Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Sparks Fly at Manchester Civic Association Candidate Night

Sparks Fly at Manchester Area Civic Association Candidate Night

Two and a half sets of opposing candidates squared off at the Manchester Firehouse Tuesday evening October 24th. Questions of candidates went until 9:45 PM
There were approximately thirty citizens in attendance.

Assessor candidates Joan Seitz (D) and Gary Hensley (R) presented statements first.

Hensley was very brief in his comments- The audience smiled as he said the last time he was at the Firehouse he had died. (In a drill). He wants to move the office forward, get tax issues resolved, and get the staff certified.

Seitz went on in more detail about her background and about the reassessment law changes and problems with state orders and no rules to follow for a time. Her staff all takes classes. Only the assessor is required to be certified Level II and she is. She talked about sales disclosures and drew appreciative laughter when she said deeds used to have $1.00 on them as sales prices, “because this is Indiana and we feel like it’s nobody’s business what I sold it for.”
Seitz stressed there is a lot of waiting going on for what eventually will become a system where the state controls all the changes with the push of a button. County by county they are trying to certify sales analysis ratios and values. She handles new construction and inheritance taxes also. 86/92 counties are using the same company and yet she is sporadically told on some 6-month periods that we are out of compliance. State hasn’t told her why.

Hensley stated 8 are out of compliance and we are one of those 8. His web site is
He has gotten experience on the appeal boards in adjoining counties in our area and thinks we are slow compared to them. He says has the experience and knowledge to do this job. He thinks it’s time we put our best foot forward and noted staff now is not certified.

Seitz said the IAC, International County Assessor Ass’n and Assoc of IN Cities all have classes and it takes time to get experience with all these groups. She has been in office since 1976. This is NOT a policy- making office, so they can run continuously- there are no two term limits.
She said only 13 counties were certified for 2006. The general fund is subsidizing this problem and she doesn’t feel like the assessors office can be just learned in 4 years.
She ended with- I’ll be there as long as you want me there.

Commissioner D-3 Candidates Ralph Thompson ( R) and Tim Barrett who stood in for Frank Linkmeyer(D) presented next.

Linkmeyer who is “his own secretary” scheduled two things for the same night per Barrett.
Tim Barrett read Linkmeyer’s statement beginning with the statement that he knew Frank and his brother Bob for a long time and that they’d been in the Farmer’s Fair parade for years. Barrett read that Linkmeyer was “sending his good friend, Tim, to speak for him.”
gave an extended resume and background including his wife, Judy, and married children. He volunteered for military duty in 1962 but was turned down because of a disability. He started Links Fence Company, which his son –Steve- runs. He retired from Seagrams in 1995 and developed 3 subdivisions all within ¼ mile of Aurora or Lawrenceburg city limits and well within the master plan recommended areas.
After the primary he was approached by Democrats AND MEMBERS OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY to run. It seemed like people were anti- this and anti- that and people wanted to stop or at least slow down the county growth. He wants to prioritize needs of the county and not run it by politics.
Economic development means kids can stay and work here. There is a great opportunity with Honda spin-offs down I-74. But we shouldn’t take away all the rural atmosphere. We can’t tell a farmer what to do with his land. Noted that L-bg is begging for more students but EC has problems.
Eminent domain has not happened in the county in a long time.
He has a great respect for volunteers, fire depts, etc.

Ralph Thompson - commented on the horse tie worn in the audience and it made him feel right at home. (as he raises horses)
He stressed that politicians should be open to the people and that hasn’t been happening. Smart growth is an effective way to manage and plan for a balanced tax base. We need meaningful jobs here. Not just GROW GROW GROW- we need a plan. US 50 needs to be solved – and they should include the biggest stakeholders there- the businesses. Local traffic is mixed with through traffic there and that needs to be addressed in the solution. He is against enforced sewer hook-ups and noted people being sued in the county over this. Development should bear the cost of sewer extension. Thompson helped Greendale up as a model for planned infrastructure extensions extending out from the core and ahead of development, based on our master plan. LMH is footing the bill for their expansion by increasing the rates of the current clients according to recent news and editorials.
Thompson said he is a great believer in the Comprehensive plan and has served on it for the last 2 years. It protects those who do and those who don’t want to sell. Zoning protects everyone in equal measure. Road improvements should be based on prioritized plan and he praised the efforts of Listerman, the newest county engineer, who is getting criteria and using them to formulate this rotating road improvement plan. It should be based on use and on condition. He talked about the Chamber’s web page, which also “sells” our rural and diverse lifestyle options.

Sparks flew during the question and answer period here:

Questions were raised regarding the Republican Party asking Frank Linkmeyer to run as reported by Linkmeyer in the paper. The questioner made the statement that it degrades the people of the Democratic Party when you say you have to be a Republican to be elected here.
Barrett- Linkmeyer’s spokesperson, said- “I’m a republican conservative, and I asked him to run.

It was then asked specifically- “Did Pickens or Beckley or Morris ask him to run?”
Cary Pickens – Republican Party Chairman and County Auditor- stood up in the back and answered: “I Did NOT ask Frank Linkmeyer to run.”

Another questions was- Why are we allowing so much residential development without industry? Who’s paying for all this?
Thompson answered. We are- the taxpayers. And we need quality jobs here- not warehouses and storage.

Another question- What is a reasonable amount of time to resolve US50?
Thompson said some short-term things could be done- he has been at the meetings on this with the consultants. He noted a huge set of options that are being narrowed down. If a grand scale solution is proposed, it could take 20-30 years to complete. Simpler solutions for short term fixes take less time. He estimates a big cost to fix this though.

Question- What about eminent domain? It has happened- to our land in Dillsboro 8 years ago- and that land is still not in public use- they did not use it for the sewer plant.
Barrett for Linkmeyer said he didn’t know that.

Question: what about forced hook-ups with people having working septic systems?
Cliff Eibeck introduced himself as he asked the question.
Tim Barrett for Linkmeyer said- I know you I’ve seen you at meetings and “if I had a kid who acted like you in a public meeting, I’d swat him!”
Moderators stepped in to say there was no need to get personal.

Question: Lots of problems with Carrie drive over the years trying to get grading and gravel. Seems like it’s never on the list.
Thompson repeated his comments on Listerman’s list and detailed how the priorities would work. He thinks Listerman is on the right track.

Question: You say you are for open government- I’ve seen well-informed citizens present their cases and they are NOT listened to. What will you do about this?
Thompson: The interchange needs to be respectful on BOTH sides. Communication may not always be perfect, but can be better than it is. He detailed the agenda issues where the agenda is out maybe 3-4 days ahead, but citizens have to sign up 1 week ahead. Certain citizens show up and get heard even if not on the agenda, they get decisions even, and there is no public notice. Thompson said the planning commission does the best job at getting timely agendas and hearing people.
Tim Barrett for Frank Linkmeyer said he never had trouble- they went down and got on the agenda for their road repairs and then again repeated his statement about Eibeck and wanting to swat him.

At this point I spoke up and explained a specific example for Barrett to demonstrate the kinds of problems that happen when commissioners forbid input. I used the DCRSD formation as a COUNTY WIDE sewer board where the item was NOT on the agenda, the commissioners approved a statement given to them to read into the record, and no public hearing was held.

Questions resumed: What kind of support have you received from the Republican Party?
Thompson said it was limited to the booths at the festivals, has had some support from the state, and Bill Ullrich helped him out at the festivals.
Cary Pickens Republican Chairman and County Auditor also answered at the questioner’s request: He said- we usually give money in the primary. Ralph didn’t run his campaign through the party and when he came to talk to me I told him that he was too late. Thompson said then that quite frankly he wasn’t sure he could trust the Republican party- so what was I to think- he lost my support. The booths were open to him at the fairs.
Pickens also asked Hensley- Did you get any money from us. Hensley said no.

[NOTE: I thought the purpose of a primary was for the rank and file of the party to decide, not for the Central Party Committee to pass out money to effectively endorse a candidate. I’m unaware of a POLICY of giving out money in the primary to candidates in past years. That defies logic.]

Thompson ended with the request that we all get out, vote, and “hire” the best person to do the job for the county.

State representative D 68 candidates - Bob Bischoff (D) and Bill Ullrich ( R) had a coin toss to see who went first. Bill won the toss and said Bob could go first.

Bob Bischoff- thanked everyone- said this was the greatest democracy in the world and thanked people for coming out to hear about what affects your quality of life in Dearborn county. And he thanked MACA for holding it.
Bischoff gave his family history and noted he had 26 years as Rep and 2 years filling a senate vacancy for a total of 28 years in INDY.
He said his greatest accomplishment was retaining the $70 million that the state wanted to capture from our riverboat revenue. He detailed the fight at the state level for that money. And the fight is not really over. He went on in detail about what was tied to that revenue that we use. He said 2 years ago he coauthored the bill to create the first state dept. of Ag. He helped get a 4-year degree program at IVY Tech and also regional sharing of tuition between colleges, a new superior court, and grants for our local fire depts. and rights to hunt and fish in Indiana. . He talked about Honda and the $10 million Lawrenceburg gave to them as a grant. He said that would escalate the value of our land and increase job opportunities, just like it did around Maryville OH.
He’s worked hand in hand with Nugent to serve all of us. He has experience and knowledge of the system. He listed the many groups that endorse him including farm Bureau, Right to Life, AFLCIO, NRA, AFT, and IN state teachers Ass’n etc.
He pledges that our voices will be heard.

