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Letters Published in May 6, 2009 Issue
May 6, 2009 - Letter submitted by Carol Stuthridge, Straughn, Ind.
We keep hearing that there is 1.3 Billion in the rainy day fund, which Governor Daniels insists not be tapped at all. I have no idea what the Governor considers a 'rainy day'. We are in the worst economic situation in my lifetime and I'm 50.
If the money is in an interest-bearing account, it should be worth quite a bit more by now right? It doesn't take a brain surgeon to invest in CD's and other secure, interest-bearing investments. On the other hand, if however, the money has been poorly invested (say in freddie/fannie), it could be worth FAR less.
A budget was agreed but at the midnight hour Governor Daniels decided that he wanted another $100,000 million cut and wanted the fund to be up to $1.4 billion in two years? He also added language that would allow him to close down the Indiana Soldiers & Sailors Children's Home even if they managed to get in the budget. He wanted the language inserted because Indiana is one of the seven states that does not have a line-item veto.
Today we hear that he wants a billion more dollars cut from the budget?
People, we need to ask the Governor to SHOW US THE RAINY DAY FUND MONEY!
Taxpayers deserve to know how much of their money is actually left. There should be some kind of transparency with State government. I would think that under the Freedom of Information Act, some kind of written documentation of where the money is sitting would be available.
May 6, 2009 - Letter submitted by Rex Bell, Wayne Co. Libertarian
Stinky Wilmont was one of my best buddies back in the days at Millville Grade School. I probably ended up in more trouble than I should have whenever I followed his lead, but I also had a lot more fun than I would have if Stinky hadn’t been around.
Occasionally though, Stinky would embark on some adventure that I felt pretty sure was destined to end in tears, and either my better judgment, or fear, would get the better of me, and I would decide to leave him to his own devices. As the years and grades passed, and my judgment got better, partly because some of my fears were well-founded, Stinky and I kind of drifted apart. It may have in part also, because Stinky’s judgment never really showed any signs of improvement. I don’t think there was any animosity between us, just my realization that Stinky and I might not have the same goals or values.
When Indiana started its lottery, I remember a woman in town who was absolutely obsessed with it. After she had nearly depleted the family checking and savings accounts, her husband contacted all of the places in town that sold lottery tickets, cashed checks, or loaned money, and told them that he would no longer be responsible for his wife’s debts.
I don’t know for sure how much legal weight his action carried. But if she couldn’t control her habit, I guess this was a good first step instead of just jumping into a divorce. I don’t know whatever became of the situation. I hope it all worked out for them.
Just recently, Megan McAllister, the fiancée of accused CraigsList killer Phillip Markoff, decided it might be time to reconsider her decision to “stand by her man”, cancel their upcoming nuptials, and move on with her own life. Probably a good move on her part, I think.
In their most recent sessions, about twenty state legislatures have introduced or discussed resolutions re-declaring their sovereignty as states, and re-asserting the limited power the federal government is granted under the Constitution. The basis for these resolutions is the 10th Amendment of that Constitution, which declares that: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
Many years ago, Thomas Jefferson noted that “The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.” It seems we’ve been pretty complacent over the years about yielding our liberties to an ever growing government. There aren’t many things we can do anymore that don’t require some sort of government permission or license. Even getting together to protest against the government often requires a permit from the government. And for the most part, it seems the American people have pretty well accepted that.
The renewed interest in State and personal sovereignty seems then to be more tied to the federal government’s insatiable appetite for spending. It might be the official federal debt, which recently passed $11 trillion, or the unofficial debt (which includes the federal government’s unfunded liabilities), which has been estimated at over $60 trillion. It might be the hundreds of costly mandates the federal government has, without Constitutional authorization, imposed upon the States. Perhaps there is finally a realization that all of this debt will eventually fall on the people of the States, and a realization that it is more debt than taxpayers can afford. Perhaps it’s simply a common sense survival instinct that tells people to avoid things that will probably end up causing them harm.
Whatever the reasons, it may indeed be time for the States to take a critical look at where the federal government is leading them, and renegotiate their deal with that government.
