Letters to the Editor week of 7/26/07


School board questions

To the Editor:

I asked several questions at the June School Board of Education meeting. Not one board member has made any attempt to respond to me. What are you thinking?

Since that meeting, I called a board member asking to see his copy of the superintendent’s contract (which is public information). He informed me he would like to see a copy. It took seven people to figure out what to do with my request. It took several telephone calls. It took two women in the administration office. It took the superintendent, who by the way, needed to contact “Hocker.” (I think the superintendent meant the school lawyer, Mr. Hocker). The superintendent said he needed to contact the Public Access Information Office. It took the assistant superintendent to appear on this scene. Does every position in that office have an assistant? Are these my hard-earned tax dollars at work? What are you thinking?

Over a week later, the superintendent sent me a copy of a “Regular Teacher’s Contract” which employed the superintendent (not a teacher):

Beginning July 1st, 2007,

and continuing until June 30th, 20`12, (rollover) in the amount of $97,276.99 per year . . . plus cost of living increase for five more years. What are you thinking?

There were items on this contract scratched out. Does this mean there are other benefits that my tax dollars are buying? What does the total contract include? What are you thinking?

What exactly is this rollover? Who will explain this rollover to me: What are you thinking?

As for the board member who had previously advised me, he would like to see a copy of the superintendent’s contract. I showed my copy to him Monday night before the Board of Education meeting on July 23rd. I pointed out his signature was on this contract. He said he didn’t know what he was signing, or, he “thought” it was a teacher’s contract? What are you thinking?

The superintendent has invited me into his office to explain the “facts” regarding the stolen funds. I declined. My tax dollars are still being pilfered. What are you thinking?

In the midst of the embezzlement scandal under the current administration, why would you give the reigning superintendent a “new” contract for five more years. What are you thinking?

Nancy Peters

Near Vevay

Good things

To the Editor:

We would like to take the time to recognize some organizations in Vevay and Switzerland County. We wanted everyone to be aware of some of the good things that are going on here instead of hearing about the bad. One of our great organizations here in Vevay is the Vevay-Switzerland County Foundation. It has helped many people in our community with funding of projects. It has helped us out with funding of our new playground at our daycare facility. We just wanted to make everyone aware of this.

We also have two others right here in our community to help out with projects. They are United Fund of Switzerland County and the Community Foundation of Switzerland County. These are great organizations and have benefited our community so much. They have helped small businesses such as ours grow. We thank them so much for all that they do for our community.

It’s good people like you who make a difference to better our community so keep up the good work. If you are ever wanting to donate to something these three organizations are wonderful and benefit so many right here within our own community.

Thanks again.

Peggy Scudder and Tina Peelman

On behalf of Kids Kingdom Corner Daycare


Helping people

To the Editor:

It is summer and once again our children are out of school enjoying their vacation time. Many are at home freely playing in their pools or riding bikes with their neighborhood buddies. Some are on family trips to explore different cities, parks or campgrounds. Others may be visiting relatives that they look forward to seeing each summer. Wherever they are, summer vacation time is about a break from school responsibilities and naturally attending to the task of simply being a child.

Unfortunately, this is not the case with all children. During the summer vacation time, we at Safe Passage are struggling to handle the increasing requests for emergency shelter and services for women and child victims of domestic violence. It is for this reason that we are having our first “Annual Victim’s Vacation” remembrance drive.

“Our” vacationing children worry about whether the adult that they most fear will find them and hurt them or their mother. They live in strange places, following someone else’s rules, playing only in a playroom or a small fenced playground. They cannot freely ride bikes, go visiting or take planned July trips. They sleep in a shared bedroom with all of their siblings and their mother. Their world as they knew it is gone and they are not sure what kind of world they are now in . . . and where they will land.

During the summer, violent households experience an intensity of incidences and an increase in frequency of these episodes during this time. Mothers living in a relationship with an abusive partner struggle to cope with not only the rise in heat, but also the rise in frustrations, feelings of fear, guilt and hopelessness that surround them. If leaving their home seems to be their only way to ensure their safety and that of their children, they run to Safe Passage.

Each year beginning in May and ending in October, our small staff is stretched to “burnout” limits with the number of clients needing their help both inside and outside of the shelter. Our residence is filled to capacity, and over, trying to accommodate the safety needs of women and their children. Our budget is drained and depleted in our efforts to feed and provide basic necessities for those having to flee from their homes, often arriving at our shelter with only the clothes on their backs.

Although, Safe Passage has been very blessed with much support from our faith-based community partners, unfortunately, more is needed. We are asking our fellow community members to deepen their support and commitment to the women and children that need to spend their “vacation time” in a shelter for domestic violence victims or who must have the Safe Passage services of counseling, resources, legal advocacy, support groups, etc., to safely and sanely survive elsewhere.

Won’t you help us by sending your financial support to Safe Passage today? Or phone us to become a regular volunteer and assist the staff weekly with projects, work with clients, provide transportation to appointments or play with the children . . . yes, the children, that are supposed to be on their vacation, too.

Debra A. Guzman,

Executive Director

Safe Passage