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October 3, 2012

News and Tribune letters: Oct. 3, 2012

(Continued)

> SOUTHERN INDIANA — Perkins comments on response to repair work

I want to thank those who contacted me to talk about the recent news story about a small repair job in the 3rd District.

My district always supports the Autumn on the River festival in Bethlehem. It has been held their for many years. The recent newspaper story in the News and Tribune needs to be addressed.

The owners of the large field in Bethlehem always donate their land for festival parking. I was requested to help shore up some of the shoulder, to try to make it a litter safer, as the time for the festival was fast approaching. I was glad to help.

Concerns about people falling or tripping and possibly injuring themselves were discussed with me. This was not a personal favor as those who started the story apparently described to the News and Tribune. It was prevention — in advance work as we anticipated another large fall crowd in the area again.

Yes, of course I know the owners. It is part of my job to know residents in my district and it is their right to approach their commissioner on things like this.

My predecessors in the 3rd District, Whitey Garrett and Vicky Haire, were always available for small terrain, drainage or road work in each district. It is our job to help maintain or make safe any area that is used by the public.

Being available to help in outlying areas is precisely why the legislature has always required that commissioners live in their maintenance district. Bethlehem is in my 3rd District for maintenance.

I know this is an election season and some want to try to embarrass the commissioners office. But this shoulder repair work was helpful to the public who use that field. If we could help to make that field, and surrounding area, a little safer as the festival approaches, it was the right thing to do.

— John Perkins, Bethlehem

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