News and Tribune

October 17, 2012


Council member responds to recent column

Matthew Nash wrote a column last week in the News and Tribune concerning the New Albany Floyd County Parks Department and last week’s meeting of the Floyd County Council. I wanted to address Mr. Nash’s comments and clear up any misconceptions.

It appears that Mayor Jeff Gahan, the New Albany City Council and Mr. Nash have made the assumption that the $250,000 in our current budget is all that we intend to allocate for the parks department next year.  While we cannot appropriate any additional money from the general fund in 2013, we have every intention of supplementing that amount with an additional $250,000 from other sources such as EDIT, riverboat or rainy day funds. This is the same action that we took earlier in 2012.

I personally have been in attendance at the parks board meetings and have assured the board that we will be in full compliance with our agreement with the city of New Albany. I should mention that the majority of the Floyd County Council members were not on the council when the funding agreement was initially drawn up, and were only made aware of the details of the agreement earlier this year. Since becoming aware of the requirements, we have paid our fair share for 2012 and will continue to do so in 2013.

We can’t change what happened in the past, but I can help to change our future by supporting the parks and striving to prevent the division of the NA-FC Parks Department, which Gahan is pursuing. In my opinion, splitting the parks department into separate city and county entities would be a monumental mistake and a waste of taxpayer money to fund duplicate administrations, manpower and equipment.

I have gained a great respect for the men and women who serve on the parks board. They are a dedicated group of volunteers that do not receive the credit they deserve. I am seeing the many programs that are offered in this community and the many more that could be accomplished with the funding that will otherwise go to duplication of services, should the parks department be separated.

On another topic, Mr. Nash wondered why the council grilled the judges over a relatively small amount of money that they requested while apparently granting the sheriff a large sum of money without question. The request for funding for the sheriff was to restore an amount that had been temporarily removed from his approved budget earlier in the year.   The judges were asking for additional new funding, and we requested they use other available funds rather than take from our depleted general fund. Regarding raises, Sheriff Darrell Mills will be funding the salary increases in his department from revenue that will be received from the federal government.

If there is any question about the procedures or decisions of the Floyd County Council, I would like to note that we have open meetings and are usually available after to answer questions. Contact information for all of the council members is also available on the Floyd County web site

— Dana Fendley, Floyd County Council

Reader backs Donnelly for Senate

I must take issue with Americans for Prosperity’s assertion that Indiana Congressman Joe Donnelly is “following Obama’s lead every time.”

Some of you may have received a green-colored flier by mail which attempts to align Donnelly with President Obama and faults him on investing in renewable energy and so burdening Hoosier small business owners. The charges are blatantly false and detract from the truth that Donnelly is a moderate, a forward thinker and a staunch supporter of the residents of Indiana.

Just so you know something about Americans for Prosperity, the Director is Art Pope, millionaire businessman from North Carolina, whose close allies are the billionaire Koch Brothers, who have waged relentless attacks on our democracy. Pope is North Carolina’s biggest political donor. He uses his customer’s cash to finance a network that serves the interests of the top 1 percent but hurts the rest of us in the 99 percent.

Richard Mourdock allied with the Tea Party in pursuing a Chrysler lawsuit that would have eliminated more than 4,000 high-paying Indiana jobs. Just after defeating Dick Lugar in the primary, Mourdock stated he believes “bipartisanship is the Democrates coming to the Republican point of view.”

Verification is available on, Wikipedia, and various web sites.

Although I personally believe it is crucial that we re-elect the president, I support Donnelly independently of Democratic allegiance.I support him because he takes pride in the people he represents and will work in true bipartisanship for our best interests.

— Linda Cunningham, Jeffersonville


The success of the Sister Cities program

One of the programs of the Clarksville Sister Cities is an exchange of visits by students from our Sister City in France, La Garenne-Colombes, and students from Southern Indiana. The students stay with families, and also get an opportunity to visit attractions in the area.