Bill Ullrich- thanked Bob and MACA and said I am Bill Ullrich and I approve this message…
Ullrich will listen and be available. He will have town hall meetings like tonight in this fractured district to get people’s opinions.
We need to pull together- SE In was ignored until riverboat money came in. “And that sucking sound can still be heard coming from the state.” Ullrich said he was involved in the process to keep our money the 3 times the state came after it. He said the bulk of the state is largely rural and we have to stick together in the rural areas to keep the state off our money.
He thinks there has to be a fairer way to finance government than property taxes. He also thinks there are a lot of things that government pays for that they shouldn’t. He’s old school and thinks the churches and charities should handle some of this as they used to.
Immigration issues exist and people should come to our country the right way.
Economic development is a big way we can solve some of out tax issues – in the right areas like US 50 and the I-74 corridor- but with the least negative impact on residents.
Eminent domain is NOT for business to prosper; it’s for public use. And people have to be properly compensated.
He’s here for the future- wants to do it in an organized way- fair-balanced- and unafraid.
He wants to be the Chinese water torture in Indy to keep dripping until they do something about it. I’m good at listening and talking to people and I will seek information when I don’t have the answer.

Would either of you start real punitive measures for employers who hire illegals?
Ullrich said securing borders is a priority- there should be consequences.
Bischoff- said this is a federal issue- these people are gobbling up our jobs because they are good workers who work for small fee. At state level we could send a resolution to the feds to encourage this.
Ullrich- state has 10th amendment- states rights- and we have borders to protect also. We can regulate.

Question: what does a state rep do?
Bischoff -Represent people on every issue voted on in the house. 100 state reps with 61,100 constituents each. The 50 senators have twice that each.
We make the laws and get the budget done. Have to have good working relationship with others and trust each other. Can’t mislead people at the state level- they will not forget. Trade off and help each other with issues.

Chris Mueller- Question: There is a state law about sewer hook-ups that seems to be unfairly applied to people with working septic s or in largely rural areas. What can you do about this?
Bischoff- The statute on sewers is very difficult- geographically the soils change. When sewer districts form they have to be financed. I have not researched enough on this. Wants me to talk to him about it. I agreed.
Ullrich- How can these laws paint everyone with the same brush? We could have hook-up not be mandatory and deals available at the outset, with increased prices later if they hook-up after the fact.
Bischoff- It’s very difficult to address sewers.
I was given two ears and one mouth by God I try to represent the majority of my people. If my party is wrong on an issue I stand with the people of District 68.

Another sewer question- Perhaps the wording on the law can be changed to “as long as yours is functioning…”
The state law says MAY and that allows the local laws to say SHALL if they choose.
Bischoff said how hard it was to get a law changed and went through the process.
Eibeck said- then get 50 more of your friends.(laughter)
Bischoff- said it has to go through the Senate too and the governor has to sign it.
Thompson said- “The longest journey begins with the first step.”
Bischoff agreed to listen to more.

Question: What about tax abatements?
Bischoff- they are a tool form the state to entice business and every state is using them. Lawrenceburg’s $10 million grant is beneficial and it will escalate the value of our land. Marysville OH map had a lot of red dots in the region as spin-off industry due to their Honda. Honda picked Greensburg because of workforce. These economic development packages and Energize Indiana packages are good- they help our quality of life.
Ullrich- I’m glad to see you came around to this Bob.
Bischoff- I was on board with the governor that day.

Adjourned at 9:45 PM
Citizens and candidates talked further informally in groups for a while as MACA volunteers cleaned up the room and put away chairs and tables.

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

When Money Talks...

Well, the numbers are out. The Honorable Johnny Nugent received donations of 271,632.55 dollars. Now that is a lot of money to anyone who is not a politician. I had written a letter to The Honorable Senator asking for a contribution to the campaign of the Republican candidate for Dearborn County Commissioner. The Honorable Senator sent to me a handwritten letter, the salutation of which was Dear "Friend" etc essentially stating that he has no money available; he has to raise cash for his own campaign. It was nearly pathetic. I felt sorry for this selfless servant of the people who calls me "friend."

Lo and Behold, hocus pocus, money suddenly became available for the campaign of Aaron Negangard in the generous sum of 50 dollars. More shocking is the donation to the Republican Central Committee for Dearborn County of 1450 dollars from this Honorable Senator whose campaign he feigns is in penury. This committee, and our Honorable State Senator in my opinion must be the handmaidens of the unrestrained development and increase property tax crowd. They have refused to give one cent to the campaign of the Republican candidate for county commissioner.

Now financially conservative people, and the famous Club For Growth refers to people like these as RINOs. This is an acronym, for Republican In Name Only. This is a breed of political animal which uses the cover of the name of Republican to advance their own personal goals.

Note to The Honorable Senator and his friends in the County Republican Central committee. IF the shoe fits, wear it. This writer was indeed born at night, but not last night.

Alan Stanley Freemond, Sr.
Jackson Township

VRUC Appeal Dooms Contract Talks with Greendale.

VRUC Appeal Dooms Contract Talks with Greendale
submitted by Jack Arduin
This article appeared in HVL Echoes newpaper this month.

After working with the VRUC board for three months, I would like to give the residents who elected me an update on the affairs of the VRUC. Let’s begin by assessing our current situation. First, we have now spent more than $1,000,000 on fees for the expansion of our territory (outside development) and to build a sewage treatment plant. This is all being done so we can spend over $4,000,000 dollars to build a plant that will need to be expanded at a later date. We currently have not generated one dollar in revenue from these endeavors and we are unable to get a discharge permit from IDEM to operate a facility. In roughly three years our water contract with Greendale will run out and be terminated. We will no longer have water unless the VRUC is able to build its own well. This too will greatly increase our costs over our current fee schedule with Greendale. Our infrastructure continues to leak and we are awash with infiltration problems. We continue to only pay interest on our original $2,000,000 debt incurred in 1996 and have no plans to pay down the principal. For VRUC services you are continually charged one of the highest fee schedules in the state of Indiana.

In order to begin to solve our problems, I contacted Greendale to set up a meeting to ask for a long term water and sewer contract which would lock VRUC/HVL into a low cost contract (less than 30% of your fees go to Greendale) for both water and sewer services that would be far cheaper than our other option of trying to build our own water and sewage treatment facilities. The Greendale fees that would be charged VRUC/HVL would be the same as what is currently charged to Greendale customers. The contract would eliminate the $400,000 per year legal expenses that have been incurring over the past several years. Despite all of the past legal actions that the VRUC board has taken against them, Greendale had enough confidence in Stan Beeler and myself to enter into discussions. Finally, moving in the right direction, the meeting was set for Wednesday September 6th.

Prior to the meeting, Greendale passed an ordinance that called for a $3350 tap fee to be charged in the construction of all new homes that are built that tap into the Greendale’s system which includes Greendale, HVL and outside developments. The tap fees are to be put in a separate account as governed by the state and can only be used to increase Greendale’s capacity, therefore providing an insurance fund for existing customers like you and me from having to pay fee increases to pay for new customers. These tap fees will ultimately be a burden to only builders as they are already charging as much as they can for homes that they build and will not be able to pass them along to new customers. Also, I can estimate that over 80% of such fees would be charged outside of Hidden Valley. The VRUC board president called a meeting that was not to be attended by the public. In the meeting, the ordinance was discussed and we incorrectly interpreted the wording to mean that it would allow Greendale to in effect charge the VRUC tap fees for increases in output. Most of us agreed that we needed to file an appeal by September 5th to get Greendale to amend the wording in the ordinance. Greendale had no plans to charge an additional fee to VRUC. That was not the intention of the ordinance. In a conversation with Greendale over the upcoming meeting, I mentioned our concerns over the ordinance. Greendale, once again, bent over backward to accommodate us and called a special meeting to amend the wording of the ordinance. Greendale asked the VRUC to give them the specific clarifying wording we needed to be added to the ordinance and it would be added at the meeting before our contract discussions. By VRUC filing an appeal, Greendale had to postpone their special meeting because they could not legally amend their ordinance before the VRUC appeal was resolved. I immediately informed the other members of the VRUC board that we needed to stop and not file the legal action and give Greendale the language which I suggested (less than a sentence was necessary), or we would be jeopardizing the much more important contract negotiations. Without my knowledge, the other members of the board opted to file a legal action against Greendale anyway. There was no need whatsoever to file this appeal. Despite our action, Greendale again agreed not to call off the meeting if we could just give them the wording that we wanted in the ordinance and withdraw the legal action. The current board opted not to do so. Greendale was forced to cancel the meetings. Instead of acting in good faith, correcting the ordinance and negotiating a new long-term contract with Greendale, the VRUC board decided it would rather take Greendale to court.

