Letters to the Editor

Misinformation a disservice

An open letter to the community,

As President of the Clarksville Town Council, I feel compelled to set the record straight on an issue that is passing through the community rumor mill as a result of some town employees apparently not understanding how the town budget works. I am not seeking re-election so I hope you will see me as a disinterested party.

I want to think these rumors have started as a result of lack of understanding and not malice, but in any event, I want to set the record straight. The Clarksville Police Political Action Committee (PAC) is alleging that the town is taking town insurance funds and purchasing properties for the Redevelopment Department in addition to taking money from the town's insurance fund and spending it on storage of video from police video cameras. That is not only untrue, it is impossible under state law. These untrue assertions have the appearance of being politically motivated, and that bothers me while the town is in an election cycle.

The town's insurance fund can only be expended on insurance. The Redevelopment Commission has its own funds for acquisition of property and those funds come from businesses inside Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Districts and can only be used for those purposes. Money spent on the Police Department's video storage comes from the town's General Fund, not the Insurance fund.

Over the years, the cost of insurance has risen substantially. As the town has striven to keep its existing insurance package, the insurance fund has shrunken considerably. The town annually commits the amount of money it expects to spend under its self-insurance fund and the insurance fund exists as a non-reverting fund to cover any expenses that exceed what is budgeted.

Candidates who were interviewed by the Police PAC say the PAC’s primary concerns were over salary, salary negotiations and insurance coverage. They appear to be supporting candidates who have promised to give them what they want in those regards. I understand that, but at the same time, responsible candidates should be taking the position that they want fair salaries and benefits for all town employees and not show favoritism to any one department.

It is personally disappointing to me that town employees have allowed their legitimate wishes for fair and proper wages and benefits to become embroiled in political mudslinging and the distribution of untruths. Town government and town residents deserve better.

If you have questions about the budget process, I encourage you to call the town’s Administrative Offices at 812-283-1504 or the Clerk-Treasurer's office at 812-283-1500 and seek answers from people who know what is happening.

The Clarksville Police Political Action Committee, by presenting bad information to the community, is damaging its credibility and by inference, that of the candidates they are supporting. The public will lose trust in the police and their favored political candidates as a result.

To be able to work together after the election, trust is crucial. Make sure the facts given to constituents in the future are correct.

— PAUL FETTER

President, Clarksville Town Council

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Gahan deserving of re-election

Job well done, Mayor Gahan.

Not having lived in New Albany for over 10 years now, I cannot believe the changes that I recently saw while visiting family. I never thought that downtown New Albany would be what it has become today. I remember as a kid going down to eat at Southside, and that was about it in terms of things to do. Yet, during my most recent trip home, my family and friends showed me all of the amazing things that have come to New Albany in just in the past few years. From new restaurants and local shops to park improvements and other place making throughout the city, New Albany has never looked more inviting.

Knowing the scrutinizing process companies and other individuals go through to choose the best location for their business, Mayor Gahan and other city officials are getting the job done. Simply put, Gahan has earned another term in office.

— ANDREW HOMAN

Carmel

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