FCEDC's efforts warrant scrutiny

Again we hear from the great Finney County Economic Development Corp. They claim to be patterning themselves after the Pueblo Economic Development Corp. FCEDC established itself based on the 2005 Fruth study which it proudly has displayed on its website, http://www.ficoedc.com/, which by the way has not been updated since March of 2011 and is still advertising April 2011 events as "coming attractions." Mr. Depperschmidt was hired as director in 2006 after serving as director of Ness County Economic Development, a real boom county, prior to that his experience was in politics, http://www.linkedin.com/pub/eric-depperschmidt/14/467/61. One could question his qualifications for having the economic future of Finney County thrust into his hands. He plainly had a developed plan with stated goals to work from. One of which was to seek a non-public, long-term funding in two years. At the time the local economy was in pretty good shape so obviously this was not an important goal to be accomplished especially as his salary was being paid by the monies received from Finney County and Garden City. Speaking of goals, in 2009 FCEDC published the 2009 Annual Report. Since then I have been unable to locate any annual reports. A request issued to the FCEDC has resulted in a reply that the requested information would be forthcoming from Mr. Depperschmidt. I am waiting. I would bet that will not be publicly addressed. Several weeks ago I issued a challenge to FCEDC and the Board of Directors to publicly explain their accomplishment or failure to reach their five-year goals as listed in this document. Nothing has come forth from FCEDC or the board members. Failure to respond to this will not promote much confidence from the public to approve any additional sales taxes. I would ask Mr. Depperschmidt to provide the public with a list of his accomplishments as director of Ness County Economic Development. Before you vote on any additional sales tax to support FCEDC look into their history and lack of accomplishments for the area. We are not getting the bang for the buck that we as taxpayers are being assessed. FCEDC has a terrible track record over the last six years.

KEN RISHEL,

Garden City

We're losing civil rights

Back in 1976 when I attended Wentworth Military Academy, I took flight training and flew three times a week, an hour each day. Then one day after flying 30 minutes, my instructor told me to land and take him back and go up on my own. He said take off and do a touch-and-go, then land and park it in the hanger. Then, before he got out, he said, remember what I taught you and stay a mile in front of yourself. When I taxied to the runway, I was scared to death as I went down the runway, I was so far in front of myself I was already on final approach for the touch-and-go before my wheels were off the runway. Now a JetBlue captain's jet has got stuck in the snow on the way to the Hartford Airport and he called out for a tug and towbar to get nothing. He and his passengers were stranded for eight hours without food and water, then at some point the crew locked the bathrooms. If that captain was in front of himself he would have told his crew to activate the emergency slide chute before he let his crew lock the bathrooms. Could you imagine a flight to Honolulu without those necessities and it's a six-hour trip from Los Angeles. Now look at what the men in blue are doing arresting protesters when Westboro Baptist is allowed to protest soldiers' funerals, it looks like we have lost our civil rights and the First Amendment.

BRUCE D. OCHS,

Garden City