This example should give you insight into how the VRUC’s relationship with its sole and lowest cost supplier has been completely mismanaged. The Board’s actions only proved to Greendale that, despite the turnover of several members on the Board of Directors which was a mandate for change, we would still not act in good faith with Greendale on simple issues in which they were extremely accommodating to us.

After a meeting of the lawyers, the VRUC Board finally dropped their legal action against Greendale at the end of September. Greendale officials have stated that they are willing to negotiate again, but only, with myself and Stan Beeler. Stan and I will continue to negotiate to obtain a water and sewer contract ensuring a long-term low cost sewage treatment service and a low cost water supply for our future.

Thanks for your interest.

Jack Arduin

23 October 2006 Dearborn County Plan Commission Meeting Notes

23 October 2006 Dearborn County Plan Commission Meeting Notes

Present: Mark Mitter, Chairman, Patrick deMaynadier, Jane Ohlmansiek, Tarry Feiss, Nick Held, Mike Hall, Jeff Hughes, and Dennis Kraus, Jr.
Absent: Robert Laws
Also Present: Arnie McGill, Attorney, Mark McCormack, Planning Director, and Kate Rademacher, Enforcement Officer.


Mitter read two letters into the record regarding the withdrawal of the two applications for Mariah Business Park. One was from Nicole Daily of Bayer Becker and the other was from Lisa Lehner the attorney for the owners.

Bayer Becker
October 23, 2006
Mark McCormack
215B West High Street
Lawrenceburg, Indiana 47025
Re- Mariah Development Primary Plat & Zone Map Amendment Applications

Dear Mark:

Bayer Becker, as the applicant, and Owner, Mariah Development Corporation, seek to withdraw the application for zoning map amendment and the primary plat review application for Mariah Development. Consequently, those applications should be removed from the agenda for the October 23, 2006 meeting of the Dearborn County Plan Commission. No discussion of and no action regarding the applications should occur.

If you have any questions please call me at the number above.

Thank you for your time on this project.

Nicole P. Daily

Wood Lamping and Lehner LLP
October 23, 2006
Mr. Mark McCormack Dearborn County Plan Commission
Dear Mark:

Our firm represents the interests of Mariah Development Corporation. Mariah Development Corporation as property owner has worked with Bayer Becker as engineer/applicant regarding a project named Mariah Business Park. This letter confirms that the application for primary plat review and the application for zoning map amendment have been withdrawn. These applications should be removed from discussion at upcoming Plan Commission meetings. No action has been taken by the Plan Commission with respect to the applications.

Mariah Development Corporation intends to re-submit these applications in the future. Mariah Development Corporation would like an opportunity to review issues raised during Technical Review and an opportunity for Mark Mitter to remove himself from the discussion and action on these applications given his conflict of interest and appearance of impropriety. Mariah Development Corporation would have preferred that the discussion of and action on these applications be tabled to a future meeting. However, Mariah Development Corporation cannot table the applications because there is no agreement from the Plan Commission to table the discussion and action.

The withdrawal of the applications removed the applications from the Plan Commission agenda. Mariah Development Corporation objects to the presentation of any information regarding this project at upcoming Plan Commission meetings. Mariah Development Corporation objects to the discussion of and action on this project and/or applications by the Plan Commission. Such presentations, discussion and/or action would deprive Mariah Development Corporation of fair play and due process to which Mariah Development Corporation is entitled by law. Such presentations, discussion and/or action would unjustly prejudice Mariah Development Corporation by failing to give Mariah Development Corporation an opportunity to present a plan and/or forcing Mariah Development Corporation to present defenses to public comments and/or Plan Commission comments without the benefit of a filed plan or pending application.

If you have any questions in this regard, then please do not hesitate to contact me.

Very truly yours,
Lisa dehart Lehner

Mitter told the board that he had removed himself a while ago and had asked Ohlmansiek to cover this meeting as chairman.
Daily was present and indicated that Mariah will be back with reapplication later.
Earliest hearing would be December due to the timing of deadlines for tech review per the Planning staff.

1. Vince Karsteter Sugar Ridge Lane with neighbor Steve Henke addressed the board regarding what will be a formal complaint regarding recent changes in Sugar Ridge development. Apparently these changes were made in 2005 without notice to neighbors and also without the Plan Commission knowing. They found gaps in the files and the plat showing the major change of two large areas- E and G of the plat – from banquet hall and driving green to 37 single family homes was signed on 27 December 2005, which was Travis Miller’s last day at the County Planning office. Karsteter read section 1640 into the record regarding major and minor changes on PUD’s. He noted that PUDs are to help developers achieve higher densities with the understanding that they also keep the required buffers and green space.
Since the 2003 approval, (Karsteter states he attended all meetings and he was not opposed to the plans) there was only 1 notification of changes and it was an easement issue, he had no problems with. This was 31 Jan 2005. There were about 6-8 minor replats prior to this public notification. However on 27 Dec 2005 there is a plat showing the changes from E and G to 37 single-family homes and he does not think this was a MINOR change. No one was notified. The total number of units so far has stayed the same, but he has somehow “lost green space in the entire plan to the tune of 42.8 acres. There have been nearly 2-dozen replats since 2003. At least 2 portions of the project that were open/green are now designated as housing and some is high density.
When Gehring Excavators took out all the trees right to his fence on his nearly 20 acres, they also knocked the fence in 3 places. There are NO TREES left . They have been burning for more than 3 months and ashes are falling on people’s cars. The Fishburn property at the bottom is now getting all this runoff.
Board stated the penalty is $300 per day per offense.
Karsteter was advised to file a written complaint with Planning Office.
DeMaynadier motioned and Held 2nd to send a letter to Macke that he may be in violation and that he needs to come in to the planning office tech review to determine this. He will be advised that if he continues to build and it’s in violation, it will be at his own risk. Staff and tech review will evaluate sections 1640 and 288 and advise the PC. McGill will evaluate the actions for the county and report in executive session, which will be 6PM Nov 20th.
All ayes.
Karsteter noted that Sizemore had recently put in sod and the driving range was done with golf tee offs and now it’s all bulldozed. He also asked that they do a site visit- which board agreed to have Mark McCormack and the county surveyor go up.

2. Tom Kent asked the board for another change on Perfect View commitments. He wants to disturb about ¼ -1/2 acre of land that is greater than 20% slope to put his road straight up rather than wind around the hill and disturb the pond. One of the commitments was to have no grading on sloes greater than 20%. His geotech advised him on this. PC decided he has to come to a public hearing and then on to commissioners again to change this. Kent agreed. This zone change has NOT been recorded yet with commitments- so they will wait to see about his change first.
This is Kent’s 2nd change hearing on his commitments.

3. PC reviewed notes on Master Plan Advisory meeting and these will go out to Committee this week or next. Master Plan Advisory Board will meet Nov 6th and Nov 20th.

4. PC discussed changes to the ordinance including some options for conditional uses when they refer to multifamily units. These will be prepared for a future hearing.

Meeting adjourned 9:30 PM
Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Saturday, October 21, 2006

A Peek Into the Political Candidates Pocketbooks

Campaign Finance Reports Filed 20 October 2006

Though due by noon- the office was closed from 11:45- 12:50 for a going away lunch for an employee. A few came in around 1 PM possibly due to the office being closed. I was there till 3PM. These are the reports up to 3 PM.

Gary Hensley- Assessor
Contributions 0
Unitemized expenses 1412.00
No attachments were present showing any details or loan to the campaign.

Joan Seitz- Assessor
No form filed for this period by deadline.

Cary Pickens- Auditor
No form filed for this period by deadline

Dan Lansing- D-2 Council
No contributions and no expenses- all 0s.

