Sunday letters to the editor

Retirees help

Dear Editor:

To members of the Arkansas Teachers’ Retirement System:

More than 80 retired local education staff attended the September 16 meeting of the Garland County Retired Teachers Association (GCRTA) at the Garland County Library. The speaker represents the Arkansas Retired Teachers Association’s Medicare Division; GCRTA is a branch of ARTA. Provide information about changes to the employee benefits section of the retired school employee insurance policy, changes that were made last spring and caused a lot of confusion and panic among the ranks of those receiving EBD health care.

The state encourages members to switch to Medicare Advantage and has made the new provider the default provider in switching in place of retirees who are currently retired. In other words, the retired employee must “opt out” from the new plan. To maintain their current policy, which most are satisfied with, retirees must download a form during October and send it back to the state in November. For many retirees, it may be the word download in a foreign language. For those who cannot and have no one to help, the simple task of keeping the insurance they have and are happy with it will end up being transferred to a Medicare Advantage plan where they may not be able to see providers they have seen in the past and have to navigate a new area of ​​contributions and billing that will be confusing. Of course, the Advantage plan is less expensive, but it will not provide the coverage that retirees currently enjoy. The list of exceptions alone in the policy book may be paused. The company has assured retirees that they can get off the grid – if they are willing to make their own claims and if those claims are accepted.

GCRTA provides assistance to retirees who are currently under current insurance and would like to stay on but need assistance. GCRTA members will be in the library on October 14th at 9am. We’ll download the form for you, help you fill it out, and put it in a sealed envelope to mail immediately on November 1. Teachers and all school staff, please pay attention to retirees who do not have email, do not read the newspaper on their iPad, and only have the letter the EBD sent in July to explain this change. Connect with those in assisted living communities and nursing homes and help them maintain what they have come to rely on as an excellent healthcare policy. And for all of us at ATRS and EBD, and all of our legislators, this process has been wrong from the moment it was introduced. We did not stay in education because of the large salaries, but we benefited from the good supervision of ATRS. So far… a shame, a shame.

Golden Lloyd

Former President, GCRTA

Brenda Size

Vice President of GCRTA

rubber stamp

Dear Editor:

I sympathize with local employer Dragan Vicentic about the recent tax assessment of his business, which has been assessed at a 27.5% increase since 2020. The assessment was conducted by Arkansas CAMA Technologies, which also appears to operate under the acronym ACT. An important note to all Garland County taxpayers is that the ACT, or whatever name they operate under, is a private entity that the county subcontracts. You will not be obligated at any time to allow them to enter or enter your property for evaluation purposes. Vicentic did his homework, correctly noting that a property of roughly similar size less than half a mile from him, owned by the Oaklawn Racing Casino, was valued at a much lower rate. I don’t know how long Mr. Vicentic has lived or worked in Hot Springs, but he will learn soon enough, that when it comes to dealing with the city, O’Clock must play by different rules.

Which begs the question: Like so many other things, why would the county contract out a private for-profit organization to do the job we’re supposed to pay county employees to do? According to the article, ACT claims that over a five-year period, the value of property in Garland County increased from $8.9 billion to $12.9 billion. which, having been designated by the county, would benefit them and the county by appraising the higher values, while penalizing the property owners.

I wasn’t aware until I read the article that Garland County has an “equivalency panel,” which appears to be the first step in challenging a property tax assessment. It would be interesting to see what Equation Board members Real Estate and Property Appraisal background Brenda Short, Rodney Bottoms, Larry Griffin and Sean Eds have on their resumes. Based on the responses in the September 17 article, I suspect it’s nothing more than a rubber stamp for the ACT assessment.

Once the landlord’s appeal is rejected, the homeowner can then take the matter to court before a judge, and then appeal that to a higher court, which most homeowners do not. I would urge all Garland County residents to resume their assessments if, as Mr. Vicentic did, they feel the property tax increases are excessive. connect the court system; Otherwise, they will continue these increased assessments on behalf of the county in an effort to get more and more taxpayer funding.

Like many other letter writers, as a taxpayer, I don’t mind paying as long as I see my money going toward something. But the state of our city streets, the crumbling infrastructure of our drainage systems, and pet projects that benefit the 1% of citizens have made me believe that my tax money only goes to crony jobs and bloated contracts for private companies like the ACT that only serve the city government, not the city’s citizens.

Anthony Lloyd

hot springs

Faces Foundation ‘Thank you’

Dear Editor:

On behalf of the Faces Foundation, Dr. Daron Preetzel and Ernie Haines would like to thank all of the individuals, businesses, and community organizations that supported this year’s Dresses & Boots Ball fundraising event. Special thanks to our sponsors and volunteers, without whom this record-breaking evening would not have been possible.

