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Letters: Roe is afraid of his constituents

Johnson City Press • Updated Aug 10, 2018 at 7:10 AM

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Panic, not paying attention

You don't have to look much further than the online comments about his recent Press interview to get a strong indication what local folks think of Phil Roe's campaign slogan, “People Not Politics.” He stressed and defended his "accessibility" to constituents. Apparently politically aware folks aren't buying it. Count me in.

His few physical town halls (he prefers the electronic call-in ones) are like entering an armed camp. The last one held in Elizabethton seemed to have practically every local law enforcement officer on site, judging by the number of police cars in the parking lot and oppressive number of officers in the building. Having to go through individual inspection before being able to take a seat with women having to open their purses for the officers to inspect was, to say the least, disconcerting. From all appearances, Roe is afraid of his constituents. After his official announcement, which he felt was "marred" by about 50 folks peacefully protesting his support of Trump's ill-considered, and patently cruel, family-separation policy, Roe more than hinted he felt himself in danger and had to be escorted out a side door by the Chief of Police. That wasn't just bizarre. It was a lie. The crowd was in no way threatening.

Do I believe Mr. Roe "probably will" agree to debate his Democrat opponent, Dr. Marty Olsen? I do not. At least not without an extensive armed contingency to protect his exalted presence. In the recent debate with Roe absent, both Democrat Olsen and Republican Todd McKinley, Roe's primary opponent, tried to always be gracious, but couldn't help but mock our present representative, in promising very different practices should one of them be honored to serve the 1st District.

MARION GROVER
Johnson City

What’s the holdup?

Would someone please tell me what is going on with the construction at the corner or Skyline Drive and State of Franklin Road?

My mom lives off of Skyline, and I have been going to visit her for the last few years. That construction site is a big, fat joke of a waste of taxpayer money. It took less time to build the Taj Mahal.

Now I go through and there is absolutely NOTHING getting done. What is the problem? Whoever is in charge of that mess needs to be shown the door. How much did it cost? What is the completion date? How far over budget is it? Should I apply for the job of traffic engineer or city planning?

The sad fact is that Johnson City just got overwhelmed with people, businesses and traffic. At some point, you have to come to the realization that the area cannot support anymore expansion and tell people no. We don't have room for your new Food City.

The same thing has happened here in Bristol, Va. They built the Falls shopping center without realizing that the roads would have to be upgraded. So now you have the Falls trying to open and make money while traffic has to be diverted while they make a new road to even get in there.

Are these type of construction sites paid by the job or by the amount of days, weeks, months and years that are spent on them? My guess would be the latter. It's like saying, "I will paint your house for one hundred dollars a day, but I can't really tell you how long it will take." Few people would be dumb enough to say OK, sign me up. But apparently ole J.C. is one of those people.

MARTY LOWRY
Bristol, Va.

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