In defense of her father
To the editor:
As I am sitting here at college reading the Salem News online, I could not help but take note of one article in particular.
Nathan Walker claimed he is not Mike Halleck, listing reasons such as he does not "hang out at the Golf Club" and he does not "feel comfortable in a suit and tie." I found it ironic that Mr. Walker was in fact wearing a suit in the photo enclosed in this article, but my letter is not intended to be an attack on Mr. Walker. My letter is about who Mike Halleck really is. After all, he is my father.
My first vivid memory of my father's political career was when he ran for Congress against Mr. Ted Strickland in 2002. I was roughly 10 years old then, so the details of the campaign were somewhat irrelevant to me. Not only was he running for a Congressional seat, but he was also taking classes at Youngstown State and raising me.
How he balanced all of these with such poise is still a mystery to me, but he did it. Though he did not win this race, he showed me the true meaning of strength and to never give up on something you believe in.
Today, I am 21 years old. Thus, I understand the issues my dad faces every day being county commissioner. He is very much a black and white individual: he has no problem telling you what he thinks. And that is one of my favorite qualities about my father. Though you may not like him, you must respect him.
I would challenge anyone reading this to find something Mike Halleck has lied to you about. He has taught me that being honest is the best policy, no matter what the consequences are. For those of you who know the relationship between my father and I, you know that there are no secrets kept.
My father has taught me that you must be the change you wish to see in the world. He is my inspiration in life, which is why I will be graduating Ashland University this winter with a political science degree. I am so proud to say I am following in his footsteps, although they will be big shoes to fill.
This letter was not intended to sway anyone's opinion of my father, but to give you a glimpse of the man he really is. I think that sometimes people overlook the true character of a person when they hear the word "politics" associated with their name, and that is not how it should be. If you have never had a conversation with my dad, I encourage you to.
He is an intelligent, honest, hard working, and loving human being who possesses all of the qualities any man should. As you are all reading this letter for the first time, so is my dad, so I just wanted to tell him how proud I am of him and how much he is loved. I am very blessed to call you my father.
Responds to candidate
To the editor:
The top headline in a newspaper (Feb. 6) read: "A Marked Man." This was attributed to Democrat County Commissioner candidate Nathan Walker's characterization of sitting County Commissioner Mike Halleck.
The article on Walker was full of personal attacks against Mr. Halleck, suggesting that while Halleck was a "suit and tie guy," Mr. Walker was just a "common man." He is common all right. Real common.
For somebody professing to be "not comfortable" in a coat and tie, why did Walker submit a photo of himself in a coat and tie? Talk about hypocrisy.
Walker went on to criticize the current Board of Commissioners for not doing anything about a Port Authority board member who had resigned from the port board but yet secretly continued to serve and be paid. Supposedly, the port executive director "did not know" about this.
In fact, it was the Board of Commissioners that uncovered it, Mr. Walker. Do your homework.
It might further disappoint Mr. Walker to know that the port board member in question was a Democrat and was appointed by a Democrat-controlled board of commissioners. Gee, was that Halleck's fault, too?
It all Mr. Walker can spew is the drivel that he gets from his good friend and political advisor, disgraced former County Recorder Craig Brown, then this will be an interesting campaign indeed. Did Craig Brown write your press release, Mr. Walker?
Frankly, it is Mr. Walker that is "the marked man" ... marked by misinformation, marked by a basic ignorance of county government, and marked by poor manners.
He would be better off advancing something positive about his own candidacy than offering up the personal attacks and innuendo of a neophyte politico.
Larry Long Jr.,
Rails against CAA
To the editor:
It is with a heavy heart I write this letter.
For many years I have sought to support Community Action Agency of Columbiana County by utilizing the medical facilities at the East Liverpool and Lisbon Community Health Care Centers. I have been a paying client with private insurance for more than 10 years.
I was sad when Dr. Ahmed resigned which was several years ago, however I continued the course and was pleased with Nurses, Nikki and Sara.
In January of 2013 I had an office visit and provided secondary insurance information proving dual coverage.
In May of 2013 I had an appointment and in December of 2013 I received a bill for services from May in the amount of $155. I telephoned both of my insurance companies and discovered that on the primary insurance the bill was not coded properly and the secondary insurance as not billed.
I have not paid the bill as of this date and I will, if indeed I owe it. I am a paying client with private insurance.
I am sending this letter to Carol Bretz as she is the executive director of CAA since there are a few more things I'd like to share from my personal experience with the centers.
1. Please visit the East Liverpool and Lisbon locations, they really are not clean, especially in the waiting areas, the walls and chairs are not sanitary. This is not overnight this is months of not cleaning. Actually the exam rooms aren't all that clean.
2. There is no privacy when checking in or out, you should consider a different set up, the most recent appointment I had there was a lady beside me that knew my business since I and the lady beside me was advised that my service was not covered under my insurance and if I paid that day I would receive a 20 percent discount. Therefore I did pay that day. (How about a discount on the $155 if it's found that I owe that as well?)
3. Upon Dr. Ahmed resigning I have not been seen by a doctor and only the nurses (I have no issues personally with the nurses but I do think that on an EOB it listed a Dr. Cola and when I called billing to question this I was advised that an appointment could be set up for me to see a doctor.
4. My most recent and I am telling you my last visit, I will not be back and I will not recommend private or Medicaid insured people that I know to support these centers for the reasons I've listed.
5. I think the person (s) in charge have become complacent this is why you have such a high turnover and your key people are leaving. I think the writing is on the wall. I hope I'm wrong for the sake of the people who don't know any better and continue to be clients.
VICKI L. WATSON-SMITH,