Thursday, January 31, 2008


Precinct and District Identification

In response to a number of requests, the following list will identify which precinct and Commissioner District in which you live. Just match your polling place and you will have your precinct and Commissioner District.

District 1

Precinct Polling Place
Greendale 1 Greendale Firehouse (Ridge Ave.)
Greendale 2 Schenley Bldg. (Next to Welfare)
Greendale 3 Greendale Utility Bldg.
Greendale 4 Greendale Cabin
Greendale 5 Greendale Cabin
Harrison 1 W. Harrison Town Hall
Harrison 2 Methodist Church (Stateline Rd. & N. Dearborn)
Harrison 3 Heartland
Lawrenceburg 1 Tate Street Firehouse
Lawrenceburg 2 Tate Street Firehouse
Lawrenceburg 3 American Legion (Newtown Park)
Lawrenceburg 4 Community Fellowship Church (SR 48)
Lawrenceburg 8 Willie's Sports Bar (HVL)
Lawrenceburg 9 St. John Lutheran Church (SR 48)
Logan 1 N. Dearborn Library
Logan 2 N. Dearborn Library
Miller 1 Guilford Firehouse
Miller 2 Firehouse #1 (Brightwoods)
Miller 3 Willie's Sports Bar (HVL)*
Miller 4 Firehouse #1 (Brightwoods)
Miller 5 Bright Elementary
Miller 6 Independent Bible Church (Georgetown Rd.)
Miller 7 Firehouse #2 (Stateline Rd.)

District 2

Precinct Polling Place
Jackson S. Dearborn School Coop. (Lawrenceville Rd.)*
Kelso 1 St. Leon Firehouse
Kelso 2 St. John Catholic Church (Dover)
Kelso 3 New Alsace American Legion
Manchester 1 Methodist Church (SR 48 & Possom Ridge)
Manchester 2 Manchester Firehouse
York St. Martin Church (Yorkville)

District 3

Precinct Polling Place
Caesar Creek St. John Lutheran School
Center 1 Aurora Emergency Bldg. (3rd & Mechanic St.)
Center 2 Aurora City Park Pavilion
Center 3 Aurora City Park Pavilion
Center 4 Aurora Firehouse (Dutch Hollow)
Center 5 Aurora Firehouse (Dutch Hollow)
Center 6 Ebenezer Baptist Church (SR 48)
Clay 1 Dillsboro Town Hall
Clay 2 50 Plus Bldg. (Lenover St.)
Clay 3 50 Plus Bldg. (Lenover St.)
Hogan Old Wilmington School House
Sparta 1 Baptist Church Fellowship Hall (College & Broadway)
Sparta 2 Baptist Church Fellowship Hall (College & Broadway)
Sparta 3 Baptist Church Fellowship Hall (College & Broadway)
Washington State Hwy Garage (INDOT) (US 50)

* Polling location may change in the near future.

Ralph Thompson, Commissioner, District 3


People on the blogsite might be interested in reading the following:

The Opinion page (P. A16) of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, Wednesday, January 30, 2008, "Eminent Reality".

The article addresses the question--does restricting the power of government to seize private property harm economic growth? A recently issued report from the Institute of Justice examined the evidence and concluded the answer was no. There are a few examples in the article that support the Institute of Justice position, which challenges the economic claims made by those supporting "eminent domain".

Helen Kremer
Logan Township

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Our Honorable Commissioner Mr. Jeff Hughes has “written” his cri de coeur to explain his tabling the Future Land Use Map. His well written piece begs the question what and/or who is driving Mr. Hughes.

Unfortunately for Mr. Hughes, the commercial “interests” of the county have suffered a few setbacks. Vieste is gone, then council refused to fund the expansion of the St. Leon Sewer plant, the commissioners have refused to recommend funding for the DCEDI, and James “Shovel Ready” West has resigned as chief of the DCEDI. The coveted 4,000 acres of the Northwestern Quadrant are still virginal, no company has decided to use the TIF (Tax Incremental Financing) Districts, and Honda in Greensburg is now offering shop floor jobs with starting salaries of 31,000 dollars a year (preferably for non union members) versus the conventional 60,000 dollars a year.Houses on Barber Road are able to be built using septic systems, which according to the local government, is not satisfactory as some consider it a health hazard. Additionally, a well- educated Republican was voted in as a county commissioner over the strenuous objections of--- the Republican party!

Perhaps we can understand Mr. Hughes et al’s anguish.

The Map is not Received Wisdom, nor is it carved into granite. It can be changed.
It is the work product of citizens of Dearborn County, not government.

Unfortunately Mr. Hughes raises the class envy/warfare battle cry which began with Franklin Roosevelt and since then has been eagerly grasped by liberals, socialists, nazis and communists. Mr. Hughes targeted civic-minded citizens with his unfortunate remark about those who “have the time and money” to attend meetings.

To appeal to some he put his interest in another group of people - not those about whom he snidely commented. However, I quote our Mr. Hughes in his same newspaper article ”I have sworn to protect the rights and freedoms of all citizens of Dearborn.” All, Mr. Hughes, or only those who agree with your agenda and that of Mr. Fox, the DCEDI, and the Chamber of Commerce?

The question of freedom to use one’s land as one wishes, according to Mr. Hughes, should be examined. The statistics cited in the Plan Commission’s survey are related to questions that may be leading questions. How did Mr. Hughes pick his 110 property owners whom he interviewed? Did he have a polling company produce a randomized list of whom to call and what questions to ask? It would be expensive to do, but not nearly as expensive as the wasted expenditures which he helped to lavish on the 300 dollar an hour plus expenses of the Vieste group’s personnel. Would it be of utmost importance? Certainly.

Who, not by name, were Mr. Hughes interviewees? Were the interviews done solely by Mr. Hughes? Did those interviewed own a house on a half acre, did they own 200 acre? Were they on septic systems or a vacuum sewer system? Were any of them close acquaintances of Mr. Hughes? Were any of the interviewees known beforehand to have an interest that would coincide with the agenda of Mr. Hughes, Mr. Fox, the DCEDI and the Chamber of Commerce?

It is fine and appealing and somewhat demagogic to proclaim that freedom to use one’s land as one chooses is great, all about America, etc. Would Mr. Hughes not complain if someone built on the property next to where he raises his family an “Adult” Bookstore that deals in pornography 24 hours a day 7 days a week? Would he object to my putting up a poultry processing plant next to his home? How about building, next door to his home a bar, featuring loud music, a bar that is open until 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning every night?

Mr. Hughes persists in claiming that private land use must not be transferred to government. Well how does Mr. Hughes explain his attachment to the Vieste debacle? How does he explain his attachment to the darlings of the local self anointed Republican party, the DCEDI, and the Lawrenceburg Chamber of Commerce? How does he explain the attempt of the government - that he claims should not be involved in private land use- to be involved in the stealthy plan via the county commissioners’ hirees Vieste et al to industrialize the Elysian fields of the newly named Northwest Quadrant of Dearborn County?

Mr. Hughes is stumbling over his contradictions. Had he been one of my medical house officers he’d be long gone. Yes, long gone, or never appointed in the first place.

Perhaps the voters of Dearborn County will feel the same way in 2008.

