Mayor responds to recent letter
This letter is in response to a letter written to the editor July 24, 2013 (printed July 30, 2013) by Amanda Phillips. When replying to letters written to the newspaper with complaints about our city department, it is important for me to sort through emotions, insults and catchphrases in order to determine what action(s), if any, are needed to improve our processes.
Since my time in office, I have made training and continuing education mandatory within our departments and have communicated my desire to change our perceptions and become more approachable and friendlier. Imagine my disappointment when I was sent an email communication regarding a traffic stop involving 25-year-old Miranda Dickinson. On July 24, 2013, my office received an email from Amanda Phillips (Ms. Dickinson’s mother) and another email on July 25, 2013 from Glenn Shaner (Ms. Dickinson’s uncle). Both emails claimed that our police department personnel “abandoned” a 25-year-old mother and her 5-year-old son and 2-month-old daughter by the side of the road following a traffic stop. Both emails inferred that the Rushville Police Department was uncaring and unsympathetic in the way that they had handled the situation.
I notified both relatives of Ms. Dickinson via email that I had reviewed their emails and would set up appointments with Chief Tucker and all involved to gather information regarding the details of the traffic stop in an effort to come up with a more formal response. They were informed that the earliest response would be by Aug. 5, 2013. They were assured that these allegations were being taken seriously.
It was disappointing to see that a letter was printed in our local paper before any of the details pertinent to the case could be gathered. After reviewing the Police Department’s report, Mr. Shaner’s Facebook posts, and listening to the phone conversation between Ms. Dickinson’s boyfriend (Jeremy) and Sgt. Wessel, there are a preponderance of misrepresentations when portraying the Rushville Police Department and their actions on the night in question.
A more detailed review of the public information will reviewable on the city’s website www.cityofrushville.in.gov. On the site you will find the police report and in addition to a “.wav” file of the conversation between Jeremy (Ms. Dickinson’s boyfriend) and Sgt. Wessel.
On this website, you will find information that shows that the driver committed a series of traffic violations. To be specific, three separate independent violations were committed. The officer on the scene could have technically written the driver three tickets, but chose only to issue one citation. The officer shows during his report that his phone conversation with the boyfriend indicates that he did offer to take Ms. Dickinson to a better location anywhere in the city limits of Rushville, including the Rushville Police Department. Ms. Dickinson refused each and all offers to take her to a different location. Please note that police officers are not permitted to force someone to go with them if they are not under arrest. Since Ms. Dickinson was not under arrest and was not in danger, she was allowed to exercise her free will. It should be noted that the Rushville Police Department did return to the area multiple times and kept watch over Miranda and her two children from a distance to ensure her safety. They stayed on location until she was picked up by her ride. The observation of Ms. Dickinson was discrete because the Police Department did not want her to feel as if they were harassing her. Listening to the phone conversations with her boyfriend will show that he requested they observe her until her ride arrived. Conversations with surrounding city police departments indicate that the actions to ensure Ms. Dickinson’s safety by the Rushville Police Department was uncommonly compassionate action which went above and beyond the actions reasonable and required.
To address the detailed note-the transfer of a license plate, a driver has 30 days to transfer a plate from one vehicle (typically a sold vehicle) to another vehicle (typically a new vehicle). However, the paperwork showing that the transaction must be in the vehicle at the time of the stop and must be completed accurately. If the driver can produce the paperwork for the judge when they appear, it is the judge’s discretion to dismiss the ticket at the court date. Towing fees are not set by nor are they or collected by the Police Department. Fees are managed by a third party.
It has been my desire to not respond publically to complaints such as this as some complaints are proven to be totally unfounded. This situation deserves my response as the accusations made and the picture it portrayed of the Rushville Police Department did not accurately illustrate the incident. The perception being portrayed was incorrect and it needs to be stated as such.
Ultimately, the Police Department is tasked with the motto to “Protect and Serve” and we should continue to demand that response.
Mayor Mike Pavey
Lawmakers have a lot of nerve
Letter to the editor:
Congress has just stooped to a new low by exempting itself and its staffers from Obamacare (WSJ editorial 8/5/13). It seems that our legislators who make $174,000 a year and their staffs have balked at having to pay at the same rate for their own insurance as the rest of us. If our leaders who make $174,000 are balking at the cost, how about the rest of us who might not make quite as much?
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) will not be affordable (costs will go up) and will not improve access to care (access will go down). Everyone may have an insurance card, but they will not have equal access to providers of care.
The government has already pushed back the date that employers are mandated to provide insurance for their employees. The insurance exchanges that offer policies to the population will not be able to verify income to determine the subsidy that individual receives. It will be done on the “honor system” and we all know how that turned out with the home mortgages a few years back.
