Friday, July 03, 2015

EQUALITY- This Fourth of July

Equality this Fourth of July
reprinted from IN Policy Review with permission

by Andy Horning

This Fourth of July it is clear that our society’s failings are not the constitutions’ fault. It’s our collective political ignorance and sloth that allow politicians to slip the chains and jump the fence of constitutional rule of law.

Despite what you’ve been told, the constitutions, state and federal, are still short and simple enough. You don’t need a decoder ring or a ten-dollar-a-minute lawyer murmuring incantations over your shoulder to understand the contracts to restrain our politicians.

There’s no excusing the confusion over the 14th Amendment’s words, “No State shall . . . deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” The Indiana Constitution’s Article I, Section 23 is even clearer: “The General Assembly shall not grant to any citizen, or class of citizens, privileges or immunities, which, upon the same terms, shall not equally belong to all citizens.”

Equality under law — it’s an old fundamental principle, but highly elusive practice, that we are all to be treated as equals by our government. Every now and then, the law is dusted off and used to the surprise of everyone but the delight of surprisingly few.

Why? Let’s be honest with ourselves. Our political order doesn’t merely wander from equality; it is predicated upon special deals for special people. Based on ever-changing categories like age, employment, income, gender, race, religion and that nebulous condition of marital status, politicians wield inequity like a matador’s muleta, with some promise of the common good.

Who really wants to change that? Clearly we can’t all get Medicare or farm subsidies. Pell Grants, veteran’s benefits, affirmative action, abortion rights and child support are all intentional, special enforcement of special inequality.

You can of course debate the merits and effect of all the inequality, but you cannot argue that people are treated anything like equally under law. We all know that the wealthy and politically connected operate under entirely different rules than we do, and we know that politicians make up their own rules.

And so, there is understandable debate when somebody invokes that word, “equality.”

Our reality is a class-based tug of war in which we defeat our enemies, both foreign and domestic, to tug away a little of what we think is ours. Every election, every court case, every new set of rules determines who wins and loses in wildly morphing spectra of taxation and subsidy, prohibition and mandate, perks and punishment.

What law or regulation, by any agency, bureaucracy, judge or even legislature, doesn’t create new distinctions and disparities in treatment that will provoke retribution? We have special-Interest groups only because we expect that everybody is treated differently under what now passes for law. And in every change, large or small, the power of the government grows, while the significance of the individual declines. Like gambling addicts, we ever-more desperately play for the big payoff, and can’t see that we’re losing everything.

Of course we could fix this. But who’d give up their special exemption, Social Security, trade agreement or loophole in order to achieve liberty and justice for all? We’d have to massively decrease the size, cost and importance of politics in our lives in order to achieve anything close to true equality among us. And of course we’d have to radically reform the biggest disparity of rights and powers of all — the incredibly corrupt mess that we call “government” today.

We don’t need any new laws. We need only resurrect the constitutions that still could make us special, more than any other nation, by treating us all, at long last, the same.

Andrew M. Horning is an adjunct scholar of the Indiana Policy Review Foundation who lives in Freedom, Ind. He was the Republican candidate for the 7th Congressional District in 2004. Horning writes frequently on classical-liberal topics and is an expert on the federal and state constitutions.
The Indiana Policy Review Foundation exists solely to conduct and distribute research on Indiana issues. Nothing written here is to be construed as reflecting the views of the Indiana Policy Review Foundation or as an attempt to aid or hinder the passage of any bill before the legislature or to further any political campaign.

2 July 2015 Dearborn County Council SPECIAL Meeting on FINANCING the ANNEX Notes

2 July 2015 Dearborn County Council SPECIAL Meeting on FIANACING the ANNEX Notes

This meeting as held in the 3rd floor conference room and was not recorded. No decisions were to be made. 

Present: Randy Lyness, President, Dennis Kraus. Sr., Dan Lansing, Liz Morris, Charlie Keyes, Ryan Brandt, and Bill Ullrich. 
Also present: Gayle Pennington, Auditor and Kevin Lynch, Commissioner
Paige Samsone and Jason Semler were present from Umbaugh and Associates

Randy Lyness opened the meeting asking about what to do with the financing and the Riverboat Revenue.

Kraus It’s hard to project where we will be with the Riverboat money- All you can do is GUESS and we can do that much ourselves.

Jason Semler- Originally- were asked about bonding. And we asked about what you might want to do is keep the cash and finance this. The trend is that the Riverboat is going down. He thought we could do projections so that we are not so dependent on Riverboat funds. What else are you using that money for?

Kraus said we put about 5.5 million into the operations of county. The SAVINGS would be what we would tap for his- and its about 9 million. 

Lynch said that we are on target to finish the jail on budget. Lynch said that about $200,000 or so is left to pay out. So about $11.2 million is spent so far. 

