Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Breaking News

May 3, 2012

Candidate: ADEC should not get county money

— Opponents in the upcoming race for Elkhart County Commissioner, District 2, are butting heads this week over a recent statement by candidate Darryl Riegsecker, R-Goshen, indicating he will vote to eliminate county funding to the local not-for-profit agency ADEC should his candidacy prove successful.

ADEC, based out of Bristol, is an organization dedicated to the support, care and enrichment of individuals with developmental and physical disabilities.

According to Riegsecker, who made the statement during a campaign forum at the Goshen Chamber of Commerce Saturday, the call to eliminate county funding to ADEC stems from his belief that using county funds to support local not-for-profits is inappropriate at a time when the county is struggling just to come up with enough revenue to complete its basic road and infrastructure projects.

“I’m not opposed to ADEC by any means,” Riegsecker said. “In fact, I used to ride in their Ride-A-Bike fundraiser all the time. I support their mission, but right now in the county we’re having problems getting enough funding just to repair our roads, let alone fund all these other things. That’s why I’m thinking we need to find other ways of funding for ADEC.”

Following his statement Saturday, Riegsecker received a concerned phone call from ADEC President and CEO Paula Shively. During the call, Shively asked Riegsecker how he could justify saying he supports the organization’s mission while at the same time calling to cut their funding.

His response? The two are not mutually exclusive.

“I’m on the corporate board of the Boys and Girls Club, and the county doesn’t give them any money,” Riegsecker said. “Does that mean I don’t support their mission? Of course not. So just because I’m against the county funding something, that doesn’t mean I don’t support their mission. The fact is we just don’t have enough money right now, so maybe we need to look at other funding options for organizations like ADEC.”

Riegsecker’s opponent in the county commissioner race, Republican incumbent Mike Yoder, isn’t quite so sure, however.

“I think it’s a very bad idea,” Yoder said of Riegsecker’s plan. “The state constitution actually gives local governments the ability as an option to fund agencies in the community that are in need. It’s a local choice, guided by the values of the community. I strongly support maintaining the funding at ADEC because I feel government can be efficient without sacrificing our values. It’s an important organization to support, and an appropriate organization to fund.”

Not willing to wait until the votes are tallied on election day to see how things shake out, Shively on Wednesday issued a detailed statement to the organization’s friends and supporters urging them to advocate for the continued use of county tax dollars for ADEC programs.

“We receive $450,500 annually from the county,” said Shively, who noted that the county has been providing funding support to ADEC for at least the past four decades. “It was in the 70s when the federal government first started funding the local community mental health centers, and they needed legislation in the state of Indiana to support those. That’s when the state first gave the go-ahead for local governments to provide tax dollars in support of organizations such as ADEC.”

According to Shively, ADEC’s budget comes down to around $14 million a year, though approximately $13 million of that is already tied specifically to funding services through Medicaid and cannot be used for any other projects.

Should Riegsecker be successful in his bid for county commissioner and make good on his promise to cut funding to the not-for-profit, Shively warned that the impact could be felt immediately as it would most likely require cutting two of the organization’s largest non-Medicaid funded programs: Guardianship and Transportation.

“The first program to go would be the Guardianship program, which is where we hire people to be the voice of those who are helpless and can’t make their own decisions,” Shively said. “There are 55 of those people that we provide guardians for right now, and that’s expected to increase over the next year.”

As for transportation, Shively said ADEC currently has a fleet of more than 50 vehicles used for transportation of ADEC clients, a number that would have to be drastically reduced should the county’s funding support dry up.

“Our vans are all over the county providing transportation for people with intellectual disabilities, and there isn’t anyone else who does that,” Shively said. “If our clients aren’t able to leave the house and come to us for the day, I don’t know what their families will do.”

Of course, all of this depends on ADEC’s future ability to raise adequate funding in the event of a county government pull-out, though Shively said she doesn’t hold out much hope that the organization will be able to continually raise the additional $450,000 a year that will be needed in order to keep these programs running.

“(Riegsecker) believes we can fundraise an additional $450,000 each and every year to replace the funds he wants to cut, but I just don’t see how this community could possibly help us raise that much money every year without significantly affecting other local not-for-profits,” Shively said. “If he feels he has the kind of expertise and knowledge we need to pull something like that off, then of course we’d love to sit down with him and discuss how to make that happen. But from my end, it seems really hard to imagine.”

Text Only
Breaking News
  • Middlebury man burned in water heater blast 
 MIDDLEBURY — Authorities say a Middlebury man has been hospitalized after he was injured when a water heater exploded. Firefighters tell WSBT-TV the man in his 20s was trying to light a water heater that had run out of gas and used too much fuel. The

    July 26, 2014

  • Clinton Frame leaving IN-MI Mennonite Conference over same-sex marriage

    After nearly 100 years of being in the Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference, Clinton Frame Mennonite Church officials announced it will be leaving because of the controversy related to same-sex marriage.

    July 24, 2014

  • Red D Mart armed robbery New Paris Police ask for public's help in identifying would-be robber

    Elkhart County police have released still photos captured from video of the man who attempted to hold up Red D Mart gas station, 68310 Ind. 15, New Paris, on Saturday, July 19.

    July 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Red Cross in urgent need of donors

    The American Red Cross is facing a blood shortage, leading to an urgent need for donors of all blood types to roll up a sleeve and give.

    July 23, 2014

  • Huron Street residents under boil order

    Tuesday morning, Goshen water crews shut down the water main on Huron Street to replace a broken fire hydrant.
    The Indiana Department of Environmental Management requires the Water Utility to issue a boil water order for the affected area, which is Huron Street from West Lincoln to Pike Street.

    July 23, 2014

  • GN140723 CR34-Ind. 13 Crash 1 LaGrange man airlifted from scene of crash A motorcyclist was seriously injured in a crash at Ind. 13 and C.R. 34 at 1:48 p.m. Tuesday. Terry Fry, 44, LaGrange, was airlifted by MedFlight from the scene. Elkhart County police said he was taken to South Bend Memorial Hospital with fractures to

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Suspicious blinking package with battery pack causes police to evacuate business area

    A package with a battery pack and a blinking red light found on the desk of an employee at MSC, 28551 Laura Court, Elkhart, caused police and firefighters to evacuate the area this morning.
    The package turned out to be a GPS tracking device and not a bomb.

    July 22, 2014

  • Cat beaten to death in burglary

    A house cat was found beaten to death following a burglary at a home in Howe Sunday.

    July 21, 2014

  • GN140721 Kosciusko Fatal Photo #2.jpg Fiery crash kills one, critically injures two in North Webster

    A fiery crash in North Webster left a Pennsylvania man dead and two others critically injured at 3:21 p.m. Sunday on Ind. 13, near Esterbrook Drive.

    July 21, 2014 4 Photos

  • GN140719 obit mcdaniel Jeanine M. McDaniel OSCEOLA — Jeanine M. McDaniel, 61, died Thursday afternoon at Elkhart Hospice House. She was born Feb. 16, 1953 in Noble County, to Everett and Nyra Lucille (Reynolds) McDaniel. Surviving are two sisters, Patty (William) Wray, Paducah, Ky. and Bever

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo


Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video
Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground

With military action and tensions escalating between Russia and Ukraine, as well as Israel and Palestine, are you worried that the U.S. and other nations may get drawn into these conflicts?

Yes, it is a great concern of mine
I’m a little worried, but not too much
No, I’m not worried at all
     View Results