Monday, October 22, 2007

AN INSIDE LOOK AT ST. LEON'S SUIT TO FORCE SEWER HOOK-US

"Can government FORCE citizens to give up their property and force them to buy government financed products?"

What if the Federal government forced every citizen to switch to hydrogen battery powered cars [because it believes they are more beneficial to mankind]. Then the government set the price for those battery powered cars to 10 times greater than what the members of the governing body paid for theirs. And, they didn’t allow the issue to be voted upon by the people it affects the most.

The above analogy essentially describes the issues in the lawsuit between St. Leon Sewer Board and the county residents they are attempting to force onto their sewer system.

The basis of the suit has several points:
The cost. We can't afford it. Another aspect under this heading is the inequity of hook-up fees [$4,150], the maintenance [owner's expense], the pipe and trenching [owner's expense - in several cases in excess of 500 feet to 1,300 feet] and the grinder pumps [$2,600 average cost]. The three sitting council members connected for $400 and everything else was free with lifetime maintenance, in gratis. Doug Farrow, President of Town Council, signed up for the $400 while the cost of hook-up for the community was $4,000. This, after he became President of the Town Council. No election was held - it was a caucus decision!

Next, the fact that this ordinance [law] was in-acted to apply to citizen's living out of the jurisdiction of the Town of St. Leon, in a 10 mile radius of St. Leon. Yet those homeowners cannot vote for representatives in town elections. We have absolutely no say as to the governance and practices that are affecting our property rights [septic systems - or more succinctly, the forced discontinuance of using our systems].

Then there is the dispute about the wording of the ordinance. The initial wording of the ordinance, when it was offered to the town folk, stated they "may" hook-up instead of the newly revised [2001] "shall" hook-up. It wasn't mandatory when first proposed in order to get passage - then sometime after it passed it became a mandatory requirement. Also, it initially stated ...if the sewer line was within 300' of the dwelling the homeowner MAY hook up... Now the wording states ...if the sewer is within 300' of the property line the homeowner SHALL hook up... This makes a huge difference [cost for pipe and labor for trenching] if you have a substantial set back from the road, sewer line.

Next, the fact that we can't sit on the sewer board, or planning board, or council [in St. Leon] because we are not citizens of that town disenfranchises us from having any input in the operation, fee structure, or management planning of the sewer, sewer expansion, and placement of pipeline.

We are constituents of the county of Dearborn and should be governed by the County standards. The County states ...within 300' of the dwelling... and the county does not FORCE citizens to connect. This is the position that all three commissioners agreed to back in February of this year. This position was expressed in the initial letter Commissioner Thompson wrote to the County attorney, Ewbank, in order for him to formalize the position of the County on this matter. Ewbank is politicking when he states he's not going forward with this because there is a pending law suit. The statement of the County Commissioners in this matter is their collective reasoning for sewer connections within their jurisdiction. We simply want to refer to it, if and when, we appear before a judge to plead our case. It seems that every time we turn a corner we get sabotaged by yet another lawyer. The real rub in all this is that the longer the lawyers stretch this out the longer they can provide themselves with legal fees [at our out-of-pocket expense for our attorney and tax payers expense for Watson and Ewbanks]. This is beginning to appear as an annuity fund for Watson, Ewbanks, et al.

Now, for the status of the case. Watson, St. Leon's legal consultant, filed for a summary judgment. This was after Dearborn County's, Judge Humphrey, recused himself and the case was assigned to Judge Todd from Madison, in Jefferson County. Seems that Watson didn't even want us to have our day in court to ask for our considerations in the matter. We [George Leininger, our attorney] have responded to that motion. This was postponed numerous times, since early May of this year. It was filed the last day of September, 2007. Now the ball is back in the court [no pun intended] of Watson, and the St. Leon mafia, to respond to our response. Again, we have to accept the decision of a judge that we can't vote for. Will he be as sensitive as he might be to our case given that we cannot vote one way or the other for his seat?

There is a feeling of grave discomfort in all of this. My impression is that they are deliberately trying to wear us down and cost us out of our constitutional rights. Laws and liberty come at a steep cost and it is not just pecuniary, it has cost us personal stress and anxiety along with some very serious time consuming expenses. Action [conducting and attending meetings - our own and theirs], communication activities [among ourselves, our attorney and the local media] and the responsibilities that are required to keep the group together are things we can never recover. The true pain in watching this melee unravel is the "system".

The justice [or injustice] is that good, decent, noble people know there is something very wrong about forcing rural property owners to shut down their working septic systems and twisting our arms [squeezing our wallets] to pay for something we did not ask for, nor need.