Alan S. Freemond, Sr.
Jackson Township

28 January 2008 Dearborn County Plan Commission Notes

28 January 2008 Dearborn County Plan Commission Notes

Present: Mike Hall, Chairman, Dennis Kraus, Jr., Bob Laws, Nick Held, Ken Nelson, Ralph Thompson, Dan Lansing (new Council rep), Russell Beiersdorfer, and Mark Lehman (two new citizen appointees.)

Also present: McGill, Attorney, and McCormack, Plan Director

Mike Hall was voted as President and Dennis Kraus, Jr. is Vice president. Mark McCormack is secretary.

This meeting was preceded by an executive session. Thompson motioned and Lehman seconded to authorize Mark McCormack to issue and file a formal complaint for non-professional and non-standard operations for a local (unnamed) surveyor. All ayes.

Members spent nearly 2 hours discussing changes to the zoning and subdivision control ordinances.

FAVORABLE RECOMMENDATIONS were passed on to the commissioners for changes to:

Article 4 which puts the plan Commission in charge of performance bonds and letters of credit and increased the notification period to 30 days.

Article 22 section 2275 on fencing requirements in front yards and exempting agricultural USES from those permits.

Article 25 Section 2516 on the location of accessory structures related to fences as well.

Article 3 Section 305 D – members chose Option 1 sending any access to collectors or arterials with traffic counts greater than 1000 vpd to the PC and less than that to Tech review to decide.

Article 24 Section 2404 on functional roadway classifications fixed the list of collector roads deleting Bonnell and Burzelbach and Grelle and Sagamaw (due to low traffic counts) and eliminating Elam and substituting Weisberg Road.

The board voted to TABLE article 3 section 315 on flag lots for further review.


1. 2007 Annual report was in their packets

2. 2. St. Leon has had special meetings on revising their ordinances and comp plan. Both they and west Harrison have paid for the assistant planner’s help for 2008 per contractual agreement.

3. Fiscal impact analysis is proceeding with OKI- they have narrowed to 3 consultants so far. Hope to be completed in 9 months. McCormack found out that with the new rules- the $50,000 they had encumbered from the master plan to pay for this has to be re-requested from Council. $15,000 is for OKI and $35,000 is needing to be re-requested as there is no invoice for it yet.

4. Messmore’s letter stating they lost out on the hometown Competitiveness program is in their packet.

5. Assistant Planner helped Bright get a $70,000 grabt for their fire dept.

6. There is a CD of the Commissioners meeting on the master plan for members to review to get everyone up to speed.

7. White Pines is returning in February.

8. McCormack welcomed the 3 new members: Lehman, Lansing, and Beiersdorfer.

9. McCormack is participating in the Muscular Dystrophy fund raiser next week.

Meeting adjourned at 9:25 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Friday, January 25, 2008

Governor Mitch Daniels: 2008 Lincoln Day Dinner (Dearborn Country Club) - 01/23/08

Governor Mitch Daniels: 2008 Lincoln Day Dinner (Dearborn Country Club) - 01/23/08

For your listening enjoyment, we would like to bring you the following show. After listening to the program, if you would like to download your own copy of this show, it is available 'free' on our website along with nearly 400 other show selections -- Feel free to copy and paste this link into your own emails to interested friends. Note: We cover political events and present political interview shows with candidates, from all parties, with equal regularity.

If you have high-speed internet service, to listen to this show - simply turn up your speakers and click on the following link:

We hope you enjoy this show. Tell your friends, neighbors and co-workers about New-Media Network. We are quickly becoming THE media source for quality and content variety. Anyone can sign up to on our website and begin automatically receiving "New or Notable Show Alerts". It is 100% free and we will never, under any circumstances, share your email address with any person or organization.

We appreciate and thank you for your support, ideas, questions, comments and even complaints. Pick up your cell phone and call our national listener comment line at 206.337.1716


Fly Paper Productions, LLC
Digital Media Group - National Operations Ctr POB 324 Harrison, OH 45030 USA

206-337-1716 Listener Comment Line
TheFlyPod New-Media Network

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

22 January 2008 Dearborn County Council Meeting Notes

22 January 2008 Dearborn County Council Meeting Notes

Present: Fehrman, President, Ullrich, Barrott, Morris, Lansing, Cheek, Kraus, Sr.
Also Present: Pickens, Auditor, and Messmore, Administrator.

All three commissioners were present for the roads discussion.

Charlie Fehrman apologized for the tardiness of the agenda, as he was sick for the past 4 days. [NOTE: Council agendas are normally not available ahead of the meeting date. It is unclear how members can prepare for meetings with no agendas prior to the actual meeting date.]

Fehrman was re-elected as President. Dennis Kraus, Sr. as Vice President.

Mike Rozow- presented the ongoing county agreement with the Chamber to manage the CVTB and Redevelopment Commission. Money was already appropriated. Agreement was signed.

Dennis Kraus, Jr. Surveyor- requested $1684.36 for a new transmission for the Suburban they got from the county’s old cars last fall. County Highway garage mechanics will install it free. Request granted for maximum of $1684.36.

Kraus, Jr. also requested using some GIS part time funds and some corner perpetuation funds to add to Andrea’s (staff member) wages to get her closer to full time hours. The plan is to have her at full time the following year. Approved.

Fehrman introduced Aaron Negangard as the Honorable PERSECUTOR. Negangard announced that they are working with a group to get money back to the county as reimbursements and are getting about $7,000 for 2007 for a stipend from Federal Gov’t for child support.

They are also further expanding out into the Courthouse with a reception area and freeing up what limited space they have for another lawyer they hired. They are combining 4D and receptionist duties and are asking for a max of $6,000 for office furniture that they didn’t get in 07 budget. They think it can be done for $2,000 and 66% will be refunded by the federal government. (It was unclear if he meant- we pay $2000 and the $4000 will come back from the feds or if $2,000 would get 66% of it back.

Council decided to take $6,000 out of contingency fund 196 for this as it didn’t need to be advertised if that fund was used.

Gayle Pennington- Treasurer- complimented her staff and Pickens’s staff as working very well together. She went on to say they have an unfunded mandate from the state on forms that have to be sent to every taxpayer and they won’t fold easily into the tax bills. They plan to stuff them separately. These are forms required by statute and DLGF wants the taxpayers to be able to see them to compare last year’s and this year’s taxes. Several minutes of discussion on why this has to be done and that there is no good way around the expense or extra labor required. [NOTE: Can’t see why the taxpayer can’t just go to their records and look it up themselves.]

Jeff Hughes, President of Commissioners, addressed Council with a packet of information on Highway Funding. They identified 3 roads they want to do- North Dearborn, Downtown Bright intersection, and Collier Ridge slip. He noted two are in D-2 and one is in D-1. [NOTE: This should be immaterial as the highway department is working to consider roads countywide- not just by district. Perhaps this is because it is an election year for D-1 and D-2 Commissioners?]

Cheek asked about federal aid.
Hughes noted we have applied but we are not really getting this aid for some reason. Thompson noted that INDOT said even if we were approved now- it would be 2015 before we saw any construction due to the backlog of projects and limited funds.
Listerman spoke of the $200-250million that INDOT has to spread over 92 counties. That leaves about $200,000 each if passed out equally. The max we can get is 80% and $3 million on any one project. North Dearborn is over $5 million now. Bright won’t qualify for federal dollars, as it wasn’t programmed that way. Collier Ridge could qualify for the bridge funds in late February and Listerman thinks they can get part of this covered with federal funds for Bridge 55 (the old iron bridge to be replaced in a new alignment)

Hughes wants a committee of 3 commissioners, some council and Listerman to meet for the next month and work out the priorities and how to tackle these 3 projects. It was decided that in addition to Commissioners, Barrott, Morris, Pickens, and Kraus would sit on the committee.
Hughes talked to Cunningham about getting Lawrenceburg to help with funding- they are willing to hear them for a community grant.
Council set a special meeting March 25th for just this item to get their recommendations.

