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. www.ralphthompson.org

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

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