Open Letter to Commissioner Tom Pietrykowski,
Thank you for heeding the concerns of your constituents and having the strength to take a public stand against the corruption that has oppressed Jefferson County for decades. As the county executive, you have demonstrated leadership by initiating necessary measures to protect the public from the very Health Department established to protect it.
Contrary to Indiana law and their own mission statement, “The Jefferson County Health Department supports Jefferson County’s economic prosperity and quality of life by promoting, protecting and providing for the health of Jefferson County residents.” Our community has suffered far too long at the hand of the current administration.
Mainstays like the Chelsea General Store, Kent Mercantile, Big D’s BBQ, and countless other family owned restaurants and food establishments have been forced out of business. The cost of simply doing nothing has already cost us dearly in lost commerce and jobs, broken spirits and financial ruin of countless victims, and a nefarious reputation as “a nice place to visit but you don’t want to live there.”
Under the authority granted to our health officer, Dr. John Hossler, MD and the local board of health, Ralph Armand, their administrator has been allowed to perpetuate a hostile environment rife in corrupt business practices, including market control, harassment and intimidation of others through threat of retaliation, all in clear violation of Federal Anti-Trust laws. By compelling our local health department to take immediate corrective actions to remove Mr. Armand, you and Commissioner Mark Cash are the catalyst to restore integrity to our county government and protect taxpayer dollars from the very real threat of costly litigation.
You have acknowledged that basic reform also demands pertinent policy and administrative changes towards transparency, accountability and fairness. This includes, but is not limited to complete restructuring of the existing permit process for the food service sector, septic systems and qualifications to become an approved installer. Also, at a minimum, our health board/officer/administrator should include at least one soil scientist or other certified professional or third party qualified to advise on septic issues and concerns, and the appeals process must be conspicuously disclosed, unbiased and responsive to the people.
As long as you stay true to your word, you will have earned the respect and trust of the people, allowing Jefferson County to flourish once again. Thank you for your dedication.