Letter: There’s more to this year’s election than just candidates

You might not have realized this, but you have multiple things to vote for besides the three-person senate race, a congressional race, and various county government races.

You have an option to amend the Indiana Constitution! Jasper residents have a school board race! You have two judges to either keep or ask to leave, with one being a supreme court judge!

The Amendment, in summary, adds a two-thirds vote requirement for debt spending by the state legislature. There is a lot of recent online debate on whether this makes it harder or easier for the state to carry debt. I would hope it makes it harder, but in reading the current Constitution, you realize it is already nearly illegal to carry debt. So, what is the point of this and will it do what we think it will do? Amending the constitution is a serious business, and you want to make sure you get it correct the first time.

The school boards typically have the highest percent of the tax rate, and therefore is a highly important election. Greater Jasper Consolidated Schools just kept the tax rate high by bonding to build a new elementary building but has kept the rate from climbing over the years. Are they doing enough to keep the tax rate low, while improving the services? With a healthy private schooling option, what is the future vision for the K-8 public education option? Will Schnaus or Corbin be that person to provide vision within a fiscally conservative policy view on future issues like that and others we don’t know yet? There has yet to be a healthy public discussion on this and has made this more difficult to figure out.

Judges are always so difficult to decipher. Will you retain the court of appeals judicial retention, Justice Robert R. Altice Jr.? How about Indiana supreme court judge Geoffrey G. Slaughter, whom Pence appointed in 2016? I don’t know, and the internet is not much help here.

Lastly, many of you want term limits on Congress. With your vote, you can apply term limits without an amendment. It is a power you always had, but the party system hopes you forget about.

I know we all want to get to voting. I hope this might be helpful before you go vote.

Adrian Engelberth
Jasper

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