Editorial: Letters to the Editor (Franco, Voting, , Bonds, Kazakos, Qualifications)

Editorial: Letters to the Editor (Franco, Voting, , Bonds, Kazakos, Qualifications)
October 31
00:00 2014

Valene Franco

To The Editor:

You, the citizens of Forsyth County, will determine which of our current candidates will serve our community.  I urge you to join me in casting one of those votes to elect Valene Franco as the next

District Court judge of Forsyth County.

In addition to having over 15 years of legal experience, Valene possesses the temperament, compassion, professionalism, and sense of fairness that will serve her well as our next District Court judge.

Valene is also hard-working, extremely intelligent, and she genuinely possesses a sincere desire to promote justice in our community through her service in our community. These qualifications come as no surprise to her colleagues.  In a survey concerning the judicial candidates for District Court Judge, which was voted on by the lawyers of Forsyth County, Valene received the highest rating of all the candidates in areas such as integrity, professionalism, and legal ability.

Over the past 10 years, I have personally observed Valene serve in our community in various capacities.  I have watched her serve our community as the president of the Winston-Salem Bar Association and the president of the Forsyth County Bar Association.

I have also watched her serve our community, while assisting the victims of domestic violence,  through her dedicated work as the Managing Family Law Attorney at Legal Aid of North Carolina.  She has also exemplified that commitment of service in our community through the work that she has performed on behalf of so many of our local non-profit organizations. However, I also eagerly anticipate the day when she is able to continue that service to our community in her role as our next district court judge.  I am not only proud to call Valene my colleague, but I am even more honored to call her my friend.  Please join me and vote for Valene Franco, my colleague and my friend, as the next district court judge of Forsyth County.

Frederick B. Adams II, attorney

Voting matters

To The Editor:

The November election is but a few days away, yet there are still those who are asking the question, “Why I should vote?” We can’t put another Obama in the White House again, so why vote?

We have so devalued our vote that it is seems more of an imposition that comes every two or four years, than the right we enjoy as citizens. When in actuality all elections have the power to impact our lives. We must know that if our vote were not of value others would not try to steal it from us as they have tried this past year.

Because of the power of elections, the Mazie Woodruff Center is now the only early voting site in the African American community. We have a restrictive state and national government, redistricting, the most restrictive voter suppression laws in the country, private school vouchers, sequester cuts, no Medicaid expansion, no unemployment extension and $500 million cut from public education. If we do not vote, all that is mentioned will be made permanent.

Over 100 years ago, Fredrick Douglas stated, “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will…. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.”
Simply stated, they allow what we allow. This statement encapsulates the midterm election of 2014. Our vote is our voice and we have the power to demand the change we want through our vote.

Chenita Johnson,

president, African American Caucus-Forsyth

Bonds have too many frills

To The Editor:

The New South Community Coalition (NSCC) thinks there is a pressing need for a “No Frills” Bond Referendum to deal with our city’s deteriorating infrastructure but also believes that the property tax burden should be kept within reason.

Unfortunately, the City of Winston-Salem’s Bond Referendum has way too many frills in an era of tight municipal budgets and will place an undue tax burden on the hardworking property owners of Winston-Salem. Consequently, the NSCC can only recommend supporting and voting for three out of the five bonds on the Bond Referendum: Transportation, Public Safety, and Housing Development.

Throughout the summer, the NSCC tried to engage the City Council about Bond Referendum projects that the NSCC had identified as not representing critical funding needs. The NSCC even sent a detailed report to the City Council highlighting identified projects that could be deleted to help reduce the property tax burden. The NSCC’s proposal would have reduced the Bond Referendum by $20.5 million, while still addressing all five bond areas of funding. Unfortunately, if all five bonds on the November ballot are approved and added to the already approved 2014 property tax increase, city taxpayers will see a combined 6.6% increase in their 2015 property taxes.

The NSCC hopes that each and every voter will think about the total impact of this Bond Referendum on their property taxes and will view this recommendation as a compromise approach and vote only for the Transportation, Public Safety, and Housing Development bonds.

Robert Leak III and Carolyn A. Highsmith

Ted Kazakos

To The Editor:

I am a senior at Salem College, and I have had the great pleasure of interning for Ted Kazakos since January 2014. As an aspiring member of the legal community, observing Ted work in and out of the courtroom is truly inspiring to me. He is extremely diligent and devoted and is the epitome of professionalism. I strongly believe that I have learned more through Ted’s guidance and instruction than I ever have in a classroom. He has become one of my greatest mentors, and because of Ted and his willingness to take me in and expose me to the every day job of an experienced prosecutor, I feel that I am beyond prepared for law school and entering the legal community.

Ted has not only greatly impacted my education but he has taken a leadership role within community education. He has coached homeschool students for a mock trial program, taught continuing legal education to colleagues, spoken to high school civics classes about the court system, is part of the mentor/mentee program at Wake Forest School of Law and has served as a judge for the BLSA (Black Law Students’ Association) trial competition practice at Wake Law.

Ted has an unmatched passion for what he does, and his personal definition of justice has been formed by countless hours inside of the courtroom. Ted possesses all of the traits that a judge should: he is objective, efficient, and honorable. I strongly believe that Ted Kazakos is the best choice for District
Court Judge.

Cydney Joyner

Vote for qualifications

To The Editor:

Unlike other elected positions, judges do not run as traditional Democrats or Republicans. Most voters get their information about judges from attorneys, but mostly from advertisements like billboards, radio ads, yard signs, banners, etc.

Thus the amount of money a candidate has to spend, or does not have (to), could impact the voting public’s perception. I address this because some have made the point to me that Valene Franco’s opponent has and is spending more money. Money does not have to rule. It only rules if we let it. Therefore, vote!

Valene is the most qualified. This is a simple fact. Twenty-five hundred attorneys surveyed in August of this year by the North Carolina Bar Association were asked to rank judicial candidates. Valene was rated the highest among District Court candidates in that survey of attorneys. Her opponent was rated third. So we have a choice, the number one-rated judicial candidate or the third-rated candidate.
Another more important element that factors into who should be a judge is the experience of the candidate. Valene has been in the legal arena longer, 12 years longer, and has a broader and more diverse set of experiences than her opponent. She has worked with and has knowledge of major social agencies and organizations that interact with those who come before the court.

Proven leadership is another important value. Valene Franco has a track record of leadership. Her support is broad based.

Now, let us go out and show everyone what really matters-qualifications, experience, leadership. VOTE!

Hazel Mack

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