Liz Morris- D1 Council
Itemized contributions 2,000.00 all from Liz Morris
Expenses 1,977.09
Debts owed 500.00

Tom Cheek- D-4 Council
No contributions and no expenses -all 0s

Dennis Kraus, Sr.-D-3 Council
No contributions and no expenses -all 0s

Ralph Thompson- D-3 Commissioner
Cash on hand- 2661.00
Itemized contributions 3867.58
Unitemized contributions 1260.00
Total Contributions 7788.51

Contributors listed:
Alan and Clara Freemond 1,000 this period- 2,000 total
Irwin and Brenda Diehl 250
Industrial Solutions Group 100
Robert Baylor 300
Clarence and Janet Rais 100
Kathy and Dan Brooks 100
Ralph E Thompson 300
Sam and Nancy Valone 100
Kathy Scott 1617.58

Total Expenses 6400.45
Expenses itemized:
United Mail 2,160.07
Diehl’s Web 74.75
Sign Effects 614.84
LA Signs 759.00
Master Print Center 170.40
Fed Ex Kinkos 508.16
Staples 104.85
UPS Harrison 147.23
LA Signs 363.00
Indiana Oxygen 140.59
Donohue 297.00
United Mail 802.16

Frank Linkmeyer- D-3 Commissioner
Itemized contributions 6,550.00
Unitemized contributions 1,086.00
Total Contributions 7,636.00
Debts owed: 7,842.24

Contributors listed:
James Adams 1,000.00
Jerry Backman 500
Robert Lischkge 500
Don McIntosh 200
Robert Erbs 200
CTLC Scott Perkins (George St) 250
Carpenters Local 1142-200
United Food Commercial Workers Local 1099 – 500
United Pipefitters Int 392 –200
Democrat Central Committee 2,000.00
SE Indiana Board of Realtors 1,000.00

Expenses owed: (7,842.24)
Register ads- 640.50
Aurora Lumber signs 278.33
Kiwanis 4H Auction Purchase- 600
Design Pro banners signs- 2526.12
After Hours Embroidery T-shirts hats- 2402.49
General Graphics printing- 374.54
Visual Impact bumper stickers 15.40
Moreton Printing- 50
Sams Club 34.86
D Karp Catering- 525

Aaron Negangard- Prosecutor
Unopposed- (pretty large war chest for having no opposition)
Contributions Total 5964.01
Itemized Expenses- 3258.20
Cash on hand 2705.81

Contributors listed:
Dave Lorey- 500
William Barrott 1,000
Scott Ricketts 750
Aaron Negangard 100 LOAN
Richard Butler 500
Robert Ewbank 100
Gerhard and Frances Deddens 50
Lynn Deddens 25
Joe Votaw 99
Richard and Birdie Ungerbuehler 50
Dave and Carolyn Lusby 50
James Theobald 50
Anthony Sabo 50
Richard Fox 50
Jeff and Jennifer Hughes 50
Bill Cunningham 50
Arnie McGill 50
Elizabeth Morris 100
Jonathon Cleary 100
Brian Bischoff 100
Marg weaver 99
Aaron Negangard 116.01 (candy)
Rollander Enterprises 500
Johnny Nugent Victory Team 50
Doug Ruter DDS 100
Artistic Floral 25
Freedom PAC 500
Barnes and Thornburgh 500 (County lobbyists)
Premier Credit of North America 250

Bright Beacon 145
Harcourt Industries 1318.09
Votes Unlimited 558.90
Friends of Scott Bevington 100
Republican Central Committee-Pickens- 200
Kiwanis Club 100
Delores Karp 365
Artistic Floral 75
Theobald Music 100
After Hours Embroidery 180.20
Negangard 116.01

Bill Ullrich- State Representative
Cash on hand 776.85
Itemized contributions total 14,238.39
Unitemized contributions total 3320.00
Total contributions: 17,558.39
Expenses total 17,429.41
Cash on hand 128.78
Total Debts owed 6140.47

Contributions listed:
Bob Hastings 300
Rick Weber 400
Robert Ewbank 500
Brinkemper Creative Systems (in kind) 3118.92
Bill Ullrich 8869.47
DC Republican Central Committee 1000+500 =1500.00

Bob Bischoff -State Representative
Cash on hand 50,061.33
Itemized contributions- 51,972
Unitemized 2551.05
Total contributions- 104,584.30
Total expenses- 74,564.69
Cash on hand-31,019.69

Contributors (over $100.00) listed: (Bischoff actually listed all even those 100 and under. Frank Linkmeyer contributed 100 and then Bischoff contributed 100 to him)
John Kirkwood 250
Robert Spolygen 250
William and Betty Bischoff 200
Steve and Penny Brett 400
Kent Moore 250
Carl and Janet Petty 200
Jim Sauerland 200
Howard and Velma Wiesman 200
Peoples Community Bank 403.05
Sprint 300
Duke Energy 300
Hill Rom 500
LEWIS AND KAPPES- (County lobbyists)- 500
Olinger Distributing 400
Stedman Machine 100
EI Dupont 200
Ricketts Jewelry 100
Monsanto 250
United Food and Commercial Workers 1,000.00
Sheet Metal Local 20- 200
Int’l Union of Bricklayers 100
Carpenters Local 1142 – 250
LIUNA Local 741- 250
Int’l Painters and Allied Trades 500
Dearborn/Ripley County Building Trades Council 500
Indiana Firefighters PAC 300
Commercial Bankers PAC 300
Int’l Health Care PAC 500
Auto dealers PAC 300
Tel PAC 300
AT&T IND PAC 1,500
IN Credit Union PAC 300
IN Builders ass’n 300
IN Friends of Rural Electric 100
IN State FOP PAC 100
Laborers Int’l Union New Albany 200
IBEW Educ Committee 2,500
Operating Engineers Segregated 250
IN Coal PAC 500
IN Agribusiness PAC 300
Plumbers and Pipefitters 1,000.00
IN Farm Bureau 500
Boilermakers Local 374 –300
IN Federation of teachers 150
IN Pork PAC 300
IN Council of Carpenters COPE- 2,250
Blue River PAC 800
Southeast PAC 250
IPACE (INDY) 20,000.00
United Transportation PAC 100
IN Propane Gas PAC 300
IN and MI Power PAC 500
Distilled Spirits Council 300
Vision Concepts LLC- 500
Hay Murray Castor 300
Lytle for the People 250

Expenses included one large one contribution TO the IN House Democrats on Oct 11- 52,135.50
The remainder was for Bischoff’s campaign.

Johnny Nugent- State Senator
Cash on hand- 118,684.18
Total contributions 171,632.55
Total expenses- 15,080.04
Cash remaining- 156,552.51

Local contributors of interest- TRUCKING PAC- 2,000
LEWIS AND KAPPES- (County lobbyists) – 1,000
Indiana Realtors – 1,000

Contributions of local interest- Donation to the DC Republican Party on 10/3/06 of 1,200.00

Republican Central Committee of Dearborn County
Started with cash of 8538.08
Cash remaining 4628.27

Contributors listed this year:
Joseph Mrack- 500
Lisa Lehner Lovelace- 600
Ewbank and Kramer- 550
Level 5 Engineering – 500 (part of I-74 corridor plan under Vieste/London Witte)
Lewis and Kappes- 500 (county lobbyists)
Paul H Rohe Paving- 300
John J Frock and Associates- 500
Johnny Nugent Victory Team 250 + 1200 =1450

Expenses listed:
Bill Ulrich- 1,000+500= 1,500
Cincinnati Reds 2,198
Cary Pickens 602.35
Dave Lusby- 1,000
Vera Benning- 1,000
IN State Repub committee delegate fees- 1,540
Rolling Pin Catering- 1488.24
Gwen Miller- headqtrs worker- 2180.50
Kelly Newport- headqtrs worker- 464
Ryan Fehr- headqtrs worker- 546
Aurora farmers fair- 160
Artistic Floral 106.30
Beiersdorfers Orchard 210.53
Krogers- 215.74
Nancy Weldon- 240
Karen Ernst- 25
Aurora Farms and Gardens- 390

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Friday, October 20, 2006

Candidate Information

Websites for candidates:

Lane Siekman- Democrat running for State Senator sent this website.

Ralph Thompson- Republican running for D-3 Commissioner sent this website.

Remember that Manchester Area Civic Association is hosting Candidates Night on Tues Oct 24th at the Manchester Firehouse on SR48 from 7:30-9 PM

Citizens in Northern Dearborn County can meet Ralph Thompson on Wed Oct 25th 7-9 PM at the North Dearborn Library. They will discuss issues pertinent to their section of the county.

Pick up the local newspapers each week for continuing candidate coverage. Talk to your neighbors and friends. Become informed and then vote Nov 7th.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Ten Candidates Participate at WSCH Candidate Night October 17th

Ten Candidates Participate at WSCH Candidate Night October 17th

[NOTE: There will be no comments on these presentation notes. I have tried to get as many of the candidates comments posted as possible, so as to give a fair representation of their presentations. LOCAL county races are at number 5 and 6]

Ten candidates chose to either give brief 5-minute presentations or else to answer a series questions prepared on issues pertinent to each office.
Tom Snape moderated for WSCH and the live audience consisted of about 40 people, including about 10 officeholders who were not running for office this term. Mark Neff, Mike Rozow, and Tom DeVille helped organize the event.

1.The only 9th district candidate to show was Eric Schansburg- the Libertarian running against Sodrel and Hill. He answered questions on immigration fences and security, thought that 2010 was too long a time to wait to get our troops home, and was strongly in favor of Social Security reform and payroll tax reform. He didn’t get specific on US 50 or I-74 corridor issues.

