It’s only fair

Since we still (barely) have the opportunity in this country to express our opinions that’s what this letter will do.

I read in The Daily Clarion on Feb. 26 the Oakland City council decided to only meet once a month for the board of works and city council business.

I applaud this idea, but only under one condition — that they will vote at the next meeting to change the ordinance to receive pay only for the actual hours served, based on the current rate of approximately $3,360 for 24 meetings annually, or $140 per meeting.

That’s really not too bad for a meeting that generally lasts no more than an hour. I’ve attended many meetings and rarely heard any public discussion on most issues. It’s more like a rubber stamp of acceptance of whatever is proposed.

At the present time I don’t have any issues with how things are going, but for a city that is losing housing, businesses and population, things better improve in a positive way real soon or this city is going to wither and die like so many other small towns. I don’t have any ideas on how to improve conditions, but neither am I getting paid $280 a month to think outside of the box.

One of my favorite slogans is: “The best government is that which governs least.”

With that in mind, perhaps having fewer meetings is the perfect solution for avoiding additional burdensome regulations brought on by our friends and neighbors that have gotten a taste of power and like how it feels.

Bob Zasadny,

Oakland City

Grant program needed for live entertainment affected by pandemic

I own a small business that caters to the race track community. Our company subcontracts work to approximately 20 sub contractors. The COVID-19 shutdown has created an immense impact on my company and the sub-contractors and their families. Our workload is down more than 50% from this time last year. We do business in over 40 states.

I write to request that Congress create a grant program to support recreation, sports, and amusement venues that provide live entertainment yet were excluded from “Shuttered Venue Operators Grants” program (Section 324 of Public Law No:116-260).

It is imperative to the future of racetracks in communities across the country that Congress provide a lifeline for live entertainment businesses that have experienced unprecedented declines in revenue as a result of complying with attendance restrictions.

Many small businesses, including family owned and operated racetracks, depend on hosting live events each week. These venues have been devastated by lockdowns and capacity restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic, experiencing revenue declines of 50% or more.

Ticket-buying customers were prohibited from attending races, and race teams were unable to perform or participate in motorsports competition in the months after the start of the pandemic.

Ongoing attendance restrictions continue to threaten many racetracks along with other entertainment venues, which provide jobs and are integral to communities across the country.

Please support the nearly 1,000 small local and regional live event providers that host motorsports events in addition to the millions of fans who depend on local racetracks for affordable, family-friendly entertainment.

Kurt Johnson, Petersburg


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