Lyness asked if Gayle had those numbers- She said she hadn’t gotten spreadsheets from Maxwell or Terri yet. 

Brandt asked about the 12 million for referendum- 

Umbaugh -Jason and Paige - only has to go to referendum if PROPERTY taxes are used to pay for it. You can use INCOME tax or you can even use property tax to back up the bonds as long as you don’t plan to spend the property tax.

Lansing said the admission tax will probably go away. 

Lynch agreed. There will be a switch to a gaming tax. Maybe in the next cycle in the next two years. 

Morris said every county across the state is in the same pinch. The property tax caps- everyone is hitting the circuit breakers. The level of funding went form 70% to 30% range ???
The legislature has not addressed how to make up for the loss of revenue. 

Umbaugh Jason and Paige- Their solution was to suggest people enact Local option income tax.

Lansing- but to operate it- we will have raise taxes in some form or another. 

Umbaugh- Jason and Paige- The CCD ( cum capital development ) fund would be property tax increase.  for example.

Morris- I got a 10% tax cut in my property tax. I don’t think it is right that I got a cut. 

Lansing- You can say that in here but out there the normal person gets a tax cut and they are clicking their heels- ready to go. 

Umbaugh-LOIT. CAGIT, CEDIT are options to adopt  in taxes in addition to COIT. ( County optional income tax- that we already have.)
You can adopt the public safety LOIT without the other two LOITs.
It does get distributed to the municipalities as well. 
COIT can only be done in certain increments up to1% total. 

Kraus- I think we should bring Cum bridge tax up- and commissioners should lead the way by doing that.

Cum Cap development would be what you can do. Umbaugh - Paige- very few counties  are NOT at their maximum levy rate. ( Penningon confirmed later that we are at our max levy rate)
Counties are depleting their balances because of the circuit breaker. 

Lyness- just picking a number- if we needed to bond for x amount could you tell us what the impact would be per $100,000 home/property. (He keeps trying to pin them to an estimated numb here.)

Ullrich- we do not want to deplete the savings we have got. We can use part of this. The bonding - we want to know how much interest we’d pay. The last resort on the bonding would be something to resort to property taxes. 

Morris- Want to use partial savings and bonding the rest with property tax backup.
We could do 10-5-20 year scenarios.

Gayle Pennington confirmed that Dearborn is at the maximum levy

Ullrich talked about getting more business to the county- and the ones that got away are references for more who want to come here.

Lynch- just talked to the Governor and he knows how close we were to getting that company- Milacron. Governor Kasich from Ohio came in at the last minute and threw some more money at it and that tipped the scales. You guys were really smart putting the sewer out there for West Harrison TIF.

Lyness- the intent of this meeting is to decide what scope we want on this study.

Brandt- what would it take to run a 10 year study. 

Umbaugh - Jason and Paige- we can have it in a week.

Kraus- The more we pay off with cash- the less interest we have to pay- want to avoid that 

Morris- What would you do for this fee?

Umbaugh- Paige and Jason - we would go out and find a buyer for your bonds. Then put out a booklet for all local banks etc, Then get their best rate by a certain date. 
The bond  fees have to be paid by  the bond funds. Issuance cost is $150,000 - but we have to get their fees. The big payment is the interest..
20 year bonds at less than 4%. We can have less interest with less years. 

Lynch- maybe we could reach out to others or place bonds with them. Like the hospital or conservancy district. Conservancy cannot some thought. We don’t have to go out to the open market. If they are going to do something more favorable. Karl from LHS was present and said Conservancy can.

Lawrenceburg Conservancy and DCH- Umbaugh- Jason-  will check with bond counsel for that. Library bonds maybe to.
Umbaugh-Paige we can prepare all budget documents from start to finish. We usually do two years. Then also budget analysis. Price was a NTE of $8500. This would do the 2016 budget and out a couple more years form that. 

GFC- Government Financial Consultants. We use now- per Gayle- That is Frank Cummins.

Brandt- if we can get an additional analysis with this company. 

Morris- I’d like a fresh set of eyes and a reputation through out the state like Umbaugh. ( They plan to switch from Cummins to Umbaugh.)

Lyness- we need different scenarios and a 10 - 15 year plan. I’d like to see all those options. Gayle can get with Leah and see how much we’ve got. Then we can see what it would cost per $100,000 of assessed value. 

Pennington- everyone had to have their budgets to her by today. 

Umbaugh- Paige said they could do it f they had that by end of July. 

Lansing- would it make sense to look at these scenarios to look at these after we see where we are at with budget.\?

Lyness - we need to tell them what e think we need and they can give us a number and then we can decide at the July 21 meeting. 

