Single executive aids with accountability
For several years, the General Assembly has discussed the possibility of allowing Allen County to move to a single county executive model rather than the current three-member board model. The new model will allow Allen County voters to elect one county executive who will represent the executive branch of county government. Moving to an elected single county executive will make local government more understandable, more efficient, more effective and more accountable.
This form of government will give the public a single elected official to hold accountable for whether or not the county is operating effectively and efficiently rather than looking to three individuals who may not like to share praise or blame. It allows for a more transparent and open form of government.
It is important for businesses to have a single point of contact who can be held accountable. In a three-member model, it can be hard for businesses to know where to turn. One commissioner can make a promise that the other two may not agree to, therefore making the promise null and void. A stable government environment is needed for economic development and job growth.
I encourage the passage of language to allow Allen County to change to a single-executive model.
CHUCK SURACK Fort Wayne
Enjoy progress, realize the challenges to come
In March we celebrate National Disability Awareness month, and it truly is a celebration. So much has been accomplished, but there was a time when things were very different.
There was a time when those with disabilities were left behind to die because they were seen as a burden to our nomadic ancestors. At another time in history disability was viewed as a manifestation of evil and it resulted in persecution. Persecution was eventually replaced in the 1800s by large institutions where people with severe disabilities were held in what were often deplorable conditions. And over the not-so-distant years we have seen times when people with disabilities were involuntarily sterilized, used as subjects of medical experiments, and refused access to public education.
Things are very different now, but changes in these conditions didn’t happen on their own. It took leadership and courage.
We as people who have disabilities, advocates, family members and friends celebrate this month because there is so much for which to be thankful. But we work together and speak in a unified voice because there is so much yet to be done. We stand on the shoulders of those who were champions of change and work for that moment when pity is replaced with prosperity, when dignity takes the place of discrimination, and when community inclusion becomes the norm over isolation. When that day comes is when the celebration will really begin.
DAVID A. NELSON President/CEO League for the Blind & Disabled
Not enough live sports in Olympics coverage
The Olympics are now over, and we know everything we wanted or did not want to know about all the athletes’ personal lives from birth on. If our athletes looked backward as much as the TV viewers were forced to, they would all be lying injured in the snow or on the ice.
Excluding the commercials, the life histories, the reruns of every event, followed by the slow motion reruns, possibly 15 minutes of every hour of TV broadcast time was actual footage of new sporting events. Just once it would have been nice to have seen an event in its entirety instead of in bits and pieces.
Also, what happened to curling? We just opened a curling venue in Fort Wayne and didn’t see more than a glimpse.
I believe that all the hard work put in by our athletes deserves to be seen in their performances. Personally, I read several books during these broadcasts and slept through the boring talking heads with none of this the fault of the athletes.
If anyone knows how to convey this to the network producers, please do so or let me know how.
MARLIN CULY New Haven
Contaminations must have common factor
After reading about another restaurant closing in such a short amount of time, I am curious whether there is a common denominator involved. The restaurants are well-maintained establishments. Could it be there is a vendor common to all that has an infestation? I hope someone from the state health department is looking at that as a possibility so this can be stopped. I would think gaining customer confidence would be extremely difficult for all of these businesses.
CHRIS SNIDER Fort Wayne
Still time to advocate for children’s education
First the corporate education reformers came for our local control through tax caps, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t paying attention.
Next they gutted the funding through school choice, and I didn’t speak up because I thought, Sure. This is a free country. Everyone should be able to find the school that best suits their children.
Then they took over and privatized some schools, and I didn’t speak up because I thought, That’s an inner-city problem.
Then they went after the curriculum, and I didn’t speak up because I thought, Sure, we should have high, consistent standards. Kids should be ready for college and career. I didn’t know that this was a money-making scheme unlike all others and that the testing involved would destroy teacher autonomy and the joy in learning.
And they came for the teachers, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a teacher.
Then they came for my children and my school, and I found my voice. The personal is political. It has been difficult for parents and the general public to see how the decisions made in the Statehouse directly affect our children’s lives. Bills with no foundation in educational research and written by for-profit corporations have chipped away at the cornerstone of our democracy, public education, with a death by a thousand cuts. Schools are not factories to output workers for the economy. They are places where children learn and are nurtured. Please join us and speak up. Schools should be for children, not for profit.
CATHY FUENTES-ROHWER Bloomington
Unions not to blame as companies go under
In a Feb. 16 article a VW worker made the statement that if you look at every company that went bankrupt or closed in Detroit, the common denominator was the UAW. So everyone who reads those statements will say it must be so. Then could all the banks, insurance companies and businesses that file for bankruptcy or go broke be blamed on the employees for going under?
This premise is faulty at best. Business decisions are made by the business itself. In my 44 years of work in factories and small businesses, I was never asked by management what I thought of their decisions.
When I was employed at Chrysler and they were in the process of being sold to Daimler, Chrysler had $18 billion in cash and $14 billion in its pension fund. Chrysler was in the best shape financially it had ever been. At this time Daimler of Germany was on the threshold of bankruptcy. Daimler leveraged the sale and the Chrysler CEO went out with a $32 million golden parachute. Eight short years or so later, Daimler had milked Chrysler of every dime it could and sold it to a holding company. In all of this the UAW was not asked what it thought.
I hear all the business and political propaganda of how union membership is bad. But if you look at a graph of wages between 1980 and 2014, there is a direct correlation of decline in wages with loss of union membership.
So I guess if your bank goes bankrupt or your credit union closes like ours did in Van Wert, you just have to blame the depositors and the employees. Never blame the business, they’re golden. Just ask them.
I’m staying with the one who took me to the dance – and that’s the UAW.
FREDERICK W. SMITH Van Wert ,Ohio