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Letter to Editor: Flexible communities are more inviting PDF Print E-mail

Dear Editor:
“Nebraska, the Good Life.” This motto is often used to describe life in Nebraska. Rural communities are touted as good places to live and raise a family… small communities, where people take care of each other and look out for their neighbors. Perkins County is one of those counties.
In January, a young man and his family began employment with our farm. He has two small children and he is hands down the best help we have ever had. His wife is legally blind. They live one-eighth mile off the blacktop on Highway 61, just four miles from Grant.
This family attended a county commissioners meeting asking if the Perkins County Handi-Bus could stop and pick his wife and children up and take them to town when he is busy working in the fields, during harvest etc. They were told the bus does not go on county roads.
This family rode the bus in Chase County where they lived before and the handi-bus picked the wife up. They lived 17 miles from town.
Following three meetings with our commissioners, their request was denied in Perkins County.
Following the first meeting, my husband talked to our county commissioners and asked if an exception could be made in this particular case, due to her disability. She is legally blind. He even offered to rock the road to their house so the bus wouldn’t get muddy, stuck or whatever. He was told, “a rule is a rule.”
Our communities want to grow. Our schools need to grow. But our “rules” seem to get in the way. We told our commissioner we were “embarrassed” by the way this family was treated.
What a sad example of “neighbor taking care of neighbor.” We all pay taxes to support this bus and the gas and driver to run it. There is also federal and state funding involved.
Is there really anyone in this county who doesn’t think that an exception should be made in this individual case? All boards and governing entities adapt and change policies based on the needs of the communities they serve.
It seems to be that “rules” seem to take the place of common sense and common decency a lot these days. People in “power” or people in “government positions” have lost the ideals of being public servants and answering to the needs of the people who elect them and in effect pay their salaries.
When we ask questions or question the status quo, we are labeled, “radicals”, the “big people” in the county, or “trouble makers.”
It is a very depressing state of affairs, for Perkins County, for the state of Nebraska and the USA. I only hope we don’t lose this family, because “rules” are more important than people.
Rhonda Kroeker