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Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013
Good job Mitch, but don't change our clocksPosted Friday, January 16, 2009, at 10:53 AM
Let's throw politics aside and search our souls as our nation, our state and our county welcomes a new president in historic fashion in the coming week.
I will reiterate some of what I wrote on the morning after Barack Obama was elected as the nation's first president of African-American heritage back in November.
Our new president sincerely deserves our patriotic support, prayers of encouragement and guidance as our country marches forth with an agenda of change.
The voters have spoken, and our system of democracy has worked.
Tuesday, the day after this nation celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, President Obama will raise his right hand and take the oath of office.
This nation needs to be proud and ready for the challenges ahead.
The story of his rise to the Oval Office should be inspiring to both his supporters and his foes. It's a story of the American Dream written before our own eyes. We need to grasp on to what this man has accomplished and offer our accolades to him.
Everyone, no matter what your political preferences are, needs to extend a cooperative hand to our new president and vow to work together even if we are diverse and different in our views, policy ideas and methods.
While we are speaking of inspirational change, let us look back at the two speeches Gov. Mitch Daniels delivered in the past week -- his second-term inauguration speech on Monday and the State of the State address delivered Tuesday night.
Daniels has been an architect of reform and change in our state in the past four years. In both talks, he left little doubt that more change is on the way.
Gov. Daniels ruffled some political feathers in his first term -- some from within his own party, but many of his ideas have drawn praise from neighboring states, who are finding themselves struggling economically far more than the Hoosier state.
The governor talked about change when he said, "In an all-too-typical criticism, one author wrote 'Hoosiers have been resisting change since the first settlers arrived.' Bringing local and school government out of the pioneer days will provide conclusive proof that we truly have left such a self-defeating outlook in the history books where it belongs."
You can expect our local government structure and school districts will look different in the next four years.
The governor has already talked about wanting the General Assembly to streamline our county government structure -- eliminating the county commissioners and replacing them with a single elected executive officer; taking several county offices out of the political ring; eliminating township trustees; and revamping our school districts.
Does it really make sense for a county the size of Greene -- under 35,000 population -- to support through our tax dollars five different school systems?
I think not and the governor would agree.
It would be nice to hang on to those memories, but times are changing and we need to be ready for this change.
Daniels also reminded those in the state that there have been positive impacts to the change he helped foster during his first term.
"Across America tonight, there are dozens of states that would gladly change places with Indiana. We are fiscally steady, they are crawling to Congress for bailouts. We are building the infrastructure of a prosperous future, they are pleading for money just to maintain the roads and bridges they have now. They are raising state taxes of all kinds, while we are holding the line. Their property taxes are exploding, while ours are coming down for good. Who here feels inferior to that?"
Daniels also said, "Tough times are also times for differentiation, for separating winners from whiners, the brave from the weak of will. In down markets, good businesses capture share from weaker ones. In high seas, the best crews bring their ships to port safely, and first."
The governor said in his inaugural address that the Hoosier State needs to continue on its road for reform.
"Today's world deals harshly with the slow, the timid, with those who retreat to the familiar but bleak confines of their hibernation caves. Whatever the perils of action and change, in our time there is far greater danger in hesitation, delay, and fearfulness ... disaster will strike only if we let the bus slow down."
The governor also took time to inject some humor into his address on Monday and also suggested more change is coming.
Quoting Kermit the Frog from Muppet's fame, Daniels noted "A philosopher of our time observed, 'It's not easy being green' and most surely it is not. But it becomes easier with practice. Each new creative action adds spring to one's step and confidence to move even more boldly to the next challenge."
I happen to like Daniels' approach to the challenges he faces on our behalf as governor. Keep the bus rolling Mitch, just don't mess with our clocks again.
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