I was interested in the excuse the City of Ottawa has for bringing the city out farther. What a crock.

More or better fire protection? Youíre joking right? We have some of the best rural firefighters around and they know where to go and fastest way to get there. City firefighters are good ó for town fires.

As for police protection? Now that is a laugh and half. Have you read the paper and seen the break-ins around town? How about thefts from business owners? We have a business on the north end of town and are constantly getting broken into and stuff stolen. We call the police and they come up then say, ďWell, thatís too bad, but we canít do much.Ē

Not long ago, we were broke into and had a piece of evidence left behind by thieves ó with fingerprints all over. Not one fingerprint was lifted from the sight, and the police were told who owned the piece left behind. Not one thing was done. No one talked to the people who owned the item left behind. And they broke in again three days later.

The police are spread so thin now they canít cover north and south ends at the same time. The only way to do that is hire more officers. Know what that means? More officers, more cars and more taxes to pay for them.

Theyíve already told us here on east K-68 they want a business park. Why? They have plenty of spaces in the industrial park they canít fill. How are you going to put a business on land that has large, high-pressure gas lines on it? You canít build on top of them. Youíve got land out there by Jim Tawney Auto Center and a gas station that was supposed to be used for these kinds of businesses. That was supposed to have happened three years ago. But the planning and building offices, lead by Wynndee Lee, made those people back out.

I know people who talked of putting in a grocery store on the north side of town, but they were told the north end wouldnít support a store. Just more rubbish.

How many of the city and county commissioners have lived in the country? Ever try keeping livestock in without barbed wire? We moved out here 40 years ago to get out of town and city restrictions, now the city gestapo wants to regulate what we do with land that should be none of their concern. They didnít pay for our land or to put our utilities in. They wonít even come pick up stray dogs who are a menace to our livestock and children. They just say bring the dogs in. Bull tacos on that. Ever try to put a dog in a car while itís trying to bite you?

Why donít you stop at I-35 and on the east, the new center on south U.S. 59 and leave the west side alone? Period.

Iíll tell you why ó more revenue for the city. I feel like our county commissioners have sold us all down the river. Ottawa is not the place I grew up in.

And what about kids in 4-H who have all kinds and numbers of animals? What are you going to do next? Tell farmers how much and what they can plant? Lord help us all when city folks tell them what they can and canít do.

The city is just going too far for the almighty dollar.

People, you need to stand up and speak out, because if you donít, the government ó city, county and state ó are going to take over and leave you no voice in anything said or done.

First, we need to take back our city and county. Tell the politicians enough is enough. Tell them they work for you; they donít rule you.

ó Shirley Coffman, Ottawa