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Dan Spalding
Reporter Dan Spalding enjoys politics and cats and the mayhem both sometimes provide.

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Reporter Dan Spalding writes about Elkhart, politics and current events for the Elkhart Truth.

Retired educator receives a Neat award

Neat honored; Zakas comments on Delph sanctions and survey looks at two issues.

Posted on Feb. 24, 2014 at 12:30 p.m.

ELKHART — Longtime educator Thomas Neat was honored Saturday by the state for his contributions to the community, and the location for the honor was most fitting.

Neat was presented with the Distinguished Hoosier award issued by Gov. Mike Pence. State Sen. Joe Zakas made the presentation at the beginning of the Greater Elkhart Chamber of Commerce’s continuing Third House legislative series, where Neat has been a mainstay for many years.

Neat retired last year as assistant superintendent of instruction at Elkhart Community Schools, where he worked for 18 years. During his time in Elkhart, he’s been a regular at Third House meetings and has served as moderator for more than ten years.

He was moderating Saturday’s event, which meant State Sen. Zakas didn’t have to go far to make the presentation.

Delph sanctions a little too much, Zakas says

Sen. Zakas, District 11, was asked about sanctions handed down against Republican Senate colleague Mike Delph by a Senate Republican leader last week.

Delph was penalized for tweeting information about a Republican caucus held prior to a key vote on HJR-3, the controversial effort designed to establish a ban on same sex marriage in the state constitution. Delph has been a big supporter of the plan.

The move violated caucus protocol intended to provide confidentiality that enables lawmakers to have frank and honest discussion behind closed doors, Zakas said.

Among the sanctions: Delph lost his press secretary and a leadership role and he will not retain his title as ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, according to the Indianapolis Star.

Zakas took exception to a fourth penalty in which Delph’s seating assignment was changed so that he now sits along side Democrats and next to Republican leaders.

“Moving him on the floor seemed a little bit much to me,” he said.

Survey says …

Those attending the chamber event had a chance to weigh in on two issues via an informal survey.

On the subject of the education plan known as Common Core:

65 percent said they believe Indiana should define its own standards for students

15 percent said national standards are appropriate

19 percent said schools have come too far in implementation to turn back now.

On the governor’s plan to eliminate the business personal property tax:

91 percent support sending it to a summer study committee while the remaining 9 percent want to see it resolved this year.

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