No shining example

The city of Waco’s reason for terminating Robert Pearson’s shoeshine stand at Waco Regional Airport [“Longtime airport shoeshine stand gets the boot,” Tommy Witherspoon, Sept. 17] sounds like a load of poo. Mr. Pearson has been a familiar face at the airport for 14 years. He welcomed people who come to Waco as tourists and greeted those flying out of the terminal. Joel Martinez, Waco Regional Airport director, and City Hall obviously didn’t know they had a real Waco ambassador at their facility. My husband and I fly out of the Waco airport several times a year. Mr. Pearson added real-life personality to our less-than-exciting airport terminal.

If the powers-that-be believe they can replace Mr. Pearson with a brand-name coffee café, they clearly don’t understand the nature of people. Mr. Martinez and the city’s argument for a “revenue-generating department” cannot replace the warmth or friendliness of Mr. Pearson’s smile and welcome. People arrive at our airport tired and weary. Finding a smile and someone who is nice and helpful is worth more than money. Shame on all of you for putting dollars over human comfort.

Donna M. Myers, Waco

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I haven’t been to Waco Regional Airport in a number of years. However, as a resident of Waco, I hereby formally apologize to Mr. Pearson for the way he has been treated by the powers at City Hall. I’ve said for years you can’t give a civil servant any power as sometimes he or she promptly loses all common sense! Yes, very few shoes nowadays need shining. However, having a shoeshine stand adds a little class to a small, otherwise undistinguished city airport.

To Mr. Pearson, I can only convey my sincere thanks for your 14 years of service. Hopefully common sense will one day return to airport management and City Hall. Unfortunately, it will be too late to benefit Mr. Pearson and the many friends he has made of clientele putting their best foot forward.

Franklin D. Choate, Waco

Rates skyrocketingThe 2019 Waco water and sanitation rates have increased 25% for the same exact usage amounts in 2018. Really? I compared the billing details and I recommend you do the same. Waco does not have a water shortage. Water and sanitation are public service obligations of the city, but the Waco City Council is using it to increase revenue instead. Why? Because they can! It’s extortion, just like increasing our real estate taxes 10% a year. Remember, in all respects, all city revenues automatically increase proportionately with population increases because more are paying in.

Ron Forrest, Waco

EDITOR’S NOTE: Just for completeness’ sake, the Trib reported in great detail in July that rate increases were coming, in part due to repair and replacement of aging waterline infrastructure as well as expenses such as landfill improvements. And Gov. Greg Abbott in June signed Republican legislation to provide property-tax relief in coming years.

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