Umbaugh-Jason - if you want us to just do the budget- then we can do that and you see if you want us for the other study.

Lyness- no no- we want to get the bonding scenarios figured out for the annex. 

Lynch- did not want to speak on their behalf without having a couple council members with me. Terri and Shane meet with Roger Howard ( at DC Hospital) on a regular basis.
Conservancy is Dave Lorey now. 
Baker and Daniels does some lobby and legal work for the county. Pittman works at Barnes and Thornburgh now.

Umbaugh-Jason- Is there a time you wanted to start construction?

Ullrich- design in- but need commitment to the funding first. 

Pennington asked about a county that had helped LaPorte with bonds.

Umbaugh-Jason-  it would be cheaper- less interest if you could bond with these county options - so we’d do a different scenario.

Lyness- Gayle has the money appropriated in her budget- so she could make the decision- it’s up to her.

Kraus- normal procedure is for us to tell her what to do. 

Gayle said- we can’t make a decision tonight. 

Umbaugh-Jason and Paige  it would save you money to do a comprehensive financial plan for $25,000 because it is in the budget plan too. This would only do 10-15 of our funds- that are our main funds tat do our services. You have  a few more main funds because of all your different riverboat funds. This would save $10,000. The study goes out 5 years. 

Lyness- what if RR goes out- is that one of the scenarios?

Umbaugh- Jason- Once we get the model built we can add scenarios. This could be updated on an annual basis. That won’t cost as much then. Once you get past the 3 years it is more of a guesstimate.
Put it all on next agenda for July 21 so they can make a decision. 
2016 would be $8500. Annual updates NTE $15,000 including budget. It costs more if you don’t update annually because we have to start over.

Keyes wants to have the refunds to general fund tracked- can they do it? Instead we take it out of Riverboat.

Gayle- I can send you the statute so you can quit losing sleep over this. 

Keyes really does not like the way refunds get put to general fund and then spent on other items,

In reference to their proposal Paige asked-  does it hep that I’m a grad of LHS? Laughter


Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Tuesday, June 30, 2015



Executive Session

The Dearborn County Commissioners have called an executive session at 8:00 a.m. Tuesday, July 7, 2015  

This meeting will be held for the sole purpose of discussing strategy with the respect of initiation of litigation or litigation that is either pending or has been threatened specifically in writing which is classified confidential by state and federal statutes
 IC 5-14-1.5-6.1(a) (1); (b) (2) (B)  

This meeting will take place at the Administration Building, 3rd Floor Commissioners Room, 215 B West High Street, Lawrenceburg, IN  47025.



Executive Session

The Dearborn County Council has called an

executive session at 6:30 p.m. Thursday,

July 2, 2015

This meeting will be held for the sole purpose of

discussing pending litigation which is classified

confidential by state and federal statutes

 IC 5-14-1.5-6.1(a) (1); (b) (2) (B)

This meeting will take place at the

Administration Building, 3rd Floor,

Glass Conference Room, 215 B West High

Street, Lawrenceburg, IN  47025.



Dearborn County Council Meeting

Thursday July 2, 2015, at 5:30 p.m.

County Commissioners Glass Meeting Room

According to I.C. 5-14-1.5-5, the purpose of this meeting is solely to receive

information or recommendation in order to carry out administrative functions.  No

decisions will be made.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015



Next week (Thursday, June 25th @ 8:30am) the Chamber will be hosting a workshop put on by the online marketing firm InSourceCode. They have started an initiative with the goal of making Indiana businesses more present on the web. Websites, online marketing and social media are their specialty. 

Their goal is an increase in online representation for Indiana small businesses and to refurbish the way small businesses connect with the world and market their products and services.

Currently, only 53 % of locally owned businesses in Indiana have a website to promote their brand, company mission, products and services, as well as engage with existing and prospective consumers. While we have a shortage of websites throughout the small business sector, online engagement continues to skyrocket, with 87% of web users consistently sifting through the web in search of products and services.

For more information check out their youtube channel here.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

16 June 2015 Dearborn County Commissioners Meeting Notes

16 June 2015 Dearborn County Commissioners Meeting Notes

Present: Art Little, and Kevin Lynch, acting president.
ABSENT: Shane McHenry on vacation

Also present: Gayle Pennington, Auditor, Andy Baudendistel, Attorney, and Terri Randall, Administrator

Commissioners resigned a highway contract copy as the one from last meeting was signed.

Redaction Services and Support Agreement- Glenn Wright- Recorder- CSI is the company and they have had it for years. It is a 4 year contract. Baudendistel reviewed.
In January they put $268 into their fund- they get 50 cent fee. Contract is $2,000 and they have money from these fees to cover it. Approved. 

