Mow less lawn — plant more trees

I am a retired high school science teacher who is concerned about the world that our grandchildren will have as they grow to adulthood.

I think that a small step that many of us could take would be to mow less lawn and plant more trees and native plants.

We have planted more than a dozen trees at our home, some of them have grown to shade the west side of our house, helping to keep us cool in the summer. The trees include red buds, dogwoods, serviceberries and oaks. There was an existing locust, which is one of my favorite trees. You might choose an area of your property to plant things for birds and butterflies.

— Ken Horst, Goshen

Help re-elect Julia King

I met Julia King soon after moving to Goshen in 2017, when Julia was midway through her first term as an at-large City Council representative. At our first meeting, I was surprised to learn that Julia had only been on the council for two years, as she had the depth and breadth of knowledge of a veteran council member. Her passion for the work was evident, and I was struck by her devotion for the job.

Soon after meeting Julia, I began working with her and other council members through my work on our neighborhood association board. Our neighborhood was facing some major transitions with Goshen Health’s proposed construction and expansion plans. During the following 10 months, representatives from our board had numerous meetings with city staff, hospital executives, City Council members and neighbors. I saw Julia King at many of those meetings and was impressed by the time she devoted to the issue. She sought to maintain clear communication lines and genuinely listened to parties on all sides of the issue, asked real questions during City Council meetings and worked hard to understand the needs and desires of her constituents to know how to best represent them.

Julia has qualities I want in a representative: She seeks to understand the needs of all Goshen residents (she previously worked in neighborhood outreach for Lacasa). She values inclusivity, accountability and transparency as evidenced from the Community Unity, Safety and Trust Resolution she drafted and sponsored in her first year on the council and her work to clarify the city board and commission application and appointment process. Lastly, she prioritizes communication by responding promptly to constituents and reaching out to inform them of issues.

Please help re-elect Julia King by voting on or before Nov 5.

— Nicole Craig, Goshen

Thanks for signing clean campaign pledges

Thank you to those Democrats, and as of Oct. 4, 2019, the Republicans (me too) for pledging to run clean campaigns this year.

Politics is not ping-pong, tiddlywinks or bean bag. Politics is a great and valuable enterprise whereby we humans try to dialogue, agree and disagree and move forward on that arch of history being toward progress and justice.

But in reality, politics is more like tackle football, poker and a 100-meter sprint. While winning is the ultimate goal, the process and participation are critical.

Sometimes tough issues, tremendous differences of opinions, point of character and qualifications are important and absolutely must be discussed in the open. For example, it is not a given that each candidate will be completely forthcoming with their qualifications. Issues brought forward should not be considered dirty but points of light that help the voters to make informed decisions and know differences, judgment capability and philosophies between each candidate.

Please let us not befuddle or confuse clean campaigns with vanilla and low-information campaigns. Different ideas, strong dialogue and love are the mother’s milk of growth and the future.

Let’s get at it!

— Caryl McNeese, Goshen

Editor’s note: Independent City Council District 3 candidate Rafael Correa has also signed the clean campaign pledge.

Voting for Julia King

I met Julia King when I moved to Goshen three years ago. I had some concerns about property near me that was for sale. I contacted Julia with questions. She had answers. She invited me to a City Council meeting so my opinion could be heard.

I am impressed by her reaching out to the public, whether it be attending neighborhood association meetings, speaking to students about what her job entails or posting the City Council meeting agendas on social media, she does so with a heart for the people.

On Election Day, I will cast my vote for Julia King to be reelected to the Goshen City Council.

— Terry Wiley, Goshen

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