Thursday December 5, 1985

Cedar Valley Times,
Thursday December 5, 1985.

Delegation prepares for meeting with Gov. Branstad

VINTON --- A lobbying effort is taking shape in Vinton to fight the proposed merger of the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School with the Iowa School for the Deaf in Council Bluffs.

     And according to Norm Cruse, executive vice president of Vinton Unlimited, the lobbying is bound to continue well into the legislative session early next year.

     Morris Eckhart, chairman of Vinton Unlimited's committee to 'Save our School', will lead a delegation of Vinton persons and this area's two legislators to Des Moines Dec 13 to speak with Branstad about the governor's proposal.

     While the list has not been finalized -- persons were being contacted today -- locals who will be heading to Des Moines include attorney Keith

     Mossman, Dr S L Anthony, and Rep Kyle Hummel (R-Vinton) Sen Emil Husak (D-Toledo) has also been included in the delegation. All four men spoke at the special public meeting here in Vinton this past Monday night.

     Either Cruse or David Vermedahl, president of Vinton Unlimited, will be included m the delegation as well. Others who are being asked to attend are Dr Everett Hidlebaugh, superintendent of schools for the Vinton School District, Doug Johnson, president of the State Bank of Vinton and vice president of Vinton Unlimited, and J Damon Cain, editor of the Cedar Valley Times.

     The Vinton group will meet at 10 a.m. with the governor a week from tomorrow in an effort to persuade Branstad to reconsider his proposed merger of the two schools and drop it from his state of the state message to the Legislature in January.

     The SOS committee meets next Tuesday, Dec 10, at 7 p.m. in the State Bank of Vinton Community Building. The meeting is a strategy session for members to finalize plans for the delegation's presentation to the governor.

     Cruse is not overly optimistic the governor will change his plans, and he expects a "long legislative fight." "This will not be the last trip to Des Moines," Cruse said "If Gov. Branstad makes the merger a part of his message to the Legislature, then we will take our case to the legislators.

     Anytime they have legislative hearings, we will have somebody there."

     Part of the local effort is to determine to what committee the governor's proposed merger of the two schools will be sent. When that is discovered, key committee members can expect visits, calls, and letters from the Vinton lobbyists.

     Branstad has proposed a massive plan for the reorganization of state government. The governor wants to downsize government and cut spending to meet a projected $107 million deficit. The proposed merger of the Braille school and the deaf school is part of the governor's plan.