Letters to the Editor 4-30-15

392

Force annexation

To the Editor:

Indiana Farm Bureau and its members are not opposed to annexation when it is voluntary. However, the forced annexation process that Indiana currently allows is heavily weighted in favor of cities and towns. That is simply not fair.

If the leaders of a city or town decide that they want to annex an area and the landowners are not willing to be annexed, those landowners have two alternatives: Give in, or take the town to court.

The lives of those landowners will change overnight. They cannot imagine the amount of work or money needed to fight off an annexation.

In order to challenge an annexation in court, those landowners have to determine which of their neighbors are in the annexation area, contact them and gather signatures on a petition. And they have to raise money on their own to pay for an attorney.

Even if landowners win the initial court battle, they will most likely spend years fighting because cities and towns almost always appeal, and they have the resources of government behind them.

It’s just too hard, too time consuming and too expensive for ordinary citizens to fight off an annexation. No citizen should be forced to go to court to protect his ordinary everyday rights as a landowner.

Senate Bill 330, which is currently making its way through the Indiana General Assembly, could change all that. Indiana Farm Bureau urges state legislators to vote in favor of needed reforms that protect landowner rights in the annexation process.

Indiana is one of only two states that allow forced annexation. It’s time for us to join the rest of the country and stop forcing landowners to give in to the whims of city and town officials who make unsubstantiated claims about growth, progress and economic development.

Sincerely,

Don Villwock

President, Indiana Farm Bureau

Traditions

To the Editor:

Everyone of us has a great memory about Roxano’s, and it usually includes their famous breadsticks. Mine was walking there after school, getting an order to go, and then heading to Jared Hill’s house to kill time until basketball practice.

Vevay wouldn’t be Vevay without Roxano’s Pizza. So, when I first heard that it was going up for sale, I got really nervous. Can you imagine Vevay without Roxano’s? Or even worse: terrible breadsticks?

Buying a landmark had to be a big decision, and honestly, a lot of pressure. The new owners would be the caretaker of a legacy that has been a part of our community for decades. Expectations for the quality of the food and service are high because the previous owners were excellent and ran it with a passion. That is a big undertaking.

I am writing to say ‘Thank You’ to the Peelmans for answering that call.

In buying Roxano’s, they have decided to keep an important part of our community alive and well. I have been in several times since they have taken ownership and have had excellent food and service every time. I didn’t think it was possible, but I would even say the breadsticks might be better.

It might not seem like much, but it is a lot to know that my kids will have some of the same experiences that I had growing up in Vevay.

So, thank you, Dusty and Heather Peelman, for taking on the challenge and, most importantly, congratulations on such as great start. It means the world to a lot of people in this community, and I hope the next time they see you they say “Thank you.”

Adam Cole and family,

Jacksonville

Smoking hazards

To the Editor:

On April 22nd, 2015, New Orleans residents, visitors, and all employees will be breathing easier as the smoke-free air ordinance goes into effect.

In February, the City Council unanimously voted to protect all workers of New Orleans, including all bar and casino workers, from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke.

Here in Switzerland County, the Belterra Casino employs about 1,000 people and half of those workers are Switzerland County residents. Indiana’s current smoke-free air law does not protect all workers from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke; as bar, private club, and casino workers are left out.

According to “Smokefree Casinos”, four out of every five casino visitors is a non-smoker. Ohio and Illinois casinos are already smoke-free and a majority of Kentucky casinos are, as well. Smoke free casinos save money by reducing costs for ventilation, health coverage, and maintenance.

It is time that we stand up for equal protection for all employees because they deserve to work in a healthy and smoke-free environment. The next time you visit the Belterra Casino, fill out a comment card saying that you want a smoke-free casino. Take time to talk to your elected council members about the importance of protecting all residents and workers in Switzerland County from secondhand smoke.

If New Orleans can do it, we can too.

Switzerland County

Awareness Team