Bill Black- Emergency Management- will be back in May to get approval for gutters, downspouts, and drainage issues repaired on their building. He asked about getting a couple heaters and building a wall inside as well. Thompson reminded Council that Commissioners ONLY approved him coming to Council for the gutters/drainage issues. Black may be using the $10,000 they made on selling off old donated equipment. The gutters are creating ice ponds and rusting out the iron edges in the concrete ramps. Concrete is then crumbling.

Jenny Smith of Sand Run Road came at Doug Baer’s request to seek financial help to rebuild her septic tank. He has been trying to get an indigent fund set up for people unable to finance their sewers or septic. Her only bid was for $15,000. Council suggested she try SEIOC in Aurora and she had already tried Versailles office and was turned down. Smith is being sued by the Health Dept and has $750 in attorney fees. She works for at $11/hour and her husband is incarcerated until 2016. She is in danger of losing her house.

Baer also gave her a 504 funds form to try for those also. Local courts don’t like to kick people out of homes so they fine them $25 per day until fixed. They have one case up to $16,000 in fines. [NOTE: Have they considered the Dearborn County Foundation- to set up and manage an indigent fund?]

Pickens couldn’t think of any state agency to help.

Fehrman said- short of each of the council members getting shovels and repairing it themselves he didn’t know what they could do.

Pickens gave her Township Trustee Art Little’s phone number for him to help.

Fehrman pointed out a letter from John Zeiden in their packets and noted he’d talked to him at length. Pickens said- there’s a CD of Commissioner’s meeting when he spoke if they want to hear that! Cheek noted he’s on holding tanks and pumping. Ullrich said that when he purchased he didn’t look before he leaped… [NOTE: Zeiden owns Starlight Reception Center on US 50 and wants sewers brought to it.]

Council made Board appointments- all the same as last year except Dan Lansing is now the Plan Commission member.

Dennis Kraus, Jr. handed him his packet and said his first meeting is Monday night. Someone said- they pay $100 a meeting now. Pickens laughed and said and nothing is open when the meeting is over.

Ullrich presented materials from the Sheriff noting how they plan to spend in house generated commissary money on other smaller items less than $500. This is apparently allowed per state code.

Listerman received the OK to create the special highway position for the former foreman salary to be frozen at current wages until the other drivers catch up to him. He is also dropping one position and creating one summertime mower part time on a trial basis to see if it works as well for us as it does in other counties.

In March Listerman will present the $500,000 for Collier Ridge slip repair Phase 1 as it wasn’t advertised for tonight. Pickens noted they could use Major Moves money with $400 + 200K in the account.

Pickens said he is sending 13,000 refund checks out and visited some GIS sites. He wants Kraus, Minzner, and Thompson to help with that.

Pickens said Tracy is leaving his office for Superior Court I position in the Courthouse as it pays about $7,000 more. He was bemoaning the loss and wants to get on a merit system with formal reviews so he can pay his employees who deserve it better.

Meeting adjourned at 9:30 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Monday, January 21, 2008



The following editorial was recently carried in the Jan 17th Dearborn County Register

Dear Editor:

When it comes to sewage, I am Pro-Choice. Just as with all my other utilities and services, I think people should have a choice.

This is America – the land of opportunity. Each of these utility companies and service companies has the opportunity to sell me their services. I should have the opportunity to choose the ones I want.

So why are people being mandated to subsidize one of these utilities?

Wires, cables, and pipes run In front of many homes in America and the homeowners choose to connect to some or all of them. If you have a well, you don’t have to take water. If you don’t want cable or have a satellite dish, you can choose the alternatives. You can choose no television at all. You can take local phone service, you can take long distance, or you can choose to have cell phones. Gas lines are optional as are electric services.

So why do we have this raging sewer hook-up debate in several sections of Dearborn County?

It is because we have forgotten that this is America- the land of opportunity with freedom of choice.

We should have the freedom to exercise our options. There are state approved sewage treatment options available for owners of larger plots of land and farms. We should not have to abandon septic tanks and fields, if they are functioning or can be replaced. Owners in some circumstances might choose that option, because rural electric is unpredictable, thus rendering grinder pumps inoperable at times. Homes set back long distances from the road have issues with extended pipes and/or multiple pumps.

Some of our sewer utility companies chose to install cheap and fast infrastructure. They shifted the responsibility for maintenance and the burden of long-term costs onto the homeowners and taxpayers. This is not acceptable.

The people are angry and disgusted with the process and the laws that allow this to happen. The legislature that can fix this problem is loathe to attack it, because the development lobbies fund their campaign war chests. The engineering companies that design these systems and consult with the utility companies are paid no matter what they design. And if it breaks or needs more maintenance- then they get more business later too.

What city or town would really want a pressurized grinder system, as opposed to a gravity feed one?

What homeowner would want to have a grinder pump, electric bills, and maintenance expenses, if they could have gravity instead?

Why shouldn’t the utility company provide the back up and maintenance of lift stations where needed, rather than having a blue million grinders -all privately owned and maintained- scattered all over the county in everyone’s yards?

Why have we not found ways to design homes to recycle the gray water rather than treat it all as first use? Your toilets could be flushed with your laundry or shower gray water. Gray water can be used for gardens and lawns. Treatment costs at the plant would decrease, because treatment volume would decrease.

As I said before, I am Pro-Choice when it comes to sewage. And I would choose a septic tank over a grinder pump without hesitation. Offer up gravity systems, and I think this sewer debate would become a non-issue. We need to quit passing our problems on to the next generation. Build it right; build it to last. Offer up more creative systems for water recycling.

Our children and grandchildren will thank us.

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Republican Club Breakfast

Republican Club Breakfast
submitted by Ralph Thompson, Commissioner D-3

Saturday, January 17, 2008 at Golden Corral

Meeting started with Pledge and Prayer and opening remarks by Art Little (sp).

In addition to the citizens, in attendance were Mr. Sodrel and his staff, Gail Pennington, Treasurer, Judge Michael Witte,Dennis Kraus, Sr., Dennis Kraus, Jr., Gary Morris, Party Chair, Jeff Hughes, Commissioner and myself.

Mr. Sodrel's presentation is summarized as follows:

Mr. Sodrel talked about the problems with his last campaign, especially from the control exerted by the Republican National Committee and all the negative campaign ads over which he had no control.

He talked about the pension system where widows of service men KIA lose their benefits if they remarry. And the reduction in pension benefits to congressmen after the actions of the Republican Party.

He also talked about the 'fair tax' and the impact that would have on this country, including shifting the taxes from the manufacturing level to the retail level which reduces the cost of manufacturing by about 22% and increases the tax on foreign imports by the same amount, tending to level the playing field. Right now US products cost higher than foreign products to compete in export and import. The fair tax would reduce the product cost for export to better compete and place the same tax on foreign products, at retail, to make them on a par with US products.

