Letters to the Editor #2 Trust Chapman to represent us
To the editor:
I am writing on behalf of Jere L. Chapman. Jere is running for S.D. House for District 17 on the Republican ticket.
The party ticket Jere is running on, to me, is irrelevant. Let me explain why.
I have known Jere for many years. I started working for Jere in 1990 as a waiter and worked my way to manager. At that point Jere told me if I took care of business and proved myself trustworthy and honest, he would take care of me.
Jere proved true to his word.
In 1999 he bought the Cherry Street Grille and as of today, I am a co-owner in the Cherry Street Grille and Silver Dollar Restaurant.
Jere and I never had a written contract. He told me to trust him and I did. I believe that is the type of �politician� Jere will be. His interests do not lie in the party, they do not lie in personal gain, and they do not lie in going off to Pierre �for a good time�.
His interests lie in the good of Vermillion, Turner, and Clay counties. I believe Jere will put
the good of our communities above all else. I believe Jere is someone we can trust to do the job right.
I urge all of you to join me in voting for Jere Chapman on Nov. 5. Let�s send someone to Pierre that will finally make a difference, and will truly represent the interests of the people.
Manager/co-owner Cherry Street Grille
Silver Dollar Restaurant
Volesky will serve S.D. well
To the editor:
The voters of the state of South Dakota would be well served by electing Ron Volesky as attorney general on Nov. 5.
Ron understands that this state is spending too much of the taxpayers� money on incarceration and an ineffective corrections system rather than on the prevention of crime and education of our children. As attorney general, Ron will be tough on crime by protecting all citizens and their property while being a prudent administrator of your tax dollars.
Greedy corporate executives and unscrupulous con men will find no leniency under a Volesky administration, which believes that no person is above the law. Ron has the necessary and distinct qualifications for attorney general with 22 years experience as a trial lawyer and having served 16 years as a state legislator.
Open government and accountability to the public are as important to Ron as they are to you and I. Please join me in voting for Ron Volesky for attorney general on Election Day.
Elect Clark to state senate
To the editor:
I am Rep. Ted Klaudt from District 28 and I would like to take this opportunity to tell the voters of District 17 about Rep. Judy Clark.
Rep. Clark and I serve on the Appropriations Committee together. The appropriations process is a very complex and difficult part of government. We have a pie with about 750 million pieces, or dollars of your direct money to spend.
The battle is to use this money as wisely as we can.
This is where the big fight starts and Rep. Clark�s talents shine through. Her first and utmost concern is to get what she can for her district�s needs. Believe me, she works hard for USD and the issues that benefit it.
Rep. Clark and I sometimes disagree on matters because I come from a district in the northwest part of the state and USD is not of much concern to my constituents. That is another of Rep. Clark�s talents that amaze me.
She can convince me to vote for her district more than I can ever convince her to vote for my issues. I have known and worked with Rep. Clark for four years and I am hoping the time will come when she stops amazing me with her lobbying skills!
I would like to ask you, the voters, to send Rep. Judy Clark back as Sen. Judy Clark in November.
Your district can not find a stronger voice, harder working and more knowledgeable person for District 17 than Judy Clark. She has done a great job for District 17 as state representative and will do an even better job as South Dakota state senator.
Rep. Ted Klaudt
Where does Reedy stand?
To the editor:
I�m always interested in how our state legislators stand on the smoking issue. I followed the vote on the smoking ban in public places and saw that Joe Reedy voted against it.
So I was surprised to see in the South Dakota Coalition for Children candidate report that to the question �Do you support the 2002 Legislature�s action to protect workers and children from the hazards of second hand smoke in work sites and public places?� Mr. Reedy answered YES, he was in favor of the ban.
I�m confused. Which is it, Mr. Reedy?
Johnson�s vote hurts retirees
To the editor:
As a young man growing up in Vermillion, I liked Tim Johnson. But now I believe that Washington, DC has changed him.
Tim had a letter in the Argus Leader Sept. 23, 1994. Part of that letter was listed as tax fairness. He wrote that only those people with income of over $180,000 would pay more income taxes.
I believed him and allowed one of his large signs on my property. He wrote me a thank you letter saying that many people, including some good Democrats, would really rather avoid making such a loud political statement.
In the spring of 1995 when I did my income tax for 1994, I found that I owed several hundred dollars more in taxes, even though my income was less than $180,000. I felt that Tim had stabbed me in the back, and I have become very angry at Tim. Two of his staff members have had the same false statements in the Argus Leader.
Tim has never admitted that he voted to increase taxes on Social Security from 50 percent to 85 percent. If he has, I have never seen that statement.
My TV remote permits me to change channels to keep from watching Tim Johnson make false statements to other people.
Norman G. Herren
Chestnut important to future development
To the editor:
On Nov. 5, the citizens of Vermillion will be voting on a project important to the development of the community of Vermillion. The project is the improvement of Chestnut Street between Dakota Street and University.
