A recent letter-writer states that when he "looks at the current division of the Dolphin membership through the exclusion of lesbians in leadership positions and other strong-arm tactics, I realize division and not unity prevails as far as Bill Salicco is concerned." Mr. Doug Heusdens ("And the Parade [of Accusations] Goes On," Letters, August 20) knows not what he speaks about.
The current Dolphin Board consists of a president, vice president, treasurer, secretary, and 11 people on the board of directors, three of whom are women. I am proud to be one of those 11, and to state we have no lesbians in leadership positions is false!
What strong-arm tactics is Mr. Heusdens referring to? When acting on behalf of the Dolphin Democratic Club and as a sign of my respect to Bill Salicco's position as President, I do consult him before I act. I am currently a campaign advisor to school board candidate Barry Jay Warsch. Bill Salicco is personally supporting an opponent in this race. At no time has Bill Salicco or any other Dolphin member told me, persuaded me, or strong-armed me not to get involved in this campaign. I am a freethinker, as are all of my colleagues in the Dolphin leadership. We are unified in our goals to encourage political activism amongst our membership and in our goal of electing Democrats in the fall elections.
Perhaps if Mr. Heusdens would pay the membership dues and attend our meetings, he would see many of his fellow loyal -- and gay -- Democrats in action, unified to meet our mission statement as laid out in our bylaws.
Marc S. Dickerson, Board Member
Dolphin Democratic Club
Dateless in Boynton, yet Thankful
There, but for the grace of God, go I. Sure, we all feel sorry for those who are severely disabled, but I never thought about the emotional toll on cerebral palsy patients nor the isolation they feel ("Cutting the Healing," Paul Belden, August 13). The sadness I feel is compounded by my own inability to deal with the "appearance problem" pointed out by Ms. Savits. I didn't even want to read the article at first, but I'm glad I did. The rest of society contributes to the isolation of those people for that same reason.
I still feel reluctant to say I wish there were something I could do. However, I will never complain about being dateless or about the quality of my friends again. Thank you, Paul Belden, for showing me someone else's reality.
We'll Throw in Parsimonious and Penny-Pinching For Free
I read with amusement your "take" on my recent refusal to approve a city employee's request to travel to an out-of-state conference (Undercurrents, August 6). Unfortunately, you missed the big picture.
This city council -- which faces significant budget problems -- has determined that it will not allow taxpayers to foot the bill for out-of-state travel for city employees, except under rare circumstances. First, the employee must pay the plane fare, and second, the registration and hotel costs must be comparable to a similar conference in-state. In recent months we have been asked to approve travel requests that, for example, sought five days' per diem for three-day conferences -- in other words, attempts to take advantage of the taxpayers' generosity. (I'm sure you can figure out how I voted on those requests.) In Mr. Taylor's case, he asked to travel very early to Albuquerque to a conference at which, upon arrival that day, the only thing scheduled was golfing and a welcome reception. I wasn't impressed with that portion of his request.
Since this council was elected in March and began asking pointed questions about money matters that come before it, we have saved the residents of Wilton Manors thousands of dollars in unnecessary expenditures. And since I answer to the taxpayers and voters -- who continue to thank me for demanding accountability -- I will wear your badge of "pecuniary pettiness" with pride. Thanks for the moniker.
Joanne Fanizza, Council Member
City of Wilton Manors