Letters Cable rates are maddening

To the editor:

For some time we have been giving a great deal of thought and consideration to making some changes in our cable service, now after being shocked with another increase in our cable rates I think it is time to stop with putting this off.

I know just like anything else we use or purchase, the price must be increased sooner or later but when you receive increases of not 5, 10 or even 15 percent but 16 percent in your user cost, I know that this is not right, not fair and in fact to use a word that can be well understood, despicable to say the least.

We here in Vermillion pay one the most highest rates for cable TV in this state. I do not say the highest but one of the highest and it seems that from the first time when cable TV first came to this city and we signed on for cable TV years ago, the rate increases go on and on like some wagon wheel with no end in sight.

After having read your column on Jan. 10, I found it to be very interesting and very informative what you wrote about forming our own cable services. I think we (the people of this area who are now paying for this Mediacom cable TV) should take a real hard look at this and to ascertain if it is feasible and affordable when it comes to service and cost.

I like so many others have had enough of always being taken for granted and have others in my pockets when they never put anything on the dinner table.

If this letter sounds a bit like I'm a little mad, you would be partly right but in military vernacular, a more fitting word would be highly PO!

Fred A. Duve Jr.


Right to refer backed by court

To the editor:

The South Dakota Supreme Court has gone and done it again! They reaffirmed for the umpteenth time the right of citizens to refer controversial issues to a public vote.

Citizens in Hutchinson County disagreed with the approval of a 3,200-head hog confinement facility within their county. The county commissioners ignored the citizen referendum on the pretext that the commissioners' decision was "administrative" rather than "legislative," thereby illegally ignoring the petition for public vote. The Supreme Court said that so long as the decision remains discretionary, it is "legislative" and is subject to referendum. Morever, if there is any doubt, the right to vote is to be construed liberally in favor of the citizens.

Does this sound familiar? It should because that's the same pretext that the Vermillion City Council used to ignore a citizen referendum on the construction of Chestnut Street for $1.3 million. On Dec. 4, 2000, Alderman Kozak moved the approval of the Chestnut Street project.

When the council narrowly approved that motion, a group of citizens circulated a petition to have the issue referred to a public vote. Those petitions were submitted within the statutory period after Dec. 4, 2000. The council then took the position that the petitions were too late because the "real decision" on Chestnut Street had been made much earlier, and the vote on Dec. 4, 2000 was merely "administrative."

Since then, Mayor Kozak has tried to explain that while he does not know when the council "really made its decision," he does know that it wasn't Dec. 4, 2000. At least, that was Mayor Kozak's position until the last election when the citizens voted on whether or not to approve the condemnation of some adjacent land to complete the street.

That assumes that the street is to be built without a citizen vote on that central issue. The city purchased advertisements which both sought support for its condemnation decision and indicated that the original council decision was Dec. 4, 2000. All of this sounds to me like political double-speak at its finest.

The South Dakota Constitution clearly grants citizens the right to refer controversial council decisions for a public vote. Regardless of what anybody believes about the merits on Chestnut Street, I believe the council should never ignore the rights of citizens to have a voice in decisions that effect Vermillion.

The state Supreme Court continues to thwart those elected officials who think that their decisions are superior to the rights of the citizens. The Chestnut Street controversy is now scheduled for a court hearing. Just like the county commissioners of Hutchinson County, I expect that the Vermillion City Council is going to learn that they should not ignore the right of its citizens to have a voice in community affairs.


Frank Slagle


Why not serve local wine?

To the editor:

Last Friday evening the Chamber and Development Company had their annual banquet. Wine was served that came from out-of-state, even though one of Vermillion's newest industry/businesses is Valiant Vineyards Winery � a company that produces South Dakota wine.

I consider the fact that Valiant Vineyards was not even contacted to supply the wine a big affront to a local industry.

It is noted that last week in Pierre at the Governor's inauguration in the Capitol and at the Governor's Ball, a South Dakota wine was served � Valiant Vineyards.

Paul M. Hasse


Thank you for special Christmas gift

To the editor:

The Yankton Toys for Tots sponsored by Robinson Ehret, would like to thank Pastor Elizabeth Johnson of First Lutheran Church in Wakonda, for hosting the Christmas Concert on Dec. 22. The event was a free-will donation with the proceeds being donated to the Yankton Toys for Tots.

Christmas CDs by Kayla Nielsen (A Kayla Christmas) were also sold at the concert with proceeds being donated to Yankton Toys for Tots. Thank You Kayla!

We would like to thank each and every one of you involved with the Christmas concert and those who attended for your kind support and generosity! Your donations were greatly appreciated and helped a lot of families in the community have a Merry Christmas!

Thanks Again!

Yankton Toys for Tots

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