Letters for October 8, 2009

Happy worker bees

Re “Turnover” (News, Oct. 1):

As an employee of the Reno DMV, I found the article about “disaffected state employees” full of hearsay, all over the place and highly biased. Many of those “30 year people” chose to retire prior to the end of the fiscal year because the benefit package has since been restructured to address the financial crisis. Also, while it may be true that the morale is poor, this has been the case for years. The reasons are complex and vary statewide. I can only speak to the issues at the DMV. It never goes well when we tell the citizens of Nevada the fees for many of our services have gone up to cover the budget shortfall. Under the former director, Ginny Lewis plus her numbers 1 and 2, Clay Thomas and Thomas Fronapfel, the attitude from above was, “I will talk and you will listen.” This team was responsible for driving out a manager who had worked her way up through the years to the position and had no qualms about getting in the trenches with her staff. This trio hired two inferior choices to manage Reno in a row. The first was not mature enough for the position. The second, and current appointment, knows barely any of what we do and is prone to cursing on the line, in view of the public. Both govern through cronyism and power tripping and good old fashioned intimidation. Fronapfel, along with Lewis and Thomas, aligned themselves with both managers early and gave them the run of the place. The current boss is a professional at blowing off the concerns of the workers. It’s been disastrous and it has resulted in many valid grievances. My guess is that Fronapfel’s firing was the result of his incompetence at handling one of the most productive locations in the state. We are encouraged by the fact that Edgar Roberts and his deputy director Farrokh Hormazdi are willing to listen to our perspective and foster an environment of mutual respect between the technicians and the leadership. This has been lacking, and it’s a good start to Roberts’ tenure.

The governor is an easy target for a disgruntled former employee. These days the average state worker is just hoping that he doesn’t give us more furlough time or impose layoffs. This is really about how to treat your people. The rank and file of any organization needs to know they are an appreciated part of the whole team. As “the face of the state” we hope to represent our great state well and without the interference of politics.

Name withheld

Movin’ on up

Re “Arrested development” (Feature story, Oct. 1):

Your DUI arrest may shame you and your family and be a low point, but one has to wonder why you put it all in print then? Cathartic? Confession is alluring that way, so it seems that your “low point” may in fact be the first step on higher road. Kudos.

Tawnya Gregory

Guilty is guilty

Re “Arrested development” (Feature story, Oct. 1):

I am glad that you were compelled to write about your experience with a DUI. However, instead of using this as an opportunity to write about the dangers of drinking and driving, you decided to write about how good of a lawyer John Oakes is, how unfair it is that one loses their privilege to drive for driving drunk, and how expensive a DUI can be.

I got a DUI in January 2008. I got pulled over in similar weather conditions for rolling through a stop sign and had a blood alcohol level of .211. Instead of finding a way out of the consequences—which at one point I did try to do—I decided that what I did was wrong and not acceptable under any circumstance. Although I had a lawyer, it did not get me off, which I think was a blessing because only then did I feel remorse for my actions, and I am thankful every day that I did not hit anyone.

I find it appalling that you showed no remorse in your story, but instead just felt sorry for yourself. I felt sorry for myself for a while, and dealing with all the implications of getting a DUI is something that I do not wish upon anyone, as it is extremely expensive and a burden. However, I felt I deserved what I got, and it was only a matter of time before I got pulled over when I was drunk. So, I am glad that it happened.

I learned from my mistake and clearly you didn’t since instead of just pleading guilty, you took the easy way out. You fought the system and won. Good for you. It doesn’t mean that you should brag about it.

Just remember that those 373 people in Nevada that died in 2008 from drunk drivers would still be alive if there weren’t people like you and me on the road. You should be ashamed, as I was and still am today. Moral of the story: Drinking and driving is OK if you have enough money to pay for a lawyer and if the lowest point is being able to write about it in the RN&R. The low point should be when you read all the letters from people like me who express their disgust, not of you, but of how you have handled almost getting a DUI.

Jared Cartinella
via email

Really, really stupid

Re “Arrested development” (Feature story, Oct. 1):

I’m one of the people that Brian Burghart interviewed that couldn’t say they hadn’t ever driven drunk. I applaud his candor, willingness to share his experience, and courage for putting us all on notice that driving drunk is a really, really, really stupid thing to do. I thank Burghart for his courage, and I also thank the RN&R for allowing his story to be told, sordid as it may be. It takes an unusually forthright newspaper to provide a story like this about its editor.

Bill Penn

Burghart’s a sociopath

Re “Arrested development” (Feature story, Oct. 1):

With a blood-alcohol content of .214 you were really, really drunk. For a 180-pound man to have that BA, he would have had 10 drinks; each of which could consist of 1.25 ounces of hard liquor or 12 ounces of beer. The symptoms of a BA level of 2.1 include: stupor, loss of understanding, impaired sensations, severe motor impairment, loss of consciousness, memory blackout. You try to excuse driving in such a state by claiming that it was being so “fucked up” that led you to decide to drive. That’s just silly—you knew how drunk you were, but you chose to drive. That is the act of a sociopath. You showed complete disregard for the safety of others by convincing yourself that the law didn’t apply to you. You really feel you were wronged, don’t you? You continue to whine about not being able to drive for 45 days as though someone should feel sorry for you, and then you try to justify your behavior by stating that “During the nine months since my arrest, I was not told by a single person that they had never driven drunk. Not one.” So, since no one has told you they have never driven drunk, that means everyone has driven drunk, therefore it’s OK to drive drunk. That’s some interesting logic. I don’t see that you have hit any “low point.” That would imply that you had taken responsibility for your behavior. All you have done is justify, rationalize, and continually cast yourself as a victim. That is really frightening because that probably means that you will have no problem at all driving drunk in the future. I only hope that I don’t end up on the same road as you when that happens.

Lynne Black