Leaders set the tone
There's a leadership problem in America. It comes in all political persuasions, and crosses all races and religions. You know of whom I speak. Because the first politician or candidate that comes to your mind left a tone still ringing in your ear. Maybe that tone was set in an ad, or a debate, or a TV interview, or maybe in a text or tweet. Was it a tone of attack or a tone of compassion? Was it a tone of righteousness or a tone of civility?
However it was expressed, you recognized the tone, and felt it deep inside. So, as you head to the polls next Tuesday, don't vote Republican nor Democrat. Don't vote on a single hot button issue. Vote for leadership that emphatically embraces our similarities and respects our differences. Vote for leadership that has experience with open conversations and sometimes difficult compromises. Vote for an individual with whom you can agree and disagree on the issues, because you understand the basis of her decisions, or the consistent tone in his message.
And most importantly, VOTE, because it’s the best way to communicate the type of person you want leading your city, county, state and country. Vote and set your own tone, because all of us are seen as leaders by someone.
– Drummond Osborn,
Bipartisanship needs a comeback
No matter who earns the most votes on Nov. 6, bipartisanship must be embraced. Compromise must not be viewed as a sign of weakness. Confrontation must give way to cooperation. Honest differences of opinion always will, and should, exist. Yet dismissing someone’s viewpoint mainly by the R or D next to their name is shortsighted.
There are no simple answers. But listening – truly paying attention – to those with views that may not align with yours is imperative. That tactic is one that many in our country would benefit from. It is unfortunately not happening nearly enough.
We’ve seen instances of bipartisanship among Indiana’s congressional delegation working with each other and their colleagues across the aisle. But we need more of it – and on major issues that have been languishing. It’s far better to deliver solutions that may not leave everyone totally happy but represent sound policy to help us move forward.
All elected officials should be admired for their willingness to serve. They are often sacrificing on a personal level for that opportunity. But as leaders, they can be held to a higher standard. We implore them to send a strong message by working together.
– Kevin Brinegar,
president, Indiana Chamber of Commerce
Balanced-budget amendment unnecessary
This election, the following public question will appear on Indiana ballots, “Shall Article 10, Section 5 of the Constitution of the State of Indiana be amended to require the General Assembly to adopt balanced budgets for state government that do not exceed estimated revenue unless a supermajority of two-thirds of the members of the House of Representatives and two-thirds of the members of the Senate vote to suspend the requirement?” I plan to vote against this measure.
Article 10, Section 5 already requires the state to have a balanced budget. Exceptions include, among other things, paying down “casual deficits.” Local governmental units, like libraries, must balance their budgets and hope expected revenues come in at year’s end.
According to an updated article by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities economists, including Nobel Prize winners, agree that balanced budget amendments at both the federal and state level would be poor fiscal policy, regardless of the economy’s condition. “…Nearly all our states have balanced budget requirements. That means when the economy slows, states are forced to raise taxes or slash spending at just the wrong time, providing a fiscal drag when what is needed is countercyclical policy to stimulate the economy…”, wrote American Enterprise Institute member Norman Ornstein.
This proposed amendment will not address growing income inequality or unequal state government funding of public education and infrastructure among different regions. To individuals struggling financially, it feels like we are still in recession. This amendment was proposed with one party having a firm grip on power in state government. One must wonder if this amendment’s true purpose is to target vulnerable individuals and institutions.
This balanced budget amendment will not serve the best interests of hard-working Hoosiers and their families. Please vote no.
– Phillip J. Budrick,
Gramarossa shows character and focus
I am writing this letter in support of Connie Gramarossa. As I got to know Connie, I realized that she is a very humble person who will not, even for political gain, toot her own horn. A woman of character who, when faced with the challenge of raising a disabled child, went back to school and became a special education teacher. That's taking dedication to a whole new level.
I am certain she will continue to give the job of La Porte County commissioner the same level of focus and will not let us down. This is a woman who is not afraid to stand her ground. Not pretentious, but determined to give us the best representation without the flash and smoke of her opponent.
Do we want loud and showy or do we want calm and collected? Connie’s opponent has many years of experience, but as we all know, decades in the political game often creates career politicians with agendas of their own. Let's give some fresh blood the chance to lead our county, and let's not fall for her opponent’s public persona.
As I witnessed at a recent candidate forum, Sheila Brillson has some claws and doesn't hesitate to use them, lashing out because Connie had held her accountable for evading the question of whether Sheila would be a full-time commissioner or not. It showed me someone who feels that because she is back, she is entitled to get what she wants.
Connie Gramarossa is a measured, hard-working candidate, conscientious, and committed to all of us. I believe she is the kind of woman we need in this office. I plan on supporting her on Nov. 6, and I urge you to vote for Connie Gramarossa, the best choice for commissioner.
– Elzbieta Bilderback,
Gramarossa puts others before herself
I want you to know Connie Gramarossa like I know Connie Gramarossa. I have known Connie for several years. I met her long after she came to La Porte County. I have always admired her work ethic, whether in her private business or in volunteer work she takes on. She works to make every project that she is involved in much better.
I have been hearing, in this election for commissioner, "Experience matters." I ask you, how much better to gain valuable experience than being the commissioner? She deals with issues from the Kankakee River to the shores of Lake Michigan. Everybody knows, if you need something done, just ask Connie – she always wants to make the best better.
In her formative years, she wanted to stake her claim in business. She was valedictorian of her high school class and didn’t stop her education until she attained her MBA. She was pursuing a very successful career in business when her infant son was injured and diagnosed with a hearing disability. Connie immediately gave up her successful career in business to care for her son. She learned American Sign Language so she could tutor her son, so he would not become a drain on society. She witnessed firsthand the tremendous needs of the disabled and attained her teaching certificate in special education, so she could help others in need. Connie has always put others before herself.
She just recently entered the political arena. She is not a career politician. Unlike others who expound about all their years in politics, she has no political debts to pay. Connie truly wants to make La Porte County a better place to live, work, and raise a family. Let’s keep Connie working for us.
– Coral Laun,
Fortunate to have Rice as a candidate
To fellow La Porte County residents: We are fortunate to have the opportunity to elect Jim Rice for La Porte County Council District 2. A Michigan City native and Elston High School graduate with 48 years of dedicated service to education, there just isn’t a better candidate. Honesty, integrity, experience – Rice is a local family man and a great neighbor.
I’m a retired military officer and longtime resident of La Porte County, and I could not have gotten better neighbors than Jim Rice and his family. I am honored to encourage you to vote for Jim Rice. As residents of La Porte County, we are fortunate that Jim is willing to “step up to the plate” to serve.
Fresh ideas and extensive experience are what we need to move La Porte County forward while protecting this beautiful area we call home. A vote for Jim Rice for La Porte County Council District 2 is what's best for La Porte County. Vote for Jim Rice.
– Todd F. Benson,
Jim Rice A new voice in La Porte County
We have a chance here in La Porte County to get a new voice in making decisions that will help the county become a more cohesive place to live.
Jim Rice is a Republican running for the 2nd District County Council seat. It has been my pleasure to have Jim as a friend for over 50 years.
He is highly educated and has been a superintendent of schools in a number of school systems in the country. That type of knowledge, dedication and expertise is hard to find; and would be a welcome addition to our county government. I was a administrative supervisor for over 30 years in the steel mills and came to recognize character and leadership in a person. Jim is as good as it gets.
We need to help ourselves become a better community by electing a new true, honest voice to lead us. Vote for Jim Rice, for County Council.
– Fred Klinder,