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Thursday, May 07, 2015
  • I would like to thank everyone who reached out to me following my most recent guest article.  The many calls, letters, emails, texts and visits were overwhelming.  I greatly appreciate your words of support and although I believe I was able to respond to each of you, I would like to say thank you once again. 

    There were two very common themes to the messages I received.  First, there was a profound appreciation for the fact that I had taken a polite, yet firm, stand against the ongoing rhetoric. Second, a resounding approval for the efforts put forth by my administration and an appreciation for the direction the community is heading as a result.  In the words of many, “stay the course!”

    Our community clearly wants results oriented leadership rather than polarizing bickering.  You have made it clear to me that you want leaders who can unify, not divide, and that you expect leaders to think independently to find workable solutions to the complex challenges that face our community.  

     
  • Throughout this session, I plan to provide periodic updates on education in Indiana. Listed below are some education-related topics making news at the Statehouse: 
  • Each year in January, people make resolutions with the best of intentions. The reality is, by the time we flip the calendar to February, many of these goals have fallen by the wayside. Sound familiar?

    How can you help make sure your goals can be met?

    If you ensure your goals are S.M.A.R.T. from the beginning, you'll be on your way to achieving them. Unlike New Year's Resolutions, goals can be set any time of the year.

    So what is S.M.A.R.T.?

    S.M.A.R.T. stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time Bound.

    Lets look into each of these five aspects of S.M.A.R.T. a little more closely.

     
  • Throughout this session, I plan to provide periodic updates on noteworthy education legislation being discussed by the Indiana General Assembly. Below are two issues that received attention in the Senate this week:

    ISTEP+ Testing: As I'm sure you're aware, the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) recently announced that this year's ISTEP+ was set to more than double in length from last year. For some students, that could have meant as much as 12 hours of testing. 
  • What is a Mentor? A mentor is simply a friend. Being a mentor at the Youth Service Bureau means being a caring adult who devotes time to a young person, with the goal in mind of helping that young person discover their strengths and achieve their potential. The mentor doesn't replace the parent or guardian, but adds to the positive values and culture the child has already learned. The mentor is simply another person in the youth's life who cares for the youth and wants the best for that youth.

    In the Montgomery County Youth Service Bureau's Juvenile Mentoring Program (JUMP), mentoring is community based. JUMP staff recruit, carefully and thoroughly screen and train average community members to become mentors. Staff studies new mentor interests and child interests and make a "match" of a youth and an adult to become a mentor/mentee match. This match meets once-a-week or every-other-week in a community setting, where the mentor guides the youth mentee and helps them learn how to make better decisions. This match meets together for a year (or, in many cases, much longer) and staff follows up with how the matches are going throughout that year. JUMP has been a successful program since its inception ten years ago. 
  • Indiana is once again leading the way on finding state-driven solutions to our health-care needs. This week, Gov. Mike Pence announced that Indiana and the federal government have made an agreement to expand the Healthy Indiana Plan with HIP 2.0.

    This consumer-driven plan will be used instead of Medicaid to offer access to quality health care to 350,000 uninsured Hoosiers without the need for any new state tax dollars. 
  • The Crawfordsville Street Department has concluded another year of leaf pick up for the city. We again coordinated our efforts with the Storm Water Department. This collaborative effort has resulted in a much more effective and efficient method to the city's annual leaf pick up program.

    The Crawfordsville Yard Waste Site has closed for the season. We will be taking Christmas trees near the main gate to the yard waste site again this year starting the day after Christmas and lasting until Jan. 31. We will still take recycled electronics by appointment; call the Street Department at 364-5166 to schedule a drop-off time. The yard waste site will re-open around the first of March. 
  • Franciscan taking steps to prepare for Ebola
    Many have asked about the steps we are taking to prepare for the potential of a patient in Indiana with Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). 
  • In a recent column in The Paper of Montgomery County and the Journal Review, John Pickerill asks, "What does Mark Smith stand for?" Although I am running against the County Council District 3 candidate rather than the local Republican Party Chair, I am glad for the opportunity to tell voters what I stand for. 
  • Government transparency has been the focus of many news stories as of late. In this modern age of sophisticated technology, social media platforms and watchdog reporters, it is now easier than ever to keep up with the inner workings of government. 

The Paper of Montgomery County,
a division of Sagamore News Media

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