Letters to the Editor

Support Shumate for Floyd County Commissioner

In my letter published in News and Tribune on Aug. 5, 2020, I pointed out that John Schellenberger had, as a member of the Floyd County Council in 2015, voted to establish Our Southern Indiana Regional Development Authority with the power of Eminent Domain. Tom Pickett voted with Schellenberger, the other five Council members showed better judgment and the move failed. With that Eminent Domain authority no real property within Floyd, Clark, Scott, Washington, or Jefferson counties would be safe from the whim of an appointed board accountable to no one. It would have been a chronic threat to the principle of private property ownership; a principle that should not be for sale. That version would also have authorized the RDA to encumber the five counties with up to $40 million in bonded indebtedness for any project they chose regardless of public approval. This debt would have been paid by taxpayers regardless of success or failure of the project. The Eminent Domain provision was removed and the RDA was established in 2017.

John Schellenberger is currently running for re-election to the Board of Floyd County Commissioners. I sent the three County Commissioners a copy of my letter of Aug. 5, 2020 (which stated that the public needs to know his reason for voting to jeopardize private ownership of real estate) in case they didn’t read the News and Tribune. With three months to respond before the election, his only response that I’m aware of was reporter Daniel Suddeath’s account of the Commissioners’ meeting of Sept. 15, 2020 (News and Tribune of Sept. 16). In this account Schellenberger said there was no guarantee that funding would be awarded locally in 2015; this exposes his vulnerability to the mere prospect of money at any cost. This instinct was illustrated in a comparably smaller way in the Stormwater meeting of Dec. 5, 2019, when farmers asked for relief from unfair Stormwater fees and the unfairness was emphasized forcefully and clearly shown. Schellenberger asked the first question. His question had nothing to do with fairness; he simply asked how much the requested change would reduce revenue for the Stormwater Program, and got action delayed.

Jeremy Shumate is a good prospect for County Commissioner. He can bring a much needed new perspective to development in Floyd County. Schellenberger is on record for favoring high density subdivisions on narrow, insufficient county roads. Shumate has stated county road improvement as a priority.

George Mouser, Floyds Knobs

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