On the idea of county voting districts

What do progressive democrats have in common?

Pottawattamie County has a long tradition of electing its five county board supervisors at-large. Since the entire county is governed by the collective board, it’s only right and reasonable to elect county board members by a county-wide process. To get elected, all candidates for the Pottawattamie County Board of Supervisors must campaign throughout the county.

Every Pottawattamie County registered voter has a voice in who gets elected to the board, and every Pottawattamie County registered voter has the option of voting out any board member who doesn’t meet their expectations.

Glen Hurst is now in the process of changing this long-standing Pottawattamie County election tradition. He is collecting signatures on a petition that, if implemented, would require Pottawattamie County to be divided up into five districts.

It would stipulate that only those registered voters in each district would elect one, and only one, county board supervisor of that respective district. It disregards the fact that the other four county board supervisors would also have jurisdiction over the district, and every other district. In effect, this is restricting the effective vote of every Pottawattamie County registered voter by 80% in county board elections.

The 2016 Presidential elections were a watershed moment in American history. Having lost the White House to Donald Trump by the Electoral College margin of 304 to 227, Hillary Clinton and progressive Democrats now want to eliminate the constitutional Electoral College process in electing presidents.

In the same vein, progressive Iowa Democrat activist and failed Democrat candidate for county board of supervisors Glen Hurst now wants to change the at-large election process by which Pottawattamie County Supervisors are elected.

Does this put Glen Hurst on par with Hillary Clinton? I’ll leave that to the registered voters of Pottawattamie County to make that determination.

Jeff Jorgensen

Council Bluffs

Meth remains a problem

As most already know, the opiate epidemic has been worsening, each year claiming more lives than the last. What is less known by the general public is the problem with Methamphetamines has been growing over the last several years as well.

In the most recent data from the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, it was found an estimated 964,000 people age 12 or older had a methamphetamine use disorder. This large number of Methamphetamine use can lead to some very serious problems in communities; higher crime rates, destroyed families, and the many risks to public health.

Methamphetamines are made by combining chemicals that can be explosive in bad cases as well as causing long term property damage from toxic chemicals.

Houses where a meth lab was in operation can retain chemicals which are hazardous to those who live in the house afterwards. In fact, even use of the drug within an apartment, home, or trailer can cause negative health effects long after the user or producer has moved one.

More and more communities each year deal with this problem and it is an expensive thing to repair, with decontamination costing thousands of dollars to inhabitants and landlords both. These problems are far from victimless with acute health effects that include lack of coordination, chest pains, and burns to skin, eyes, nose, and mouth. Possible chronic long-lasting problems may include respiratory irritability, neurological damage, and liver and kidney damage.

In these times it is important that families are aware of both the signs of methamphetamine use and abuse. In addition, community members need to be on the lookout for signs their house was used prior for methamphetamine production or use. To learn more about Methamphetamine effected houses visit safewise.com/blog/tell-buying-meth-house/.

For more information on signs of methamphetamine abuse, visit our website at narcononnewliferetreat.org/drug-abuse-information/signs-of-methamphetamine-abuse.html.

Luke Nichols

Denham Springs, Louisiana

Foster care: You’re supposed to get attached

Every foster parent will tell you that there are tough days. That one of the hardest parts is saying goodbye to a child who has been in your care.

When some families wonder if they could become foster parents, they may think, “I can’t foster children. I would get too attached.”

But every foster parent will also tell you that each tear shed while saying goodbye is worth it.

Getting attached is the perfect reason to become a foster parent. You’re supposed to get attached to children in your care.

Children in foster care need a compassionate adult to become attached to them during the most vulnerable time of their life. They need someone to sit at the dining room table and help them with algebra. They need someone to cook their favorite food and get to know their likes and dislikes. They need someone to be there for them when they wake up with nightmares, or when they can’t sleep at night.

When everything they have ever known is turned upside-down, children in foster care need someone to care enough to get attached.

Yes, it’s scary to think of saying goodbye to a child you’ve grown attached to. But consider what it would be like if you were four years old. Or ten. Or sixteen. And you had to say goodbye to your family, your friends, your bedroom, and your favorite toy.

And after all that, you were placed in a shelter because there simply weren’t enough foster homes in your town.

This year, western Iowa children have already been referred into foster care more than 200 times. Some were temporarily placed in shelters until a suitable foster home was found.

Entering foster care was never their choice. As adults, we get to choose. It is our responsibility to step up and, yes, even get attached. Because their wellbeing and safety matters more than our feelings.

Learn more about foster care at LSIowa.org/foster. Get attached. They’re worth it.

Susan Salmon

Director of Lutheran Services Iowa Foster Care and Adoption

Des Moines

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