The Hendricks County Flyer
Thu Jul 11, 2013, 05:23 PM EDT
To the Editor:
To all of you that sit on the Brownsburg Town Council — we don't want this. People are going to lose their homes if you do this. Our schools are already falling behind other school districts in Central Indiana. They need more money, not less money and more students.
It is a sad day when a handful of people set out to change the character of our town with utter disregard for other people that live here.
In case you were wondering, I will not be voting for any of you again. You have let us all down.
I have seen signs around town stating the Brownsburg Town Board wants to annex in more acres of land so Brownsburg will have future growth, however at what price? I have two children in the Brownsburg School system. When we moved to Brownsburg 15 years ago the top reason we choose Brownsburg was the excellent school system and the small town feel, however that has changed in the last 15 years.
You have cut the school budget so tight that our schools are forced into class sizes that the schools are clearly not equipped to handle, however we have a town hall that cost over $15 million to build and is used by few. Where are our priorities?
My oldest son had a science class a year ago in a class lab built for 24 students but there were 32 students assigned to his class. Needless to say, he didn’t really learn all he could have if the teacher could have done more experiments with hands on opportunities. Shame is he really liked science until that year.
Per a letter I received, the school board has informed the town council that they cannot handle the expansion of students that this annexation will cause, however you are ignoring this. How can you ignore the input of one of the most important selling points for people moving to Brownsburg, the quality of our school system?
If you look at your own numbers, you will see the majority of people that live in Brownsburg and are paying taxes are families. We expect our school system to stay top notch and not have to patch up what they already have because the town council is cutting their budget yet forcing more students into their care.
I agree we need to grow, but not at the expense of our future generations.
Also I was shocked to see on the news a representative of the council speaking to how Brownsburg wants to take control over State Road 267 so we can expand it.
When will the council listen to the people of Brownsburg that pay taxes? A few years back we went through this and it was clear, due to the turn out at the town council meeting, which was standing room only, that the taxpayers of Brownsburg do not want S.R. 267 expanded, regardless of who has control over it.
We should not have to go through the possible upheaval of the town we love every time the town council gets new members. I am assuming there are new members because I don’t want to believe the current members were in place a few years back when we went through the meeting that clearly stated what the taxpayers want. I hope you are not ignoring us as well. However if it comes to it again, the people of Brownsburg will group together and fight this again.
The members of the Brownsburg Town Council need to remember they are in their position to execute what is best for the Town of Brownsburg as deemed by their constituents. If you listen, you will hear what your constituents want. We are generally not that quiet when it comes to where our town is headed.
“Set your goals low enough and you will always achieve them.” This was the sarcastic advice my high school algebra teacher gave his under-performing students and it seems to be the motto of the Flyer’s reporting staff, Hendricks County Humane Society, and especially the county commissioners who oversee the operation of our animal shelter.
If we were to take at face value the recent reporting by the Flyer, animal welfare in Hendricks County is doing great. The shelter is placing animals at a rate we can be proud of. Our Humane Society is fostering and placing animals through multiple adoption events at a volume comparable to those in the other metropolitan Indianapolis counties. We are accomplishing all of this through team work and positive thinking, disregarding those who through their negativity might suggest that the above is not true.
The problem is that the above is not true. It is at best, exaggerated. The recent reorganization at the shelter shifted the Animal Control Chief and three other employees to the sheriff’s department and left four employees to work at the shelter. Animal Control has never required 50 percent of the manpower at the shelter. The commissioners have left the remaining shelter staff severely undermanned and set them up for failure.
The only way to accurately assess the performance of the shelter is to look at their placement statistics and how they compare with other area shelters. On May 29 of this year a reporter asked Commissioner Palmer for the euthanasia rate of our shelter. She said that she was not sure but thought that it was comparable to area counties.
At a recent commissioner’s meeting, Commissioner Whetstone interrupted a citizen speaker to inform her that stating the Chief Animal Control officer’s name made the discussion personal.
First, how can a government official tasked with overseeing the shelter not know what the statistics are and how can they be unaware that they are not comparable to metro area counties even though we outspend all but Hamilton County? Secondly, why is Commissioner Whetstone unable to differentiate between a personnel issue and a personal issue?
The Flyer has a responsibility to the community to accurately investigate claims and ensure what they are reporting is true. Nothing is going to change through wishful thinking alone and the commissioners are not going to get our animal placement rates in line with others in the area unless the citizens demand it.
In conclusion, the commissioners practice of running our shelter differently than any other area shelter is not working. We have a new shelter, a proven staff in need of only effective leadership, residents who embrace animal adoptions, and healthy friendly animals in the shelter that would make welcome additions to our homes. Let us set our goals high.
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Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN
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