August 19, 2012

Public forum

Officials ambush park leadership

On July 20, the Cass County Council and commissioners ambushed the France Park board and superintendent.

France Park was listed on the agenda for this meeting; no details of the planned discussion were given. Members of the park board and superintendent attended, only to discover that there was a plan to disband the present France Park board and to fire the current park superintendent. In talking with the president of the commissioners after the meeting, the superintendent learned that a decision had been made to fire her before the 11 a.m. executive board meeting of the commissioners.

Decisions to disband the France Park board and fire the superintendent were based on complaints of a few campers during the same six months that the superintendent was on medical leave from the park. These campers stated that they always wanted to help the park. They offered services, but never completed them. They were given a chance to voice their complaints to the France Park board and superintendent at two different meetings. The superintendent publicly offered open door meetings, which they declined. The park board and superintendent were discussing these issues and working on them.

The commissioners’ president informed the superintendent that this was effective by noon that day. She was given one hour to clean out her office and leave the park. While cleaning out her office, the president of the commissioners was standing with the newly appointed superintendent nearby.

Had the members of the council and commissioners taken the time to recognize the fact that France Park has increased its revenue every year? If park conditions were so bad, why are 30 new long-term campers choosing France Park this year?

Why were suggestions of Ralph Anderson and Jim David to table the actions until further study ignored?

Why was the superintendent’s position not posted for five days as stated in the county employee handbook?

Why would you hire someone who had not completed the 90-day probation period during previous employment at the park?

Why were the park board and superintendent not advised of the concerns about the park?

Why have there been so many comments by citizens worried about the future of France Park after these actions?

Why were the opinions of the citizens of Cass County, as expressed through the park board, ignored?


Sandy Heckard, former superintendent, France Park


Thanks for help with injured pet

On Aug. 2, around 10:30 a.m., my grandchildren’s dog was hit in front of Raab Water in between the two bridges at Biddle’s Island.

The person who did this never bothered to stop and see if the dog was dead or alive. No one else did either. Cars just drove past him as he lay there.

I was in the kitchen window and saw him and ran out to him. He was alive but badly hurt. A gentleman in a truck stopped and asked if I needed help. He carried the severely injured dog to the grass.

I want to thank him for his help. He was the only one out of all the cars that were stopped on the bridge that even got out to assist me.

That says a lot about what kind of person you are.

To the person who did this and never stopped, that tells me what kind of person you are also. I’m sure somewhere in your life you will be paid back for this.

The dog had a name, it was Scooter, and the family of Aaron and Rachel Vaughan loved him. He had to be put to sleep. The injuries were too much for him. Thank you, again, to the gentleman who did help me.

Jamie DuBois, Logansport


Taxpayer expresses thanks for courtesy

For all concerned: I want to thank George Franklin, code enforcement officer, and Ted Franklin, mayor, and all others concerned that I was treated with the utmost respect as a taxpayer. I want to really let it be known that this is how I really feel. I was treated with all the professionalism you could ask for.

John Bates, Logansport


Thanks for support in a time of grief

The family of Virginia Correll would like to thank everyone who visited Virginia at the nursing home and at the funeral home, for all the cards, prayers and flowers on her behalf.

We especially thank Chase Center and everyone there for their wonderful care of her.

Thank you to Fisher Funeral Chapel and Pastor Larry Fry for her beautiful service, and everyone at Hillcrest Baptist Church and Baptist Christian Church for their prayers and flowers.

We appreciate all that was done for her. We will miss her.

Delmar Correll and family, Royal Center


Thanks for support of Thompson Totes

Thompson Totes backpack program is excited to begin its third year!

Last school year, 2011-12, 96 children were served weekly. Over 3,000 bags of food were sent home.

The backpack program sent child-friendly, nutritious, weekend food for eligible children in grades kindergarten, first, second and third at Thompson Elementary School in Walton.

Food is purchased from Food Finders Food Bank through United Way. The program is funded by individuals, organizations, local churches and local businesses through donation/sponsorship.

Donations may be sent to United Way Cass County (designate for Thompson Totes on check) or to Thompson Totes, PO Box 447, Walton IN 46994.

Six dollars will provide one child with weekend food. Ninety-five dollars will provide a semester of weekend food for a child, and $190 will provide a child with weekend food for the entire school year.

Sponsorship forms may be picked up at the Walton Library. The Cass County community and Southeastern school patrons have been very generous, and the program continues to operate due to the support of many sponsors.

Not only are the sponsors generous, but so are the volunteers. Last school year over 35 different groups of volunteers helped pack weekly bags. Many individuals came weekly to assist with the packing.

The bags are packed each Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at Shiloh Evangelical Lutheran Church in Walton. All are welcome to join in the packing of the bags. If you wish to sign up as a group, please call Mary Burrous at 574-626-3220 or send an email to her at

Mary Burrous, executive board member, Thompson Totes


Self-Interest well understood

Alexis de Tocqueville traveled 1830s America preparing a political

masterpiece: Democracy in America. His book praised our concept of personal freedom within the moral boundaries of our religion. He called it self-interest well understood. The drive for individual well-being was tempered by believing the good of all was good for me. But he was troubled by the fine line between individualism and selfishness.

Over our history it has required some social engineering and some redistribution of wealth to attain equal rights and opportunity for all.

We are imperfect egalitarians. Financial equality is someone’s fantasy, nor should we desire it. The freedom to create, innovate and lead would die from lack of incentive. But there’s no denying wealth is an advantage on the ladder to success.

I find this movement toward a society of every man for himself disturbing. I will grant the work ethic is weak. Some have proven that a successful life can blossom from the very bottom of the social heap, but in a nation that produces so much wealth, I see no excuse for poverty, famine, denial of health care or an institution that fails to inspire all children with equal determination.

Granted, the welfare system is abused. That is the fault of the management or the rules governing access. We can be the most philanthropic people in the world when disasters strike, but well-conceived programs could prevent some disasters from ever happening.

Politicians preach austerity to everyone but themselves. I have yet to hear them reconsider the social benefits they receive or subsidies lavished on corporate America. And how did Social Security and Medicare, designed to protect against financial destitution in old age, become universal entitlements?

As our population ages, it is no surprise the numbers don’t add up.

How many thousands of citizens receive these benefits who could survive without them? We seem to take no notice of the hypocrisy.

Tocqueville warned, when individualism becomes selfishness the fibers of our social fabric rend, and a new tyranny must rise. I see only two options: Total anarchy or the strong against the weak.

James Madison said, “In a republic it is of great importance to guard one part of society against the injustice of the other part. Justice is the end of government. It is the end of civil society.”

Jeffery W. Wiseley, Star City