Letters to the Editor week of 8/9/07


More questions

To the Editor:

On July 30th, I attended the public interviews of the six people wanting to fill the board of education vacancy. I believe each candidate did a very good job answering the questions. Since then though, I have pondered several of those questions.

First, the board of education president asked each candidate, “How will you handle all of the late night telephone calls?” In my opinion, this question implies board members are irritated by telephone calls from taxpayers. What was the point of this question? How do elected school board members communicate with taxpayers? Isn’t that part of their job? Presently the only forum I know is to speak at board meetings in compliance with the meeting agenda (which is a skeleton) or write a Letter to the Editor of the newspaper. I am still waiting for answers.

Secondly, another board member asked each candidate, “Would you have any conflict with letting someone go?” This conjures up all sorts of questions in my mind. Has the superintendent been interviewing for another place of employment? Will he leave of his own volition? Will the board members accept the superintendent’s resignation (“letting him go”), or will the board members terminate the superintendent? There is a difference. Remember the board did terminate the treasurer who was hired by the superintendent.

Do the board members ever have meetings without the superintendent? Do the board members have a plan holding the superintendent accountable for the pilfering of taxpayers’ money which took place under the superintendent’s watch. Several months ago at a board meeting, the superintendent stated he would be accountable. What is his consequence? Is it the newly signed contract as of July 1st, 2007, through June 30th, 2012?

Nancy Peters

Near Vevay

Zoning changes?

To the Editor:

To all residents of Switzerland County. Someone is trying to change the zoning on the property of 510 Highway 156, Florence, Indiana from Flood Plain to Industrial, for commercial use for Southern Indiana or Ready Mix, which will put dust out which will affect our children’s health who play at Markland Park.

It will eventually hurt our trees and wildlife because of the environment and noise. It will be harmful for the whole county. If we have another flood it will be countywide.

There is a meeting Wednesday, August 15th, at 6 p.m. at the Courthouse. It’s up to the residents to stop this from happening and ruining our county forever.

Thanks and I hope to see you there.

Sue LeGendre

Bennett Road, Near Markland

Zoning hearing

To the Editor:

In the first week of August, 2007, four or five families located in the area of Highway 156 and Bennett Road received by registered mail a notice of public hearing to be held August 15th, 2007, at 6 p.m. by the Switzerland County Area Plan Commission, 212 West Main Street, Vevay, Indiana. Purpose of hearing: Proposed zoning change from Flood Plain to I. (Industrial). Property: 521 Highway 156, Florence, Indiana.

The petitioner is an attorney-at-law from North Vernon, Indiana. Recently in a phone conversation he stated his client wants to split with Lee’s Ready Mix Cement Company and start a new company, Southeastern Ready Mix, on the proposed 10-acre site. I don’t agree with his petition.

Why change zoning to put a cement company where there are homes, and Markland Park and baseball fields are across the road?

When on November 2nd, 2006, Switzerland County Economic Development Corporation and Switzerland County Council voted 4-3, to purchase 118 acres at a grand total of $3.7 million for the Switzerland County Business Park, “a shovel ready site” and located eight tenths of a mile east of the proposed site. If the 118 acres were purchased for business then build the cement company there and don’t change the zoning elsewhere.

I ask all Switzerland County residents to attend this hearing regarding the proposed zoning change at the Switzerland County Courthouse August 15th at 6 p.m.

Jerry Gnoose


Memorial park

To the Editor:

Back in 2002 the Town of Patriot started playing around with the idea of building a Memorial Park. First ideas were of a “Flag” park that would display various flags significant to our nation’s history. That idea was tossed around and ideas added to the point of it growing into a Memorial Park. The next step was to find a suitable location. The first lot considered was right on Main Street, but became unobtainable, so finally the lot on the corner of Plum Street and Third Street was purchased. This is where the old 66 gas station used to be. In the meantime town resident George Miller constructed a scale model of what was envisioned for the park. This model was on display at the Town Hall for several years.

Early this year things started to fall into place for the Park. With Belterra Revenue Funds the dream was finally going to become a reality. Groundbreaking and construction began in early spring. Flags were ordered, monuments researched. With the general idea of remembering the Town’s past, the Park was going to include monuments for all of our Service Men and Women, the Town itself, Patriot Schools and the Patriot Water Company. The original school bell that had been placed on a cinderblock stand back in the 70’s joined the plan. Wouldn’t it be nice to have the bell restored and placed inside a replica of the original Bell Tower that was on top of the school?

The dream was becoming a reality. With the dedication date being set for the Town’s annual 4th of July celebration things started moving quite quickly; monuments were chosen, the gazebo was purchased, and flags were ordered. A landscaper was consulted on what flowers and shrubs would be fitting. Things were certainly moving ahead. Then on June 12th the major mind of the project, George Miller, fell seriously ill and was hospitalized.

There were but a few moments of panic about everything not falling into place, but that was it. The workers who had been working with George on the project all had the same “vision” of what this park would be and represent. Phone calls were made, things were discussed, final touches arranged. Yes, we would meet the July 4th deadline for the dedication. Unfortunately George would not because he was being sent to Cincinnati for the remainder of his hospitalization. We kept him updated on progress and assured him things were going along fine.

At last the day arrived – the flags were here, one for each branch of Service, an American, State and the Town Flag designed back in 1988. Then various flags throughout our history. The flag poles were erected, the gazebo was in place, the bell tower was built, and the monuments had arrived. With the help of several workers: contracted, town, and just people who knew it had a fast approaching deadline, it happened. July 3rd arrived. The monuments were covered for an unveiling the following day.

In the planning for the Dedication ceremony George had touched base with local Legions and VFW’s, bank members, etc., to make this dedication as memorable as the Park itself would be. With all the loose ends tied up we were ready, or not, but the day was here. Unfortunately, George was not.

The parade was a great success as usual, but you could just feel a different air about things, and it wasn’t the normal July air. It was the anticipation of what was about to happen for our proud little Town.

As the parade wound its way around through Town the fire trucks staged at the corner by the Park. The onlookers all congregated to the park. Mike Jones led the crowd through the steps of the dedication with a speech, along with State Representative Bob Bischoff. The Park was dedicated. This was followed by a prayer from the Pastor of Patriot Temple Baptist Church.

The first flag up a pole was the American flag that Rusty McKay brought home from Iraq and presented to the Town on July 4th of 2005. I had the pleasure of assisting Rusty raise the flag. At the moment that first flag was in place at the top of the pole Lowell Wayne Sullivan commanded “colors up.” Goose bumps. Oh my gosh. We had veterans from all various branches of our Military situated at the flag poles, Bob Bischoff at the State Flag, Town Council Members at the Town flag. The timing couldn’t have been better. All the flags went up the poles with a drum roll by three members of the marching band. (We did not practice this.) After this the memorials were uncovered for everyone to see.

Why such a long Letter to the Editor? Why no article in the paper? Why not one picture of this awesome park and tribute in the paper? We’re used to our annual 4th of July celebration taking a back seat to the 4-H Fair. We don’t mind. But the next paper came out, no article, no picture. Then the next. It’s just so heartbreaking to have something so awesome go unnoticed by our “award winning” county paper.

Please print this letter in the paper in its entirety. I’ve been edited before. It would also be nice to see a picture of the Park on the front page.

Barb Miller