Tuesday November 26, 1985

Cedar Velley times
Tuesday, November 26, 1985

County supports Governor
measure against school move

Times Staff Writer

VINTON— The Benton County Board of Supervisors approved a revised copy of a resolution presented to the board by Vinton Unlimited dealing with the proposed consolidation of the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School and the Iowa School for the Deaf which is located in Council Bluff.

     The supervisors talked to Tom Noonan, county attorney about making the changes because the supervisors felt the resolution was Vinton-oriented and needed to be worded to relate the effects on the entire county if the school were to be moved.

     The county's resolution states that "the Benton county location of the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School (IBSSS) is of educational, economic and social / environmental importance to the State of Iowa and to Benton County."

     Three points covered in the resolution include

---Benton County best serves to provide quality education to those children that have visual impairments and other handicaps

---The campus has undergone extensive remodeling to serve its purpose. Great numbers of persons and organizations have donated equipment and facilities in the past. To relocate would be costly, duplicative, and a breach of trust to those donor."

---The students at IBSSS are best served socially by the Benton County location. The public schools and various Benton County organizations have an ongoing relationship with IBSSS."



Cedar Valley Times
Tuesday, November 26, 1985

Governor Invited to public meeting next Monday

Times Editor

VINTON— A Vinton delegation will meet with Gov. Terry Branstad for one half hour the morning of Friday, Dec. 13, to discuss a proposed merger of the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School in Vinton with the  Iowa School for the Deaf in Council Bluffs.

     Word of the meeting came from Rep. Kyle Hummel (R-Vinton) in Des Moines today who was in contact with Morris Eckhart, a city councilman and chairman of the Vinton Unlimited Action Committee to Save Our School.

     The governor was expected to announce his recommendation for reorganization of state government in early December. It now appears his announcement will be delayed, perhaps until as late as his Condition of the State message before the Iowa Legislature in January.

     Branstad, citing projected state budget deficits in excess of $100 million, is proposing a reorganization and downsizing of state government. Included in preliminary plans is the proposed merger of the Braille school with the deaf school. The merger would move the Braille school program and students to Council Bluffs.

     Eckhart said today that Hummel has been in contact with the governor's office and that the meeting of some half-dozen local delegates with the governor would take place Friday, Dec 13, from 10 to 10:30 a.m.

     Eckhart also said Governor Branstad will be sent an invitation to attend a public meeting in Vinton, originally scheduled for last night, but moved to this coming Monday, Dec 2, because of hazardous driving conditions yesterday. The meeting is scheduled for the Tilford Middle School Auditorium at 7:30 p.m.

     The purpose of the meeting, Eckhart explained, is multiple.

     A position paper, prepared by Eckhart's committee, will be explained in more detail, providing citizens with an opportunity to "tell us how they feel and, more importantly, their reasons for the way they feel" about the governor's proposal. Another reason, Eckhart said, was to give citizens the chance "to ask questions and give suggestions "Yet another reason for the meeting, Eckhart said, "is to discuss our plan of action. We will tell them what they can do and what we (committee members) plan to do."

     Eckhart added his committee is interested in learning about "contacts around the state people here in Vinton have."

     "We need to know about their contacts," Eckhart said, "and we need to know if they will be willing to contact those people."

     Other efforts are underway in Vinton to oppose the proposed merger of the two schools, including-

--- The position paper has been sent to 103 newspapers in the state.

--- Nine local women, wives of Vinton Lions Club members, gathered at the rural Vinton home of Dee Hensing this morning to address, stamp, and mail letters to the presidents of all Lions Club presidents in the state. Included in the mailing are a cover letter stressing the “well-being of these visually impaired, and in many cases multi-handicapped children", a Save Our School Action Plan, and the addresses and phone numbers of all members of the State Board of Regents, the governing body of the Braille school and the deaf school.

--- The Vinton city sirens, originally scheduled to be sounded each noon beginning today until the proposed merger is defeated in the Iowa Legislature, will sound first next Tuesday, the day after the public meeting.