News and Tribune

July 25, 2013

NEWS AND TRIBUNE LETTERS — For July 25


Conserve water and save money

Many residents have gotten the notice: “Sewer Rates Will Increase January 2014.”

Well citizens, what are you going to do about it?

Fight fire with fire or in this case, water with water, gallon for gallon, mud hole for mud hole. The city has gone crazy mad with the increases.

We’re already all paying for bridges. I’m on a fixed income, and the elected officials treating me like I’m John D. Rockefeller is going to far.

It’s time for us to conserve water and it’s as simple as falling off a log. Take an average 32-gallon trash can with lid. Cut a hole in the top so that the downspout fits snug — mosquito proof — and the next time the rains come you’ve caught yourself 32 gallon of clean rainwater. That amounts to around 32 flushes per toilet or six washing machine loads of laundry, depending on the machine.

You do the math. Save water by using nature’s own, the water costs is lowered and the sewage use is lowered.

The key to this whole rate increase is Indiana American Water. The city sewer depends on water usage figures in order to draft any amount due. 

— Leroy Heil, Jeffersonville

 

What Clarksville needs

When researching if Clarksville becoming a city would make it more productive and efficient, a exploratory committee was governed by three criteria.

They questioned and researched if we would have more income and if we would save money, and if the answer was no to both, what could we do to improve our current operations.

Now to improve our current position, they recommended we hire a professional town manager to administer our town activities for the part-time councilmen.

They cited statistics showing 144 towns, or 58 percent of the cities with populations of 100,000 or more, are using a manager with a council. Omitted is the fact that 11 percent of those cities and towns in Indiana with less than 100,000 use a manager/council form of government.

Now I have the same concerns if a town manager is hired but as the saying goes, “If you keep doing what you’re already doing, then you’ll continue to get what you’ve already got.” 

Is that what you want?

Moreover, since they gave the insurance agent a two-year contract they should do this as well with a town manager, as this would possibly mitigate any local political influence. It’s a bold significant first step in establishing a full-time, professional manager of the town’s activities. It is truly visionary and long overdue. Incidentally, Councilman Paul Fetter ran on this position.

That leaves us with the separate, distinct and uber-important item of having the freedom to choose your own district representative, also called district voting. It was not considered in the city vs. town debate, nor should it have been. 

Voting by district is a the right of all Americans, and the fact it’s not being practiced in Clarksville is and continues to be moral outrage leaving a small group in control.

Instituting a town manager blows away the only argument of opponents to district voting. It will allow the councilman with full-time jobs to attend to their districts needs when they arise and allow them to concentrate on policy matters.

Footnote

In 1980 with a population of just 15,000, the town council hired a town manager. He wasn’t a professional and served only two years before the council realized they wanted things their own way. 

Thus, for more than 30 years — without a full-time town manager and without district voting, council members have served themselves s first. When is enough really enough?

— John Krueger, Clarksville

 

Resident pushes for Code Red system

I, former Charlestown Oregon Fire District Board Chairman Harold Goodlett, recently appeared before the district board meeting to push for Code Red Tornado Warning System. 

The system can also be used to warn residents of other emergencies, such as school lock downs, missing children, chemical spills and even boil water advisories. There would be ho cost to residents to list their choice of warning through their cell phone, land line, text massage or e-mail. To enroll, a person would call Code Red, give their name and address and phone number.

Charlestown lost its warning system that was attached to the 75-year-old city water tower when the city demolished the tower and sold it for scrap. The city of Charlestown collected local option income tax funds that are designated for police and fire departments. Since the city doesn’t have a fire department they don’t share those funds with the fire district.

County Commissioner Jack Coffman who was in attendance was asked to look into the ordinance to see if it could be amended to include all fire departments. Code Red representative Kurt Steier gave the board and estimated cost, however it did not include the entire district.

Board chairman Bill Resch ask that the item be tabled until Aug. 1 meeting to give Steier time to give the board a firm price. Anyone wanting to know more about Code Red warning system should attend that 7 p.m. meeting at the Charlestown Library, 51 Clark Road, Charlestown.

— Harold Goodlett, Charlestown