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The Journal Gazette

February 17, 2015 1:00 AM

Letters

Long’s words laughable for these constituents

In Finland, teachers are recognized as pillars of their society. In Indiana, they have been used as pawns to further the agenda of those after the public schools’ and taxpayers’ money.

For Sen. David Long to say his recent comments concerning Glenda Ritz’s qualifications for superintendent of public instruction and his follow-ups concerning Dave Bangert of the Lafayette Journal and Courier is laughable in our household. We would love for Bangert to interview us. A good question to ask Long is why so many teachers at the top of the salary scale have resigned or retired since his education agenda began in Indiana. These were most of our best teachers – or were they “just” teachers?

The senator says we can’t afford to wait for a fix on Superintendent Ritz. I say the fix has been in from the beginning with her predecessor, Tony Bennett, Long, Rep. Brian Bosma and our past governor, Mitch Daniels.

NEIL BUSSARD

Fort Wayne

Straight-party vote consequences apparent

There was an article on Page 1A (Jan. 30), “Indiana’s legislators look to cut tax credits.”  Rep. Todd Huston, R-Fishers, says “the goal is to simplify taxes and keep it revenue neutral” so House Bill 1349 includes getting rid of 29 income tax breaks to help pay for tax changes that would benefit businesses. In other words, take tax credits from individuals and give them to businesses, thereby resulting in no increase in revenue – no additional revenue for the state but higher taxes for individuals.

In their efforts to attract business to Indiana, it becomes more unattractive to individuals who might want to live here.

On the same page, there is another article, “Bills targeting Ritz’s power clear panel.”  House Bill 1609 would remove the elected superintendent as chair of the State Board of Education. The companion bill – House Bill 1486 – would take several key powers from the Ritz-led Indiana Department of Education and give them to the bipartisan, appointed board.  

Whether you like her or not, whether she is a member of your political party, she was elected to her position, which includes several key powers which that position has held for more than 100 years and which they want to remove from that elected official.

Indiana voters should pay more attention to the individual candidates. Indiana has one of the highest percentages of voters (40 percent) who pull the lever for straight-party voting.

ELAINE BOWERS

Fort Wayne 

Higher bus ridership of benefit to us all

There is a great need for public bus transportation In Indiana. Unfortunately, state funding for systems such as Citilink all 61 public transit systems throughout Indiana has remained at $42.5 million annually for seven years.

Public transportation ridership has grown 15 percent from 2004 to 2013, and many more folks would ride our buses in Indiana if we had the funding to offer more frequent service and service to other parts of our cities. With these points in mind, I ask for your support and the support of your state legislators for House Bill 1215, which will raise state funding for public bus transportation in Indiana $60 million yearly. That will allow Citilink and the other transit systems in Indiana to offer more bus service on the street for workers, students and seniors who use and need this service.

Please remember: More riders on buses means fewer cars on roads and highways and less wear and damage on them, reducing repair costs for all of us.

FRED LANAHAN

Chairman

Fort Wayne Public Transportation Corp.