In my lifetime, this election may be the most important in which we have ever participated. If you don't know the issues, you have no excuse for your ignorance. For those who understand the tenuous place our constitutional republic is in, I implore you, please vote. Don't sit on the sidelines. The future of our children and grandchildren depends on what we do now. God will hold us accountable for what we do and for what we don't do.
Donna VolmerdingThe two great criticisms of late regarding township trustees are efficiency and accountability. Whether it is a small township where the trustee is the only employee or a large one that has 30-plus employees, these are concerns that need to be addressed. Efficiency is a must, not only in township government, but also in all government offices. These are taxpayers' dollars being spent. I expect when I pay my taxes, there is a sense of stewardship maintained by the ones who choose how to spend it. That is where efficiency comes in. If the same quality of service can be provided at a lesser cost, I hope my representative would take action so that my money is making the highest impact possible.
One would presume accountability would be a given, but it seems many townships have made less than desirable decisions with few repercussions. Is it because townships are so small that no one really pays attention to what is going on? Or perhaps this form of government operates without accountability as they see fit. It is true township standards are sometimes open to interpretation; the original idea was to allow the trustee to adapt to the community they serve. But this ambiguity has been abused as well. One reason is the lack of transparency. So how can we fix this ongoing problem with our current structure that allows inefficiency and lack of accountability? My personal response has been to run for Wayne Township trustee. My experience as the social service director at The Salvation Army has taught me to do what I can with what I have. And every time I increase the efficiency of services, it results in helping more people. From 2008 to 2009, I increased our direct services by 49 percent and did it without increasing administration costs. My plan is simple, but has served me well. First, eliminate waste, whether it is a form, or department or service. Second, eliminate complications. The more an office has to do, the higher opportunity there is for mistakes. Removing unnecessary steps allows for increased speed and the elimination of costly errors. The current process is not working.
I am also disappointed in my opponent for lying about me. His response to my comment about making a more efficient office was completely false. He claims that at the end of my employment in the payee program, he made it more efficient by adding several services. Unfortunately, all of the services he claimed to have added were already being performed by me. In fact, now they charge people to be on the program, and deny assistance if they do not sign up for it. And after I left, he decided to employ one part-time employee, four full-time employees and a director to do the same job I did.
Timothy R. SmithWhat is it we want from those who wish to be a judge among us?
Certain prerequisites might be honesty, integrity, good moral character, unbiased mixed with just a wee bit of humility. After all, they sit in judgment of their fellow man.
But let something come up, and we the public become the judges. And according to what I have read, there's one judge in town who should not be allowed to run again because he violated proper procedures and decorum by showing emotions of a father who lost his son and was caught up in the pain of human emotions.
The thought comes to my mind of all who felt strongly about this and among those who are Christians how many actually prayed for him and his family. Was he wrong? You bet! And he was dealt with based on all the facts, and his accusers should be willing to show up in person and show just cause with proof in hand. You should know the other side of this man who loved his son and his family. There is the fact that he and his good wife donate many hours of their time and labor every summer decorating and doing other chores for the Germanfest. I have personally seen them come in early and stay very late as all the fine Germanfest volunteers do. They are certainly not selfish with their time and labor.
Jim KeefeAs an African-American pastor and a mentor for at-risk kids, the election of the judge for Allen County Superior Court is essential to me. Our community must work together to respond to the young men and women who find themselves in “the system.” We must let them know there is hope.
Judge candidate Wendy Davis offers that hope. She is a friend, and I trust her. Her passion, integrity and fairness stand out. Wendy understands the law and is an excellent attorney and prosecutor. She cares deeply for the kids who come through the system, and she can imagine the possibilities of what these kids could become. But she is also the voice for the victim. Her heart is touched by what is happening around her, and that is what I love about her.
On the Urban Task Force, Wendy wants to be a part of the solution. She once told me “some kids are pure trouble and the system must do everything to penalize and reform them. But there are other kids who are pure stupid and simply get caught up in the moment. We must be able to discern the difference between the two of them.” Wendy is dedicated to preparing kids now so that as adults they are not candidates for “repair.”
So many kids get caught in the system. They can't vote or get a job, and their lives are impacted forever. It is refreshing to have someone who is passionate about justice and fairness. We need to restore integrity to our legal system. Davis has my vote.
Rev. Luther Whitfield, director of Primetime Community CenterVoting for Tom Hayhurst would be in your best interest for a multitude of reasons. Especially because of his accessibility. His record is very well-known. Hayhurst has always returned calls and met his appointments in a timely manner. He is wellknown as a champion for the common man, and his causes. He was there for each and every one of us here in Fort Wayne, and as a City Councilman, has proved his concerns are for one and all.
Being a veteran himself makes him sympathetic to the health care system, as well as his continued work in helping to improve health care that will be a growing concern to all as we are living longer and longer.
Tom's dedication is unquestionable.
Bob RungeVote yes on property tax caps. Government has already taxed people beyond reason. While these property tax caps will reduce revenue for some areas, I would like to see the programs affected cut out the waste they incur first. There is already rampant fraud in many public/social benefit programs.
If we really want to show compassion for those in need we should be funding programs that will help them to learn to live independently so they are a contributing member of society instead of a burden. At what point does a person who works hard and is a responsible homeowner get to say enough?
Laura J. Smyser
Poll resultsWould you rather see Mitch Daniels or Mike Pence as the GOP presidential candidate?
♦Mitch Daniels 27 percent
♦Mike Pence 45 percent
♦Some other Republican 16 percent
♦I really don't care 12 percent
Based on 211 responses.