As we go to the polls to exercise our right to vote, it is extremely important that each of us take the time necessary to educate ourselves on the issue.
The issue for the Vermillion community is having an infrastructure capable of promoting growth. Over the last decade the city of Vermillion, Clay County, and the states of South Dakota and Nebraska have collaborated on projects to improve our way of life. These projects include the Newcastle/Vermillion Bridge and Highway 19 extension, the West Main Street Bridge, the West Cherry Street Bridge, the Dawson Bridge, widening the Burbank Road and extending South Dakota Street to the new Highway 19. At this time Clay County is working on the final two phases of their commitment, the Burbank Road and the South Dakota Street project.
The city of Vermillion committed to improving Chestnut Street to complete the transportation infrastructure that will support both our quality of life and our business community. This project is important to anyone living southeast of Vermillion when it comes to fire department response time, police and sheriff response time and a safe route for our school buses.
It is equally important to the development of agri business near the Burlington Northern Railroad and will serve as a farm to market road for families living both east and west of Vermillion.
This project has been in the planning stage for the past 13 years. During that time the city has looked at many alternatives, but frankly the options are limited by the railroad.
We believe that city government has three responsibilities on this issue to the citizens of Vermillion. Number one they must address the issue of safety; number two they must spend our money wisely and number three must bring to the discussion a vision for the future.
Safety must be the number one priority. This project must be built to meet the standards of the South Dakota Department of Transportation. Spending our money wisely does not always mean completing the cheapest project. What this community needs today may not be the needs of tomorrow. We applaud the City Council�s vision to look into the future and build a street that will meet our needs for the next 25, 50 or more years.
The Vermillion Development Company is working to improve Vermillion�s quality of life by supporting development, supporting business and supporting safety issues for our citizens. The Chestnut Street improvement project meets all these issues.
We ask that you vote �FOR� the proposal on Nov. 5.
Park Task Force
Chestnut opponents want rights protected
To the editor:
The controversial Chestnut Street project offers citizens clear evidence of the city council�s negative attitude toward citizens� rights. While state law gives citizens a clear and unambiguous right to refer controversial council decisions to a public vote, the council simply refuses to recognize that right.
Mayor Kozak says the petition was not filed on time, even though he concedes that he can�t determine exactly when the council made its decision. Therefore, there�s no right to a vote. That�s double-speak, but it�s the council�s position in a nutshell. I was on the council when the council made its decision, and there�s no doubt that the citizen�s petition was timely.
The whole project has been stalled for two years primarily because the council has not had the confidence to proceed with the project in the face of public controversy. Moreover, the city also has to deal with ancillary issues such as whether the city can condemn adjacent property to widen the street.
That�s the issue on the November ballot, and it side-steps the main issue regarding whether or not the Chestnut Street project should even be completed. The main issue is now in the court system where citizens are trying to protect the citizens� right to vote on such controversial matters.
In the meantime, Mayor Kozak is lobbying hard for the project. Part of his efforts are aimed at discrediting the citizens who simply wanted to bring the original project to a public vote back in 2000. Mayor Kozak says the adjacent property owners want too much for their property. In truth, they simply want their property above the street protected from erosion like the council plans to protect the property below the street.
The cost of protecting the small area above the street where there will be some cuts into the hillside to widen the street is quite small in comparison to the cost of protecting the property below the street along its full length. It is disingenuous and misleading to add the cost of protecting the land above the street from erosion, and then suggest that the citizens want an extraordinary price per acre for their land.
While I am generally supportive of Mayor Kozak, I believe he is misguided on his handling of the Chestnut Street project. I am disappointed because the citizens of Vermillion deserve better than that.
I ask Mayor Kozak to refrain from his political spin, and simply explain why the Chestnut Street project is important to Vermillion and why it is worth $1.3 million. If the project is worthy, the citizens could have approved it long ago if the council had simply allowed the project to go to a public vote. By refusing to permit the vote for the last two years, it makes the council look like they are avoiding a public vote out of fear of losing that vote.
There are arguments both for and against the Chestnut Street project, including whether or not the $1.3 million cost would be better spent on improving our dilapidated streets above the bluff where there is a lot more traffic. I urge citizens to cast their vote on the basis of what they believe is the best way to spend $1.3 million.
I also urge citizens to ignore arguments by the mayor that simply reflect the fact that he is upset about having council decisions questioned by the citizens who will be asked to pay for the project. This should not be an issue over egos.
The citizens who are challenging the city council should be congratulated for seeking to protect the rights of citizens to vote on controversial decisions of the council. It does a disservice to the citizens of Vermillion when our elected public officials seek to vilify well-meaning citizens who have the dedication to circulate a petition for a public vote on such a controversial issue. Indeed, if the citizens do not protect their rights, it won�t take long until those rights will cease to exist.