He favors the elimination of property tax. It would take the burden off retirees.

The fair tax eliminates income and similar taxes and places a federal sales tax on all consumption.

Retirees would get an increase in benefits to compensate for the sales tax. The fair tax would tax consumption so the more expensive the product, the more tax paid.

The fair tax would not tax investment, thereby presumably fostering more investment.

Several people spoke about upcoming events, including Gary Morris, who talked about the Lincoln Day dinner being held on January 23.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

15 January 2008 Dearborn County Commissioners Meeting Notes

15 January 2008 Dearborn County Commissioners Meeting Notes
Please note that the following notes were graciously supplied by Helen Kremer due to my absence.

Present: Jeff Hughes, President, Rick Fox and Ralph Thompson, Commissioners, Bryan Messmore, Administrator, Robert Ewbank, County Attorney, and Cary Pickens, Auditor.

6:30 p.m. Jeff Hughes opened the meeting with the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.

Old business – Employee Manual – Approval was tabled until the Commissioners had time to read the highlighted changes. Cary Pickens stated there were only 4-5 pages with changes. Ralph Thompson motioned to table, and Rick Fox seconded the motion.

Bill Black, Jr., Emergency Management Agency—before presenting his request, commented on the employee manual. He suggested that there be wording that certain employees are reimbursed for overtime (i.e., he and Todd Listerman). To be reimbursed by FEMA, in case of an overtime need, there has to be a stated standard (in the manual). Rick Fox told Bill Black to draft a letter stating how it should be worded.

Black then continued with his request to go to Council. He presented the Commissioners with a drawing of what they want to do with their building. They had a chain link fence with plastic as a wall, and they want Harry Belso to put a solid wall there instead of the plastic fence. A solid wall could be used for cages for storage and locked areas. The request was for $84,000. Also, the building needed repair downspouts, etc. Ralph Thompson said you need a bid for $84,000. Rick Fox added that it sounded like two requests, one for the building, and the other to maintain the building, and Cary Pickens stated money was tight. A discussion was held regarding the reasons for the solid wall. Ralph Thompson motioned to approve Bill Black to ask Council to authorize funds for gutters, associated drain lines, catch basins, etc., and Rick Fox seconded the motion.

Cary Pickens said that Eric Hartmann years ago had funds appropriated for this maintenance. Ralph Thompson asked Bill Black to find out what happened to the appropriated funds for the maintenance, and why it wasn’t completed. Bryan Messmore stated that there were several people Hartmann had to get input from, and perhaps it just didn’t get finished.

Donna Thacker of CASA asked for approval for grant recommendations. She stated they did not spend all of the money allocated; they wanted to build some funds. Ralph Thompson asked if CASA can carry money over, and she replied yes. Thompson motioned to approve three grants for $16,449, $21,490, and $17,500 and Rick Fox seconded.

Gary Hensley, Assessor, Annual Contracts/New Construction – Gary Hensley presented two contracts for renewal. Hensley stated the annual contract for a ratio study will be close to $45,000 this year, because of annual adjustment costs incurred. They may request another bidder because they are not satisfied with the current contractor’s performance. Gary Hensley continued that they are very pleased with the work of the company with the new assessment contract.

Cary Pickens stated that Gary Hensley is informing the Commissioners of the expenditures, Hensley can approve them, but anything over $25,000 should be brought to the Commissioners for their information for these contracts. Hensley stated he is under a strict timeline, due March 1st, and he would like to get something there ahead of time.

Rick Fox told him to move forward.

Planning and Zoning – Mark McCormack - The first issue was the I-74 Route 1/St. Leon bridge update. Mark stated it has been three months since they corresponded with INDOT. The only information they have received is an off-the-cuff remark to Todd Listerman, that they might be broadening their scope. Ralph Thompson said a phone call should be made to see where this matter stands. Todd Listerman said he would call.

The next items were proposed changes to the Dearborn County Zoning Ordinance and Subdivision Control Ordinance, Article 2, Section 236 – Improvement Plan Approval Process, Subdivision Control Ordinance, and Article 23, Section 2335 – Changes or Amendments to Approved Site Plans, DC Zoning Ordinance. Mark McCormack stated at the December 18, 2007, Plan Commission Meeting, the vote was unanimous for these proposed Ordinances. McCormack explained that there has been a series of requests over time regarding grading and erosion control issues, and people want the county to become involved. Now there are two ways to resolve the issue, going to the Building Commission, or the State of Indiana. The Building Commission had issues with this process and the State of Indiana takes four to six months to address an issue. Jennifer Hughes of Soil and Conservation has the same problem, she writes a report and it goes to Indianapolis.

Rick Fox said someone has the power to stop work—who has ruling authority? Just go downstairs (Building Commission) and take care of it, and he believed Todd Listerman also had jurisdiction.

Todd Listerman replied that he did not have jurisdiction, we could call Don Townsend, and tell them someone is creating a hazard, and to clean it up, but if there is no house being built, there is no one with jurisdiction.

Bob Ewbank submitted the opinion that without these Ordinances, there could be situations that would be injurious to health and property, and the Plan Commission is in the best position to go out and say stop, along with the Plan Commission Attorney. Ewbank continued because of the bureaucracy we have now, there is no way to implement compliance, and the only way to do so is with the Plan Commission. The Plan Commission can get an injunction if they have an ordinance with the power to stop work.

Rick Fox stated he saw Bob’s side of it, and hopes Don Townsend gets a copy of this; he didn’t want this to be a power play.

Bob Ewbank asked Mark how often they inspected—did they have a prioritized list? Mark McCormack replied they randomly do inspections, and complaints get attention first. Ewbank stated the Planning Office was in the best position to preserve the health, safety, and well being of community. Jeff Hughes stated there needs to be accountability.

Jeff Hughes wanted a definition of public welfare. Bob Ewbank said it was a short way of describing benefits to the public. Jeff Hughes stated he wanted the wording, health and safety, to be used. Ralph Thompson motioned they move to encompass Article 2, Section 236, and Article 23, Section 2335. Rick Fox seconded the motion, all ayes.

Mark McCormack will meet with Rick Fox on Friday, regarding Comprehensive Plan language update, to meet and address concerns. Mark can meet with Jeff Hughes also, and he asked Ralph Thompson too, to meet sometime this week or next week, regarding this issue.

Transportation Department – Todd Listerman and Margaret Minzer, GIS coordinator, demonstrated the link to GIS tables with road improvements for the county, and each project has a place on the map. Margaret Minzer demonstrated Collier Ridge, showing survey costs, and general planning information for projects.

Jeff Hughes stated we should go to County Council and get funds on-line for roads, using gambling revenue for large projects which are needed, because the timetable from the state could be 2015, 2016, or leveraged to 2030. Todd Listerman stated regarding areas such as North Dearborn Road, Stateline Rd., Jamison, and Salt Fork Rds., we won’t get Federal dollars for bonding situation, and the increases in annual costs range from $5,000-$10,000.

Rick Fox asked if they were ready to get on board and go to council and ask to borrow money from Lawrenceburg at a cheap rate. A discussion followed about the rate of interest being either 3% or more. Rick Fox told Todd Listerman to prepare a list of key projects, and itemize them out. Jeff Hughes said he will be at the Council meeting, and so did Ralph Thompson, who has attended the meetings. The three Dearborn County Commissioners will be attending the County Council Meeting next Tuesday night, January 23, 2008 regarding the request for gambling revenue to be used for county roads.