2.Lane Siekman- Democrat vs. Johnny Nugent- Republican- State Senator

Siekman wanted to get rid of property taxes and said the only way to do that was to go cold turkey. He referred to Hometown Matters to get the cities and towns to come up with taxes as needed. He stated he was a product of public education via Rising Sun HS, Ball state and then Law School. He referenced major cutbacks in funding and how it was necessary for teachers to be allowed to teach. Economic Development is a buzz word- he’s for jobs and serves as Chamber President in Ohio County. Economy needs to be addressed on a REGIONAL basis. We have two boats here that are our biggest economic assets. They can help give money to support local business. He is against eminent domain abuse and wants to protect against it.

Nugent said that property taxes were at the forefront of the legislative session and gave his usual comment about wanting to “rip property taxes out by the roots so it can never grow back again.” He talked about the option of a local option income tax. He said the real way to control taxes was to LIMIT SPENDING! When it comes to schools he said each budget has increased over the previous budget. He thinks school administrators need to answer as to how they are spending money. There are always more “wants.”
On economic Development Nugent went along with the Daniels program for growing jobs and the economy of Indiana. Said we were dying on the vine and now he is pleased to be part of the team bringing changes. He noted that change is hard - as he gets older- including not even liking to have the furniture moved around at home. He noted 18,000 new jobs announced since Daniels began. In terms of school graduation rates, he said he wasn’t sure which study was correct, if any were at all.

3.Bob Bischoff - Democrat vs. Bill Ullrich - Republican- State Representative

Bischoff gave his family history (wife Ardis Linkmeyer from Aurora and 3 children living in Indy plus grandkids) and noted he had 26 years as Rep and 2 years filling a senate vacancy for a total of 28 years in INDY.
He said his greatest accomplishment was retaining the $70 million that the state wanted to capture from our riverboat revenue. He went on in detail about what was tied to that revenue that we use. He said 2 years ago he coauthored the bill to create the first state dept. of Ag. He helped get a 4-year degree program at IVY Tech and also regional sharing of tuition between colleges, a new superior court, and grants for our local fire depts. and rights to hunt and fish in IN.

Ullrich- stated his name and “I approve this message.” He gave his family history including being married for 45 years and being nephew of another state official and son of the owner of Ullrich Photography in Aurora. Ullrich gave his resume including, jobs, public service, Council office, and military service. His motto is No Games No Strings No Bull and he went on to explain his philosophy of each of those three terms. He stressed that he has no special interest backing, that he will be accessible to the public, and that everyone has a right to be heard as long as they are respectful. At this critical juncture in state government he thought it was time for a change. He referenced following the constitution, and ended with “No one can do it all, but together we can do a lot.”

4.Lanning- Democrat vs. Knollman Republican for D-55 Representative (covering North east parts of the county)

was the only one who showed up. He attended Connorsville HS and IU and worked for Ford. Lanning went on about the Honda plant and spinoffs and that we could take advantage of the fact that they don’t like to be within 55 miles of their main plants so we can put a lot of people to work in this area. Everyone agrees property taxes should be eliminated. He will work with the people, be accessible, and call you back in a timely manner. He ended with his slogan- “Help is on the way.”

5.Frank Linkmeyer- Democrat vs. Ralph Thompson Republican for D-3 Commissioner

Linkmeyer- gave an extended resume and background including his wife, Judy, children, two brothers Larry and Bob and sister, Ardis Bischoff. He volunteered for military duty in 1962 but was turned down because of a disability. He started Links Fence Company, which his son –Steve- runs. He retired from Seagrams in 1995 and developed 3 subdivisions all within ¼ mile of Aurora or Lawrenceburg city limits and well within the master plan recommended areas.
After the primary he was approached by Democrats AND MEMBERS OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY to run. It seemed like people were anti- this and anti- that and people wanted to stop or at least slow down the county growth. But this county has to grow. He wants to prioritize needs of the county and not run it by politics.
Economic development means kids can stay and work here. We have a great opportunity with Honda spinoffs down I-74. But we shouldn’t take away ALL the rural atmosphere. We can’t tell a farmer what to do with his land.
I have a great respect for volunteers, fire dept, Planning and zoning boards, etc. Hopefully with Commissioners Fox and Hughes I can help make this a great county.

Thompson- I have been an engineer for 30 years in both private and public sector work and I bring all that experience with me. For more detailed information on my platform check my website at For tonight I plan to deal with 4 issues:
1. The government should be open to the people. The citizens own the government and with the right of free speech every citizen should have the right to be heard. I am for open government.
2. I am FOR smart development and smart growth. Development needs to be done at a pace and place we can handle so we can support it. We need to get a balance in development. Some land uses pay for themselves and some cost the government. We need Industry and Agriculture to balance the residential growth and help balance the tax base. We DON’T need empty box warehouses or storage units. We need to work with the Comp Plan to preserve our rural atmosphere.
3. US 50 is a mish mash and the solutions seem to be a patchwork rather than a comprehensive view. We need ALL THE BUSINESSES on US 50 to be involved, because they have a stake in what is going on. There is thru traffic and local traffic on US50 and we need to step back and look at these two opposing functions to solve the problems.
4. Enforced sewer hook-ups have hurt lifelong and retired residents in the county. They say we have massive septic tank failures, but Purdue University says otherwise – we have a LOW failure rate. Recent editorial showed LMH sewer rate increases being called for because they have to pay for increased lines and maintenance. The editorial also talked about how LMH sends letters saying they can provide service to development and then the ratepayers are subsidizing the development, some of those ratepayers are subsidizing a development they didn’t want.

6. Joan Seitz- Democrat vs. Gary R. Hensley, Sr.- Republican for Assessor.

Seitz gave her history as Assessor since 1976 and has a staff of 6. One has been there 30 years and the least experienced has been there 6 years. She detailed the problems with assessment since the 1999 ruling by Judge Fisher. In 1989 she had the first aerials done in the county. Her office handles 28,600 parcels of land.
She activated the state numbering system for parcels and the public can view anyone’s assessment as public record at

Hensley- gave his website (but the last part was garbled at the microphone.) He wants fair and equal taxation enhanced through reliable market data and software. He cited the late assessments and the schools having to borrow dollars. He said Dearborn County was the only county not in compliance.
He’s a certified Level 2 appraiser and works in 3 counties. He said Seitz has not convened the tax appeals board to his knowledge. And that the county has the lowest number of certified workers in the assessor’s office. He thinks market data experience makes him a better candidate. It’s time for a change.

Seitz chose to use her 2 minute rebuttal time: Dearborn County pushed 4 years of reassessment into about 1 year. This is not a market value state yet; it is still done on cost.

Broadcast ended at 8 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

17 October 2006 Dearborn County Commissioner Meeting Notes

17 October 2006 Dearborn County Commissioner Meeting Notes

Present: Hughes, President, Benning, and Fox
Also present: Messmore, Administrator and Stephanie Disbro sitting in for Pickens.
Absent: Pickens, Auditor, Ewbank, Attorney, who was out of town.

No uniformed police officer was present.
Register Publications covered the first half of this meeting.

1. Commissioners voted to deny the Med Ben Appeal from executive session that preceded this meeting.

2. Gayle Pennington, who was not on the agenda, was asked to present the Lowe’s contract for the Auditor/treasurer software package that Pickens requested from Council and then Commissioners to replace the $250,000 + package that they had approved also at his request only a couple years ago. The “old” package through New World didn’t provide the tax software as promised. Only certain components of this NEW software are compatible with the Assessor’s software.
Ewbank had reviewed the Lowe’s software contracts and the commissioners voted to sign them.

3. Dillsboro and St. Lawrence Schools were “recognized” for getting the Blue Ribbon Award. No one was present from those schools for this.

4. Bob Hrezo of Hrezo Engineering gave pictures and an update on the YES Home and asked commissioners for a letter of support to go to Indy regarding the historic portions of the next phase of the YES Home renovation & remodeling. Commissioners voted to sign letter of support.

5. Todd Listerman – Transportation Director and County Engineer- gave update on the Jenny Lynn Drive and Old Orchard phase 3 issues. He showed the intersections were safe at least as far as site distance at posted speed limits.
At Old Orchard and Jenny Lynn the posted limit is 20 mph and the site distance required is 140 ft. Turn L is 155 ft and R is 500 ft. They will remove some trees at the left side though the residents were hoping to retain as many as possible since it too 16 years to grow them back after the tornadoes.

With 26 houses on Jenny Lynn and 140+ on Old Orchard they may do a 3-way stop sign there.
At Jenny Lynn and Stateline posted limit is 40 mph and minimum site is 280 ft required. South is 800 ft and north is 418 ft. At 55 mph north is 315 ft. minimum, so the intersection is still OK. Only a couple accidents recorded there since 2003.

Listerman posted the stop sign and warning signs of the intersection before the dip in Stateline.
Hughes asked about getting emergency access only there at Old Orchard and Jenny Lynn and not a through street. Fox concurred. They stressed that it was NOT to be a street used for construction, as it would then become a street because people would get used to it being there.