One of the previous participants, Claire Jaksimovic, is now teaching an English class in a school in La Garenne-Colombes. She wrote to Sister Cities to tell us about her opportunity. This is from her e-mail:

“This is Claire Jaksimovic, and I went to Providence High School and was involved in the Sister City exchange program with La Garenne-Colombes. I know it has been awhile since we have spoken, but I have very exciting news. In two weeks I will be going to La Garenne-Colombes to be an English teaching assistant at College les Champs Philippe for the next eight months. I am ecstatic to have this opportunity, so I just wanted to thank you for working so hard for our Sister City program.

“Without getting involved my sophomore year in high school, I would have never had the chance to have this life-changing experience. I wanted to let you know how the program has affected my life, and how it is sending me back to La Garenne (which is a pretty amazing thing.)

“Again, thank you for keeping this program alive. It is truly a blessing that we have these opportunities to interact with differing cultures. Thank you so much for everything, and I can’t wait to see our students in March.”

We think this program is a wonderful chance for students from Southern Indiana to meet and get to know people from other culture. We thank those who have participated as hosts and whose students have had the chance to visit La Garenne to get to know the people and the culture even better.

— Patricia Fraser, president, Clarksville Sister Cities

An endorsement for Butler for school board

I would like to endorse Alice Dorman Butler for Greater Clark County School Board District 6.

Ms. Butler has worked for our company as controller for the past 21 years and has been a true asset in her position. As controller, her job is critical to the success of our company and we depend on her daily to handle the payroll, accounting and the overall finances of the dealership. This is a position where integrity, accountability and intelligence are crucial in getting the job done.

I feel Ms. Butler will bring this same expertise to the school board of Greater Clark along with a genuine desire to improve the education for all children in the Southern Indiana area. She has always had a passion for education and knows firsthand the importance of receiving a great education in today’s competitive environment. She has no ulterior motive to serve on the board except doing all she can for the betterment of the students’ education in Clark County.

If she is voted in Nov. 6, I can guarantee you will be getting a top-notch board member you can count on just like I have for over the past 20 years.

— Greg Daunhauer, President/Owner, Byerly Auto Group  


Candidate’s husband offers correction to previous letter

In an attempt to keep information accurate, a letter to the editor published Oct. 9 titled “Reader urges a school board change,” where there was a mention of possible conflict of interest with the building trade students and current Greater Clark County Schools member Ernie Gilbert, the only descending vote was cast by Becka Christensen, not Nancy Kraft.

While the students in this great program need projects to work on, with all the homes in Clark County destroyed in the recent tornados, Becka felt there could have been a better choice for a project than a board member’s family property.

She would not vote to approve anything that could be a possible conflict of interest with a board member and anyone who has followed her voting record knows this. As for the rest of the letter, the voting public should take a good look at the information contained in it before casting their ballot on election day.

Thanks for giving me the time to set the record straight on this very important matter.

— Dan Christensen, Jeffersonville

Editor’s note: Dan Christensen is the husband of Becka Christensen, Greater Clark County Schools Board candidate.

Choosing party or faith

Many Catholics traditionally vote Democratic. You may remember that when Obamacare was being debated, there were 10 pro-life Democrats, mostly Catholic and led by Bart Stupak of Michigan, who spoke out against the plan because of their belief that it called for government-funded abortions.

After much discussion and promises from the president, they caved. Interestingly, Stupak didn’t seek re-election and eight of the other nine were defeated. It’s hard to be a pro-life Democrat when the Democratic Party is so strongly and adamantly pro-abortion.

In December 2010, the National Catholic Register ran an article listing the pro-life voting records of the Catholic members of the Senate and the House. The percentages they used were compiled by National Right to Life. At that time, there were 20 Catholic senators, six Republican and 14 Democrat. The Republicans had an average pro-life voting record of 80.8 percent. The Democrats had an average pro-life rating of 7.6 percent.

In the House, there were 96 Catholics, 34 Republican and 62 Democrats. The Republicans had an average pro-life rating of 96.9 percent. The Democrats had an average pro-life of 18 percent.

What this all seems to show is that Catholic Democrat politicians tend to take their Democratic Party allegiance much more seriously than they do their Catholic faith. This also seems to hold true for a lot of Catholic voters.

However, the good news is that studies tend to show that Catholics who are more serious about their faith, those who attend Mass regularly and receive the sacraments, tend to vote for the pro-life candidate rather than by party affiliation.

— Tom Powers, Corydon