Keep the focus on local issues

Lynchburg City Council has a history of moderate, thoughtful policy-making focused on results, not politics. That’s why most of us on City Council are elected independents, because we know that our job on council is to get the peoples’ local work done, not to engage in debates about state and national political issues. Our responsibility, as your elected representatives, is to work on the things that will move Lynchburg forward for all of us, like safe roads, clean drinking water and a vibrant economy.

Some on City Council would prefer that we take a different tack, that we get down into the partisan mud and fight over contentious issues beyond local control. We think this is unwise. Not because conversations about things like gun regulation, right-to-work laws and immigration aren’t important — they very much are — but because we know that they can only be resolved at the state and federal level, far beyond the limits of City Council’s legal and political authority. If we engage in these debates, not only will they be incredibly divisive for our community, they will distract from the critical local work that needs to get done.

Let us be clear: We’re not seeking to avoid challenging conversations — we just want to keep the conversations we do have at City Hall focused on what we can, and are legally empowered, to do here, in and for Lynchburg.

MARYJANE DOLAN

BEAU WRIGHT

Lynchburg

Editor’s note: Dolan represents Ward I on City Council and serves as vice mayor. Wright is an at-large member of council.

Listen to the people

To the elected members of Lynchburg City Council, at the last council meeting, Lynchburg residents raised concerns over new gun control laws being drafted in Richmond. We stayed late into the evening listening to our peers make a powerful case that these proposed laws are unambiguously in violation of our pre-political right to keep and bear arms. We were met by the majority refrain that City Council has no legal authority to stand against state legislative decisions.

With all due respect, this is categorically untrue.

The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of our land. It is the document that defines the authority granted by the people to every elected official down to the local level. As elected officials, the crux of your contract with the people who elected you is your duty to uphold the Constitution and to defend it from all threats foreign and domestic. That is the oath you swore to uphold.

The laws that have been proposed in Richmond constitute a clear domestic threat to our Constitution and a violation of the rights guaranteed in its Second Amendment.

Council members, the people Lynchburg have vested in you the power to defend our Constitution from this threat. We now ask that you stand with us, exercise that power with the intent for which it was granted to you, and ensure that the right to keep and bear arms is not infringed in the City of Lynchburg.

DAMIAN MILLER

Forest

Cry of ‘foul’ not justified

I write in response to “card-carrying Republican” and “concerned citizen” Rick Edwards’ cry of foul about process issues (“Needed: a few profiles in courage,” Dec. 18).

Edwards posed the question, “Where there are no rules or constitutional direction regarding process, shouldn’t precedence determine process?” Absolutely not! The House majority runs the process show. What a different majority did 20 years ago is irrelevant.

Career diplomats and decorated war heroes, (Fiona Hill, Amb. Bill Taylor, Col. Eric Vindmann) all testified to an illegal attempt by President Trump to have a foreign power investigate a political rival. These are fact witnesses with direct knowledge of Trump’s scheme. Add to that, Trump, on the South Lawn of the White House, told the world that China and Ukraine should investigate former Vice President Joe Biden. Not corruption, not claims of Ukrainian interference in 2016 election, but Biden.

Edwards brings up “persecution” of Paul Manafort by Democrats in 2016. Well, Manafort sits in jail, waiting for convicted felons Mike Flynn, Rick Gates and George Papadopoulos to join him; all of whom committed their crimes while working on the Trump campaign. How could any process issues negate these facts and first-hand testimony?

LARRY GRAVELY

Lynchburg

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