Wasted county taxes

As reported by Trib staff writer Cassie L. Smith, the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office reported spending $572,000 in overtime pay for added security during the first Twin Peaks trial. This showcase trial, which District Attorney Abel Reyna said he longed to try, ended in a mistrial. And while deputies in their new cowboy hats were most impressive, all of this security was probably overzealous and unnecessary. I am glad authorities are “reassessing” security needs before the next scheduled Twin Peaks trial — one of possibly more than a hundred future such trials — not to mention the many more re-trials that will surely follow.

It’s important to remember this is only a portion of total expenditures involved in one trial. This appears to be a negligent expenditure of the tax revenue the citizens of our county are increasingly expected to pay to fund budgets we have little or no control over. County officials continue spending without responsibility or accountability while our property taxes become an ever-increasing burden on everyone. It looks like our county can benefit from electing more than just a new district attorney. A new sheriff and county tax assessor are also in order. I hope we don’t forget when we are again in the voting booth.

Bo Chumak, Eddy

Jerusalem or bust

I have seen two news articles in your newspaper from the Associated Press regarding recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel. Both contained more opinion than facts.

The Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 was passed by Congress in 1995 with a Senate vote of 93-5 in favor and a House vote of 374-37 in favor. Thus, you have had a concurrence of senators and representatives in favor of official movement of the embassy to Jerusalem. President Trump didn’t just get up one morning and decide to cause a ruckus.

Since Congress recognized they do not make foreign policy, they included in the legislation a limit on appropriation of State Department building funds to be used overseas. The limit on that and on the required date of recognition and building the embassy in Jerusalem (May 31, 1999) could be extended by the president in signing a waiver and informing Congress every six months.

Well, that was done by all presidents since that time and every six months the waiver was submitted. Many of those presidents campaigned on the fact that they would move the embassy to Jerusalem. President Obama campaigned on doing so but continued to sign the waivers every six months, never doing what he promised to do.

President Trump campaigned on doing so and actually did what he said he would do. Too bad the Associated Press couldn’t inform their readers of how things actually work. Wasn’t it President Obama who said “words matter”?

Stephen Williams, Hewitt