Letters to the Editor

BY DI READERS | OCTOBER 30, 2014 5:00 AM

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Online comment on Beary: Should we take Germany’s approach to tuition?

Don’t forget that Germany, as does the rest of Europe, track their students for university. Not everyone has the chance to attend because many are tracked into trade school and other apprentice-based learning opportunities. Not everyone attends college “across the Pond.” In the United States, it is almost seen as a birthright for children of all abilities to attend college. If the United States were set up the same way, many of the students who aimlessly find their way onto college campuses would end up in trade schools. Fewer students attending university would result in less demand, and prices would drop significantly as colleges competed for fewer, more highly qualified students. Not all are entitled or deserving of college despite the cries from politicians. You want a system more like Europe, go all the way.

Dave Thoensen

Vote for Carberry and Etheredge for Johnson County supervisors

I will support Mike Carberry and John Etheredge for county supervisor on Nov. 4. John and Mike will bring a welcome change to the department. We need some calmness and better working relations. Some of the supervisors seem to forget how they got their jobs, who pays their wages, and who owns the facility they work in. It would be nice to be able to talk to all the supervisors about our concerns and suggestions without being treated with disrespect. It would be great if farmers weren’t treated as polluters but instead as stewards of the land whose job it is to feed a growing population, and that our land, which was handed down through the generations, would be better for houses generating tax dollars for the county. When supervisors attend meetings or gatherings, whether in rural areas or cities, they should tell the public what’s going on and be open-minded to discussions about running our county and smart growth. Please join me in voting for Mike Carberry and John Etheredge.

Jim Sedlacek

Approve the courthouse annex

I am writing to ask the citizens of Johnson County to approve the bond referendum for the Johnson County Courthouse annex. The Board of Supervisors has listened to the voters and proposed a modest and practical project that meets the needs of our court system over the next decades and preserves the historic beauty of our current facility. The proposal also addresses the goals of increased safety and accessibility for all citizens.

The need for this annex is well established. Our caseloads continue to grow in what is now the fourth-most populous county in Iowa. Black Hawk County, a county with a comparable population with Johnson County, has 14 courtrooms. Johnson County has six. A new magistrate position was transferred to Johnson County in the last year to address the growing caseload. Sadly, we have not had the space in the courthouse to fully utilize that magistrate. Our most recently appointed resident Johnson County judge does not even have an office of his own. We have difficulty finding court space for our drug-treatment courts and other incarceration-diversion programs that we need to reduce reliance on jail as a punishment for substance-abuse-related crimes.

The challenges we hope to address with by the proposed expansion will not go away if it is not approved. They will just become more expensive to taxpayers and result in more delays for litigants. I ask you to support the Johnson County Courthouse expansion proposal.

Patrick R. Grady
chief judge, 6th Judicial District

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