Or at least make them abide by the old one.
May 6, 2009 - Letter submitted by Kim Dalton, Knightstown
I want to start off by saying that I do know the process of looking at closing schools in our district is a very emotional one. There are certainly a lot of factors to be considered, and even those differ depending on which side of the fence you’re sitting on. I’m writing this letter to the editor, because I went to the school board meeting last Tuesday, which in hindsight was not one of the wisest choices I’ve ever made. I was however, genuinely struck by many people speaking from their heart about how much it would mean to them to have their school kept open. I think that’s great. They conducted themselves in a manner that was a positive reflection on their community and they were respectful. Unfortunately there were also some people there who are apparently just plain angry and have decided that being civil isn’t something that applies to them. I know, as they were sitting around me. The comments I heard throughout the evening were just rude and insensitive – and they knew who I was and that I could hear them. I sure hope this isn’t how you handle all difficult situations, as a little civility goes a long way with most people.
So here is what I heard about my husband who has devoted an exorbitant amount of time away from his family so that CAB can be a better school system for his family and yours: “He’s arrogant, he’s angry, he’s the ringleader for closing Kennard, He should be voted off the board, and he’s so smart that he can lie really well”. Those of you who know him will already know that he took the last one as a back-handed compliment. For those of you who don’t know him and believe those things, know that you have no idea what he’s about and that you have formed your opinions listening to lies going around your school and community and to lies written in letters to the editor.
I’ll admit that I have gotten a few chuckles over the past few months over claims of a secret task force, hidden plans of changing the boarders of the schools so they have a reason to close Kennard, etc. But in all seriousness, it is just plain nonsense. You all have to remember that people can say whatever they want in a letter to the ditor, it doesn’t have to be true – even when you work at Kennard Elementary. I don’t really know where it all started – maybe with the editorials or possibly with another rumor – but for those of you who believe what I heard on Tuesday night, I’m happy to tell you that you are dead wrong. And furthermore, shame on you for believing it without any effort to hear the truth, especially those who know us well enough to call us.
Steve was accused in a recent letter to the editor of leading the crusade on redistricting last year. Here’s the truth: my son’s class had 31 kids in it last year, this year they were estimating 35. There were some, let’s call them “spirited” discussions in my household last summer when the boundaries were being changed between Kennard & KES. My children were affected and as PTO President, I was affected. I put a great deal of time and emotional energy into that school while I was there because I thought we would be there for a long time. My youngest was to start kindergarten there last fall. Steve and I both loved Kennard. But he couldn’t look at just our family – he was elected to make the right choice for all of the other families also. The second grade at KES was projecting less than 20 students per class.
It really was a no-brainer to move some students over. When it came right down to it, the emotional side of moving to a new school had to be put aside for the good of the whole. I was disappointed, but I knew it was the right thing to do. Furthermore, those who were being moved were going to receive a letter in the mail advising them of this. Steve offered to Mr. Storie to call the families that he personally knew to let them know. He felt he owed this to them, he didn’t just want them to get a letter in the mail. He wasn’t the “ringleader”; he was the messenger.
And by the way, that was a unanimous vote in favor of moving the students over. So realize that most of your ‘publicly elected officials’ have children or grandchildren in this system and they really do want what is best – they are parents of students just like you and at one time or another we are all affected.
“He’s the ringleader for closing Kennard and he’s lying about looking at other options”. According to some, this rumor has been floating around Kennard for awhile. Maybe you should reflect back on the two meetings you’ve attended all year. He’s stated that he’s not in favor of closing Kennard if possible. For some unknown reason, you refuse to believe that. Possibly, if you had been at any other meeting, you would know that he is the board member who speaks the most. I’ve often told him to not speak so freely at meetings so all the decisions people don’t agree with wouldn’t be pinned on him. You know what he told me? He said that you all elected him to be honest, forthcoming and diligent with the matters of this school corporation and that you are all going to know what he’s thinking and which direction he’s taking you in whether you agree with it or not. While other members might not be so vocal regarding their positions at the meetings, he is letting you know where he stands.
