Letter to the Editor

Letters to the editor

Friday, January 21, 2005

Debate vs. personal attack

Dear editor:

It is with great reluctance that I write this letter critical of a man whom I've held in high regard, but I have been asked by a number of people to do so. I am reminded of the old adage, "I can't hear what you're saying because what you're doing is making so much noise." Thursday's Nevada Daily Mail featured a letter from our senior community leader, Franklin Norman. The letter addressed Joe Kraft's recent speech to the City Council, and I agree with everything that Mr. Norman wrote.

But, I must expand on his comments. Mr. Kraft accused Parks Director, Carol Branham, of what, if true, would be malfeasance in office for not maintaining the Community Center.

In doing so he has impugned the professional integrity of one of the finest public servants, as well as one of the best people I have ever known. To call into question Carol's integrity and honesty is as outrageous as it is despicable. He owes Ms. Branham an apology.

In addition, Mr. Kraft seems to have a vendetta against City Manager Craig Hubler. Mr. Hubler is a seasoned professional and can take care of himself without anyone's help; however, the city staff is another story. The rank and file employees appear to feel bullied and terrified of Mr. Kraft and his cronies.

This is not a solitary opinion as a number of people have made the same observation. This obviously doesn't contribute to a healthy and productive work environment.

The honest debate of issues is vital for a vibrant community. Personal attacks on the participants do nothing more than call into question the motives of the purveyor of such.

Joe Kraft has a legacy of impressive accomplishments for the betterment of Nevada.

Sadly, that reputation and legacy is going up in flames faster than a discarded Christmas tree in January. Failed business ventures, frivolous lawsuits, expensive audits, angry Web sites, and now questioning the motives of our public servants -- these are not the foundation for a statue on the courthouse lawn.

Mr. Kraft should keep in mind another appropriate saying, "It's hard to get ahead while you're trying to get even."

--John J. Flynn