COLUMN: Leaders know how to compromise

-A A +A

Guest Columnist

I am apolitical. I have never cast a straight ballot. I do not happen to believe all those running as a rooster or a donkey or an elephant or a whatever are all of the best choices, especially locally. Yet I consider Dean Boerste and Tom McCart very good friends of mine.

They believe in straight-ticket voting, although they may not do that in the voting booth. This all being said, I want to express some of my feelings brought out after reading the News editorial, “Our state’s $2.15 billion surplus - good and bad”

Over the past 40 years I have been extremely proud of Indiana, especially our southern area of Indiana. During that time we have had three of the true statesmen of all time representing our state and nation: Congressman Lee Hamilton, who as a youth worked at Camp Koch for Crippled Children at Troy, Sen. Evan Bayh and Sen. Richard Lugar.

Sen. Bayh retired apparently tired of being unable to convince his compatriots to work together and compromise.

Sen. Lugar was berated and chastised because of his willingness to compromise to obtain meaningful results worldwide. His tormentor, Richard Mourdock, stated flatly that he would never compromise. How disgusting.

Now, to the editorial. I have been associated with the Tell City-Troy Township School Board for many years as a board member, including all of those years of the Mitch Daniels governorship. I can only give my opinion of what occurred during those eight years. I heard and read all of the negatives that educators, business and license-branch people, Medicaid directors, teacher retirement administrators, anti I-69 advocates, lottery directors, state representatives, state senators and others uttered.

The fact is that Indiana ended up with great profits through our continuing recession, something that very few other states were able to do. Many have ended up bankrupted. Another amazing fact is that our state learned that by belt tightening and strong determination we can succeed and not only cope and we can operate government and highway building and educate to a greater degree than we were educating eight years ago. Check the ISTEP numbers. To me that means our state showed the world that we can not only build a large surplus, but also at the same time, do it with a tighter pocketbook. I say “2.15 billion surplus-good and good.”

Your editorial already fretted about what our future leaders may do to build on what we have. It seems to me our future leaders may start by getting together at least in thought and mind-set with those patriots who came before: Rep. Hamilton, Sen. Bayh, Sen. Lugar and Gov. Daniels. What a base to build on – true Hoosiers. Learn cooperation; it works.

Ress lives in Tell City and serves on the Tell City-Troy Township School Board.