It’s fine to disagree with him – you have that right – but where does the lying part come in? Oh yeah, the rumors. He has stated his position on everything very clearly and has voted in that regard every time. How come no one asked one other board member where they stood on the issue of closing Kennard? Steve’s the only one who offered his opinion willingly, no one else did. I don’t know where they stand, but don’t assume you know either – silence isn’t agreement. As he told you, you may very well be criticizing your best advocate for staying open. But hey, the rumors are just more interesting aren’t they?
Terri Drysdale, a resource aid at Kennard, has written a couple of editorials implicating the board of hiding their true intentions and lying to the public. This statement was made without any foundation whatsoever and as a person working in the school system, was made recklessly. Because she is an aid at Kennard, people tend to believe that she is sharing accurate information. She has not done that. Anyone who has been to a meeting this year can attest to the fact that this school board is extremely open with their discussions. You just have to actually make the effort to come and find out.
Instead of spending an hour writing falsities in an editorial, why doesn’t she spend that hour at a meeting contributing something that can be used positively. And yes, the board’s phone numbers are on the website. And while she’s encouraged all of you to call them, ironically she hasn’t made the effort to do so herself.
Her statement that, “as publicly-elected officials you should reflect the area and the opinions of the people that elect you” seems to have sparked a few people to want Steve and Tom Schaetzle kicked off the school board. Even though I’m not sure why anyone should be kicked off of a school board for considering ways to save money, I’ll go ahead and address this. It’s been stated that these two members don’t have kids at Kennard anymore and therefore, don’t represent Kennard. Do you know that other board members don’t have kids in the system at all? It’s not a requirement for the position.
Do you also happen to know that Greensboro Township has always had kids at both KES & Kennard even before the redistricting? This isn’t a ‘school seat’, this is a township seat. Your township and the other two townships vote for all of the candidates. He wasn’t just elected by your school, nor your township. He was elected by all three townships.
He is responsible for doing what is right for the entire school district. Therefore, like all of the other board members, he represents everyone, certainly not just Greensboro and moreover, not just your school. There are others to answer to, not just the people of Kennard. Next – yes, he is smart! It’s one of the many reasons I married him! Does that mean he’s lying? That’s ridiculous. And if you look back, it’s probably one of the reasons you elected him, isn’t it? “He’s arrogant” – Well, yes he is very passionate and confident about what he believes is right (that’s also probably why you elected him, isn’t it?).
Sometimes I realize this confidence can come across as something other than that, mostly when you feel you want something different than he. When he feels strongly about an issue, he’s not afraid to let you know. He really is trying to make the right decisions here. You don’t have to like his manners and ways, but personally attacking him is rude. Find a way to convey your thoughts through the facts without personally attacking the board members and you might find them a little easier to deal with. Someone said to him that he seems angry – really? Wonder why. Oh yeah, the rumors taking precedence over what he personally says. If you’re as passionate as you all say you are – take the time to talk to the board personally rather than listening to lies.
Lastly, it really isn’t the school corporation’s responsibility to save the town of Kennard. Kennard has a town board. It is their duty, not the school’s to revitalize the town and make it a place where people want to move to. I know that sounds harsh, but it is true. I really think you’re blaming the wrong people for nothing being left in Kennard if the school is closed. Is it possible that if the town board had followed a plan to revitalize the community by bringing in some small businesses, that more houses would have been built in that area leading to a growth in student population making the decision were faced with now nonexistent? Just a thought – I think there’s room for blaming more than the school board.
Luckily for your community, Steve is an honorable Christian man who will ultimately vote for what he thinks is right for the district and not based on the way he’s been characterized. Obviously things roll off his back much easier than mine.
The hours this school board has spent over the past year trying to better the school system is countless. They research, discuss, and weigh out every decision they have made far more than any of you will ever know. They sacrifice time with their families and take the heat from those who disagree.
That is the nature of the position. I certainly don’t expect everyone to agree with all their decisions, but to know they arrived at them through careful consideration. If you’re going to be critical and present an opposing viewpoint, it would be responsible to do so with the truth, not rumors & speculation.
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