Thom Hammond
Logan Township

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your article.
It says a lot about the politically connected in Dearborn County and their Modes of Operation [MO's]. When the connected start a run, the legal system "parts the waters". That's the reason we need representation at the local level that IS representing US not Special interests like the realtor/developer/lawyer "groupies".

Thanks again for the dissertation.

Anonymous said...

No wonder Maxwell wants to “connect” up with the sewer folks in St. Leon…crooks of a feather, like to crook together!!!

And as far as Ewbank is concerned…if Fox and Hughes were not Ewbank’s indentured servants…he would have been canned long ago!!!

Ewbank (and Lehner) played a large part in Vera losing her seat…thankfully…he is doing the same for Rick and Jeff!!!

County Council Members...look at St. Leon...this is the sewer group the crooks at the DCRSD are modeling themselves after...is this what you want for your constituents???

Anonymous said...

"County Council Members...look at St. Leon...this is the sewer group the crooks at the DCRSD are modeling themselves after...is this what you want for your constituents??? "

I couldn't have said it better.

Anonymous said...

Funny, how the DCRSD and St. Leon want to dictate that the rest of us go "Cold Turkey" as far as our septic systems, but there are members in both these groups who still build, sell and do legal work for these "new" homes and their sepic systems!

So which is it?

Are septic systems the worst thing since the "New Coke?"

Or are septic systems ok for the priviledged "politcally connected" few if they aid in increasing their bottom lines?

Anonymous said...

”And as far as Ewbank is concerned…if Fox and Hughes were not Ewbank’s indentured servants…he would have been canned long ago!!!”

Do “indentured servants” need to be checked weekly by a doctor for an assortment of communicable diseases?

Anonymous said...

Keep in mind County Council Members, you are tasked with the welfare of all the Citizens of this County, not just the welfare of the "syndicate" of Fehrman, Fehrman, Maxwell and Andres!

Anonymous said...

County Council Member, Charlie Fehrman, has said he will do his best to help the DCRSD to get more funding.

County Council Members, if you do not have a pile of money sitting somewhere unneaded for this funding, where do you think Charlie plans on "finding" this funding?

Are we back to the same old, same old, of forcing those who surround these areas where Brett or John want to develope to pay for such sewers?

Charlie seems to want to give the DCRSD free license to steal from those who voted for you...your friends, neighbors and family members...to pay for Brett and John's sewers!

So do you really want to be tarnished so by the actions of one, self-important, self-aggrandizing Council Member?

Charlie is willing to supply his "broad brush" of "good old boy" politics, to cover you all with the same shame of dirty politics!

Anonymous said...

We all must sacrifice in order for Charlie to appear to be the all important money man!

Where does Charlie work when he is not peddling his political influence?

Anonymous said...

Don't expect Bob Ewbank to do a thing that is not in the best interests of Bob Ewbank.

Ewbank needs more subdivisions and the title work that comes with them, especially now during this mortgage crisis.

If he has to throw Fox and Hughes under the wheels to get two more dim bulb Democrats elected to do his bidding, then so be it.

Anonymous said...

How far away are we from Charlie Fehrman parroting the words:

ANTI-EVERYTHINGS...DO-NOTHINGS

Those seem to be the only two plays in Development's playbook when they are trying to steal from the Citizen Taxpayer!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Those seem to be the only two plays in Development's playbook when they are trying to steal from the Citizen Taxpayer!!!!!!!!!

You forgot one other play:

SELFISH...WE ARE ALL SELFISH BECAUSE WE DO NOT WISH TO GET LOANS TO HELP THE LIKES OF BRETT AND JOHN GET BY DURING THESE TOUGH TIMES!

Alan s. Freemnd, Sr. said...

I spoke to Ewbank the other night and he said that the state law ought to be changed. That's up to Johnnnnnie and Bischoff so it is not going to happen.

The fact that you are in court for long periods of time is part of the old well known threat "I'll hold you in court until you're bankrupt". It happens.

Watson is doing what any lawyer would do for his client so he can't be blamed for the trouble..

The problem is that we've got to either get the law changed or GET THE STATE TO BUY BACK THOSE BONDS WHICH ARE THE PROBLEM.

The law isn't going to be changed any time soon and we all know that.

We need a delegation of decent people to go to Indianpolis and petition the Governor, in person, to get a few million dollars to buy back the bonds and kill this depredation.

However that governor is a big development guy, couldn't care less about the average citizen. Look he wouldn't even help in the Thompson matter re the local republican party in the Commish race. By sitting on his hands and ditto for the State Republican party sitting on their hands they endorsed a democrat who is agreeable to massive development in dearborn county.

