A cynic (who, me?) might assert that a letter from a candidate for county council stands to have little impact on bloated state bureaucracies like INDOT, but I disagree with this standpoint.
In my view, candidates like Nick Vaughn must articulate coherent positions on issues out in the real world, while at the same time revealing to voters something about what makes them tick in the sense of smarts, values and a willingness to get in the thick of it.
In this letter, Vaughn demonstrates these qualities. He understands that coming on the heels of COVID’s toll on independent small business, INDOT’s “renewal” plans could easily constitute a death sentence for those entities managing to survive a pandemic, only to find unresponsive state government waiting at the gate with a bloody scythe.
I eagerly await the points of view of other candidates.
Nick Vaughn Sends Letter to INDOT Urging No Full Closure of Sherman Minton Bridge in 2021
New Albany, IN — On Monday, May 11th, County Council Candidate Nick Vaughn sent a letter to the Indiana Department of Transportation urging them to remove a full closure of the Sherman Minton Bridge from consideration for the repairs scheduled for 2021.
In his letter, Vaughn makes note of the unprecedented times we are in due to COVID-19 and how hard the pandemic has made it to own a local business in Floyd County:
“Local businesses have already had to adapt or face closure during these current unprecedented times due to the pandemic.
I fear that a full closure of the Sherman Minton Bridge would be deadly to Floyd County’s local economy and cause an economic crisis which would require state intervention.”
Additionally, Vaughn called for an economic impact study to be carried out and released to the public and called on state leaders to create an economic stimulus package to protect Floyd County’s local economy during a partial bridge closure.
Included among such an economic stimulus plan should be:
- The ability for Floyd County residents to claim at least half of money spent on bridge tolls on their taxes for a credit.
- The authorization of funds to be dispersed to Floyd County for the purposes of small business loans.
- Advertising stipends for locally owned Floyd County businesses to use to market to Floyd County residents during the duration of the partial bridge closure.
- The formation of a cooperative local economic advisory board made up of locally elected officials and community stakeholders.
On the prospects of a full closure, Vaughn stated that “There is no doubt that the full closure of the Sherman Minton Bridge would be an economic disaster for Floyd County.”