Letters to the Editor

Floyd Dems endorse NAFCS referendum

The COVID-19 Pandemic has disrupted many aspects of our daily routine and this year’s Primary Election is certainly not exempt. While many voters are adjusting to necessary changes such as voting by mail, the decisions made during this primary are still critically important to our community. That is why the Floyd County Democratic Party announced last month it was endorsing the New Albany Floyd County Consolidated School Corporation’s (NAFC Schools) Safety Referendum. The endorsement was made official by a unanimous vote of the party’s 120 member Central Committee.

Our party did not enter into this decision lightly and we seriously weigh initiatives like this and their cost to taxpayers. However, Floyd County voters should vote “yes” to this referendum because of the importance of the safety enhancements and the low impact this will have on property taxes. If approved by Floyd County voters, the ultimate impact to our overall school tax rate would be 1 cent over the 2018 tax rate in accordance with annual fluctuation.

The school safety referendum would provide for several new measures designed to enhance existing security and provide services to prevent school related threats. These include the establishment of a school corporation safety office, employment of additional school resource officers, equipment purchases for improved building and bus safety, conducting threat assessments and updating school safety plans, as well as programs addressing mental health, addiction, bullying and school violence prevention.

While our Party supports the referendum as an opportunity for community members to invest in public education in Floyd County, Party leaders were critical of the overall referendum process and lack of support shown for public education by Gov. Holcomb and members of the Indiana General Assembly. Put simply, all Hoosier children deserve access to a safe school and the resources brought by this referendum. They should not be reserved just for those living in school districts with the willingness and ability to run successful campaigns to ensure educational funding.

Making [the] matter more heartbreaking is the fact there have been missed opportunities to change the referendum process and provide funding to school corporations. As part of the 2020 legislative session, our own State Representative, Republican Ed Clere, had the opportunity to not only support changing a flawed referendum system that handcuffs school corporations, but also to approve additional funding through state government to provide for school safety improvements. Instead of taking this opportunity, he voted “no” against the funding measure and continues to be openly hostile toward public schools and our educators.

It is our hope this referendum will continue to assert the community’s commitment to public education despite the actions of state leaders. It offers individuals the chance to invest in the future of our community and by providing a safe and strong education, we will greatly enhance the economic growth and quality of life for our citizens.

Our children are our community’s most valuable asset and we must ensure that our schools are well equipped to meet the safety challenges of the world in which we live. Please vote “yes” to the NAFC Schools Referendum on June 2. For more information, individuals can also visit https://www.sosfloydcounty.com.

Adam Dickey, Chairman, Floyd County Democratic Party

Dan Moore a fair, effective judge

Several years ago, I served on a jury trial with Dan Moore as the judge. It was a murder trial with many difficult and disturbing facets of the case. I found Judge Moore to be an excellent judge. His conducting of this trial should be an example for anyone who seeks to be a judicial officer. In my opinion, Judge Moore conducted this trial effectively, efficiently, and fairly to both sides. He was patient, professional, and accommodating to the jurors, spectators, court employees and attorneys.

When the trial was concluded, and the verdict was announced, the jurors were sent back to the jury room. Judge Moore came in to speak with us. He wanted to make sure we were okay and none of us were having issues with the verdict and the disturbing material in this case. Judge Moore’s compassion and concern reflects very positively on him as a judge and as a person.

I strongly endorse Dan Moore as a very professional, effective, and competent judge. Dan Moore is an example of how judges should conduct the office for which they are elected.

Billie Smith, Jeffersonville

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