Sunday, March 22, 2009

State legislators visit Washington

Around 30 people came to the Washington County Courthouse yesterday to get an update on state government from Senator Becky Schmitz and Representative Larry Marek. Budget cuts, health care, issuing bonds for road work and education were some of the biggest concerns expressed by area residents. Both legislators say they and their colleagues face some difficult decisions in figuring out the new budget. In all, state programs and agencies could be facing nearly eight percent in cuts.

Opposition to gender measure

Some local leaders say they oppose a measure that would force government bodies to strive to have an equal number of men and women serve on local boards and commissions. Washington County Supervisor Adam Mangold says its often difficult just to fill such positions in a rural area. Mangold also says the requirement might keep them from finding the person who is most qualified. He made the comments during a legislative briefing at the Washington County Courthouse yesterday.

Festival Concert

The Midwest Regional Mennonite Orchestra Festival Concert is this afternoon at 3:00 p.m. at IMS in Celebration Hall. The festival participants are Bethany Christian High School from Goshen, IN, Central Christian High School from Kidron, OH, and Iowa Mennonite School. An offering will be taken to help defray festival costs.

Homeless Students

In every school district there may be some students that may be homeless. Columbus School District Superintendent Rich Bridenstein says there are 5 definitions for being homeless. Bridenstein says they have a homeless student coordinator that he meets with on a quarterly basis. He says the record flooding last year did not affect many residential building but mainly businesses that would affect a childs home.