In response to the May 15 Readers' Forum letter "TARTA service draws complaints": I'm coming to the defense of the 97 percent of our operators who understand their duties as customer caregivers. Our transit operators have a demanding job to which they respond with courteous professionalism.
The letter writer had an incident on one of our buses and registered a complaint. We investigated and responded with the appropriate action.
Unfortunately, the person chose to write a letter to the editor 2½ months after the incident. The portrayal was not entirely accurate and painted a negative picture of our operators, who go above and beyond their duties.
For the 3 percent of our operators who do not understand their role as servants to this community, I take ownership. I have failed them and our customers.
We transported 4 million passengers last year. We have far more successes than failures.
After 34 years in this business, I know a percentage of customers never will be pleased no matter how well we do our jobs.
Superintendent of Transportation Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority West Central Avenue
Hiring smacks of favoritism
The Lucas County commissioners' hiring of Michelle Dudley, a former county employee, as a technology-based trainer in the county Department of Job and Family Services seems to be a case of favoritism ("Dudley gets 2nd county job; Fired elections board worker hired by family services," May 4).
Four years ago, I was laid off from a private-sector job. I had skills and experience that matched the needs of city and county governments. I've applied for more than a dozen city and county jobs, and I was qualified for every one. I haven't been granted a single interview. I have friends who have experienced the same thing.
Commissioner Pete Gerken's statement that he advocated on Ms. Dudley's behalf because she is a constituent is as insulting as it is transparent. Mr. Gerken has about 440,000 constituents. Thousands of them are unemployed, and thousands more are underemployed. He's not advocating for us.
Ms. Dudley deserves the same opportunity we all do. She does not deserve to be favored. Commissioners do not deserve more opportunities to abandon every principle of good governance.
Writer's view of disorder insulting
As a parent of a child who suffers from attention deficit disorder, I am offended by the May 17 Readers' Forum letter "Autism, ADD result from society." The writer links autism and ADD to disconnected families and inadequate attention.
My son has grown up in a loving, attentive home. He has time restrictions on video games and television, spends plenty of time outdoors, gets adequate rest, and eats nutritious foods.
Yet he has a significant impairment in sustaining attention. Suggesting that his disorder has resulted from a disconnected family and a deficit in the kind of attention needed for healthy development, as the writer does, is ludicrous and insulting.
I am a school intervention specialist who serves students with autism. These students are sometimes challenging, frequently misunderstood, and always delightful to teach. Even with intense interventions and healthy doses of love, these children struggle with appropriate interpersonal interactions. It's not anybody's fault.
Families of children with autism know all too well that their children do not fit the mold that society has created. The pain that comes from this realization is unbearable. Blaming individuals or families affected by this heart-wrenching disorder is unproductive and hurtful.
Contrary to what the writer says, these families are not looking for a drug to fix their children. They are looking for society to embrace their children with the same acceptance afforded to typical children.
It's time to applaud the efforts of those who battle autism and ADD, and give them the compassion and support they deserve.
Autism, ADD letter astonishing
The letter writer said autism and attention deficit disorder are caused by a lack of attention from families and individuals associated with these people. The writer seems to take a moral stance that our culture and people are lacking in relating to those with autism and ADD.
I've met a number of children on the autism spectrum who have brothers and sisters who are perfectly neurotypical. How does he explain that some people in the same family, culture, and individual relationships have autism and some don't?
If he had made an intelligent, scientific, open-minded study, he would not have written that letter. That he did reflects badly on his profession of clinical psychology and his personal approach to it.
GOP had been in power in bad times
I remind the writer of the May 13 Readers' Forum letter "4 more years? No, thanks," that the Iraq war is over and the Afghan war is winding down. During the recessions we've had since 1960, several times the party in power was the GOP.
Jazzy bike racks useless
The four bike racks pictured in your May 16 article "Form meets function; 10 jazzy bike racks placed in Uptown Toledo" tell bicyclists several things: Stay away from here, we don't want or need your money, and we don't respect you or your bicycle.
All of these are art objects without any utilitarian purpose. The designers obviously are not bike owners or riders.
These racks may be lawsuits waiting to happen, because they are likely to damage any bicycle that is chained or locked to them.