Ralph Thompson asked about the Artemis system. Listerman stated OKI and INDOT are on board with the ramp on our part of I-275. Head of Artemis construction regarding project re 128, is not all the way out. We will have one board on ramp itself, and two cameras on I-275 from the ramp.

Jeff Hughes said they needed to get the OKI yearly contract signed, because we receive Federal money since we are part of the Cincinnati metropolitan area. Council approved $16,000. Bob Ewbank said the contract was the same we had last year. Ralph Thompson motioned the Commissioners to sign the agreement that Council has approved. Rick Fox seconded.

Cary Pickens presented to the Commissioners the Covered Bridge Certification, the Inter-local agreement for lobbyists for services, and the EMS contracts for Lawrenceburg and Aurora. Rick Fox motioned to sign all three items, and Ralph Thompson seconded all three items.

Cary Pickens asked for approval of claims. Rick Fox asked if he pulled some out, and the reply was affirmative. Ralph Thompson motioned to approve claims with exceptions, and Rick Fox seconded. The Commissioners also approved, as amended the minutes of December 18, 2008.

Bryan Messmore gave a presentation concerning insurance. Rick Fox motioned to approve the same insurance level at the current rate, and Ralph Thompson seconded.

Messmore also said the Hometown Competitiveness Program declined their request because we did not meet the evaluation criteria. Bryan believed the Rural Development Committee might have thought we have a lot of talent and resources available, and other communities have less.

Bob Ewbank said there is a new case involving the Sheriff’s Department, and an employee, regarding alleged slander. The insurance company attorney is to represent us. There are also two new tort claims regarding auto accidents, but there is no liability, due to being covered by insurance.

Ralph Thompson brought up the time for the Commissioners meetings, asking the meetings to be changed to 7 p.m. Rick Fox said it did not work for him; in fact, he would like it to be 6 p.m. Ralph Thompson said just leave the time at 6:30 p.m.

Bryan Messmore was asked by Rick Fox about information regarding employees insurance, and suggested that a letter of what we accomplished be provided. Ralph Thompson said a fact sheet insert could be used.

The Commissioners agreed to meet for a Finance meeting next week. Rick Fox motioned to adjourn the meeting, and Ralph Thompson seconded.

Submitted by Helen Kremer
Logan Township

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

SEWER ISSUES - Excerpt of December 18 2007 Minutes of Commissioner Meeting

SEWER ISSUES Excerpt from Minutes of December 18, 2007 Dearborn County Commissioners Meeting

This is essentially a transcript of the “tape” of the meeting. Commissioners have not yet approved these minutes. No corrections have been made to any spelling etc in this transcript. Some areas are highlighted for those wishing a “quick read.”

Meeting Date: December 18, 2007

The Dearborn County Board of Commissioners met In the Admin. Bldg., 215•B West High Street, 3rd Floor - Commissioners Room. Lawrenceburg, IN on December 18, 2007 starting at 6:33 pm. Present Jeff Hughes, President, Rick Fox and Ralph Thompson, Commissioners, Bryan Messmore, Administrator, Robert Ewbank, County Attorney and Cary Pickens, Auditor.
Jeff Hughes, President opened the meeting with the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.

7:18:20 pm - Tom Hammond, citizen spoke about the following subjects .
St. Leon sewer

Commissioners letter to DCRSD from the Apr. 17, 2007 meeting

Mr. Hammond explained he represented a coalition of families in the county called CASE. (Citizens Against Sewer Enforcement.) They are a community group willing to dedicate their time & energy necessary to defeat the imposition of forced sewer connections in Dearborn County.

Tom Hammond wanted to talk about the letter from the Commissioners to the sewer district from the April 17th, 2007 meeting.

Bob Ewbank, Co. Atty. stated that the first thing Mr. Hammond would have to fight on the issue was the municipal law - not county law. In terms of the two statutes there, it is where the city runs out a municipal sewer on 300 feet of the property line that also had a jurisdictional limit of ten mile. This was not an issue for the County; it would be an issue for the State legislature if Mr. Hammond wanted it changed.

(At this time, Tom Hammond asked Mr. Ewbank if he could stop him there because he wanted to say something & Mr. Ewbank told him - "No, let me finish. Then Tom Hammond said, "Excuse me, but you stopped me. Rick Fox, Commissioner exp1ained that Bob Ewbank wanted to give the legal side of the issue. Tom Hammond replied that he wanted to stop him before he went any further.)

Tom Hammond said that they were not present discussing that municipal law nor the county law.

Bob Ewbank stated it was prefatory information and if Mr. Hammond would listen - maybe he wou1d get his answer.

Mr. Ewbank said that #2 -the regional district also had a provision for a 300 ft. property line tap in. Along with that it had a unique provision for septic tank soil absorption where there was actually an exemption if they had a new system and a unique provision to spread the expenses over 20 years. Lastly, there is a the county ordinance. It has effectively been repealed by the creation of the regional sewer district. If the regional sewer district had a sewer system out where he lived, he would fall under the provinces of that law. Right now he was Mr. Ewbank explained that right now he was falling under the provinces of municipal law.

Tom Hammond said he appreciated Mr. Ewbank's effort but it did not answer his question. He explained the reason he was speaking before the Board of Commissioners was that the Commissioners made a statement unanimously on Apr. 17, 2007 that they were not in favor of any forced sewer hookups. Tom wondered where the letter was that officially made the statement of how the County Commissioners saw the Issue. The growth in the county has stopped & he thought that it was just one reason for the stoppage because the county had not made the letter official.

Bob Ewbank asked Mr. Hammond if he wanted to change the law.

Tom Hammond answered, no he wanted Mr. Ewbank to take the paper & simply sign it.

Mr. Ewbank could not see what good it would do because, they did not have jurisdiction.
Tom Hammond said it was mentioned at a commission before that a precedent would be set with the issue & he wanted to make sure that the precedent gets set. The statement from the Citizens Against Sewer Enforcement read that they didn't endorse sewer hookups.

Mr. Ewbank stressed that the County Commissioners did not have the jurisdiction to speak about that issue; the Commissioners did not have that power. If he wanted to deal with that issue, he would have to deal with the State legislature.

Tom Hammond asked about the citizens who lived in the county that were under the threat of the sewer hookups. Weren't they entitled to a statement?
(Tom Hammond told Mr. Ewbank he was not talking to him; he was talking to the Commissioners.)

Mr. Ewbank told Mr. Hammond for the second time that he was asking the Commissioners to do something that they did not have the jurisdiction to do.

Mr. Hammond told the Commissioners that the people would like to see them make a statement of what they stood for and what they represent.

Rick Fox said that Tom Hammond was making it sound like the County Commissioners could fix the issue for him. Mr, Ewbank is talking from the legal side of the issue.

Mr. Hammond said that the board was leaning on Mr. Ewbank & his law firm and he supercedes them.

RickFox added that Mr. Ewbank was there to tell the board what they should know or what they don't .

Tom Hammond said this was not a court of law. He was simply asking for their endorsement.

Mr. Ewbank emphasized that he was asking for a legal opinion that was outside his jurisdiction.

Tom Hammond said he came to simply asked the Commissioners about the letter and
Mr. Ewbank (the Co. Atty) juggernauted into the legal issues.