ADMINISTRATOR- Terri Randall- nothing

AUDITOR- Gayle Pennington- presented non collusion agreement from APS (Adult Protective Services) side of Negangard’s office. Bryan Messmore had not submitted it to Baudendistel for review. Baudendistel reviewed tonight and said it was OK to  sign. Approved. 

Contract for EMS services for 2 squads from Moores Hill for $40,000 - approved.

Claims approved.

Minutes from June 2 meeting approved. 

ATTORNEY- Andy Baudendistel- at July 7th meeting they will present a zone map amendment from Plan Commission and zoning codes.

COMMISSIONER COMMENTS- Art Little wanted everyone to remember what July 4th is all about. 
Kevin Lynch concurred. We get caught up in festivities sometimes. He also said at July 21st meeting he will be out of town. He also wanted to lay out that as president of OKI- their annual luncheon will be August 5th at the Lawrenceburg Event Center. This will have business and community leaders- approximately 500 people. Undersecretary Peter Rodoff ( spelling?) from Transportation policy will be the primary speaker. Lynch attended a conference in NC and spoke with people about transportation policies and issues. He gave an interesting and succinct presentation to their group. Judge Exec. Gary Moore from KY presided over that conference. It was good to talk to peers about their issues too.



Meeting Adjourned at 5:16 PM

Christine Bauer Mueller

Lawrenceburg Township

Monday, June 15, 2015

Agenda- June 16th DC Commissioners Meeting

Tuesday, June 16, 2015 
5:00 p.m., Commissioners Room
County Administration Building
215 B West High Street, Lawrenceburg, Indiana




Redaction Services & Support Agreement – Recorder, Glenn Wright
V. ADMINISTRATOR – Terri Randall
VI. AUDITOR – Gayle Pennington

VII. ATTORNEY – Andy Baudendistel




Friday, June 12, 2015



More info from Register Publications on the Council planning for financing the annex selected by commissioners.

11 June 2015 Dearborn County Council Meeting Notes

 11 June 2015 Dearborn County Council Meeting Notes

Present: Randy Lyness, President, Dennis Kraus. Sr., Liz Morris, Charlie Keyes, Ryan Brandt, and Bill Ullrich. 
ABSENT: Dan Lansing- on vacation
Also present: Gayle Pennington, Auditor and Teresa Randall, County Administrator, and Kevin Lynch, Commissioner.

This meeting was advertised to have NO decisions be made.

Lyness opened the meeting saying that Commissioners voted to build the $11.2 million annex. We need to find out if we can afford it. He invited Jason Semler from Umbaugh and Associates to the podium to speak to this. Jason is a partner with Umbaugh and they had worked n the jail. With him was Paige Sansone who was a 12 years with Umbaugh. 

He said in talking with Randy over the phone he drew up a 15 or 20 year bond issue and what it would be. If bonding whole project. Bond counsel would be $150,000, and 1% of bonds as fee. He also had $12.6 million, which  would have to be bonded to cover all of eh $11.2 million price tag. Have to pay $1.2 million for the next 10 years. 20 year bonds for 3.7% were sold by him recently. 
Option 2 with using $4 million cash and bond $7.2 Million. $780,000/year payments.

Using a 20 year option reduces the annual payment. These have property tax backing to guarantee the bonds. These secure the bonds. Otherwise the interest rates go up 1/2 to 1 %. Since the property tax is just a back up you don’t have to worry about referendum because you have no intention of using it. [NOTE: But what if you do have to exercise the property tax levy?]

The next question is what revenues do you, the county,  have to pay it off?
[NOTE: Now we get the sales pitch- they want us to hire them for a comprehensive financial plan.]

Jason- Maybe look at a comprehensive financial plan because of the circuit breaker law. This limits the tax rate. Businesses ( under circuit breaker law) will pay no more than 3% increase., Ag 2% and residents1%.

Gayle Pennington said we have  a lot of people hitting the caps here already with the circuit breaker. This means the increases are stopped by the 1,2, or 3% cap. The circuit breaker losses are increasing. 

Ullrich said you don’t want to mess with tax rate.- Impact has been worst on Ag farmers. 

Jason said looking at your funds you see a trend in tax losses.

Lyness- If we are not making tax money- what to take this out of?

Jason- Riverboat Revenues or levy a new tax. That way the security of property tax in the above scenario with the bond issue would essentially become a new tax then. 

Lyness asked for $100,000 assessed valuation what would the tax cost be? 

NO Answer but… another sales pitch come in from Umbaugh:

Jason- You’d want the comprehensive financial plan to help decide this first. (making the  case for more work for his company)

Liz Morris asked what the cost would be to do the comp financial plan. 
Jason said that is Paige’s area. He also brought one plan form Scott County as an example. They had a shortfall. Like we do here. 