From a personal viewpoint the local Republican party and that Governon have done magic. They have coverted this long standing conservative significant republican conributor into a non voting citizen.I never thought it could be done.

We need the County Commishes, enmass, we need our priest at St. Joseph Church, we need people who are going to be injured by all of this to go in one group to ask that Governor to get the State Legislature to fund the repurchase of those bonds.IF L'burg was forced or volunteered to give 10 million dollars to Greensburg some one can sure as hell find the few million for this purpose.

We will need people to tell their stories of impending hardship to the Governor.

Will it work, who knows.

Does the governor know that Sodrel will lose Dearborn County again to a second rate political hack? Does he care? Does the state party care, does the local bunch of RINOs care? No.

Tax free industrial revenue bonds CAN be repurchased and inactivated. There will be a premium to buy them back but again remember the 140 Million dollar tax break and the 50 million CASH for Honda, where if you're not, preferably, a UAW member and you come from one of 20 selected counties you can be hired at about 31 thousand dollars a year!

Anonymous said...

"Where does Charlie work when he is not peddling his political influence?"

For Maxwell

Anonymous said...

Crazy Al strikes again!

Anonymous said...

And the corrupt crazies have more time to post since the housing market is going down the drain!

Anonymous said...

I spoke to Ewbank the other night and he said that the state law ought to be changed.

The law is discretionary, it does not demand sewer hook-ups at any price!

The law simply gives felons the freedom to steal from the rest of us…we don’t have to permit such!

Ewbank, write the letter, as a proclamation, of what the Commissioners desire!

It really is that simple!

But Ewbank is what he is!

A disgrace!

The fact that both Fox and Hughes kowtow to Ewbank is beyond disgraceful!

Two grown men afraid of a shyster manipulator!

Anonymous said...

Remember, Ewbank fought hard behind the scenes last year to back a Development Democrat to keep a fellow Republican from winning the election, a fellow Republican whose main platform and goal was ending these criminal forced hookups!!!!!!!!!!

Fox, Hughes and their Caporegime, Ewbank, need to be booted out of County Office and power!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

"Where does Charlie work when he is not peddling his political influence?"

For Maxwell


If this is this case, Charlie Fehrman has crossed the line from being a public servant to a public servant servicing his corrupt sugar-daddies!

Anonymous said...

”The justice [or injustice] is that good, decent, noble people know there is something very wrong about forcing rural property owners…”

Then, of course, we have Fox, Hughes, Ewbank, Fehrman, Maxwell, Dennerline and the bo-bo Benning who do not fit the above description!

Fox, et al, are willing to steal the citizens blind to prop up failing Development Interests in this County!

Anonymous said...

Crazy Al strikes again!

Al would be considered a genius among men by our County realtor/developers if he was willing to sell his soul and sell out his neighbors to subsidize a few punk, failing developers in need of a respite from their impending bankruptcies!

Anonymous said...

Funny, how the DCRSD and St. Leon want to dictate that the rest of us go "Cold Turkey" as far as our septic systems, but there are members in both these groups who still build, sell and do legal work for these "new" homes and their sepic systems!


Let us see if the County Council will ask the DCRSD's Board Members why should we force others onto sewers because they are great polluters but Board Members still want to reserve the right of building and selling homes on septic systems?

I for one would hear the stuttering and stammering of Brett Fehrman when he has to answer such a question in a public forum!

Anonymous said...

The law is discretionary, it does not demand sewer hook-ups at any price!

But our local thieves and crooks want to pretend that the state is forcing them to make us subsidize these local thieves and crooks' sewers!

And there sit Ewbank and Kramer babbling on about how their hands are tied!

Please!

They must need to service some real and severe debt!

They have given up even on the appearance propriety!

Anonymous said...

"...in need of a respite from their impending bankruptcies!"

Better that the many suffer bankruptcy and financial hardships, in order for the few, politically connected, do not!

Anonymous said...

Benning, Fox and Hughes are responsible for setting us up to be victims of the thieving mess that is the DCRSD!

One down, two to go!

Anonymous said...

"They have given up even on the appearance propriety!"

They gave that up when Kramer hired on to the DCRSD.

Two entities, with the potential of many conflicts of interests, run buy Boss Ewbank and his law partner, Little Lu Lu Kramer!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Al would be considered a genius among men by our County realtor/developers if he was willing to sell his soul and sell out his neighbors...

Not necessarily true!

Vera did both and Developments' movers and shakers still speak of her like she is a dimbulb tool!

Anonymous said...

