Letters to the editor for week of March 30

County council candidate makes promise to voters

To the editor:

I have been providing fiduciary financial planning services for the last 24 years, and I remember the story of a father whose daughter had just received her driver’s license.

The daughter asked her father, “Now that I have my driver’s license, when can I get my own car?” The father replied, “Honey, you’re going to have to wait because I don’t have the money right now.” The daughter looked at her father and asked, “What do you mean, you don’t have the money right now? You’ve had 16 years to plan for it.”

A parent gives their child a weekly allowance of $20. Over time, the child continuously asks for more money because the current amount is never enough. And without question, the parent continues to increase their child’s allowance. Eventually, the parent will reach their tipping point by asking, “What are you spending your money on?” How do you think the child will respond? Will the child react emotionally by deflecting the parent’s question in fear of their allowance being reduced?

What happens if a company fails to manage their cost of doing business? Would anyone have a job? Cummins is known globally for building great diesel engines. But if they fail to control their production cost to the point no one was willing to pay the high price of their engines, how long would Cummins be in business?

Over the years, I have worked with hundreds of individuals and families on the subject of life and money. And I can confidently state the single most important issue affecting the average American household’s emotional and financial well-being is failing to pay attention to the annual year-to-year living expenses. Second is underestimating the impact of unanticipated future expenses such as transportation cost, housing maintenance, children and healthcare.

I have listened to those who like to stand in judgement by making the claim that the average American is in debt because they are living beyond their means. Hogwash! The reason the average American is in debt is because it simply costs a lot of money to live in America today. The only thing that is truly free in life without any strings attached is our freedom of thought! Everything else comes with a cost.

When you have more month at the end of your money, you’re forced to depend on credit. I don’t know about you, but at times I feel as if everyone has their hands out, asking me for more money.

Brown County government is basically the same as your individual household except with a whole lot more family members. If you go to the county website under departments, it lists 25. I believe there are an estimated 150 employees within these 25 departments who work behind the scenes to provide the services required for us to live our day-to-day lives without much thought of how much money it costs or where it’s being spent. In addition to the 25 departments, there are over 25 separate county boards, and this doesn’t include the 501c3 nonprofits. All of them are concerned with having enough money to cover their annual expenses.

This is at the core of why I am running for county council. If elected, I promise you, the community members, that I will do everything within my power to focus my time and energy on educating myself on the cost of Brown County government. This approach will allow the county to leverage my skill sets so we can educate ourselves on the current county government’s financial picture. Then we can work together to ask better questions and to make better decisions that will lead us to a sustainable long-term financial future.

Let’s work together, reminding ourselves to be grateful for what we have while being good stewards of our future together.

Phone: 812-375-4174

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.jimkemp.com

Jim D. Kemp, Becks Grove Road

Honor loved ones with music

To the editor:

The Brown County High School Band is wanting to honor people in the community who we lost to the COVID-19 pandemic. During the spring concert on May 12 we have a song we would like to dedicate to those members of our community who are no longer with us.

If you’re interested in having a loved one be part of this performance, we’d like their name as well as some pictures to be part of a slideshow.

Those interested should send the names and photos of their loved ones to [email protected]

Matthew Finley, band director

April is Autism Awareness Month

To the editor:

What is autism anyway?

It is a developmental disorder that impacts behavior, particularly communication, social and daily living skills. Some with autism engage in chanting, sensory sensitivities and react negatively to changes in routine. It is defined on a spectrum because symptoms can very much vary depending on the level of severity.

There is no direct cause and researchers conclude it is likely caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Autism is a lifetime disorder, but a variety of treatments offer management of symptoms to support both the individual as well as their families to cope throughout the lifespan.

Boys are four times more likely to have autism than girls. Currently the estimated prevalence of autism is one in 40 as the rates in the U.S. have steadily increased in the past 10 years.

On a more personal level, my son Nic was diagnosed with autism at the age of 2 through a detailed evaluation done by Riley hospital doctors and therapists. After spending a year on a wait list, he was awarded an autism waiver, which funded therapy services into our home. He was enrolled in special education classes in Brown County Schools — wonderful teachers, administrators and staff — as a stepping stone to a more structured and supported transition to DAMAR academy where he lived in a dorm and finished his high school years. That was the most difficult transition for this mom ever!

I am proud to say that he has progressed to the point that he now enjoys Johnny Cash and benefits from music therapy, demonstrates MOSTLY calm behavior, but we all have bad days! He has increased verbal skills, interacts with others, has a nonstop memory and a sense of humor. He most recently discovered “selfies” and loves taking them. He describes himself when asked as “happy” and a “party animal,” a name given to him long ago by the fraternity guys from Indiana Univeristy who acted as his staff and were a great support to both Nic and to me.

So, please celebrate Autism Awareness Month with a little compassion and understanding by becoming aware of this disorder and recognizing it because it is exists in all communities everywhere.

People seem to fear what they do not understand, tolerance and understanding of those who are “different” is important and appreciated! Happy April (Autism Awareness Month)!

Paula Roberts, Nic’s mom

Send letters to [email protected] by noon Thursday before the date of intended publication (noon Wednesday on holiday weeks). Letters are the opinions of the writer. Letters must be signed by the author and include the writer’s town of residence and a contact number in case of questions. Only one letter every two weeks, per writer, to allow for diversity of voices in the opinions section. Please be considerate of sharing space with other letter-writers and keep your comments concise and to the point. Avoid name-calling, accusations of criminal activity and second- and third-hand statements of “fact.”