To the editor:

The Jefferson County Health Department strictly enforced septic system codes to the letter of the law. This stern and unforgiving demeanor was a tyrant's lash across the necks and backs of the March 2 tornado victims. Yet many of these souls persist in rebuilding their lives. This is because a free people with firm resolve will stay the tyrant's lash and throw it off.

The Jefferson County Commissioners - Tom Pietrykowski, Julie Berry and Mark Cash - were unafraid to speak for the March 2 victims. Well done, commissioners.

The Jefferson County Board of Health also recognized the victims' plight and the "firm resolve" of 2,100 plus petitioners seeking change in Health Department policy/personnel and, so, hired Tammy Monroe as administrator. Monroe, ably assisted by Dr. John Hossler, has shown her mettle and proactive disposition by encouraging area contractors to certify as septic system installers, the acceptance of more system types and other policy changes. One of those "other policy changes" is the publication of inspections of local restaurants/eateries. Such a practice should have been common policy 30 or even 40 years ago. Nonetheless, it's a telling example of this administrator's commitment to transparency and sincere public service.

So...a new administrator with a new attitude makes for a new era of Health Department and citizen interaction. An era where public need will be met with gracious and welcoming professionalism and not the single-minded, insensitive and cold visage of days gone-by.

The comment was made in a Madison Courier letter that, perhaps, a number of the 2,100 plus petitioners had no legitimate grievance but were merely signing their names because of the zealous advocacy of the petition-circulators. Indeed, not!

Hoosiers - free Americans one and all - are more savvy and discerning than this ignorant depiction. Rather, as the 2,100 plus Hoosier Americans were expressing their discontent they were also expressing, "...government of the people, by the people and for the people..." Abraham Lincoln. Thank you.

William Warren