An event like this cannot come to fruition without community involvement and we would like to thank groups and individuals including: Todd Green, Reliance Bank, Bob Edmonds, Larry Wilson, Dorothy Morris, Dr. Ethan Irwin, Smile Hot Springs, John Hovel, Aspire Wealth, Dr. and Mrs. Earl and Susan Pappe, Porter Dental, Zeiser Wealth Management, Justin Niklas and Gross Home, Tim and Mary Metcalfe and McGraw Realtors, Roger Crawford and Amy Waltraut and “Shop Your CBD”, Brandon Bucket and Stress Wash from Buckett, Brad and Stacey Hudgens , John and Sarah Reginhardt, John Grant, Jim and Jane Randall, Caroline Russell, Les Warren and Hot Springs, The Kanopsek Family, Dr. Ross Atkinson, Dr. David Peppers, Chris and John Huddon, Marietta Tucker, Community First Trust, Vance Dobyns, Phil Kastner and Knollwood Lodge, Josh Gossage and Saint Sebastian’s Archery Co. , Dale Horn and Horn’s Outdoors, Signature Events and Double C Entertainment.

The evening was highlighted by some of the best culinary offerings available anywhere in the state. Special thanks to the chefs and restaurants for providing a wonderful selection of delicacies to the attendees. Our thanks go to Chef Rosario, Personal Chef and Catering in Rosario, Chef Andrew Disney and Volt, Chef Joe and Benny Gargano, The Porterhouse, Chef Josh Garland, Best Café, Chef Dave and Amanda Westenhouse Killer, Brandy Clay and Sugar Momma Kakiri.

Our sincere appreciation to our honorable sponsors for this event. Thank you to Scott Dews, First Security Bank, Anita Cabe, and the Cabe Foundation for your continued care and contributions to the Foundation. The level of support from Lara Pranter of Lara’s Jewelry & Design, the Bradley family, and Crystal Ridge Distillery is immeasurable and very much appreciated. The incredible support I’ve received from Suellen Hales is immeasurable and has been a contributing factor to the overall record of the gowns and shoes events. Thank you Solin.

We extend well-deserved recognition to our volunteers. An event like this cannot be organized and implemented without people willing to turn an idea into a successful fundraising event. Due to their dedication, input, hard work and general willingness to devote many hours of their time to the Game of Dresses & Boots Ball, it has become one of the most desired affairs to attend every year. Thank you to this wonderful group of volunteers for sharing your “brain and back” for Faces and helping us with “Change Lives One Face at a Time.” Thank you to Aaron Varney, Diamond Networks, Vance Dobyns, Vicki Hinz, Rollin Caristianos, Jared Zeiser, Steve Fulenwider, Sean Coakley, Sherry Vaughn, Trudy Hoskins, and a special thank you to Jennifer Vaughn-Varney for her willingness to take on so many key responsibilities The main catalyst for the overall success of the event.

Thanks to all the community members who helped make this happen.

Faces Foundation

Dr.. Daron Bratzel

Ernie Haines

lack of common sense

Dear Editor:

Mr. Navarrete, you are clearly not a journalistic investigator. As a detective, you’ll make Inspector Clouseau look like Sherlock Holmes. Did you get your facts from Twitter?

The Republican Party used to be pro-immigrant? We are still only against illegal immigrants. Do you see us protesting against legal immigration? Trade is still pro-freedom, but not just with the countries that have played our part for decades. Not a pro-cop? Who is protesting the suspension of police funding? Imagine you are referring to January 6th. Have you seen a video showing a BLM leader inside the Capitol? Do you really think he was there alone? He brought with him many white members. Anyone can have a MAGA hat and banners. Did you see the protesters entering the Capitol by the Capitol Police? “Come to my parlor said the spider to fly.” I haven’t seen the Confederate flag at any Trump rally, but, unfortunately, a giant flag in the Capitol. Apparently all of this was orchestrated by Pelosi, the D.C. mayor and the Capitol to check Democrats’ anti-Trump talking points. Not to mention killing an unarmed woman for no reason at all.

All about winning the election? Otherwise how do you change things? Are you saying that the Democrats don’t care about winning the election? Would you call MAGA a mob but not BLM and ANTIFA? You say you are not a Democrat or an MP, which means that you are too brave to choose a side.

More than two million undocumented immigrants have crossed our borders, and we all know that their rate of survival depends on hardworking American taxpayers. Is this a supervisor? Joe Biden is just a puppet of the radical left tearing our country apart. Please use some common sense in future columns.

Daniel Griffith

hot springs

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