Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Opinion

January 23, 2013

Residents have chance to quiz state politicians

The election is long past, the inauguration is over and Gov. Mike Pence just gave his first State of the State address. Now we can get down to the brass tacks of governance.

What that means is, now that voters have selected their representatives to offices at all levels, it’s time to continue to give input to these leaders regarding the desires of the voters.

Far too often we have seen someone elected to the Statehouse or Congress come to believe they were annointed instead of elected. To counter this all-to-human tendency toward embracing their own self-importance, it is vital voters, and even non-voters, give their elected officials continual input.

Fortunately, Goshen-area residents will have plenty of opportunity this winter to voice their concerns, give compliments and ask questions of their Statehouse representatives. Each year across Indiana local Chambers of Commerce hold “Third House” meetings and invite their Statehouse representatives to mingle with local residents and explain their actions or inaction on legislation of all sorts.

The name Third House seems to be derived from the tag given to conference committees trying to hash out compromises between House and Senate versions of similar bills. When it comes to the Chamber events, Third House simply means politicians mixing with the public.

The Goshen Chamber has a long history of hosting these meetings every other Saturday morning. For more than two decades these meetings have allowed Goshen residents to get first-hand responses to their questions about state government, and we know that over these decades this interaction has been good for the politicians involved and community residents.

So, once again the Third House meetings will be held beginning Saturday at 8 a.m. at the Chamber office, 232 S. Main St. We encourage our readers to turn out, have some warm morning coffee and ask some questions and listen to the answers. By doing so, Goshen residents will help strengthen our representative form of government and ensure we get representation in the Statehouse that reflects the community’s interests.

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Poll

Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

I think it’s a good idea to feed all the students free of charge
I think those who can afford it should pay for their school meals
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