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Editorial: Outgoing public servants deserve our thanks

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As we turn the final page on one year and begin another, it’s natural to look forward to the months ahead, as well as recall the events of the past year.

We would like to mark the new year by extending our thanks to the men and women who left public office last week. Without a doubt they served us well.

Perry County Prosecutor Robert Collins departed after 12 years and we extend to him and his staff our thanks for jobs well done. Collins was a proactive prosecutor who represented not only the state of Indiana in criminal cases but all Perry Countians. He concerned himself with their protections, safety and freedoms.

We found him tough on crime but even-handed and fair to those accused of wrongdoing. He took an especially tough stance on methamphetamine, a drug that continues to impact our community and destroy lives. The job of prosecutor always draws criticism but we found Collins to be capable and effective and always had the best interests of the community in mind.

We also thank his staff, some of whom will remain with incoming Prosecutor Rod Acchiardo and some who will depart. We’d like to single out the hard work of Shaunda Lynch, the office’s departing chief deputy prosecutor, for her work.

Though retirement is a word that may take some time to suit him, Perry County Sheriff Bob Glenn left office last week after eight years. He also marked the conclusion of a law-enforcement career spanning more than 30 years.

Glenn served the county well as sheriff and coped well with the limitations placed on him in staffing and the age and condition of the county jail.

The work of a police officer is sometimes thankless and any county’s sheriff is a lightning rod for criticism. Glenn, however, handled the job with professionalism and a sense of pride.

We wish him many happy years ahead.

Lee Chestnut begins his term as sheriff this week. We extend to him our best wishes and we’re thankful that the planning process for a new county jail is under way.

Martha Wooldridge leaves office after two terms as treasurer. She and her staff have handled the finances of the county efficiently and worked cordially with the public and other officeholders. We wish her the best in her future endeavors.

Thanks also to outgoing Coroner Darrel Riley for his service to the county. His post is often under-appreciated except by those dealing with the sudden deaths of others. But it’s an important position.

Thanks to State Reps. Russ Stilwell and Dennie Oxley Sr., who worked hard for Perry County while in office. We’re hopeful and confident that newly elected representatives Sue Ellspermann and Steve Davisson will work equally hard for our interests.

Congratulations to all newly elected and re-elected officials. Acchiardo, Chestnut and new Coroner Charlie Baumeister were sworn in Thursday and other officeholders in Perry County will be administered their oaths of office Monday morning.

We hope the months ahead are fruitful for everyone serving us in public office. To those leaving office, we offer our community’s thanks. To those whose service continues or is just beginning, we wish you the best.

Though it seems the election season just wrapped up, another is around the corner. 2011 brings municipal races in Tell City, Cannelton and Troy. We suspect the coming issues will announce candidacies. We might conclude by encouraging residents of these communities to consider running for these offices. Though the art of politics doesn’t appeal to everyone, public service is a gift that benefits us all.

We might also point out that all branches of local government, city and county, rely on citizens to serve on commissions and committees. If you have the desire to serve, make your intentions known.

We wish everyone a happy new year.

Our view: Editorials reflect the opinions of the newspaper.

Your view: Tell us what you think. E-mail us at editor@perrycountynews.com or mail your comments to P.O. Box 309, Tell City, IN 47586.