Paige said that part of the service we provide to see how to make up that shortfall. They are doing a plan for Lawrenceburg now. She said we would benefit additionally because of this project. They would work scenarios to see how they could fund it. [NOTE: Scenarios are just possibilities based on certain “educated” assumptions. In Master Plans we have seen these needs for land use types be based on population estimates for the county. Even using conservative trends out of IU Kelley’s research our population increases were way too high. This is because of the unintended consequences of some of our policies and decisions. Example- the Riverboat coming in. Boatloads of money and then the obvious unintended consequences of the vice and crime that cultivating a climate of gambling as recreation and tax revenue created. Couple that with the perception that moving to the country was no longer the safe idyllic life that Ohioans had imagined for their kids.]

Jason said the do many budgets. Sometimes they show how circuit breaker losses could be aided by different funds. It looks on a more long term basis than just budgeting.
Bonds are callable so you can refinance them at a lower rate if that happens. The often update their reports for communities every couple years. It takes 6-8 weeks to do a plan. Cost depends on how much you want us to do. Probably looking at $35,000 probably. Some communities only use the top 10 operating funds. You could incorporate this as part of the financing for the project. [NOTE: Now we use the project funds to pay for the plan to finance the project- but we haven’t appropriated money for the project yet. And Lyness has an ethical issue here.]

Lyness disagreed with Jason-  you should just use our cash for this- not part of the project. [NOTE: Well he got that right.] 

Ullrich said Umbaugh has an excellent reputation. 
Liz asked if there were other options. Loan from a bank would require legal documents and public approval. Usually it is bonds. Could send out proposals to Edward Jones. It is bonds. Because you are a government- it is bonds- not a bank.( get it? it is bonds not bank loans!) Debt limit is $14million for us. 

Kraus asked if it could be backed up by COIT instead of property taxes. CEDIT could be added they said as well as raise COITs. Jason said property taxes are more secure than COIT. Could use Public safety LOIT and not adopt the other LOITs. ( LOIT is local option income tax)

You only levy the tax if the bonds are not being paid. [NOTE: In all these scenarios, the security for this is the taxpayers- they will pay if the county can’t get the bonds paid off. That means more taxes.] 

Don’t close on the bonds until you need the money. They don’t close on bonds until they already to move dirt. 
Have to have bonds and cash ready for when they start.

Kraus asked why we don’t have the final on the jail payments yet to close that out. Randall said most are out. She said she can shoot those balances out to you soon. Gayle said only a couple vendors are left. They think it’s only $30,000 left to pay on jail. There is about $9 million in the savings account- some of it is spoken for with other projects.

They think the report may not save money but it would help you make better informed decisions.[NOTE:The report will not save us money- it will tell us how to bond the money and what we can afford to pay back- barring any unknown county catastrophes. why can’t our accountant tell us this?]

Liz Morris said Lyness with a couple others should meet with Umbaugh to determine the scope and Lyness said don’t look at me! Morris said- well you’re sitting in the big chair… [NOTE: Lyness should be very careful here…]

Kraus thinks $30,000 for this and Frank Cummings costs us about $8,000 for our budget. 
Paige said that she could tell them the minimum that would benefit you. And then we could throw in some others if you decide to. MORE SALES PITCH.

Lyness said we are at COIT .006 ever since we adopted it 25 plus years ago. (does he want to increase it?)

Kraus said we do have the cash on hand and it makes about 1.5% interest and then pay almost 4% in interest on the bonds. Why wouldn’t we use our savings?

Morris thought about using a mix of this. 

Pennington said they can digest this and then tell her if they need another meeting. 

Morris wanted a committee to meet to decide the scope of this. 

Lyness wants to “get rolling,” and do what’s right. 
It might involve us getting in the car and coming to Indy and meet across the table.[NOTE: Wait- we are taking a committee meeting that should be open to the public on a road trip to Indy? Transparency??]

Pennington wants Leah, the comptroller, involved. They will get total of 3 council on the committee. ( this avoids quorum) It takes 2 weeks to announce an expenditure meeting to have a decision. 
Pennington will get this info to Lansing who is on vacation now.

Kevin Lynch asked to speak- was glad to hear economic development mentioned. Hopes they use those resources to increase income to the county. (that is too long a shot for payback to help this) Commissioners are behind this and thinks it is long overdue to get a grasp of where we are and look at a plan for our future. Professional excellence and working on our shared vision for the future… [NOTE: More sales pitch for a “professional” study by Umbaugh. And of course there will be no competition for this business.]

