Staff Reports

The Bartholomew County Democratic Party presented an old-fashioned country picnic at the Schroer barn on County Road 50N near Otter Creek Golf Course.

Nearly 140 people attended the Aug. 6 event and were treated to pulled pork, homemade ice cream and speeches from local candidates and Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz.

The picnic was planned and presented by local Democratic candidates, including Pam Clark, Lynne Fleming and Diane Hawes, all county council at-large; Paula Rothrock, coroner; and Brad Woodcock, county commissioner District 1.

Story continues below gallery

Ritz spoke at length about what she described as a failed and flawed testing process, and her plan for fixing the problem. She said that she is working with Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Gregg to deliver a testing process that “… will give immediate results and useful feed-back to the teachers for each individual student. This will be usable information that will allow the teacher to help each and every student in the classroom to reach their full potential. These tests will be designed to help the student improve.”

In answer to questions, Ritz explained the difference between public education, home schooling and two types of chartered schools. Ritz said she is “… adamantly against the chartered schools which are established as not-for-profit organizations and run by for profit companies.”

The local, state and national candidates expressed their thoughts on a wide range of issues, such as:

  • The atmosphere at the council and commissioners meetings
  • The need for civility and integrity in government
  • Concerns over a change to straight-ticket voting in elections
  • The need for better representation
  • A lack of state education funding
  • Disrepair of bridges and roads
  • Opponents representing special interests

“Our picnic was a great success,” Bartholomew County Democratic Party Chairwoman Nancy Ann Brown said. “We were able to give our attendees lots of good food and fun, but we were also able to provide them with the opportunity to visit one-on-one with state, national and local candidates.”