Other than Thompson, how many other County Elected Officials have offered any support to these folks in St. Leon, or for that matter, those folks the DCRSD is trying to the same thing to?

The obvious, bought and paid for, well we know where they stand...but has there been any other Official willing to step up and offer any support whatsoever?

Have they all sold their souls to Development Interests?

Anonymous said...

It is safe to say that all those erstwhile Republicans who signed onto Liz's flyer last year supporting Development Flunky Democrat Linkmeyer will not offer any support to those Development is trying to stick their sewer bills with by force of law!!!

Anonymous said...

The driving force of the sewer issues is the DCRSD.
Dissolve the DCRSD by not funding the "institution of realtor/developers".

Another plus of not funding the DCRSD is Vera will loose her " last ditch courthouse position".

Anonymous said...

Another plus of not funding the DCRSD is Vera will loose her " last ditch courthouse position".

The DCRSD may be the last ditch effort by a number of our morally and ethically challenged realtors/developers/lawyers to force the rest of us to salvage their insolvent asses!

Anonymous said...

The County has obligated itself to fix the Developer's Nightmare that is High Ridge Estates.

The Couty is not obligated to fix Fehrman's Gabard Estates sewer problems (undercapitalized to provide sewers on his own).

The County Council needs to demand an alternative for fixing High Ridge from the DCRSD that does not include the millions of dollars more and the forced hookup demands of Gabbard Estates!

Dillsboro is the only reasonable alternative, for ALL of us!

To date, the conflicted Board Members on the DCRSD have made it quite clear:

HIGH RIDGE AND GABBARD...OR NOTHING!!!

That is not a choice, that is an extortion!!!

Anonymous said...

Dillsboro can go as far as its water line, which is High Ridge, to take on sewage.

They cannot take on Gabbard.

So, of course, Brett will have none of that.

So, we all have to pay more for Brett's sewer treatment plant and infrastructure...as well as those poor souls who by a geographic bad throw of the dice, who live near Brett's subdivision, will have to pony up even more to pay "their" share of Brett's sewers!

Anonymous said...

will have to pony up even more to pay "their" share of Brett's sewers!

Well at least the DCRSD has backed away from "forced" hookups!

No matter how big the lie of failing septic systems was, even the County Council would not buy into forcing folks to hookup at bankrupting expense to subsidize Brett's sewers!

So now it is back to basics...just forcing those of us nearby Brett’s subdivision to pay for Brett's sewers, no matter if we hook up or not!

However, there is something somewhat refreshing in seeing theft, not all dressed up and further convoluted by the "public health" lie!

Anonymous said...

Maybe Charlie Fehrman can be the DCRSD" Knight In Shinning Armor by calling in the State's National Guard to force us all at gunpoint to subsidize all our County's Realtors and Developers!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

If the County Council wants to use PUBLIC money to subsidize a PRIVATE developer...then what will they tell the next developer who wishes the same treatment?

Will the County Council just respond: SORRY, YOU NEED AN UNCLE CHARLIE TO GET PUBLIC FINANCING FOR YOUR PRIVATE DEVELOPMENTS!!!

Or will this just open up another, whole new round of law suits, that will only make the likes of Ewbank and Lehner rich at the taxpayers' expense?

HHM said...

"Other than Thompson, how many other County Elected Officials have offered any support to these folks in St. Leon, or for that matter, those folks the DCRSD is trying to the same thing to?"

Dennis Kraus, Sr., Bill Ulrich and Tom Cheek voted against funding DCRSD. The other three and Charlie Fehrman (tipping the tie) provided $115,000 to DCRSD to do engineering and keep it going. Two of those who supported DCRSD, Fehrman and Barrett are up for election next year.
Bill Ulrich is running for city judge for Aurora. He says he will resign the rest of his term on Council if he wins as judge. Watch who Gary Morris, party chair, puts up to replace him. That will tell the story on Morris. He already put Barrett in to replace Mitter. Mitter also put the Citizens of the County first. Barrett is just the opposite.

Barrett and Ullrich's replacement will show Morris's true colors!

Anonymous said...

Barrett and Ullrich's replacement will show Morris's true colors!

If Morris supports anyone who publicly supported Democrat Linkmeyer last year, he is beyond hope and just another inpocket Development flunky!

I believe his wife supported Linkmeyer on that flyer last year that had all those Republicans and Linkmeyer that should be supported in the upcoming election!

Of course, non-flunky, REPUBLICAN Ralph Thompson was not on the flyer!

Morris is just another one of Development's many foot soldiers ready to do their bidding at the taxpayers' expense!