Commissioners are a big joke PDF E-mail

Dear Editor:

Our three commissioners -- Larry Fox, Tim Bergen and Doug Andersen -- are just a big joke.

If they want to evaluate all the workers they should start with themselves. I would evaluate Larry Fox at a big 0 and recommend no pay at all. Bergen and Andersen, I would rate them a 1 with most of their pay taken away.

You three clowns should follow the handbook yourselves. Isn’t there a county attorney or a state attorney who can do something with these three clowns. Termination of all three of these commissioners would be fitting, or a ride in a very slow boat to China.

If Tim Bergen wasn’t Larry Fox’s puppet, he wouldn’t let Larry Fox run all over him when he recommended a written reprimand for Kent Tucker. Larry Fox sounds like a dictator. We don’t need you Larry Fox. Go home and stay there.

Doug Andersen reflects very poorly on the whole county when he said Wally shouldn’t act as a liaison to Darla because he likes her. Well all three of you other commissioners hate her, so that isn’t right at all.

Roy Kliewer

Farmers ask for certainty PDF E-mail

Dear Editor:

In any business some level of certainty is always beneficial. That certainty provides a basis to make short term and long term plans, assess investments into the business or needed changes to an operation.

My farming operation is no different! The farm bill sets farm policy for the next five years so it is extremely important to you and me to know what that policy will be.

This year has given us plenty of uncertainty due to a drought that has plagued the nation and the implications can be seen across many facets of agriculture. But as a farmer one certainty that I am asking for is a farm bill. Whether you are a food producer or food consumer, you should be asking for the same and I ask that you pass along your message that we want a Farm Bill Now!

The current farm bill is set to expire this year and collectively Congress has yet to pass a farm bill although a version has been passed by the Senate, a version has yet to be passed by the House. I and other producers need the certainty that a farm bill provides as we begin to make decisions for next year, decisions that include thousands of dollars in seed, chemical, fertilizer and other inputs.

As a food consumer or a food producer, you have a voice and now is the time to send a message to those that represent you -- that we need the certainty that a farm bill can provide and we need it now.

In closing, time is running out for action. Congress will only be in session a few days in September and then the "lame duck session" following the November elections. So I ask that you visit with your senator or congressman, thank them for their past work and ask them to press for passage of a farm bill. You can also go to www.farmbillnow.com and send a message via Twitter or Facebook or simply sign a petition.

Your story about the certainty that a farm bill would provide your operation is a powerful message, and one that I ask you share with your representative or senator.

Curt Friesen

District 3 Director

Nebraska Corn Board

County volunteer effort top notch PDF E-mail

Dear Editor:

I just wanted to say, being a non-Nebraska native but a cheesehead all my life, I was very impressed by the positive atmosphere at this year’s State Fair.

For example, nowhere else have I ever experienced being waved at by every person passing me on a sky tram. Only in Nebraska... Also, I am proud of Hamilton County’s efforts to help serve at the State Fair via our volunteer day or like seeing the Edgerton Exporit Center showcased, not to mention Husker Harvest Days, Diplomats, the AACD and the numerous other regional and statewide positions of leadership and volunteerism that occur from Hamilton County residents.

Way to go Aurora and Hamilton County!

Christian W. Evans


County 1.5% raise a slap in the face PDF E-mail

Dear Editor:

I have been reading the paper the past several weeks and, needless to say, I am embarrassed at what is going on in the county commissioners’ meetings. Folks who I know from out of the county tease me in good nature about what is being printed about the meetings. We have become the laughing stock of the area. It sure appears that there is a personal vendetta against some people.

I didn’t feel the need to write the paper until I saw the part about our county employees getting a 1.5 percent raise. If you want to take morale to a new low, that is the way to do it. I remember when I was sheriff, this was done. How can I go back to my men and women and tell them that they are worth only that small bit and then try to motivate them to go to their respective jobs and give it all they’ve got. Several of them told me to take that 1.5 percent and "stick it" as it was just a slap in the face.

I didn’t say it, but they were right. I tried to explain to the commissioners at that time that it costs more to keep training new people than it does to pay the ones I had a decent wage. To help you understand, I had to pay two people doing the job of one while in training. This isn’t a job that you can learn in a short time. It takes a lot of hours to train for these kind of jobs.

The dispatchers have the hardest job that I know of. At that time, they had to dispatch, take 911 calls, get all the necessary people to the emergency, put up with additional calls and emergency calls all by themselves. In the meantime, they had to take calls from the scene, usually from a very excited deputy who wanted wreckers, more emergency services as needed and wanted them 10 minutes ago. And, along with that, had to do their prisoner checks each hour.

My point is that you get what you pay for! It is a very, very high-stress job.

When you see a deputy’s car driving down the road some of you think, wow, that is a cushy job. He is doing one of many things. He may be trying to collect personal property taxes from some deadbeat who doesn’t pay them. Those folks don’t answer their door and say, "I am so sorry, I just forgot." Most of them hide from you and don’t answer their door. It takes a lot of extra time trying to outfox them and then you listen to them make excuses and they want more time to pay, etc.

He may also be trying to serve a warrant for failure to appear in court, or he may be trying to serve a notice from court that he is being sued. Sometimes it is an arrest warrant for them to appear in court for several things, including not paying child support. These people don’t want to be found!

Oh, and one of the really nice ones involve a court order for them to sell your property, because the bank is foreclosing on them. This is not a bash at banks, they have a right to do this. A lot of the folks who I had to foreclose were people I had known for a long time. The interest rates were 18 percent and there was no way for them to pay that and keep in business. Some of the property that I had foreclosed on had been in the family for years. Some people actually thought I had a choice whether to sell their property and made threats to my family.

All of this for people who thought that 1.5 percent raise was doing us a big favor. It just stinks.

Paul Harding


Extraordinary ambulance staff PDF E-mail

Dear Editor:

Having been a nurse for 27 years in a rural community, I have had the opportunity to interact with many different ambulance services and companies.

On May 9, I had the unfortunate incident of stepping in a hole at the corner of 9th and G streets here in Aurora. My left ankle was twisted beyond belief and to the point that, from my view, I could only see the end of my leg and not my foot. The next thing I knew, a passerby (thank you to whoever you are) had dialed 911 and I was surrounded by the angels of the Hamilton County Ambulance Service.

As you can imagine, I did have excruciating pain, but these very skilled and competent professionals splinted my leg, packed me up and before we took off, they made sure that I would have the least amount of pain necessary on the way to our destination. During the ride, they gave me the utmost tender loving care. They were professionals and they were always thinking of me first in their every task.

This community can be proud of these men and women who get out at any time of the day or night, in any type of weather, and bring health care to those who need it. They are an extraordinary extension of the great healthcare that is available in Aurora and Hamilton County.

Jacy Henk, RN, BSN


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