Instead, Wisconsin citizens recognized Walker's achievements: turning a $3 billion deficit into a surplus; lowering property taxes for the first time in 12 years; hiring 35,000 new workers; eliminating mandatory union membership; and more — in just two years. Even 38 percent of union members voted for the governor.
Nicholas O'Dell, Phoenixville
Recall was inappropriate
I do not agree with what Gov. Scott Walker did when he took away some bargaining rights for state employees, but he did not deserve to be recalled. Recall, which is not allowed in Pennsylvania, was meant to be used as an alternative to impeachment, which is very political when used against a governor or president. Recall allows the people to circumvent the legislature by removing a person by referendum. As much as I dislike Walker's actions, they were not impeachable offenses and he rightly will be allowed to finish his term. The people who wanted him removed need to either elect Democrats to control the state legislature or defeat Walker for reelection.
Rich DiFelice, Havertown
Convention Center's labor problems
Great article about labor problems at the Convention Center ("Hoteliers fault labor on convention bookings," Sunday). Union leaders Pat Gillespie and Don Coryell both say they have no knowledge of complaints, yet officials from True Value have publicly stated that the reason they are not returning is problems with the labor force. It's admirable for these guys to stand up for their members, but they also have to face facts and rectify the situation if they expect to continue providing work for the men at the center. This has been going on for years. I faced similar problems as an exhibitor at the old convention center.
It's time for everyone concerned to start doing their jobs in a professional manner. Most trade union workers are proud professionals, and they should not let the bad apples ruin things for them or the city.
Mike Krakovitz, Drexel Hill, firstname.lastname@example.org
Reduce cost of city government
The editorial "Pain's inevitable, but be fair" (Sunday) wrongly calls on the city's job providers to once again pay more in taxes. Regrettably, Philadelphia's tax rates on employers are substantially higher than those of other major cities and nearby suburban municipalities, making it difficult to compete in attracting and retaining businesses.
We remain concerned that Philadelphia's unemployment rate persists at 10.3 percent, above the national average. We believe this should prompt policymakers to seek ways to spur job creation, not increase costs on small businesses. Between April 2011 and April 2012, our region added only 15,900 private-sector jobs, an increase of just 0.67 percent.
Commercial real estate accounts for about 43 percent of the real estate taxes collected in the city. Many pieces of commercial real estate, particularly in neighborhood commercial corridors, will soon face a substantial increase in taxes. Current proposals to raise the use-and-occupancy tax would further hurt family-sustaining small businesses.
This is the third spring in a row where we face a difficult budget debate and are solely focused on the revenue side to address it. We would encourage City Council to consider how to reduce the cost of government to free up revenue for priority needs such as public education.
Rob Wonderling, president and CEO, Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce