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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Residents voice concerns to local representatives

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Area state legislators (from left) John Waterman, Clyde Kersey and Nancy Michael all attended Saturday's Clay County Cracker Barrel at the Harmony Community Center. [Order this photo]
HARMONY -- The Harmony Community Building was the site for the third 2009 Clay County Cracker Meeting involving local state representatives Saturday.

Two regular contributors, District 37 Senator Richard Bray and District 37 State Representative Vern Tincher were both absent for the event. The two officials missed one of the more lively discussions that had taken place at a Cracker Barrel in recent months.

The meeting began with a general recap and updates of topics discussed at previous meetings. District 43 State Representative Clyde Kersey said the Kernan-Shepard Report, which would create a streamlining of local government, was killed and would stay dead unless brought back by Gov. Mitch Daniels.

Kersey said it "won't hurt to wait," on voting on a bill to cut property taxes, saying the current set-up could lead to a decrease in public services. Kersey cited the recent closing of three branches of the Vigo County Library as an example.

He said placing these caps could lead to a reduction or loss of important services such as the fire and police departments and public schools.

Kersey also said Indiana could get between $4-6 billion in the recently passed stimulus package. He said he hoped to see the money divided evenly to all those who need it.

"I want to see that this money is sent to all 92 counties," Kersey said. "I hope this reaches beyond Marion (County)."

One concern expressed is the money was going to go into repairs of Interstate-69. Kersey said the money needed to be put into the economy immediately and that placing it for this project would take time.

Things got heated in the small community room when the topic was changed to illegal immigration.

Several attendees were outraged that American businesses were using cheap immigrant labor, creating even greater unemployment rates under current economic conditions. Kersey said Indiana's 9 percent unemployment rate is the highest in the U.S.

District 39 State Senator John Waterman announced House Bill 1272, an illegal immigration bill, was currently in the works, which would use the E-verify program to search if workers are in the country legally.

Despite the procedures being taken, some felt it wasn't enough. Local resident Martha Stout expressed concern that certain workers would slip through the cracks and said more severe action needed to be taken.

While many people were in favor of a more strenuous search, one local resident felt they were being too general in their classifications of illegal aliens and expressed his displeasure vocally.

"Just because someone talks with a funny accent doesn't mean he's an illegal alien," resident Dan Moore said. "I think it is 100 percent against everything we stand for. We have to be careful."

Robert Devor, another resident who had been arguing for stricter laws against illegal aliens, said he had no problem with people coming to America from other nations, but the argument they were trying to make was it was crucial to keep tabs on the ones who were not taking the proper steps to citizenship and were costing legal citizens their right to earn a living.

District 44 State Representative Nancy Michael said while she doesn't like to see confrontation, she felt the situation that occurred Saturday could serve as a positive step in the months to come as the legal process on the bill continues.

"It's important to have these debates," she said. "If we can create an open dialogue, then hopefully we can use them as a way to educate and show both sides of the issue."

Another lively debate was raised by an area politician. Center Point Town Board President Roy Smith was there on behalf of his town to discuss a recent 167 percent increase in the town's water cost. Smith said his town did not have the customer base to support this. However, much of his displeasure seemed not to come from the increase as much as it was being enforced by officials who were completely unaware of the needs of a small town resident.

"By the time these bills filter down to us, there is so much paperwork that it's impossible to understand," Smith said. "Something has to be done and (officials) need to think about people in small towns."

Smith also said the Cracker Barrel meetings were the only chance he has had to speak with high-ranking state officials.

Michael said she understood why Smith was so frustrated. She said she spoke with him after the meeting and discussed the possibility of setting up a meeting to discuss ways to help Center Point with its water and sewer increase. One suggestion was a system of grants. Michael also said that it was "very important" to make sure a small town representative was in on the meeting as to give a first-hand opinion of how the town could be better served.

Saturday was the last scheduled Cracker Barrel in the county for the year though there was expressed interest in conducting another special session to hear of the advancement of state issues.

If a meeting is set up, it will be announced at a later date.

Kersey said even if another meeting doesn't happen, he strongly encouraged citizens to continue to voice their concerns and let their elected officials know what is on their mind.

"We work for you," Kersey said. "If there's an issue with a bill, don't hesitate to give us a call, send us an e-mail or tell us how you feel."

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Correct me if i'm wrong, but it Kersey saying that he supports government ability to continue to raise property taxes?

-- Posted by tenspeed1984 on Mon, Mar 23, 2009, at 7:13 AM

All spending bills in the Stimulus or Omnibus bill to assist jobless American Workers seem insignificant, when Democratic leaders left in a giant loophole so millions of ILLEGAL ALIENS can steal jobs? Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) joined the nefarious group of Democrats, to kill E-Verify that would have supported to the American Worker.


Sen.Harry Reid (D-NV) arch enemy of American workers, committed the ultimate sin today Reid and 49 Democrats blocked E-Verify in the Senate. Their disloyal actions shall be well remembered, when the grovel for re-election. They condemned hundreds of thousands in the construction industry, having to compete over jobs. Parasites are organisms that live of a host and that is what contractors will do, when they look for the cheapest labor they can find. Starting with the stimulus, then followed by the Omnibus spending plan this Senators blocked E-Verify.

Akaka (D-HI) Inouye (D-HI),Begich (D-AK),Bennet (D-CO) Udall (D-CO),Bingaman (D-NM) Udall(D-NM),Boxer (D-CA) Feinstein (D-CA),Brown (D-OH),Burris (D-IL) Durbin (D-IL),Byrd (D-WV) Rockefeller (D-WV),Cantwell (D-WA) Murray,(D-WA),Cardin (D-MD) Mikulski (D-MD),Carper (D-DE) Kaufman (D-DE),Casey (D-PA),Conrad (D-ND) Dorgan (D-ND),Dodd (D-CT) Lieberman.

Here's more Senators who killed E-Verify Here's more (ID-CT),Feingold (D-WI) Kohl (D-WI),Gillibrand (D-NY) Schumer (D-NY),Hagan (D-NC),Harkin (D-IA),Johnson (D-SD),Kerry (D-MA),Landrieu (D-LA),Shaheen (D-NH),Leahy (D-VT) Sanders (I-VT),Levin (D-MI) Stabenow (D-MI),Lincoln (D-AR) Pryor (D-AR),Menendez (D-NJ) Lautenberg (D-NJ),Merkley (D-OR) Wyden (D-OR),Nelson (D-FL),Reed (D-RI) Whitehouse (D-RI),Reid (D-NV) and Warner (D-VA).

They sold the American Worker out for campaign money from corporate lobbyists and open border fanatics. In this miserable time of unemployment and uncertainty from the janitor, to the computer programmer you will be REMEMBERED. You will not escape your insult to the American worker, who depends on your honesty to vote on their behalf. You have now proved the dimensions of how far you will go, to keep the illegal alien invasion crossing our borders, overstaying their ship or plane visa.

The corruption so deeply instilled in the Washington elite. ASK JUDICIALWATCH? The billions of tax dollars taken from every, man, woman and child, to support the welfare of illegal aliens. Like Pearl harbor we will not forget the traitors who swore to uphold their allegiance to THE PEOPLE.

-- Posted by Brittanicus on Mon, Mar 23, 2009, at 11:40 AM

tenspeed1984........if you remember the history of the bill that contains the caps, it was passed at the very end of the last legislative session, basically, on a "quick" reading. Now that people have had a chance to actually look at it, they are beginning to see the "unplanned" consequences that can come out of it and some of the problems as the change to the Indiana Constitution.

I don't think that anyone wants to raise taxes, but when the cost of providing government services rise then taxes must meet costs. When citizens demand more government services, those services must be paid for somehow.

Basically, you get what you pay for.... but it would be nice if everybody paid their fair share and the government got the best value for the lowest cost, a situation that we have not reached at this point in time.

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Mon, Mar 23, 2009, at 3:45 PM

What happened to the comment I made on 3-24-09 about illegals. Does the truth and facts hurt?

Just trying to warn you about what is about to happen in front of your eyes.

-- Posted by georgiagirl on Wed, Mar 25, 2009, at 6:26 PM


The government needs the ability to raise taxes and since in the US it is "we" the people who are the government, it is us that decide what we need to spend it on and how much. Now granted, at times we seem quite removed from decisions being made at state and federal level, but we are getting what we ask for when so many don't vote and don't understand what it costs to keep things afloat.

As to illegals, I agree that they should not be given jobs, BUT just because they are not citizens, doesn't mean that they are illegal. Used to be that it was the Irish who were looked down upon. Now it's Latinos. Nothing has changed unless it's your family that has come to America to try to find their own little piece of the American dream. This country is built on the backs of immigrants. They are just as worthy in God's eyes as those who have citizenship. they are the ones who come from places where a person cannot achieve nearly as much on hard work and determination alone. We have always been open to immigrant labor when the local labor does not fill the need. This goes from doctors down to farm laborers. For the most part these people work hard and if a few more layabouts who were born here followed their example, our tax base would be higher and our country in better shape. Legal immigrants pay taxes as well. How many responders to this article can claim that they are not descended from immigrants? 15/16ths of me can't. The other 1/16th is Narragansett as thankfully all of the Pilgrim immigrants didn't wipe the whole tribe out in 1500's when they wanted all of Rhode Island to themselves. Do you REALLY think today's Latinos are here to do the same to you?

I'll wager that many of them have a lot more native blood of the Americas than you and I. It's only the immigrant explorers who drew the lines dividing Mexico, Canada, and the US. All three are North America.

Look right downtown in Brazil. Who has helped the way National Avenue looks? Mario Brothers.

Why do we have an East Asian doctor in town [I assume from India. Sorry if I assume incorrectly]? Because rural areas of the United States cannot afford to pay what native doctors want to make so foreign ones are invited in so we have health care available. Even with some times FREE tuition with an agreement to practice in rural towns, we can't attract enough MD's.

Next time think of your own origins before ranting on the origins of others.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Mon, Mar 30, 2009, at 1:57 PM

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