Commissioners felt this Stateline access was not that safe still and didn’t want Old Orchard to create a through street there.
Jim Kinker spokesperson for Jenny Lynn Drive residents thanked them for their decision

5. Public Hearing for Maxwell Development Zone Change from Ag to R on the Farm Golf Course 124.81 acres on Mount Pleasant near North Dearborn. McCormack presented the staff reports and plan commission certification of a favorable recommendation. There was no public opposition and only one representative from Maxwell Construction present.

[NOTE: I left the meeting at this point to attend the Candidates Night Broadcast for WSCH at the Adult Center. The rest of these notes are from verbal information given by Stephanie Disbro, Commissioner’s Assistant]

Zone change passed with commissioners agreeing that the commitments from PC also be honored.

6. Claims and minutes

7. Messmore- Health Board Appointments: Commissioners reappointed Dennerline and Hankins to the Health Board. Their terms expire on Dec 31st.

[NOTE: Plan Commission reappointment of Rick Pope made prior to expiration in 2003 was voided by commissioners on the advice of their attorney, Ewbank, in 2004. Shouldn’t this same rule apply to this appointment?]

8. Extensive discussion of the Shumway Building and some structural problems was held. This is beyond the scope of the building inspector so they will probably have to hire a commercial inspector.

Meeting adjourned at 7:30 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Monday, October 16, 2006

Note- OKI Meeting at Tate Street

Please note- earlier post listed the OKI meeting tonight at an incorrect location- it is at the Tate Street Adult Center.


Two Master Plan Meetings This Week

Master Plan Advisory Members are invited to attend- ALONG WITH THE PUBLIC- the OKI Meeting on Regional Land Use issues tonight (Monday October 16) at Tate Street Adult Center from 7-9 PM

The Advisory Board meets again October 18th- Wed. - at the Administration Building from 7-9 PM. Topics will be re-evaluating the current land use designations and the intended purpose of the future land use plan. These are open to the public to view and they generally can submit written comments if they desire.

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

10 October 2006 BZA Meeting Notes

10 October 2006 BZA Meeting Notes

Present: Jim Deaton, Chairman, Jane Ohlmansiek, Jake Hoog, and Mike Hall
Absent: Patty Baker

Also Present: Mark McCormack, Planning Director, Kate Rademacher, Enforcement Officer, and Arnie McGill, Attorney.

Ralph Thompson- Candidate for Commissioner was also present

1. No public was opposed to the front yard variance for a pole barn for A.Wayne Spitzfaden on Mount Pleasant Road in Miller Township on Ag land.
The board ha no issues with it.
Ohlmansiek motioned and Hall 2nd to approve the variance for a 38 ft variance from the edge of the road pavement for the barn citing the variance code as being satisfied.
All ayes. Passed.

BZA “Conditionally” Passes a Conditional Use on to Plan Commission.

2. Conditional Use request for a Condominium and daycare Center on 25 acres of R land on Stateline Road in Miller Township. Owner Landhill Development, Applicant Bayer Becker and Classic Properties represented by James Noyes for president Joe Faruggia.

[NOTE: This land is part of the larger parcel that has been in contention for 7 years. The rezone hearing in 1999 held by the Plan Commission resulted in an eventual UNFAVORABLE recommendation in August of 1999. Sept 7, 1999 two of the three County Commissioners at that time overturned this recommendation. Mark Dole voted Nay. Vera Benning and John Kyle, after privately meeting with the developer on the land, voted Aye.]

James Noyes presented the material for the development after the Planning Staff slide show of the issues and area were presented. 14 of the 16 letters had been received by adjoining property owners.
Of note:
1. There was no information on the sewage except for a letter from Greendale indicating their ability to handle the outflow if it passed through Sugar Ridge’s oversized lines.
2. The traffic information was old, the newest of the data was from 2004, and didn’t have the latest developments figured in.
They intend to do traffic study at primary approval.
3. They arranged uses with eth lay of the land- the open space is primarily sloping too much for development.
4. The day care is 5,000 sq ft and approximate parking spaces are on the map.
5. Noyes attempted to justify the need for condos in this area saying they think there is a demand not being met.
6. The condos will be 2-3 bedrooms.
7. There will be no walking trails as the greenspace land is unsuited to it- too steep.
8. Roads and opens space is owned by HOA.

Public comment:

Judy Niemeyer- adjoiner and opposed. Wants fence and trees and is concerned with safety. Thinks the hilly terrain in open space is dangerous.

Dennis Merk- owns 150 acres north of development. Asked the board to look at whole picture. If you pass this, there are more behind it. It was defeated before because of the single entrance. Said the only greenspace here is what is too steep to use. Stateline can’t handle the traffic being proposed. He has cattle and ponds and needs to protect his interests- we need a fence if this goes in.
There are farms all around this with livestock.

Ralph Thompson- There are quite a few condos in this area- Mt. Pleasant, Sugar Ridge, Whispering Woods, HVL.
There are lots of vehicles in an area with very limited access- single entry is an EMS issue.
Steep hillside with cuts could lead to potential slippage and only a the HOA to cover this.
Fire dept. in Bright recently requested increased funding from commissioners to handle the increased development and they were turned down- as there is NO MONEY FOR IT.

Kathy Scott- Condos can be a large building that looks more like an apt. What are these like? Do they have garages, single floor plans? Noted that in Wildwood in Fairfield they were an example of condo associations for a long time. Sometimes people make apartments into condos.

Sammy Gutzwiller- longtime resident and represents Bachman and Zimmerman and also Red Pine Properties (Andy Temmel). She asked to see the Greendale letter. She noted they were trying to attach to Sugar Ridge and that Farruggia (this property) is in VRUC’s CTA!!! She asked Deaton to read the letter out loud. He did. She then asked to get a copy of it. [NOTE: SO VRUC’s CTA is not currently served and DCRSD took over all land not currently served by sewer. Is DCRSD really in charge of this? Or is this the area DCRSD is allowing Greendale to serve with their agreement?]

Sheila Merk- lives on adjoining 150 acres by the single-family home section of this development proposal. Asked where the play area is for the daycare, which is situated closest to Stateline Road. Noted only greenspace is undevelopable. She thought integrity was important here and she sees this as a more transient population being marketed to with the condos. She also saw the developer as transient- develop it and leave the management to others.
She gave a brief history of the issues with the original development approvals and the sewage treatment plant that they attempted to slip in which would have dumped to a dry creek bed (9 mo of the year) and on to Ohio. Ohio and IDEM communicated and essentially stopped that once Ohio was informed of the problems. IDEM denied the plant. She said these things need to be taken into account when some tells you what they will and will not do.
She discussed briefly, the commissioner’s overturning the PC recommendations on the zone change and was stopped, as this was supposedly not pertinent to the proposal.
She said Stateline is NOT up to date for the houses now, why add more and why with only one entrance? This shouldn’t even be considered.

Linda Mitchell – represents her family, which owns and operates a working farm of 90 acres to the north. She noted the only greenspace is the fall-off areas. They are developing the ridge and we are very concerned about the drainage that will affect our farm. The adjoining lands are 150, 90 8, 23 etc acres. This is TOTALLY OUT OF CHARACTER with what surrounds it on three sides.
She sees a huge safety issue with the daycare close to the road and to Niemeyer’s lake.
In Aug 23, 1999 the principal of Bright Elementary wrote a letter about this stating concerns with health, safety, and space issues at the school.
The traffic figures need to be UPDATED FIRST. Originally Faruggia stated he would fix the dip in the road, then found out the cost. He stated he’d pay $10,000. Kyle made the $10,000 a condition of the rezone. The dip is fixed- the COUNTY TAXPAYERS footed the bill. Faruggia paid nothing. He needs to be made to pay for that part.

Dan Johnson- a commuter who uses Stateline Road daily. He read section 315 conditional use requirements and cited 3 areas of it that he said they didn’t meet. He said it doesn’t meet the character test in b. He said article c talks about facilities and infrastructure and notes the letters are not all in place and only the politically correct ones are coming in from the schools. He was concerned with eth pitfall of an HOA and their ability to keep up the development and infrastructure long term. He figures the taxpayers will eventually pay for that. He also noted the traffic congestion in the next article was an issue with at least 320 more vehicles and more that 1200 trips per day added to the roadway onto a twisting hilly road.

Sammy Gutzwiller- HVL POA pays all our taxes and has 1850 homes in eth most successful HOA with 35 miles of roads that ARE THE BEST ROADS IN THE COUNTY!!! She cited her experience as managing 15 offices and 800 employees.

Sheila Merk- noted that some people RENT condos from their owners.

Public discussion ended at 8:20 and the applicant answered questions from the board.

