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November 1, 2012

News and Tribune letters: Nov. 1, 2012

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> SOUTHERN INDIANA — Former judge endorses Meyer

I am writing to endorse Ed Meyer for election as County Commissioner in the first district. We vote for commissioners countywide so I hope to share these thoughts with many people.

First, and above all, Ed is a decent man who is running a positive campaign for continued public service as our commissioner. He has always conducted himself that way.

I have known Ed and his family for many years and he is a forthright individual with a dedication to the youth in our community and schools that is second to none. Ed is a teacher and has been a coach in Clark County. He has benefited many families  by working in our schools.

Ed was one of the first local officials to serve on a local government agency to assist the county in its first jail expansion. He helped move us away from the old Mayberry-type jail mentality and helped design the modern juvenile detention facility that we now have. No one likes to build jails, but prisoner lawsuits against the way things were run here mandated a federal court order to modernize.

The lives of many children from broken homes caught in the midst of the justice system have been changed through intervention of experts in the juvenile system here because we stopped “throwing them in jail” as we did for years.

Meyer stepped up to take a lead role in building a separate facility for our young people, which compiled with state and federal law at the time. These were bold and  risky steps for a public official to take. But Meyer knew that his work on the first Building Corporation would stand the test of time and he knew it was the right thing to do.

I served as the juvenile judge in this county for 12 years and had many more opportunities to work with Ed in public life. His attitude is always constructive, always upbeat and is focused on solving the problem at hand. Many of the politicians in the courthouse don’t think that way and that is why it is a necessity to retain Meyer as commissioner.

These are difficult times for county government and the future in how it is operated. We need a steady and proven hand in charge at the commissioners’ office. The challenges are significant and I would guess solutions to solve some of the problems will not be easy.

Ed has the capacity to put all the politics aside and make the right decisions to keep county management sound and stable.

I hope you will join me in a vote for Ed Meyer as county commissioner, first district.

— Clementine Barthold, former judge Clark Superior Court   No. 1, Jeffersonville

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