The Affordable Care Act is a train wreck in slow motion and 2014 will be a disastrous year for healthcare in America. Between the ACA and start of ICD-10 coding in October, 2014 (billing codes are increased from 14,000 to over 85,000), there will be an implosion of healthcare in this country. Congress, in their infinite wisdom, sees this coming and is jumping ship while the rest of us are just overwhelmed by a process that no one understands.
You, the American public, should be absolutely outraged and immediately send an email or make a phone call to your senators and representative. Congress dreamed up this mess and they should have to live with it just like everyone else. Our leaders should not be a privileged class. We, the people, need to take action on this affront and do it now. If we let Congress get away with this, then they can pretty much get away with anything (which they just about do anyway). Talk is cheap, action speaks for itself. Fire up those phones and emails and do it now.
Douglas Morrell, M.D.
As a young man, I was a Democrat, because my parents were working class Democrats. After I entered the newspaper business, on the advertising side, I gradually became a chamber-of-commerce Republican (my dad would never have forgiven me!).
Now, in my later years, I find myself once again sharing many sympathies with the Democrats, the Republicans having come under the spell of radical right-wingers and having moved away from being the party of business.
Nevertheless, I still harbor numerous Republican feelings. One of those is the undeniable fact that the country is going under due to handing out too much money to far too many people who have done nothing to earn it.
Much is made of the fact that the problem of illegal immigrants is caused by the fact that they will do “jobs that Americans won’t do.” This is no doubt true.
Being retired and at home in the afternoons, I sometimes find myself watching those courtroom “dramas” which have sprouted up all over the TV screen. This is, of course, the fault of my wife.
Be that as it may, I’m continually amazed at the countless numbers of people who are on the dole. Being “disabled” is now a career choice for the clever work avoiders with lawyers who specialize in just such ripping off of the government.
I once knew a woman, rather well in fact, who, when someone knocked at the door, would hurry to put on her neck brace, which was part of her “disability” scam. She worked it successfully for years while gullible taxpayers supported her comfortable lifestyle.
I don’t mind paying taxes, but I do burn every April when I’m reminded that for millions of deadbeats, “tax refund time” is simply their annual and expected windfall. On these court shows, people always promise to pay for their used car or whatever, when they “get their tax money.” The most awful part is that many of these people getting thousands of dollars in “tax refunds” never paid any taxes to start with. It’s impossible to get a “refund” of something not paid to begin with, but it’s possible under government double-talk and sleight-of-hand.
In an earlier and more sensible era, many folks worked at jobs they didn’t particularly like; it was called “earning a living.” Now millions expect the government to support them, cradle to grave. And, to our shame, the government does so. Of course, that “government money” is actually money obtained from legitimate taxpayers such as you.
And, to step on some local toes, I believe if one were to canvass the people who line up for free groceries at churches, pantries and so forth, one would find that they are the same people, same families, generation after generation. They’ll never change as long as the free stuff keeps coming. Why should they?
I must include here a mention of the woman who once wrote a bitter letter of complaint to the local newspaper. In it she whined that every year she could remember they had always gotten a turkey with their Thanksgiving food basket. This year they only got a chicken! Apparently ruined their big family celebration.
Do-gooders and bleeding hearts tell us, “But these people have never been raised or trained to have a work ethic.” Possibly, if sadly, so.
It would be entirely proper to call upon these burdens-on-society to be conscience-stricken, but they have no conscience. A conscience is another quality they didn’t get along with a work ethic.
I firmly believe hunger would be a powerful incentive to find some sort of useful work, even if it was the “kind of work Americans won’t do.” Note the use of the word “won’t,” not “can’t.”
Best regards to those who can work and who do so.
P.S. I draw Social Security and am a strong believer in the program, but even it is long past due for updating and reworking to make it viable down the road. ndv
To the Editor:
We are writing to once again thank the Rush County community for their wonderful support of the Jason D. Kuhn Memorial Golf Scramble. This year we were able to reach our goal of $50,000 to be given to the Rush Memorial Hospital Cancer Unit. In all, the golf scramble has netted over $100,000 in the last 14 years thanks to the generosity of our friends, family and community.
Thanks, too, to the wonderful sponsors who have been so generous in their support. Many did not know Jason personally but still reached out to support the fight against cancer.
Finally, we cannot say enough good things about Andy and Brooke (Harris) Wilson, Marc and Emi Steczyk, and Adam and Kendra Decker. Andy and Jason developed a friendship when they met at Arlington Junior High School, and Marc and Adam met Jason at Franklin College where they were fraternity brothers. Their friendship endured the tough road as Jason battled Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, and it continues to this day through their tireless work to keep Jason’s memory alive through the golf scramble. Jason would be so humbled and gracious to know that his friends cared so much, even with the demands of their own work and families.
We look forward to continued success in the future as we work with the Rush County School Legacy Foundation to support education in our community.
John and Evonne Kuhn
Rhonda and Suresh Tiwari
Darryl and Lori Kuhn and family
Krista and Brad Hanna and family