They will run compaction testing before cutting into the hills. Runoff will be addressed by erosion control with silt fences and hay bales.
Condos are 3 stories high with 11 units to a building; each has garage and some with 2 cars. They all have a personal driveway.
Nicole Daily of Bayer Becker pointed out Sugar Ridge and HVL as answers to being out of character in the area.
There is emergency access behind the daycare.
Daily noted that numbers from 2004 indicated a need for turn lanes on Stateline and they will do a full traffic study before primary approval. [NOTE: This is a conditional use- and as such is asking for special consideration in an R zone. They should have done MORE work ahead of this so this board would have FACTS to work with.]
The site distance issue was corrected when THE COUNTY fixed the dip.
Mark Rosenberger of Bayer Becker said that VRUC was unresponsive to letters and Greendale supplied them. They are going through the formal process with IURC to remove this from VRUC’s CTA for sewers.

Board Discussion:

Ohlmansiek- we need condos, but was concerned with it being dropped into an area with EORKING farms. The Ag surrounding this isn’t just open space. She was concerned with sewers. Day care might be needed in an are with a lot of homes.
Jake Hoog- Thinks the parcel itself is too hilly to be used for Ag. Had problems with the day care and sees a serious safety issue – it needs to be set back further.
Mike Hall- Problems with infrastructure and sewer. McCormack noted it should be taken into consideration and that it will also be addressed at primary approval.
Jim Deaton- This R is never used for farming. It’s right across from high density. Let them ask for it.
Ohlmamsiek went through the 6 criteria:
a- sewers an ongoing problem and adding traffic to Stateline at an entrance 2.5 miles from US 50.
b- on a ridge so it might protect neighbors somewhat from it by greenspace hills.
c- will be covered at primary plat stage [NOTE: passing the buck to PC]
d- won’t impede the development around it. [NOTE: Farms are also developments. What if they can’t pursue their business?]
e- evidence will be provided by traffic study at primary approval. [NOTE Passing buck again to PC]
f- is OK

Some board members had trouble with a and d, some with c and e.

Hall asked McGill- the attorney- do we have to answer ALL 6. McGill said YES.

Mike Hall motioned and Jake Hoog 2nd to grant the conditional use subject to them getting the Plan Commission and related depts. approval of c and e of section 315.
All ayes Passed.

[NOTE: This passes the buck to the Plan Commission and state code is the basis for the 6 conditions. They are not separated by the word “or”. McGill also said they have to all be answered. The BZA needs to take a serious look at this procedure.]

Monthly enforcement report and stats were passed out.
Meetings with OKI and Land Use Plan for Master Plan were announced on the 16th and 18th.
Nov 2 will be another US 50 discussion- no time or place yet.

The BZA then entertained comments from the audience on the last item. Possible solutions to the issues involved:

Getting the R zone breakdown finished
Having PC review conditional use first then BZA takes their recommendation and goes further. This was how it was handled in the previous ordinances.
Old zone change history of the original zone maps that stripped out roads with R zones was commented on.
Wanting the public to speak up and not talk in the audience and complain later was advised by the board and staff also.
Noting it was hard to sit on the boards and take all the criticism.

Meeting adjourned at 9:30 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Friday, October 06, 2006

5 October Dearborn County Regional Sewer District Meeting Notes

5 October 2006 DCRSD Meeting Notes

Present: Chairman, Hankins, Fehrman, Enzweiler, Pruss, Holland, Dennerline, and Maxwell
Also Present: Kramer, Attorney, Quinn, Engineer, and Benning, Acting Secretary
Absent: Doug Baer, Health Dept.

1. Tom Kent Perfect View Subdivision requested letter allowing Greendale to service his subdivision, as he is going forward with primary approval. DCRSD had already voted to allow this. Kramer is to come up with letter and terms for this agreement with Greendale.
Kent said he is running a 4-inch line to Greendale.
Maxwell asked if this was gravity
It isn’t.
[NOTE: Greendale has gone to considerable up front expense and foresight to install gravity along SR 1. It seems shortsighted to not continue this pattern all along the main along SR1. As needs develop, the line will gradually advance out SR1. If the county can come up with some funds to help Kent continue this line it would be a good step toward the future. SR1 should not be built out- but it is an excellent feeder to SDRSD and all the roads leading down to it could access that line by gravity also. Pressure lines may be cheap now, but we will probably regret this decision to let a 4-inch access this.]

2. Serenity Ridge update- LMH is continuing with extension of their CTA to gain the south half of section 28, 26, and 33 in Logan. This will mean Serenity Ridge may work with LMH directly. Approved minutes would allow Tucker to do this. Residents who already have septic- less than 2 years old are questioning why they should be forced to incur this expense.
Dennerline explained that PRIVATE sewers like LMH couldn’t force them on if their septic is working. He also told the to check RULE 25 which gives citizens the right of recovery for costs of installing lines that others hook onto later.
Maxwell was concerned about having to buy out LMH later at larger costs if the county was able to coalesce all these districts somehow. Wanted to know of we could do a conditional release of these areas to LMH.
Board tabled this till Kramer can explore this further. Will decide at the next meeting. IF THIS DOESN’T GO THROUGH LMH, Hankins told the Serenity Ridge people they were committed to serve them.
[NOTE: Back when this subdivision was proposed by Jim Stotts, the PC knew there were septic issues on some of these lots and in discussion they were supposed to be marked as unbuildable. How did people end up owning them?]

3. Woolpert Update- Hankins said they had a couple small tasks to get answered and final document should be here in short order. [NOTE: whatever that means.]

4. Mariah Business Park- Mark Rosenberger- Bayer Becker Engineering- This is 55 acres – 41 usable- near the St. Leon area around UCB’s newest branch and adjoining the new school property. Benning to get a letter together for Rosenberger to take to St. Leon to allow them to serve this area.
[NOTE: It seems like the county took over all the land not served and is giving it away, piece by piece, just creating layers of paperwork and bureaucracy for anyone trying to get service.]

5. Cole Lane and Stewart St. had to be rebid a 3rd time due to inserting the old due date in July instead of the new one in the bid documents. Bid will be in Oct 25 and Nov 2 should have the recommendations from Quinn. Four bidders are Lykins, O’Mara, Harold and son, and Jeff Meinders of CH&M Excavating.
Maxwell asked if we were installing the main line. Aurora installs the pumps and they own the line. Quinn said we incur about $320,000 in costs to get reimbursed over time. Hrezo designed the main line. If we get Aurora to inspect we don’t have to incur $7500 inspection fee. Quinn to ask randy Turner if they want to inspect, since the line will be theirs. He will also get his a new set of plans.

6. West Aurora and Highridge Estates- Woolpert reviewed those plans- all options are expensive. They could build a wastewater treatment plant in Washington Township. They could transport to Dillsboro. Costs each are about $3 million. Board sees little chance of future payoff. Dennerline wants to see Aurora at contract signing time in Jan or Feb and ask Hastings again- if he’ll sign for a variance and let them dump to Aurora. [NOTE: So Aurora fixes their problem and then adds enough to get out of compliance again? I don’t understand. If we are willing to incur expense to service serenity Ridge- a SMALL subdivision, why aren’t we willing to incur expense here?]

7. St. Leon Update- Hankins met with reps up there recently and there was a spirit of cooperation that we are going to try to take advantage of while trying to install lines on the I-74 corridor. Maxwell noted that St. Leon’s money issues have improved and stabilized and they are more confident now.

8. Claims to be paid- Quinn Engineering had increased expenses due to multiple rebidding on Cole Lane and Stewart Street. [NOTE: If you make a mistake do you charge your employer to fix it?]Quinn’s contract is increased by $2,000.

9. 2007 budget has a line item for DCRSD of about $70,000. Hankins noted- we have our own line item now.

Meeting adjourned at 8:30 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Manchester Area Civic Association Candidate Night

Manchester Area Civic Association Candidate Night

Candidates Night is set for Tuesday Oct. 24, 7:30 to 9:00 At the Manchester Volunteer Fire Dept at SR 48 and County Farm Rd. The public is welcome.

Information submitted by Sue Weldon

Chamber Meet the Candidate Night Broadcast on WSCH

Meet the Candidate night is scheduled for Oct.17, 7pm, live on
WSCH Radio, Dearborn Adult Center.

People are welcome to attend at the Adult Center on Tate Street in Lawrenceburg.

Thanks for helping to get the word out!

Michael Rozow, Jr.
President / COO
Dearborn County Chamber of Commerce
320 Walnut Street
Lawrenceburg, IN 47025

Neighborhood Issues Meeting


WHAT: An opportunity to discuss issues, problems, concerns, etc. common to Northern Dearborn County residents. Commissioner candidate Ralph Thompson will be in attendance.

WHERE: Dearborn County Library Meeting Room North Dearborn Road Bright, Indiana

WHEN: Wednesday, October 25, 2006 @ 7:00 p.m.

Thanks, everybody.
Dan & Linda Johnson

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

3 October 2006 Dearborn County Commissioner Meeting Notes

3 October 2006 Dearborn County Commissioner Meeting Notes

Present: Hughes, President, Benning, and Fox
Also present: Pickens, Auditor, Ewbank, Attorney, and Messmore, Administrator.

