10 is still in poverty and those retired on fixed incomes are in even deeper than they were, because the minimum wage doesn’t cover retirement income.

We have done the same thing that we have been doing throughout my adult life. We keep raising the minimum wage, then we raise the bar on poverty and those who are on fixed income are worse off than before.

Last night, Bill O’Reilly, Fox News commentator, supported raising the minimum wage to $10 because all hard-working people deserve that much. He wants an exception made for students, and I am sure that, as he thinks it over, he will make a few more exceptions.

What about the worker who does not work hard? He does his job but nothing more and sometimes he takes longer than he should. Should he be exempted from the “minimum”? If we believe in a “free-market economy,” and Bill says that he does, should the government be setting private wages? If that hard worker is worth more than he is getting, then someone will agree to pay him more.

One last comment: Raising the minimum wage has never lifted anyone out of poverty; it only results in inflation and a raising of the poverty bar.

Walt Berwick

Welch speaks out on election situation


I have been denied candidacy for a council position in the town of Frankford by the State Election Commissioner and the Town of Frankford. The reason the Town and State cited was I was not registered to vote. That is a town charter requirement. Rules is rules.

In our town’s last election, in 2012, the State Election Commissioner and Town issued documents that denied me candidacy for the same reason. They did so without any legal process. When the process was applied, it was established that I wasn’t required to be a registered voter. I was allowed to be a candidate. I had documentation that I had registered to vote several times. The Town and State cried, and are crying, over the expense and time that I am costing them for their enormous lack of respect for our election laws.

Immediately after the 2012 election, the town received and passed an amendment that made it a requirement to be a registered voter to be a council member. They misrepresented that this amendment was necessary to correct conflicts between State and Town election laws. The Town and State amended the charter to make it a requirement, to be a council member, you must be registered in town to vote.

Our government also used this amendment to discard the charter requirements on how our registration is maintained. This was done because our Town was not maintaining the registration as required. This amendment also discarded the cutoff dates for registration and candidacy filing without establishing new dates.

The Town has always made our voter registration a big deal. In 2000, after owning our home for three years, which we attended every day, we decided to register to vote in town. We had a pet cat, cut the grass and shoveled snow every time it needed it. We decorated for every Christmas and handed out candy every Halloween. We attended every council meeting. We have enjoyed and get along with all of our neighbors.

Our Town government said that we were not real residents, so we could not vote in town. Frankford stated that we could not legally live in our house because we have a building permit that says we can’t.

For years, we applied with our driver’s licenses and Delaware polling place cards and filled out the Town’s registration card several times. Each time, it was rejected. The first three years, the Town said the reason we couldn’t vote was the building permit issue. After establishing the permit did not really remove our rights to live in our home, the Town said that we could vote if we would sign an affidavit swearing that we actually resided in our home. We already had sworn this when we applied for our driver’s license and polling place card and swore again when we filled out the Town registration card.

The voter registration application is the affidavit. We do have documentation that we have legally and properly applied to register to vote in Frankford. I have presented this documentation to our Town and State. The Town and State stating that I am not a registered voter because I refused to swear that I lived in Frankford is not genuine or legal. Frankford’s charter requires that a resident only has to register to vote one time. I have registered several times and have documentation. All the reasons and processes that the Town and State have used to deny me registration are illegal.

The Town has employed the town clerk, town council, town solicitor, attorney general and state election commissioner to reject my voter registration. Their rejection shows that they are representing that their approval is necessary. They have used this to reject my candidacy.

Our Town and State’s lack of respect of the fact that I have completed the registration process is the reason I am not on their registration.

My declaration and intentions, and my proper completion of the Town’s registration card, is the process in its entirety. No one’s approval is required. All of their rejections are illegal.

Once the Town respects the process, it will understand that I have and am registered. The Town and State are not representing that that it is a clerical error. They are representing that these illegal processes and reasons are why I’m not registered.

The State and Town illegally used this issue in 2012 to deny me candidacy. After that year’s election, they intentionally made registration a requirement. This year, they used that requirement to deny me candidacy.

The Town and State did not consider a reconciliation of the facts that would have allowed me to be deemed registered and allowed to run. I was not allowed to register and run. They immediately and vehemently declared that I was not a valid candidate. They did this to intentionally deny the people in our community an opportunity to vote for me. The Town and State used this miniscule rule to deny our town a fair election.

They are refusing to respect laws that would allow a fair election.

The 2012 charter amendment discarded without establishing the voter registration cutoff date. This year’s cutoff date was deemed incorrect by the state election commission. The law states that the election should have been rescheduled to correct this problem. Our State refused to abide by this law. This would have allowed me to register and run in this year’s election. Proper complaints about this issue were brought before the board of elections and the state election commissioner. They have taken no action to correct this violation.

Greg Welch