In response to Wes Culver’s “Reader Point of View” (Sept. 30), I would agree that many of the things that make Goshen a great place to live come from private enterprise, volunteerism, and talented and creative people working together. Mayor Allan Kauffman often says the same thing. There are some things, however, that private enterprise and willing volunteerism can’t do or don’t do, and that may be why Wes is in state government. I don’t think it’s just because he wants to lower taxes.
I think he knows that good government is necessary to accomplish some things. Among these are maintaining roads and bridges; seeing that effective water and sewer services are available to our communities; coordinating efficient mass transportation; protecting children and other vulnerable groups in the population; seeing to it that there’s adequate healthcare for everyone; providing education for the populations that private education doesn’t serve; maintaining a justice system; providing standards for food safety; maintaining fire and police protection; and ensuring that air quality is within a healthy range. One could mention many others.
If you look up the rankings for Indiana in quality of life, we are between 32nd and 40th among the 50 states. Improving in this area may require spending more money, and some of us would prefer to recognize our responsibility to contribute to the common good of our community.
Wes concludes by saying we should be asking, “Who has what it takes to offer superior services without raising taxes?” I think it’s clear we aren’t getting superior services in many of these areas and I would wish that the legislators of both parties would work together to achieve a balance of taxation and fiscal responsibility that recognizes when taxation is necessary to provide the best quality of life for everyone.
— Mary Ellen Meyer