A uniformed police officer was present.

Ralph Thompson, Republican Candidate for D-3 Commissioner was also present

1. CDBG Grant on owner occupied housing was signed.

2. EMA- Bill Black- got signatures for two grants actually from 2003 and 2004 money that had to be spent by the end of October. Benning didn’t want to be rushed into spending. Fox said he was in favor. Ewbank reviewed the contract and advised they sign it. Fox and Hughes voted to sign Benning was Nay. Passed. Money goes to the auditor to disburse.
NIMS- National Incident Management System was discussed- apparently several departments have mot completed training and Black wanted Commissioners to help persuade them to complete it. Benning concerned that we aren’t prepared for terrorist attacks or disasters like hurricanes, etc. [NOTE: Hurricanes?]

3. Old Orchard Subdivision Enforcement issues on Jenny Lynn Drive- Jim Kinker presented for the group of neighbors. In answer to his questions about the legality of the conditions and the safety issues (stop line set back line too far away, sight distance, school bus turn radius, traffic already cutting through on gravel road after school) on Stateline and Jenny Lynn, Ewbank gave the following explanation.
Ewbank reviewed the thorough research from the Plan Commission staff. He separated the discussion into what he called procedural and substantive issues.
Procedurally- the commissioners cannot put conditions on a zone change as was decided in a recent court case here.
Substantively the 2nd issue is that the commissioners are in charge of safety and welfare in the county. And they are in charge of the highway engineer who is the one who will determine that the safety and other regulations regarding road access are followed.
Listerman reported that he’d looked at Jenny Lynn and that as sight distances go it is just the line between being adequate or not. He installed a warning sign of a crossroads for that reason. The stop bar needs to be about 15 ft from the intersection and will be fixed. To go beyond the minimum requirements means the hump in Stateline should be cut back. He also noted they would check the radius for buses.
Jim Kinker also asked if the county attorney at the time would be to blame for not stopping commissioners from putting conditions on the zone change. [NOTE: Aaron Negangard was the county attorney at the time and is the current County Prosecutor]
Benning said she wasn’t really in favor of this at the time (though it was a unanimous decision) but that D-1 commissioner (Dole) really lead the discussion at the time.
Fox thought the county could make Tucker fix the entrance too.
Jim Kinker said that he works with Tucker all the time (as he does utilities) and he’s different lately. He’s pretty much out there some days. He wondered if it was medication effects or just getting older. He says now he’s just going to do it and see if anyone can stop him. Tucker says it will be blacktopped by the end of October before the plants close.
Kinker asked the commissioners to please make it safe.
Listerman will report to Commissioners next meeting on this.
Ron Hoffman who owns property adjoining the connector told commissioners that Tucker said to his face: He will black top in the next 3 weeks regardless of what you say.
[NOTE: This is the old- better to ask forgiveness and permission ploy. The county needs to thoroughly look at these intersections, as 140 more houses means 1400 trips per day. That is considerably more than what exits there now. It’s like with the sewers. When they are in violation and overflows occur- do you add more sewage to the plant?]

4. Bright EMS contract signed.

5, Whitewater Canal byway letter of support signed.

6. Amendment to vacation earning schedule that Benning said was researched by Tracy Stegemiller- Human Resources Officer- for 16 paid holidays and 6 weeks paid vacation after 20 years was not passed. Fox said he couldn’t imagine any industry standard that generous. The schedule stays as is- no increase. [NOTE: YIKES!!!! Were they serious? 16 holidays and 6 weeks vacation!??]

7. Holiday schedule for 2007 was approved.

8. Shumway Building- Fortune Management contract to purchase was signed for 85% of the lower of 2 bids. Purchase price was $467,500. Appraisals were $566,000 and $550,000. Benning added some contingencies to be sure the seller paid for defects, a building inspection, and title insurance.

9. Ewbank reviewed contract for Lowe and Associates for the Auditor and Treasurer’s new software for approximately $300,000. It will be compatible with assessor. [NOTE: We’ve heard this before- to the tune of $250,000 plus about 4 years ago, when Batta, Shell, and Benning were concerned with compatibility issues on the NEW World system Pickens installed.] Commissioners approved the purchase.

10. Benning said there was a terrible parking problem. Listerman was called in to advise about the possibility of opening up the I&M Parking lot where EMA Building exists. They plan to pave and install drainage and remove fence for about $30-40,000.

11. Hughes requested a VERBATIM TANSCRIPT of the county budget hearings. Heated exchange occurred here where Pickens said they could have the tapes but he wasn’t paying for any transcript. [NOTE: This is THREE days of meetings. Most is done away from the podium and Fehrman frequently walks around the room and out in the hall to discuss things with dept. heads before they get in to the meeting. This has to be costly- and it won’t yield much information. I would suggest they get 3 copies of the tapes and let the commissioners listen to them and pick out sections they want transcribed. This is a huge waste of taxpayer money- it would be more appropriate to fix the procedures than to do this. Is there a reason for this request - or is this just Pick on Pickens?]
All 3 commissioners voted to get the transcript, because they want it.

12. Contract for $25,000 for Chamber/Redevelopment signed as usual.

13. County lawsuit from former prisoner is being picked up by insurance.

14. Oct 16 7-9 is OKI Master Plan meeting at Adult Center.

15. Benning wants the PA system fixed- Messmore says they will have bids next meeting on the tapes. Thinks the microphones are fine. [NOTE: There are 7 microphones and 9 PC members- so they need two more. The microphones DO NOT pick up adequately for the audience even if they do pick up for the tape. Perhaps the county isn’t concerned about the CITIZENS hearing them. They need to fix the entire system.]

Meeting adjourned 7:45 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

What was Link Thinking? Think Link, Think!

I thought you might be interested that Mr. Linkmeyer posted this sign on my property without my express or implied consent. Could this be just the beginning of Mr. Linkmeyer and his developer/realtor friends intent to disregard the property rights of others?

As an attorney, I am weighing my options in regards to Mr. Linkmeyer.

K. Veid

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Sewer Issues Main Focus of St. Leon Area Citizens Meeting with Ralph Thompson

Sewer Issues Main Focus of St. Leon Area Citizens Meeting with Ralph Thompson

Approximately 60 people met with Republican Candidate for Commissioner Ralph Thompson October 2 in the St. Leon Firehouse Shelter.

Thom Hammond gave a brief overview of their progress from May 2005 to their present current legal battle over forced sewer hook-ups at $4,000 apiece. He noted that St. Leon is not suing all 130 people but instead is limiting their suit to 20 – apparently selected “indiscriminately.” Hammond stated suing only 20 was done to avoid the threat of a possible class action suit. Judge Humphrey recused himself from hearing St. Leon’s suit. Of the 3 judges, the choice was narrowed to Judge Todd from Jefferson County (Madison). John Watson- St. Leon’s attorney has filed fro a pre-trial conference with Judge Todd according to Hammond.

Currently about 900 homes are hooked onto St. Leon’s system. Hammond estimated more than half of those were forced on.

Hammond concluded that the group needs to align themselves with good sensible people at the county level and encouraged them to vote on Nov. 7th. He then introduced Ralph Thompson.

Thompson explained the details of increased density development, taxes, TIFs, and school funding. He also gave out his website for more information on his stand on other issues not being discussed at this meeting.

Other citizens stood up and gave several current examples from other areas of the county experiencing similar problems with development and county officials. The general message was- the people in the northern part of the county are not alone – and we should pool our knowledge to help each other.

Of great interest to the group was the recent zone change reversal request from Maxwell Development on Barber Road where several lots will revert to Ag and be allowed septic sites from the same development plan with the others served by St. Leon sewers. Citizens wondered aloud – why their Ag lands were being forced to hook on and developers were given a pass on parts of their Ag zoned development.

Thompson detailed the master plan concept of “pace and place” for development.

One of the St. Leon citizens went as far as to suggest seceding from Dearborn County as a possible option. He noted that gambling revenues are wasted on tower clocks here and that the county has caused schools to have to borrow money to pay teachers and has not reimbursed them for the interest on those loans even.

Thompson noted the inequity of people living outside St. Leon and being forced to hook onto a sewer system that they had no say in. They can’t even vote for their representatives, as they are outside the town, yet the town controls this part of their lives. He likened it to taxation without representation.

Hammond said that when St. Leon elections came up no one ran and so a caucus was held to fill the spots.

Citizens noted that they need to find good people to run. And they needed to get more press coverage and have a voice for their concerns.

Hammond said- St. Leon made the law and they can amend the law. [NOTE: Similarly- the state statute on this issue needs to be addressed.]

Others recommended seeking out their current state reps who were up for election this fall. It was stated that they tend to listen more when they are up for election.

The meeting adjourned at 7:30 so the citizens could attend the St. Leon Council Meeting.

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township