Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

February 28, 2013

Letters to the editor - Friday, March 1, 2013

GOP glory-seekers can stay out of plant

Being an employee of Chrysler, it is a great feeling to see this company rise from the depths of bankruptcy and doing so well in today’s market. All of the bankruptcy loans have been repaid in full, a new plant is slated to open in Tipton, and many new jobs have been filled with more openings to come!

With that being said, what bothers me is that whenever something good is about to happen at Chrysler — as in the visit of the president and vice president or the visit of our own CEO and chairman, Sergio Marchionne, to announce jobs and future investments — the governor and local leaders come bouncing in, as if they have done something.

I am really surprised (not really) that Mike Pence, Mike Karickhoff, Paul Wyman and others would have the nerve to show their face in Chrysler. None of these Republican glory-seekers are friends of labor. Hypocrites! Not once were they in Chrysler’s corner when the economy tanked and Chrysler was going belly up. They did not support the bailout and were content on letting Chrysler shut down.

Not one ounce of Chrysler’s success can be attributed to anyone in this group. Only the blood, sweat and tears, along with the many sacrifices of the work force involved. Fiat and Sergio Marchionne have given us the vision and model to get us back to being a great company once again, but it would not be possible if not for the work force.

Chrysler and its employees contribute a lot to this community. The Kokomo Perspective does a great job in acknowledging this. Kokomo hasn’t become a ghost town, like Anderson or Muncie, with the closing of Chrysler, and I hope it never does.

This town has suffered enough loss with the closing of Continental Steel and Delphi. I watched my stepdad lose his job and get a half-pension from Continental Steel and many friends and family lose their jobs at Delphi, all due to gross mismanagement.

I guess this is why it pains me and makes my stomach turn every time I see or hear of the glory-seekers entering my workplace, when they look down on the union employees, couldn’t care less and have even less of hand in all that is good that is going on in Chrysler Kokomo.

So to all of my union brothers and sisters, keep up the good work and don’t be fooled by those seeking to take credit for all of your hard work and many sacrifices. Stand and be proud of who you are and what we have accomplished. The success is ours! I would just as well not see those Republican glory-seekers at any of Chrysler’s announcements, since they do not support the union.

Larry Norfleet, Kokomo

A tale of 3 voters and the vote centers

Voter No. 1, a Howard County voter wanting to vote ahead of his work day, arrived several minutes ahead of time and was first in line when the polling place opened. By 6:10 a.m., he was on his way to work.

Voter No. 2, several counties away and needing to get to work early, arrived at his voting facility by 5:30 a.m. At 6 a.m. the polls couldn’t open due to a programming problem with the card that determines which ballot to display to voters using the electronic voting machines. Several hours later, hundreds of voters, snaked all around the facility, were still waiting in lines to vote. He arrived at work very late.

Voter No. 3, several counties away in another direction, decided to capitalize on his county’s vote center concept. He and his wife would vote during a trip to the grocery store. That day there was a long wait at the vote center, so they decided they would wait until the next grocery shopping trip. On the next trip, events repeated themselves. They then traveled to a store in a more remote part of their city and voted there.

We live in a “tech” world. However, because dollars get invested to do things in a high-tech way, that doesn’t guarantee that an overall improvement to a process is accomplished. Unintended negative consequences may more than offset any benefits gained. Now, not only are the invested dollars lost but more dollars are required just to get back to “go.”

You may or may not have been following efforts to transition Howard County to a vote center county. As a voter, what shortcomings with our present Election Day process do you most wish to see addressed? Or, what inconveniences with our present voting process may have caused you, sometime or other, to skip going to a polling place to vote?

Evan Yoder, Russiaville