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 Letters Published in October 31, 2007 Issue



 Oct. 31, 2007 - Letter submitted by Sunshine Harding, president - Knightstown Elementary PTO

The Knightstown Elementary PTO would like to thank Greg Hochstedler and Boondocks Farms for the generous donation of his facility, time and efforts to allow us to have our Fall Festival there. Not only did the PTO Fall Festival exceed our expectations, but we had more fun than we ever imagined! Our event at Boondocks Farms raised over $3,000 for our elementary school, which allows us to pay for fieldtrip transportation, teacher appreciation, convocations, computers and many other things. Everyone had a wonderful time and enjoyed our Fall Festival, as well as the wonderful events that Boondocks Farms offers. We're already boasting about our success and planning an even better Fall Festival for next year! Thank you again, Greg, for the wonderful, family-oriented Boondocks Farms and all that you do for your children!

The Knightstown Elementary PTO would also like thank several businesses and individuals for our successful Fall Festival at Boondocks Farms! Without donators and volunteers, our event would not be possible. Our donators include Boondocks Farms, American Girl, Wal-Mart, Geist Sports Academy, Conner Prairie, Holiday World, Amoco/BP (Scott Van Hoy), Zoobie's, El Rodeo, Starbucks, Indianapolis Indians, Indiana Pacers, Penn Station East Coast Subs, Gas America, That Fun Place, Quizno's, Ponderosa, Chicago's Pizza, Southwest District Ambulance Service, Kozy Kabin, Amanda Draper, Raintree Inn, Clarian Hotels, Team Image, Jessica Ellis/Lia Sophia, and Tina Smith/Party-Lite.

We would also like to thank the many volunteers who helped carry pumpkins, run games and sell tickets! Also, we would like to give special thanks to Holly Buchanan, Michelle Leonard, Sherri Messer, Julie Lewman, Jane Selvidge and Heather Koehler for their extra time and dedication to our Fall Festival's success!



 Oct. 31, 2007 - Letter submitted by Rodney Schmidt - Knightstown

I salute the Charles A. Beard School Board for their demonstration that the good ol' boys' way of business is no longer active! It is not friendships developed over breakfast, but rather business relationships developed over common goals that now drive business agreements. Sharing a common township or zip code is no longer the sole factor in determining the best service provider.

Complacency gained by decades of service is no longer confused with competency gained by experience in meeting the needs of today's school systems. As members of the community we should be proud of our school board for supporting the business decision that challenged the obsolete good ol' boys mentality and paved the way to selecting business partners based upon business value rather than upon last name.



 Oct. 31, 2007 - Letter submitted by Chad Leakey, vice president - Leakey Insurance, Inc. - Knightstown

The Charles A. Beard School Board finally voted on the insurance issue! The vote was four to three against us, Leakey Insurance, to get the account back with Indiana Insurance Company, the only insurance carrier we are contracted with that writes policies for schools.

The three board members who voted for us, Leah Kopp, Ron Womack and Kevin Knott, deserve our sincere thanks. Leah and Kevin took the initiative to come and talk to me about what transpired over the last year. They asked tough questions and did their due diligence in finding out both sides of the story before the issue was brought to a vote. This is a good example for our students about how to handle tough issues - educate yourself, get informed, and know both sides of an issue before you make a decision.

Board members Wade Beatty, Mike Fruth and Debi Ware are good examples of people you don't want on a school board. If you can't make an educated decision, don't make one at all. It’s called abstaining. Wade Beatty made a remark at the board's October 16 meeting about a copy of an e-mail between myself and an underwriter for Indiana Insurance. Wade insinuated I was not doing my job because it appeared I was trying to get a proposal finalized just two hours before a meeting with school officials, a meeting that was, in fact, only to go over the statement of values and deliver loss runs. I was just going to include my proposal at this meeting, which was two weeks prior to when the proposal would have been required! This meeting was also to be my first attempt to schedule a meeting with myself, the Indiana Insurance School Team and CAB's superintendent at that time, David McGuire, to go over CAB's policies. Dr. McGuire never followed through on this, however, and I subsequently got blamed for the lack of coverage of damages from the “Teddy Bear" debacle. If Wade had taken the time to go over these matters with me he could have made an educated, informed comment at the last board meeting.

Larry Selvidge was the only board member who voted against returning CAB's insurance business to our agency who bothered to ask me any questions and go over the paperwork. He seemed to understand that the way events transpired were wrong, and he was an early advocate of mine in getting other board members to come and meet with me. But, apparently, when it came down to it, Larry waffled on his decision and caved in to peer pressure. He won't even return the four phone calls I've made to him since October 16, which makes me sad. I believe that Larry is a good guy who was unduly influenced by others on the board.

Some other very interesting news has come to light after a recent record request by the Banner. Apparently, nearly two weeks before the June 12 board meeting, CAB Business Manager David Bundy received an e-mail from the New Castle insurance agent who eventually replaced me. This clearly shows that plans to switch agents were already being considered, even though it wasn't even mentioned during the June 12 meeting.

No, the only thing discussed that night about insurance was a request from McGuire and Bundy for the board's permission to seek insurance proposals from other agencies. A handout given to board members in advance of the meeting said the following:

"Charles A Beard Memorial Corporation Schools has utilized the services of our current insurance agency for our property and liability insurance for many years. We are seeking permission to seek proposals and/or quotes from area insurance agencies to assure that we are receiving the best price and coverage available."

The materials given to the board in advance of the June 12 meeting said nothing about switching insurance agents, and neither McGuire nor Bundy said anything at that meeting about dropping us for another agency. The motion that the board approved that night, made by Ware and seconded by Selvidge, was simply to give permission to seek proposals.

The very next day, June 13, McGuire, sent a letter to Indiana Insurance telling them to replace me as CAB's agent of record with Josh Estelle from the Pfenninger Agency in New Castle. This change was made by McGuire without the approval of the school board, and the switch in agents, which may have taken effect as early as July 1, was never once put to a board vote until the October 16 meeting when Kevin Knott and Ron Womack led the effort to bring the account back to our agency.

McGuire and Bundy had told the board in June that they just wanted to get proposals and/or quotes from other agencies, something that wasn't done before taking CAB's business away from us. I don't understand. Did McGuire and Bundy lie to the board by telling them they wanted permission to do one thing, but then doing something else? It looks that way to me. At the very least, they lied to the board by omission, not telling them what their true plans were for CAB's insurance account. Hmmm. One mistake and I'm out? If that's the way things are going to be handled, then there should be four board members and a business manager following McGuire's lead and leaving CAB.

This isn't only about being local. It's about being right.

I would like to thank all of those who took the time to go to call board members and go to board meetings on our behalf. It's truly appreciated!


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