Harley-McClaskey cares for all

My husband and I moved here almost four years ago, and one of the first people we met was Debbie Harley-McClaskey.

As an educator, I felt an immediate connection to Debbie, as she and I share the belief that a quality public education is a top priority for every community. Right away I saw that Debbie is her own person with strong beliefs about people — that all people deserve to be treated with dignity and respect; that all people’s voices deserve to be heard; that people should always come first.

She deeply cares about people — all people — and brings people together. Debbie’s caring has helped us feel at home here.

I found Debbie to be passionate about her service to Johnson City. She is well-informed about local issues and believes in win-win solutions. She believes in supporting local entrepreneurs as well as investing in neighborhoods. In conversations, she listens carefully and responds thoughtfully.

Debbie will serve as a Johnson City commissioner with integrity and transparency. Vote for Debbie Harley-McClaskey because your voice deserves to be heard.

KATHY CARR

Telford

Masks aren’t a political issue

I wanted to thank those at the JC Schools Board of Education meeting on Oct. 12 who ensured that common sense and the safety of students and teachers prevailed. They showed by their words and actions that they truly care about the continued health and well-being of the students and faculty members.

On the other hand, I was disgusted by those who spoke out against the mask mandate, especially the physicians — one of whom appears to be associated with Ballad Health. That was particularly shocking and disturbing as, in the current trend of rapidly increasing COVID-19 cases, you have the region’s health system begging us all to wear masks while one of their doctors is urging the opposite!

While I agree that masks are not a cure-all, they have been proven to limit the spread of COVID-19. I fail to see why these doctors and parents would want to put the children and teachers at unnecessary risk for the sake of some imagined infringement of freedom.

Freedom to do what, exactly? Infect everybody? I could understand if the only one being hurt by not wearing a mask was the individual themselves, because if you want to expose yourself to a deadly illness then that is your business, right? But that isn’t the case with COVID-19; you aren’t just hurting yourself. If you refuse to wear a mask in public you are unnecessarily placing everyone around you in danger of being infected as COVID-19 does not discriminate, and it is astounding at the amount of people who seem to be unable or unwilling to grasp that concept!

Stop making the mask a political issue and start seeing it for the public health benefit that it is and has been since the beginning!

SHAUN HATTON

Johnson City

Harshbarger is a real Republican

Diana Harshbarger is the “real deal” with a heart true to the Republican Party! I admire the fact that she is willing to give of her time, energy, and financial resources to serve us in the U.S. Congress from East Tennessee, District 1.

It is time for all Republicans to come together and support her, the first Republican woman to ever win! And what a tribute to women during our 100th year celebration of women’s suffrage.

I will quote her former pastor, Dr. Phil Hoskins, where she taught Sunday School for over 20 plus years: “She is the most Godly woman I know!” He went on to say how much she has supported the work of the church and traveled with him and others in mission work, serving others abroad as well as here locally.

It is refreshing to see young people and those who have never been involved in the political arena, come to the forefront with a willingness to serve. They see the need to be involved, and I applaud their efforts. We must, as a nation, state, and district come together as Republicans, else the far left wins. The “far left” stick together as we have seen these past three years, along with some of those “so-called Republicans” who demonstrated a lack of judgment and principles to our Republican Party.

I wish there could be bipartisan working together as in the past, however, those days seem to be over. It has come down to good versus evil, freedom versus communism.

The primary is over, and now is the time to show good character, be a “true” Republican and vote for the Republican ticket. It is imperative that we do!

ANITA HODGES TAYLOR

Johnson City