Path a waste of money

The Nov. 23 newspaper outlined the City’s plans to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to build a 1.46 mile hiking path through a portion of the city. This would be the first leg of a multi-million-dollar trail stretching from New Albany to Bedford. I believe this would be a waste of our taxes for numerous reasons, which I lack the room to set forth in this article.

For years I, and numerous others, living near Grant Line Road and Charlestown Road, along Slate Run Creek and its tributaries, have pleaded with the City to make serious improvements to stormwater runoff. The City has ignored us and has done nothing of consequence to reduce the runoff, and the problem continues to grow as more and more land is developed in this area. Already, hundreds of thousands of dollars of land has been lost and numerous homes threatened. Very soon, we can expect one of those 6” to 12” rains like those that have flooded eastern Kentucky and numerous other areas this year. When that happens, people will ask why our City leaders chose to spend our taxes on a hiking path instead of preparing for an inevitable disaster.

Dennis Feiock, New Albany

Social Security operations in crisis

As the federal agency serving society’s most vulnerable, the Social Security Administration should be on the forefront of making its services more accessible and convenient. It should also be making the SSA program solvent for future generations.

Instead, the agency is in crisis. Right now, Social Security operates with 4,000 fewer field office and teleservice center employees than it did 12 years ago. The current workforce of less than 60,000 is a 25-year low, even as the number of beneficiaries has increased by more than 10 million. To make things worse on America’s seniors, SSA and Congress continue to raise the full retirement age.

A recent Social Security employee survey of AFGE Council 220, for whom I serve as Indiana local president, found that nearly half the workforce plan to leave the agency within the next year. One key sticking point: SSA’s refusal to adopt a sensible telework policy that benefits both civil service workers and taxpayers.

The American public deserves the best bang for their taxpayer dollars. Americans pay into Social Security and deserve an SSA that is fully staffed and funded so that the public can be served timely and accurately. SSA employees deserve telework options just like most of the modern world. And SSA needs to be made solvent for future generations, but not on the backs of our seniors by continuing to raise the full retirement age.

More constituents need to demand answers from SSA and Congress about these issues.

Amad Ali, president of Local 3571, American Association of Federal and Government Employees, New Albany

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