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October 18, 2012

NEWS AND TRIBUNE LETTERS — For Oct.18

Commissioner comments on news story

I write to respond to the story in this newspaper last week concerning a Clark County resident buying surplus land at a county auction, held publicly and supervised by the county attorney and his law firm, Applegate and Fifer.

That resident was my daughter, who is an adult, married woman and a teacher. Like any citizen can, she submitted a sealed bid in one of the county’s surplus property sales. I took no part in the sale process as it was not my role to do so. I was later told there were no other bidders. This kind of sale occurs in different years only after a parcel has been offered for sale on two public tax sales and no one purchases it. The parcels become “surplus” property on county records and a third type of sale, like this one, takes place.

Property parcels for surplus sales, are advertised under the guidance of the commissioner’s lawyers and the Auditor’s Office. The county always hopes for competitive bids at surplus sales but the sealed bid process often yields only a few interested buyers. In many cases, there are no bidders at all and the parcels stay on the county inventory. Results of any surplus sale are submitted to the board President, Les Young, for signature approval and later made a part of the commissioner record at a meeting.

I love my daughter very much and adore her children. Being a grandfather is a happy time of my life. But I cannot stand idly by with any tactics of smearing anyone in this sealed bid surplus procedure. If there was a problem with the process, I would look to the supervising attorney to point that out to the commissioners. Greg Fifer made no such report.

My daughter Brittney did nothing wrong here. She has rights as an adult citizen, just like all of us have. If she and her husband wanted to bid on some surplus property, like any citizen could, that was their decision to make. If a legitimate advertisement or procedure mishap occurred then the sale to this citizen, like any citizen, should be set aside and the process should be made right.

I took no part in this surplus sale and would look to the auditor and attorney to fix the process, not to politicize it. I know this is a campaign year but there is no point in negative campaign tactics, especially to the point where another candidate’s daughter could be hurt or damaged.

It seems to be no accident that some people chose a time within a month from Election Day to claim a “discovery” to try to help my opponent at the expense of many family members. My daughter is a kindergarten teacher and a mother and she should not be hurt in my political race.

We have a bright future in Clark County, but our “politics” sometimes hold us back. I suggest all races focus on the serious issues facing our county and how bright our future can be.

Editor’s note: Meyer is a candidate for Clark County Commissioner.

— Ed Meyer, Jeffersonville

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