Meeting adjourned at 7:45 PM
Christine Brauer Mueller

Lawrenceburg Township

Thursday, June 11, 2015

11 June 2015 Dearborn County Redevelopment Meeting Notes

11 June 2015 Dearborn County Redevelopment Meeting Notes

Present: Dave Deddens, Chairman, Jim Helms, Jim Deaton, Randy Lyness. 
ABSENT: John Rahe and Dusty Burress (non- voting school board member)

Also present: Terri Randall, county administrator and economic development director, Andrea Ewan, attorney, Sue Hayden, minute taker, Gayle Pennington, Auditor and DCRC treasurer.Oren Turner also was present.

Verification of Info discussed in Executive Session- Randy Maxwell attended executive session prior to this meeting. Approved by board as special strategy of purchase or lease of property etc as stated in the public notice.
Action of Executive Session- no action still in negotiations.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES- May 21st meeting minutes approved


Approval of claims for ED Research grant- claims for Oren Turner approved.$56,180 left in account.
Approval of Regular claims- $1032.74- approved
Review of Financials- Each account was gone over with their totals including the TIFs. Randall said the West Aurora TIF account was growing. At some point they need to decide what to do with those district’s TIF money as infrastructure or marketing investments. Whitewater Mill was re- TIFed as a new district when they came in she said. 

Updates from Oren Turner, Research tech- Randall introduced the topic with saying someone had seen that property was listed as available and chipotle was already in it. So they talk about updating sites that link to us. 
Oren Turner passed out materials that he is developing for a site selectors for Dearborn County. Randall is attending something July 16th that will be put out during the All Star game. She is getting with REDI on that and needs some marketing pieces for that. Turner said he is open to any critiquing for these pieces. He wants to upgrade the TIF map to show the TIFs in the cities too. The board threw out some ideas about current businesses here as well. Maybe also show new businesses in the past 7-10 years here too. Also trying to see what their links and web traffic is. Trying to get some professionally done video clips of businesses here perhaps. 
Randall said that they got a letter from Milacron CEO that said they had really wanted to be here- that IN would have been the best corporate environment for them. Other nice things too. Turner will bring Google analysts on their website for traffic next.
They have property search database available thru REDI Cincinnati housed through . Randall pitched all the things we can get thru REDI now that we are members. Someone else is going out in July to get all the available properties on line. Randall said they will try to hook up with them to be sure we get all our available land out there for exposure. “xelegent” is a site for all this. 
Turner is working on some marketing and RFPs pieces. 
Ewan advised him to get real pics and not stock photos for the site. We have enough web photographers in the county too. 


Time to prepare budget for 2016 due June 2 to Auditor. Randall thinks it will be relatively easy. She said she will probably send out the draft to them and go with that for submission. She thinks that is OK to change during the hearing. This is because they will not be meeting before July 2nd and she doesn’t have the budget ready now.

Randall wants to use Umbaugh as the auditor’s office says they get things done on time. Umbaugh is coming tonight at the Council meeting. She thinks we could talk to them then maybe. She says that there is enough work now and she wants to have someone being sure they are reporting everything right. There are reports due July 1st. That is a basic one but there are letters required by July 15 to the taxing districts in the TIFs and there are enough that she wants help. 

Randall said that she has been pressing on the sign on the Aurora Industrial park Signarama has one drawn up but didn’t get it to her in time for the meeting.


OTHER BUSINESS- Deaton said that he attended the REDI meeting and they have one person who can help us out here. She said that many people there passed out their card- and we have no business cards. Most people there were for Ohio- nice networking experience. Talked to a French company rep there and was told they could apply for them too.

Deddens suggested and board decided that they will be meeting every other month now that project platform is off the table. They will meet July, Sept, November. If there is something needed they will call a special meeting. 


Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Damn the Ethics, Full Speed Ahead

Damn the Ethics, Full Speed Ahead

This guest column was also published in the June 9th edition of the Journal Press.

I wish we could clone Jiminy Cricket, Pinocchio’s wise and comedic conscience, and gift him to every local official in the county. Perhaps Jiminy could counteract the temptation to ignore that inner voice that keeps whispering “This isn’t right,”  while others keep pushing, by any means possible, to get something done. The county annex project reached that point at the June 2 Commissioners Meeting,where it was (with apologies to the US Navy) Damn the ethics, full speed ahead!

It is legal to be unethical in Indiana. Conflict of interest has been watered down by our ethically challenged legislature to only include you and your immediate dependents living in your household. 

And yet the IRS definition of family in their conflict of interest instructions to non-profits defines family as all relationships from spouse, siblings (whole and half), children, grand and great- grandchildren, and all their spouses and even ancestors! (See form 1023 p 33 IRS instructions) 


One of the best conflict of interest policies that addresses both legal and ethical ones comes from the Center for Wise Democracy:
 “…no member of the Board of Directors shall participate in any discussion or vote on any matter in which he or she or a member of his or her immediate family has a potential conflict of interest due to having material economic involvement regarding the matter being discussed. When such a situation presents itself, the director must announce his or her potential conflict, disqualify himself or herself, and be excused from the meeting until discussion is over on the matter involved.” 

