Letters

Letters Important day coming

To the editor:

Wednesday April 20, will be a very important day in Vermillion. Our community will be "CAPITAL for a DAY" and host the governor and 65 other state officials as they tour Vermillion and carry on the daily operations of state government right here in our midst.

I encourage all citizens from Vermillion and surrounding areas to mark your calendars and plan to participate in this hands-on experience on April 20.

All events will take place at Vermillion High School, with the exception of a Public Safety Roundtable, which will be held at the Al Neuharth Media Center at USD. From 1 to 6 p.m., there will be 22 state agencies set up in the VHS Commons to visit with citizens, answer questions and conduct most functions of their respective offices right there.

From 1 to 3:30 p.m., many state department secretaries will be taking community tours of various facilities they have requested to visit. Beginning at 6 p.m. there will be a community wide meal served in the VHS gym, followed by a speech from Gov. Rounds in the VHS Performing Arts Center.

The city of Vermillion will be providing vouchers for free landfill days from April 9 to April 19 to assist our citizens in "Spring Clean Up for Capital for a Day." I am asking all community members to take special pride in helping spruce up our town in anticipation of this wonderful event.

Please mark your calendars for maximum participation from 1 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, April 20 as we pull together our abundant talents and resources to host "CAPITAL for a DAY" in Vermillion! Thank you!

Dan Christopherson

Mayor of Vermillion

Some suggestions

To the editor:

This letter to the editor is pretty much an after-thought of the events taken place these past few weeks considering the vote on the opt-out election in reference to the financial problems of our school district.

It seemed like the more the supporters of the opt-out talked, the more confused I became. The supporters of the opt-out claimed that without the opt-out, the school district would have a difficult time maintaining the status quo, and then in some of the same statements, these people claimed that the opt-out would not really change the financial problems of the school district, and although everyone's taxes would increase 30 percent or more, these cuts in programs will have to continue for the next few years, or until the state increases state aid.

I'm very confused over this opt-out, because if this opt-out passes, and all of our tax increases go to support our school district, and this increase in revenue won't solve the problems, why would we vote for the opt-out?

As a small business owner that has tried to help bring something positive to our community, and maintain some kind of stability to this business, I find myself asking way too many questions on the leadership and accountability of our spending practices. By the looks of all the articles in the local paper, I have come to the conclusion that the financial problems of our school district and city are caused by a community of 6,000 trying to spend the money of a community of 15,000.

I have a few suggestions that could be pondered by our city leaders, that would help save us poor tax payers a few dollars each year.

1. Move the middle school up to the high school; move the two elementary schools to the middle school, and save expenses of two buildings off the school district budget. I don't think we need the expenses of five buildings, and the upkeep of these buildings when our student enrollment is decreasing.

2. Combine the city police force with the county sheriff department, like the city of Harrisburg did, and save over $600,000 in taxes. We don't need 31 city officers, and the expense when we could combine our law enforcement, and save tax dollars, but yet do the job of "Protect and to Service."

3. Why do we need a city manager at a very high salary cost, when we have a mayor council form of government, that can, I'm sure handle any questions about city government for a city our size?

4. We all pay taxes for the betterment of our community, and the betterment of our society, and we all know that a growing community economy helps spread out these taxes so the same people don't keep getting hit with the burden of the bulk of these taxes. My whole point of this letter is to make people aware that you have all these high expenses. Look for areas where you can save, and it makes sense, instead of going to the wishing well too often, because someone can't make the tough decisions.

We have a great community, and the people within our community are caring and concerned about the future of our community. We have to stop relying on the university for our economic growth, and start developing our own economy, with jobs and business growth.

Just thinking out loud,

Dave Raabe

Vermillion

Successful lock-up

To the editor:

On behalf of everyone at the Muscular Dystrophy Association, I want to publicly express my gratitude to the citizens of Vermillion for making the Vermillion March 1 fund raiser such a huge success. The "lock-up" of "Vermillion Convicts" raised over $4,500.

These much needed funds will be used to help in the purchase of orthopedic equipment, support crucial research efforts, send local children to MDA summer camp, fund the local MDA clinic in Sioux Falls, as well as ALS support groups.

We want to thank the USD Coyote Student Center for hosting the event, Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity for volunteering throughout the day and Aramark for supplying water and coffee. Cellular One and Verizon Wireless donated phones, airtime, and long distance to convicts who hadn't raised their bail upon "arrival."

Last but not least, to each and every "Vermillion Convict" and to those kind-hearted friends, family and associates that provided "bail," thank you.

Sincerely

John Rutten

District Director

Muscular Dystrophy Association

Sioux Falls

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