Mr. Ewbank stated that they do not juggernaut into legal issues. They are a government of laws. The County Commissioners cannot change it. Mr. Ewbank commented that if the Commissioners could change it, they would probab1y change it.

Tom Hammond said since it was a public hearing maybe it was time for the Commissioners to come forward with their position on the issue.

Mr. Ewbank explained that the Board of Commissioners could give their individual opinions but collectively as Commissioners they cannot change the State law.
Rick Fox thought they had given their individual opinions and he did not believe in forced hookups.

Jeff Hughes, President said he liked the county ordinance whereas the people did not have to hook on if they had a functioning system. President Hughes added that he could not change State law.

Rick Fox stressed that there were minutes of all the public meetings for the record.

Mr. Ewbank reiterated for the third time that Tom Hammond was asking for a legal opinion from the Commissioners as a body for something that is outside their realm. There is no problem with the Commissioners giving their individual opinions on the issue. The law they are dealing with is a state law and if Mr. Hammond wants that law changed he must go to the State legislature & get it changed. Mr. Ewbank said the first thing he would change would be the 300 foot requirement.

Tom Hammond said they were working as a group & 2008 would mark their third year on their resistance. The resistance was creating a lot of the non growth.

Mr. Ewbank did not think that anyone disagreed with Mr. Hammond's position. The problem was he had a State law that was a municipal one - not a county one. The Board of Commissioners cannot change the State law.

Tom Hammond said simply that their problem would become the county's problem.
It has been three years their group has been together & three years that St. Leon had not received from 118 Individuals ($4,000 hookup) they could have had in their coffers. They could have had three years of user fees. With issues like that &. the county is saying they cannot do something & their group is still together, they will then get regional coverage, television and newspapers.

Rick Fox adamantly said that the board could not fix his problem.

Bob Ewbank gave an example of how the problem could be fixed. He mentioned the High Ridge Estates. The former Board of Commissioners & the Commissioners serving today are still in support of rescuing the subdivision called High Ridge. The people living there were threatened into leaving their homes because of the sewers. The County Sewer District was formed; they called it string-beans geographically. Mr. Ewbank stated he thought the sewer district needed to be extended because of health problems - where the septic systems there do not work. For those individuals that would fall under the statutes of the county ordinance they would get relief for the very same that Tom Hammond is requesting. The down side is the State legislature has passed a law that if they extend their sewer work where they are allowed to go out ten miles & have forced hookups. The State gave the county the power to do the sewer district to fray the expenses & to go to a procedure. Mr. Ewbank stated again that the Commissioners were not against Mr. Hammond nor was the County Attorney. The County Atty. even sympathized with his situation but he in turn was asking the board to do something that they have no control over. If there was a county sewer district where Mr. Hammond lives he would full under the provinces of the county ordinance; he would not fall under St Leon's ordinance.

Mr. Ewbank understood his other issue too. Since Mr. Hammond did not live in St. Leon why should he have to fall under their guidance? However,the State legislature created the law that wanted to extend their ordinances to have an economy of scale to have the people to tap into.

Mr. Hammond said the eyes of the world will come down on the county.

Bob Ewbank said that each of them will come to his court hearing & testify that they think it is a bad law and then they will say to him that the problem is that it is a law that legislates the change - not the Commissioners. He further explained that the judge will not sit and listen to the non relevant evidence; he will listen to the material evidence & focus on the issue, The issue being: Should those people who are within a 10 mile radius of that municipality have to force intothe system.

Tom Hammond brought up House Bill 1671. Their group has been working the ordinance issue and the law issue. As everyone knows, that many laws until they are challenged the people don't know whether they are good laws or not. House Bill 1671 is in the legislature & states that regional water, sewage and solid wastes districts prohibits regional sewage districts from requiring the owner of a property to connect to the district sewage system if the property is already connected to a sewer system approved by the state.

Mr. Ewbank suggested the following to Mr. Hammond:
Since he lived 10 miles within St. Leon, he needed to get that law changed on the 10 mile limitation.
Forced hookups - If Mr. Ewbank was in charge, he would not require the forced hookups. He thought it was a bad law.
The bottom line on the legal issue was - where was that letter.
Lastly, Mr. Ewbank said he was the attorney for the county that expressed the opinion on good legal grounds that the Dearborn County Commissioners can do nothing about that law. If Mr. Hammond wanted the County Commissioners to testify, they would testify. If he wanted the Commissioners individual opinions against forced hookups. the Commissioners are against forced hookups.

Jeff Hughes, President said when the regional sewer district was formed the Commissioners did not have the authority but the Commissioners did give the authority about everything that wasn't already under new municipal jurisdiction. If they want to increase the ten mile capacity from St. Leon, they have already been awarded that certain area. The regional district would have to work with that situation.

Conflict of Interest - Mr. Hammond stated his second issue was a conflict of interest issue surrounding the County Regional Sewer District. A big developer sits on the, sewer board and when he was appointed ....

Mr. Ewbank said that he was attacking the developer's character. If the Commissioners didn't want the developer on the sewer district. they can remove him.

Mr. Hammond attended a county council meeting recently & the developer was lobbying for expansion money and the developer has a business that would be a direct recipient of where the infrastructure went. It seemed like a conflict.

Jeff Hughes explained thet he would listen to his comments but the meetings should stay in the boundaries where business is conducted

Mr. Hammond said the board had the power that they could at least look into - what about the power of an individual sitting on the regional sewer district and he is not hooked up to sewers .

Mr. Ewbank stressed to Mr. Hammond that if he felt that a developer had done something wrong and engaged in some moral turpitude, then he must go to the Prosecutor. The county attorney did not think he had any grounds to go to the Prosecutor. In fact, he thought that Mr. Hammond was slandering the developer which was unfair. Mr. Ewbank added that Mr. Hammond had gone way beyond coming before the Commissioners to speak. If he came to the meeting to complain, then he should complain. But he should not go about attacking things that had nothing to do with the issue he presented.

Tom Hammond said he was complaining & asking the Commissioners to take notice. (He did net think he was slanderous.)

Mr. Ewbank asked Mr. Hammond to state specifically what the developer's moral turpitude was. What did the developer do that would be criminal in nature where it was a conflict of interest.

Mr. Hammond stated that the developer asked for County Council to present a favorable letter for 2.3 million dollars for the expansion of the St. Leon Sewer District.

Mr. Ewbank said that may have been the case but that was not moral turpitude. The developer was benefiting a lot of citizens up in that area with the people in the High Ridge Estates that needed sewers.

Mr. Hammond said that was the next conflict because the developer sits on the sewer board and the developer wasn't connected. In other areas of the county if someone wanted to get on the Advisory Board, they won't be able to because they aren't connected.

Mr. Ewbank said again Mr. Hammond was just - politicking. He was attacking an individual citizen.

Tom Hammond said he was saying the exact same thing that other citizens that have appeared before the board when they asked for the board's help.

Mr. Ewbank stated he did not. like the way Mr. Hammond was slandering people.
Mr. Hammond replied that he was not slandering anybody.

(At this time, Jeff Hughes told everyone to settle down and called the meeting back to order.)

Jeff Hughes, President said that Tom Hammond had a couple of questions.
1. The first was addressed because he was asking about the letter and the Co. Atty. told him that the board could give their individual opinions or go to court. All of the members on the Board of Commissioners have stated they do not agree with the forced sewer hookups. If the citizen has a functioning system that was not causing a health issue, then Mr. Hughes was in agreement.

