Thursday, March 24, 2005

Open Letter

To the Dearborn County Sewer Board and all Concerned Citizens of Dearborn County

RE: Rebuttal to the letter Published in the Register on November 11, 2004 “Suburbanization of the County Coming” Placed on the Dearborn County Web Log December 20, 2004.

The Dearborn County Regional Sewer District Board of Directors, as Provided by Michael Hankins, placed a letter on the Dearborn County Web Log allegedly responding to “false statements” in the letter published in the Register.

I will not bother to respond to items 1 thru 8 in the Rebuttal, except to say the following:

Their response in item 5 “The District Board has discussed at its last several meetings decreasing the cost of the project by $2 million and arriving at a monthly bill to users of approximately $60 per month.” proves the statement in the November 11th letter.

The other sewer districts mentioned are of record in the Lawrenceburg Public Library and in the County Administration Building and were mentioned in earlier submissions to this Web Log by members of the sewer board..

I intend to respond specifically to the defamatory personal attack made by “The Board” as follows:

“Ralph Thompson writes in his letter that he is an engineer. As an engineer, Ralph Thompson requested in a public meeting to perform engineering work for the District’s initial planning phase. His services were not retained. One imagines whether Ralph Thompson’s negative, misleading and/or false statements are fueled by this rejection.”

The first sentence in the statement is true. I am a Professional Engineer. The remainder of the paragraph is totally false and defamatory.

I have not applied for, asked for, proposed on or offered to do any work for the Dearborn County Commissioners, the Dearborn County Sewer District or the Dearborn County Board of Health, as an individual or as an Engineer. Therefore it is impossible for me to have been rejected for any such work. In fact, Vera Benning suggested that I work for the County, in an open Commissioners’ Meeting in late 2003 in front of the Commissioners. Cary Pickens, Lisa Lehner and many public witnesses. I flatly refused.

I have opposed the Sewer District formation from the first public meeting in early 2003 and had a letter published in the Register in November 2003 (Sewer District Fraught with Problems).opposed to the District.

I raised the issue of the development of the Gabbard Estate in early 2003 and was told repeatedly it was not about development. The development of the Gabbard Estates received primary approval in 2004 due largely to the availability of the Sewer District.

I was asked and volunteered to serve, as a citizen with engineering background on the Advisory Committee for the County Master Plan. I served through the production of the Master Plan. Mr. Travis Miller, The Planning Commission and Planning Board Members can speak to the value of my service as an informed citizen. I provided no engineering services to the Advisory Committee.

It seems the Board and Mr. Hankins are resorting to falsehoods and libel to silence opposition to their actions. Who can surmise what motives or actions they are trying to hide? Are these the kind of people we should have serving in public office (appointed or elected)?

The Bill of Rights in the Constitution provides all Citizens the right of “free speech”. It seems that members of the current government are attempting to ameliorate our right of free speech through libel, lies and now preventing citizens from speaking in the Commissioner’s Meetings. What’s next an attack on freedom of the press?

I have obtained a copy of the “Rebuttal” from the Web Manager and it has been forwarded to my attorney for appropriate action with respect to the Board, its Members, Advisers, etc.

Ralph E. Thompson, Jr., PE, CPE, NSPE

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