Response to County Commission Editorial - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Response to County Commission Editorial

Commission Feedback:

For almost two years, I have been the minority watchdog member of the Vanderburgh County Commission.  My goal has always been to be sure all decisions were made after appropriate public comment.  The original draft of the "patient safety" ordinance was seven pages.  It was drafted by Ted Ziemer, the County Attorney.  I circulated it to various parties, including the local hospitals.  The hospitals took issue with the draft and over the next couple of months it was reduced to two pages.  While I believe the ordinance, as passed, represents good public policy, I agree with the criticism that there should have been more opportunity for public comment invited by the commission.

As the minority member, I do not control the agenda of the Commission.  However, I could have, and should have, made more public noise about the "patient safety" proposal, in spite of the request made to me by Mr. Korb that we pass the matter on first and final readings at the same meeting.  I apologize for not doing so.  As long as I am a Commissioner, this will not happen again without my strong public objection.

Troy Tornatta
Vanderburgh County Commissioner

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Anonymous Caller:

"People in charge need to be responsible for their actions.  People need to stand up to them.  It is our responsibility too.  We're citizens...and they work for us."

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Anonymous Caller:

"I appreciate you taking a stand on the abortion vote.  I was shocked and then very mad.  They cannot do that.  If they do it once, they'll do it again.  We have to take a stand.  I'm proud that you put it on the airwaves."

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As a consistent viewer of WFIE 14 news, I was deeply disappointed with the editorial on the county commissioners last week.  I would rather you keep your "personal opinions" off the air in the public venue.  You have no more right to go on the air during news time to criticize than I or any other person.  If you are going to do stories on our local, state and national governments why not encourage and compliment instead of look for areas of "personal interest" and blast people for doing their jobs.  These men were elected by the citizens to do exactly what they are doing. Criticize by voting, not using your "personal" advantage of public air time.  They were elected..... You were not!  If anyone were out of line in their responsibility, it was you.  To the best of my knowledge, all commissioner meeting are accessible to the public, so if you are so concerned about what they are doing, take your personal time and attend the meetings.  If that were done from the beginning, you would have had a say so!

Jeff

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During the Aug. 5 consideration of the ordinance in question, the commissioners called for discussion before one of their votes.  At that point, which members of the public in the audience were seeking recognition to speak on this issue, and were then denied the chance to speak?  Was it one person?  Five people? Ten people?  Can WFIE-TV provide their names?  
 

There's the hint in your commentary ("ignore the process") that the commissioners didn't alert the public on this issue.  Yet the public was alerted to this action item consistent with the way other action items are treated.  Is there some county or state code that requires a special press release to alert the public ahead of time for this topic in particular?  Can WFIE-TV cite the code? 

If you can't provide the answers to the above questions, don't you deserve to apologize to your viewers and to the Vand. Co. Commissioners?

Glen

Evansville

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Just a note to let you know that your opinion is not needed nor wanted. I am going to quit watching your channel if you don't know it off.

Has anybody asked your opinion on any of these stories?  I figure that the answer would be no.

This is very annoying and really is unwanted.

Opinions are just like a..holes-we all have one and they all stink.

Keep it in mind.

Bev

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We are LOYAL 14WFIE viewers, and we were extremely disappointed by the vindictive, biased comments made on the "taking a stand" section of the news today (Aug. 22).  No matter what side you are on regarding the issue, the station manager's comments were inappropriate for a news station.  Comments that were shown by the commissioner were also taken out of context.  We watch channel 14 for good, quality news reporting.  The manager's negative attitude and "You'll get your wish" comments were beneath the quality we've come to expect from this station.

Sincerely, Barb and Sam

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I thought your comments were right on target. Government should never operate in this way. No matter what the issue, I thought the commissioner's comments sounded less than honest. It makes me wonder if this was discussed by the commission members among themselves prior to the meeting which violates the law that requires conducting government business in open meetings. What happens in Vanderburgh County affects the entire tri-state.

Dee

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Perhaps you can stop using your position at the news channel to air your personal opinions and beliefs?
I dread seeing this part of the "news". Get a myspace.com page and quit bothering all of us that just want to watch the news for what it is, NEWS. I don't want to hear your opinions or thoughts or any of the garbage that you take up news time to ramble about.
I'm one more "Taking a Stand" away from switching to channel 11.
Seriously, knock it off.
Sarah

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Just saw your taking a stand on WFIE and wanted to commend you for your courage with tackling that subject.  It was clear from your statement that your own leanings on abortion were put aside so that you could express the voice of the people.  It was utterly disgraceful the way the county commissioners handled this.  As a resident of Evansville, I was shocked to find out that this had happened and outraged that it was pushed through in such an obviously underhanded way.  Thank you so much for bringing this to light.  Believe it or not, your editorial may have been the first time many people have heard of this.  It would have been the first for me if I had not heard it from a neighbor just the other day.
Great journalism, keep up the good work!
Nancy
 

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