2. Why did the municipalities have the right to go outside their incorporation? Mr, Hughes could not tell him why the State allowed that because he was not a State legislator. Did he think it was right? The Dearborn County Regional Sewer District now works with those (in other words anything they are not certified to have by the state then they have to go thru the county because of the regional county sewer district).

President Hughes did think that the High Ridge Estates was a problem.

Tom Hammond explained that one of the reasons he came before the board was to say that something just did not pass the smell test.

Conflict or Interest: Tom wanted to know why in one sewer district could people sit on a sewer board & be appointed & not be connected to the sewer board. Yet ten miles away when it might be convenient for a citizens to help solve some of their problems & some of the issues- that individual cannot sit on that sewer board. This is no only the same state but it is the same county, There is a conflict.

Mr. Hammond stressed they were no going away because they cannot go away. They have got a hook inside of them that is called a legal lawsuit; they cannot get away from it The only other thing their group could do is set there & take it or become a coalition of concerned citizens & bring attention the issue. It soils the reputation of Dearborn County & any companies wanting to come in &. settle here.

(At this time, Tom Hammond told Mr. Ewbank to keep in mind that there was freedom of speech.

Mr Bob Ewbank gave Tom Hammond a warning to be careful on what he said because anything he said could be held against him.)

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

7 January 2008 Lawrenceburg City Council Hears St. Leon Sewer District Plea for Money

7 January 2008 Lawrenceburg City Council Hears St. Leon Sewer District Plea for Money

Present: Bill Cunningham, Mayor, JR Holdcraft, Vice Mayor, Tony Abbott, Bill Bruner, Donnie Bryant, Mario Todd, Jackie Stutz, Clerk-treasurer, Joe Votaw, Attorney, and Tom Steidel, City, Manager.
Gene Hunefeld, Police Chief, and Mel Davis Utility Director, were also present.

John Watson, Attorney for St. Leon and the Sewer Board addressed Council and introduced: Chuck Hale, of the Sewer Board, Frank Leone, of EES the sewer operator/engineers, and Doug Farrow, of the Town Board of St. Leon.

He presented a letter and materials requesting financial assistance for the expansion of the St. Leon Sewer Plant located near SR46/SR52. The plant capacity is 300,000 gpd and has lines traversing SR1 down past Zimmer Road, along much of North Dearborn to Bright mad serves the elementary school, and along Whites Hill and part of Mount Pleasant. They estimate they are at 75% of capacity now. With the pending requests they are getting they need to expand. IDEM has given them approval to expand to a maximum of 1.1million gpd. They studied expansion and decided to go past 600,000 to about 740,000 gpd which will double plus a little extra what they currently have. St. Leon wants to build incrementally if they can so as not to go too far into debt. Cost is $4.68 million.

DCRSD (Dearborn County Regional Sewer District) requested to participate to get capacity and DCRSD participated in the study with about a 55/45 split to run lines where they need or want them. [NOTE: In the 2003 bond documents St. Leon ran 42,000 feet of line (more than 7 miles)]

Mario Todd: Did they identify areas to serve in the study?

John Watson: The TIF districts – in West Harrison and in St. Leon area by the interstate.

Frank Leone: Jim West wanted shovel ready sites so they needed sewer available to certify that it was shovel ready.

John Watson continued: There has been a draft interlocal agreement on the table with DCRSD for 9 months. DCRSD has some of their own issues and we can’t speak to that. DCRSD does support our plans and issued a letter that was to be delivered to Mayor Cunningham today. Watson gave them a copy of that letter that Frank Kramer wrote.

Mayor Cunningham: We are not in the sewer business. We could possibly finance this- you’d have to check with Tom Steidel (City Manager) for a loan. We have low interest loans.

John Watson: Mr. Steidel told us we should come to this board.

Mayor Cunningham: We wouldn’t make a decision tonight. We will try to do what we can for business and the local economy. I work with a Republican governor and I’m a Democrat Mayor. The governor wants jobs in the state. If everyone in the area would like to see this- we’ll do it. If there is opposition- well- we have enough problems in Lawrenceburg…

Tom Steidel: We continue to have costs on the by-pass after spending more than $1 million and we were dumped last year on that.

Mayor Cunningham: We need to listen to the people of St. Leon and the people here in the audience. We need a presentation agreeable to both parties.

John Watson: DCRSD is supportive; Council voted 4-3 to not fund DCRSD on this. I don’t know what the Commissioners think.

Mayor Cunningham: We want a deal that serves BOTH sides. We have no problem with a deal that guarantees a return of income to us. The northern part of the county – well the county has 50,000 people and it’s mostly Republican. I’m a Democrat. If you are seeing users then you will have a way to pay it off. We want a plan agreeable to everyone in the county. [NOTE: St. Leon ran lines and depended on forced hook-ups to pay it off. This proposal sounds like they are building ahead of their need again. With their policy of forced hook-ups, and with county residents having NO SAY in selecting people who determine where the lines go, this will be just more of the same problems we are currently seeing in that district. The increased capacity is not for industry alone- it is also for residential development requests.]

Ralph Thompson, Commissioner D-3: Council voted against $2.4 million for DCRSD to expand with St. Leon and Council voted 4-3 against DCRSD coming to you (L-bg) to ask for money. Council did approve some money to work out past Aurora. Council, Commissioners, and Commissioner’s attorney are on record as being against forced hook-ups. If the money is approved, we want it dedicated for TIF districts and not for additional Residential.

Mayor Cunningham: We are not going to give our money away. We have done 12-15 plans for assistance in sewers in the past.

Thom Hammond: I’m from Logan Township.

Jackie Stutz: Are you an attorney?

Thom Hammond: No. I have a respectable job. [Laughter]

A number of my neighbors are being sued to force hook-ups. We have no representation in St. Leon. We cannot vote there but we are subject to their ordinances. Connection fees are very high now- (over 10 times what the original fees were.) we need to mend and heal- we need to get the lawsuits dropped. I addition- I don’t think your loan can be guaranteed. The only way they can be paid is through other users. People want sewers in subdivisions, etc. We want the same deal the president of the sewer board gets (cost-wise.)

Mayor Cunningham: Your issues are with your officials and not the city of Lawrenceburg. Our loans are about 3% interest.

Tom Steidel: You would have the opportunity to review the agreement before it is put into place.

Thom Hammond: We could have others here give you their personal stories…

Cliff Eibeck: St. Leon wouldn’t listen to us even if we had the Good Lord standing behind us! Dorothy White owns the property adjoining the sewer plant and plans show a new pipe to run through her to Logan Creek. (Watson said he didn’t know about that) Eibeck went on to say that Mike Hall the surveyor was to call him to let him know about that problem.

Mayor Cunningham: stated again- that loans were available but they don’t want a problem. Bring a plan agreeable to both sides.

Discussion ended at 7:30 PM (45 minutes)

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Friday, January 04, 2008


St. Leon Sewers to be Topic at Lawrenceburg Council Meeting

John Watson- St. Leon Town Attorney and Sewer Board Attorney is on the Lawrenceburg City Council Agenda for Monday Jan 7.

His topic is St. Leon Sewers.

Lawrenceburg starts their meetings at 6 PM and runs straight through Parks, Board of Works, Utilities, and then Council. Their meeting room is at the City Building on Walnut Street.