And not vote on it. 


Our Planning and Zoning department also uses that concept and removes even the perception of conflict of interest.

Currently we have an annex funding issue where the Randy Lyness, President of Council not only has an ethical conflict of interest, he has it on several levels. When asked abut it at a meeting earlier this year, he admitted to finding out just recently that his son is in fact an owner of Maxwell Construction, the Construction Manager contracted for the annex and the previous jail project. His son is listed in the contract with a management role. He also has brothers, some nephews and a brother - in- law also in this company. It’s not just a son. Maxwell Construction has made nearly $600,000 on the jail and the annex will be approximately the same amount as the jail was per their project manager and contract. The Maxwell contract for the annex was approved by Commissioners without going out to bid. That funding for Maxwell comes out of the whole annex project funding that Council is set  to discuss and vote on soon.


Lyness recently presented a disclosure statement  signed May 26,2015 at the May 26th Commissioner/Council Meeting. He told Council last week, he thinks they should fund the annex. He is reportedly mulling over his role and having a hard time deciding what he will do if the vote on funding comes down to a tie and he has to vote to break it. 

I know what Jiminy Cricket would say. It takes a lifetime to earn the respect of friends, family, and the public. That can all come unravelled by not listening to your conscience. I think President Lyness knows what he needs to do. And I hope his colleagues respect him if he chooses to listen to his conscience instead of the background noise of those only interested in their personal stake in this project. Because it takes courage to stand up at a time like this and do the right thing. 

It is hubris to believe that the project will not survive without Council President Lyness leading the discussion and vote. Even the judges know that the project can proceed without Council. One of them has already said she can mandate it. That is not unethical.

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

AGENDA June 11 DC Redevelopment Commission Meeting

June 11, 2015
9:00 a.m., 3rd Floor Commissioners Room
County Administration Building
215 B West High Street, Lawrenceburg, Indiana


Call to order

Verification of Information Discussed in Executive Session

Action of Executive Session 

Approval of Minutes
May 21, 2015 Meeting 

Unfinished Business
Claims & Financials
Approval of Claims for ED Research Grant
Approval of Regular Claims
Review of Financials

New Business
Updates from Oren Turner, Research Tech

Economic Development Officer’s Report

Attorney’s Report
Other Business


Monday, June 08, 2015

Dearborn County Council Meeting Called for June 11 at 6:30 PM

Public Notice 
Dearborn County Council Meeting
Thursday June 11, 2015, at 6:30 p.m.
County Commissioners Meeting Room 

According to I.C. 5-14-1.5-5, the purpose of this meeting is solely to receive information or recommendation in order to carry out administrative functions.  No decisions will be made.

Executive Session Called for DC Redevelopment Commission June 11th

Executive Session 

The Dearborn County Redevelopment Commission 
has called an 
Executive Session for 
Thursday, June 11at 8:00 a.m.

This meeting is for the purposes of discussing strategy with the respect to purchasing real property which is classified confidential by state and federal statutes.  
IC 5-14-1.5-6.1(b) (2) (D)
And to discuss interviews and negotiations with industrial or commercial prospects. IC 5-14-1.5-6.1(b) (4)

These meetings will take place at the
Dearborn County Administration Building, 3rd Floor Commissioners Room,
215 B West High Street,
Lawrenceburg, IN  47025.

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

2 June 2015 Dearborn County Commissioners Meeting Notes

2 June 2015 Dearborn County Commissioners Meeting Notes

see notes at end of meeting

Present: Shane McHenry, President, Art Little, and Kevin Lynch

Also present: Gayle Pennington, Auditor, Andy Baudendistel, Attorney, and Terri Randall, Administrator
Also present: Judges Jon Cleary and Sally McLaughlin and Persecutor Aaron Negangard

911 Dispatch Interlocal Agreement and Resolution with Dillsboro- $5000 paid to the county for 2015. Approved both resolution and the interlocal agreement. Termination clause of 90 days. 

HIGHWAY SUPERVISOR- Tim Grieve: Terri Randall stood in for Grieve.
Asphalt Bid Award- O Mara  bid $914,584.56
Rohe was $937,567.50
Bid was awarded to O’Mara as the lowest bidder.

HEALTH DEPT.- Signature for Grant Agreement for Public Heath Preparedness. No one was present from the Health Dept. Grant was for $51,053. Baudendistel had reviewed this as did the state attorneys office. Approved and Signed. 

Local Elected Officials Agreement Indiana Economic Growth Region 9- We are a member of Region 9- Little represents us on this group. They are using money to place workers in new jobs. She said it is a worthy cause. The only thing to know is the potential liability for the improper use of these funds though there has never been an issue with this. Little said that the board was dysfunctional a few years ago and now this board is really a good example for the state. They work well with IVY Tech. This agreement designates their representative as Little. Commissioners signed the local elected officials agreement. They also voted to allow Little to execute the agreement on their behalf. 

AUDITOR- Gayle Pennington- Claims and May 26th Minutes were approved. We were the 2nd county in the state to finish their settlement. Washington County beat us this year. We are normally first. 

ATTORNEY- Andy Baudendistel:
Resolution Approving Entry Into Interlocal with Aurora  and the actual Interlocal Agreement for Planning and Zoning Services It costs Aurora $25,000/year with a 90 day termination clause. It establishes a joint board if there is ever a dispute. Resolution and the agreement were both approved and signed.  All judicial issues for Aurora will be handled by the Aurora City attorney and not the county planning dept. attorney, which is Baudendistel. Aurora already approved these agreements. 

COMMISSIONER COMMENTS- McHenry said that he appreciated all the work we and the Redevelopment Board put into the work trying to get Milacron. It was unfortunate they didn’t get it. Lynch said the corridor is getting attention now. Little also said that he agreed with this.



COURTHOUSE ANNEX DISCUSSION: Eric Ratz of DLZ recapped what they presented to the Council and Commissioners last week. He stressed the 1871 Courthouse and trying to be sensitive to the architecture. He showed the three entrance options. He showed the two story squared off one as option 1 with windows. The 2nd was the modern curved glass two story option. The 3rd was the one story option with columns. 
Brad Rullman of Maxwell spoke of the pricing. Option 1 $11.4 million Option 2 $11.2 million. Option 3 is 11.04 million. All with full basement. The tunnel system allows tie in to the existing tunnel system. This allows for security. Very abbreviated presentation.
McHenry asked about giving the judges the space they actually need. Rullman said this is the schematic design stage. There will still be some walls moving around in the design development phase next. The mechanicals then get brought in etc. Then they get approval from commissioners. Then they get to the bidding phase to construction phase. 


Kathy Scott asked about printable plans availability.Not yet.

Phil Darling- wanted to be sure that we will actually use the basement space. He asked how many square feet would be in the basement to use? About 6,000 sq ft. He said the judges need more court space- maybe use the basement for this- esp jury trials. He also registered that he didn’t want the rounded glass front- maintenance issues. 

Dan Lansing- spoke to the cost issues that Council is facing. He had hoped for a project that was a different monetary option. Like maybe a $8-9 million option. He wants the judges and prosecutor to get their space but…. Can’t keep spending and spending.

Chris Mueller- said that most of her concerns were addressed by the previous speakers. She asked about using the basement space  for optional items like overlapping jury trials only and meetings - not offices for staff with no windows. (We average about 12 jury trials a year) They also may have an option of putting windows on one wall of the basement for exterior light per McHenry and Rullman, 

Dan Lansing - asked if the price included all the new equipment they would need. Alyssa Rullman of Maxwell said that it is a mix of usable and new needed which are not in the price.They have figured out how to cover some of this. 

Aaron Negangard asked about the timing till it is finished. Answer 2 years. He said he appreciated everyone’s input. He wished there was an $8 million option.He wished he had a winning lottery ticket too. But there is no $8 million option. He also wants the big round entrance. He wants people to move round in there and everyone see where the entrance obviously is. It gives 600 sq ft more per floor in the rounded lobby. [NOTE: Want to bet they vote for Negangard’s option?]

Little motioned and Lynch ended for the rounded front $11.2 million option with the full basement. All ayes. 

McHenry asked if they would have a 2nd entrance option. RATZ SAID of course they will have these doors as emergency exits with the existing entrances now. But it is a matter of options that can be addressed later. 

Randall reminded them that we don’t have funding. So the next step is to get with Council to figure that out. She said we don’t want to rush them getting the guidance they need. She will want to come to them to get funding to at least keep the project moving until Council finds funds.  [NOTE: No pressure there??? ]

McHenry said Council has made a wise decision to seek outside help to make the decision. 

Randall was worried about missing construction time next summer if it goes too long and also the costs increasing. 

McHenry wants it to be a collaborative effort.

McHenry thanked all the Maxwell team and the judges and prosecutor for showing up and also the public. He said it was unfortunate there are not more folks taking more interest and time to show up. [NOTE: Meetings called at 5 PM and ending at 6:15 will miss input from most of the working (taxpaying) public. That being said, it was pretty clear that previous and current public input was not weighted very heavily in the final decision. Even the historical society’s input on the architectural aspects didn’t figure in this final decision. Nor did the long term maintenance costs associated with the glass entry. ] 

Meeting Adjourned at 6:15 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller

Lawrenceburg Township