Thursday, January 03, 2008


Journal Press editorial page this week contains two editorials worth discussing.
One is from Chet Wolgamot and the other is from the newspaper editor, Ericka Schmidt-Russell. Pick one up.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

2 January 2008 Dearborn County Commissioner Meeting Notes

2 January 2008 Dearborn County Commissioner Meeting Notes

Present: Hughes, Chairman, Fox, and Thompson

Also present: Pickens, Auditor, and Messmore, Administrator.

ABSENT: Ewbank, Attorney.

Uniformed police officer was present.

Hughes was reappointed as President again. He also serves as OKI rep, SE IN regional Planning Rep and on the Common Construction Wage Board.

Commissioners agreed to keep all their current duties on their boards.

Hughes re-read all the county officials and they are all considered to be reappointed:

Bryan Messmore- Administrator

Bob Ewbank- Attorney

Todd Listerman- Transportation/Highway Engineer and Director

Don Townsend- Building Inspector/Weights and Measures

Margaret Minzner - GIS Specialist

Cheryl Lohmiller- Animal Control Director

Bill Black- Emergency Management

Charlie Ashley- 911 Director

Eric Hartman- Maintenance Supervisor

Bill Ewbank- Veteran’s Services Officer

Messmore noted there are 37 Boards in the County though the Commissioners do not appoint all of them. They have 445 people on them and 100 of these are seated by Commissioners.

Board Appointments also made include some changes:

Convention and Visitor’s Bureau: for next 2 years- Ahmad Ahmad, Marilyn Bower, Dee Hacker, Steve Hedges, and Ellen Perfect.

DCRSD (Sewer Board) : Barry Pruss and Dave Enzweiler for 3 years

Animal Control: Dave Schneider for 2 years

Health Board: Dr Steve Eliason- for 4 years

County Farm Rep: Earl Dawson and Jerry Reamer for 3 years

Cemetery Board- Chris McHenry for an undetermined time (Commissioners were unsure of the term of this board)

Historic Hoosier Hills: Dan Stroup for 1 year

Alcoholic Beverage Board: Jim Dole for 1 year

Emergency Management Advisory: Barry Nanz, Sandy Leptak, Bige Couch, Ed Noel, Ed Gordon, Chris Roberts, and Mike Davis all for 4 years.

911 Communications Board: Dino Schmaltz and Gene Hunefeld for 4 years.

Plan Commission: Thompson was unable to get a second for his motion to reappoint DeMaynadier. No reasons given by Fox or Hughes on why they did not want to reappoint him.

Other candidates mentioned as having resumes for PC: Jane Ohlmansiek, Nicole Daily, Dennis Sparks, Eric Open (sp?), Rick Pope, and Mark Lehman.

Fox motioned for Mark Lehman and Thompson second . Approved for 4 years. [NOTE: Lehman’s resume shows a planning background and current employment with Fisher Homes in N KY.]

Fox said Beiersdorfer runs an Ag business out on Van Wedding Road and motioned for Russell Beiersdorfer and Hughes 2nd Approved for 4 years. [NOTE: Russell also is with Beiersdorfer’s Orchard along with his parents]

(Thompson would not second, as he had no resume on him. Hughes and Fox said they’d given the resumes to McCormack, Planning Director, and assumed Thompson would get it. Hughes later said he wanted the record to reflect that Thompson was unable to obtain the resume.) [NOTE: Milton Bradley has nothing on these guys when it comes to game playing. Why not just drop a copy onto Thompson’s desk? Why send it to the PZ Office and expect them to send it to Thompson? That is a time-consuming, circuitous route.]

BZA (Board of Zoning Appeals): Nicole Daily- for 4 years (Fox asked her if she’d do that board instead of PC- she said yes) [NOTE: This is a better choice than PC, as Daily frequently appears for applicants before the PC and would have had to step down often due to conflict of interest.]

PTBOA- (Tax appeals board): Fox and Hughes motioned and 2nd (Thompson voted NAY) for Vera Benning, Ken Madden, William Hartwell, Mark Neff, and Mary Booker. These are 1 year terms. Commissioners are checking to see if Joan Seitz will serve as alternate also as she is level 2 certified and only Mary Booker and Gary Hensley (the assessor) are out of the 5 on this board. There should be at least 2 level 2’s per the state regulations. Thompson wanted to have 3 total on this board to get into compliance with one to spare as the alternate. [NOTE: There appeared to be an issue with Benning as Thompson motioned to accept all the above except her for PTABOA. These positions are paid at $75 a meeting with meetings lasting nearly all day. Benning is also employed at the Administration Building as secretary for the DCRSD 3 days a week. PTABOA meets frequently due to the high volume of appeals after this taxation period.]

Pickens: had an old ordinance that needed signing from September and a new one that Commissioners approved on tax rebate checks. The county decided that no rebate checks would be sent to anyone who owed taxes. They were not sure if this needed to be advertised and Thompson suggested that they at least ask for public comment. Fox turned to Cliff Eibeck in the audience and asked him: “Cliff, do you object to us paying our bills?” Eibeck said: “Hell no!”

Pickens said he would check with the state as to whether it had to be advertised, and if it did, he would hold on the checks that he was planning to send in a week or so until Commissioners met again.

Pickens said that tax collection was Dec 10 and with the new software, all checks were out in less than 3 weeks. He said it was due to the OUTSTANDING WORK by the ladies in the treasurers and auditor’s offices. Pickens went on to say that after this last year- it is the only thing that went right.

Meeting adjourned at 7:15 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Do we have anarchy or a vaudeville show?

Do we have anarchy or a vaudeville show?

Dearborn county meetings show signs of both anarchy and vaudeville. As Captain Queeg of the Caine Mutiny said “I kid you not.”

The latter, vaudeville, was demonstrated the night that the Cincinnati TV station WCPO captured on film for all eternity the famous order shouted to the uniformed and armed police officer by a respected town father of St Leon, “ Throw him out before I knock him out.” For amusement and edification that film clip has made the rounds in places far distant from Dearborn County. Perhaps the shouter, Mr. Farrow, has become a media star.

As for the former we have the anomalous meeting during which Thom Hammond, who was on the agenda to plead his case was hectored by our County attorney. Even a piece of the Miranda Rights was quoted to Hammond. Was a commissioner or the county attorney about to order the uniformed police officer to arrest Hammond? Why else was a quote from the Miranda Rights made? Hammond was occasionally interrupted by Mr. Ewbank and finally shut down by our Honorable Commissioner Mr. Jeff Hughes. This is all disgusting. With Mr. Ewbank’ s legal schooling one would assume that he believes in a well ordered meeting without interrupting a citizen pleading his cause.

Clearly Roberts’ Rules of Order are not followed here in Dearborn County. A nice used copy of Robert’s Rules of Order can purchased from for all of 3.53 dollars each and a new copy might be 6.95 dollars. Perhaps the county council should authorize the purchase of two or three copies of this universally respected manual. It is a thin little book, almost as thin as a book that could be complied about the ways in which the DCEDI respects the ordinary taxpayers of Dearborn County. Once the authorized used copies arrive we can get one of our retired school teachers to slooowly, very slooowly read it to our officials. The retired teacher would be paid the conventional Vieste fee of 300 dollars an hour plus expenses.

Alan S Freemond, Sr.
Jackson Township