Wednesday, November 26, 2008

25 November 2008 Dearborn County Council Meeting Notes

25 November 2008 Dearborn County Council Meeting Notes

Present: Charlie Fehrman, Chairman, Maynard Barrott, Liz Morris, Bill Ullrich, Dennis Kraus, Dan Lansing, and Tom Cheek.

Pickens, Auditor and Messmore Administrator were also present, as was Commissioner Thompson and Commissioner –elect Orschell.

Fehrman announced that an executive session preceded the meeting and no decision was made there or was necessary at the meeting.

Dave Lusby- Sheriff- received approval for the ordinance adopting the accident report fee structure of $12 both online and in person at the Sheriff’s office. When online- $8 comes back to the county and $4 stays with the company performing the service.

Lusby reported that they also installed tempered glass in the courthouse lobby for safety and also will post staff pictures out there so people know who is serving them.

Sally Blankenship- Judge Superior Court 2- received approval to use moneys from public defender fees in Fund 178 to cover $1200 for a temporary office assistant.

Circuit Court received approval to move funds from item 305 to 125.

Commissioner’s requests for overtime and PERF computations were tabled. Discussed at executive session and need more info.

Surveyor's request for transmission approved for $1684.

Juvenile Detention- Tracy Abner- received approval to transfer a 300 line item to a 100 line item from contracted personnel to employee positions.

Coroner’s Autopsy request was tabled at Liz Morris’s request for more information on how they determine who gets autopsies.

Veteran’s Officer Bill Ewbank has had a rash of burials at $500 each plus some with $100 for markers. They approved $10,000 from county general and $12,500 out of Riverboat Revenue for $22,500 total to the end of the year.

Redevelopment – appointee was tabled.

Park Board received approval for Jim Redelk to fill a position on their board after Steve Walker, member, gave a detailed resume of his background. Jim Sutton had declined due ti not having enough time. Redelk is a member of Manchester Civic Ass’n, has experience in construction administration, budgets, technology, and is a youthful retiree with time to serve.

Aaron Negangard- Prosecutor- received approval for $2500 for office supplies. He also got approval to release $41,500 from Fund 17 the Prosecutor Diversion Funds ($80,000 is in that fund) for legal secretary, special deputy, computer equipment and special investigations.

Gayle Pennington- Treasurer- asked Council to reconsider a line item in her budget regarding her part time help. She has already streamlined the office and reduced employees. They will advertise in January for an additional $10,000 for part time help and consider it then.

Todd Listerman – Transportation Dept- answered questions and presented information regarding the shortage of state funding. He received approval for $535,300 for operating expenses on fuel, tools, tires, and maintenance. There is $1,246,703.36 left in RR 147 account. They usually get about $1.7 million per year. This is the paving fund- but has to be used partially this year for operations. Nearly $300,000 has been spent on fuel this year.
Salt and sand will be used this year. Depending on resources and weather, we may run out f salt. Total allotted is $300,000.

Request to re-fill 2 of 3 openings in hwy was reduced to 1 plus one seasonal.

DCRSD- High Ridge Estates fix- presented by Brett Fehrman, Steve Renihan, and supported by Tom Quinn, engineer, and Doug Baer, Health Dept. Council questioned Fehrman thoroughly on the uses of this money and the parameters by which it will be dispensed. They also asked if it was a loan- (yes- they intend to try to pay it back- but there were no criteria or agreements laid out to insure that the taxpayer’s money is repaid)

The bid estimate to fix High Ridge was estimated by Quinn at $361,500 including $22,000 for application fees, etc. to get through IDEM approval. Total capacity is 54 units- though only 23 are built on the sub’n at this time. The plant is capable of serial expansion. They are thinking of fixing the lagoon by pumping it through the plant and cleaning it up that way. (There is some concern that this would harm the plant)

People living there will have $4500 maintenance fees and new ones will be $6500. The customer base has to support the plant. Some people will elect to pay their $4500 over the 25-year time period allotted. DCRSD will handle the billing and Dillsboro will calculate the water usage. They may contract with Dillsboro to add it to the water bill.

Renihan stood up and declared his confidence that these numbers were good.

Fehrman said they needed the dollars in hand to proceed and justify their expenses getting it in place and approved. Renihan stated their attorney advised they leave the old lagoon in Draper’s ownership. Draper did donate the land for the plant.

Renihan told Charlie Fehrman they hoped to pay back the county with their up front fees. They don’t want the county residents to think the county will fix their problems for free.

Brett Fehrman indicated their other grants etc didn’t materialize and isn’t sure if IDEM will tell them they have to fix other problems also in the area.

Thompson asked if $100,000 was still in their account. Fehrman said this $361,500 is in addition to that- total cost is closer to $462,000. Thompson said they could get IDEM approval using $22,000 of that $100,000 they already have and then Council fund the rest for less risk perhaps.

Cheek and Kraus motioned to approve the $361,500 contingent that if IDEM does NOT approve it comes back to the county fund 175 and they would have to get reauthorization to approve it later. All ayes. Passed.

911 Dept- received what sounded like $6440.00 that wasn’t available at budget. (Number unclear)

Binding and non-binding budget approvals were signed pursuant to HB 1001 regulations. Salary ordinances for 1008 and 1009 were signed.

DCRSD received $15,208 to balance their budget from fund 175 for the year’s end. (bond issues)

Pickens’s copier is going to the Veteran’s office and his new one was approved at $8,000.

Charlie Fehrman thanked all of the board for the privilege of working with them.

Tom Cheek gave a public thank you to Judge Witte for his many years of service to the county.

Meeting adjourned at 9:55 PM.

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

24 November 2008 Dearborn County Plan Commission Meeting Notes

24 November 2008 Dearborn County Plan Commission Meeting Notes

I did not attend this meeting, so this brief summary is from information given by PZ staff.

All members were in attendance. McGill , Attorney, was absent.

The members discussed and then tabled all the items on the agenda for the proposed ordinance changes. One item that had conflicting viewpoints was the digitizing of the surveyor’s stamp. There were security concerns about that plus concern that some surveyors may not have the ability to digitize their records yet.

The meeting adjourned about 8:15 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

18 November 2008 Dearborn County Commissioners Meeting Notes

Present: Hughes, Thompson, and Fox (arrived at 6:50 PM)
Also present: Ewbank, Pickens, and Messmore
A uniformed sheriff’s dept officer was present.
Commissioner elect Orschell was present.

An executive session preceded this meeting.
Commissioners authorized Ralph Thompson as a representative of the county to take necessary and appropriate actions regarding the Animal Control issues and report back to the board about it.

Bill Black- EMA received approval for the Multi-hazard mitigation plan which is reviewed annually.

Mark McCormack- outlined the issues in Article 20 sections 2015,2060, and 2080 of the zoning ordinance revisions regarding signage requirements. He also outlined Article 3 sections 305N, 305O, and 305X of the Subdivision Control Ordinance on dead end streets. These were both voted favorable unanimously from the Sept Plan Commission meeting.

Hughes questioned the 1200 ft cul-de-sac length again (which is existing text that was made less strict 4 years ago) and also the emergency accesses. He wanted the fire depts. to weigh in on them, even though they were suggested, and not required, options. Fox said these were “no brainers.”

All were approved separately with Hughes voting Nay for the emergency access one.

Dennis Kraus Jr. presented the dedication of the Bittner Rd cul de sac for Werners, but no decision could be made- as it wasn’t advertised. This was tabled till Dec meeting.

Todd Listerman- Transportation Director- gave a 13 minute report. He has reviewed the Bittner Rd cul-de-sac and wanted Commissioners to know it was OK as he would NOT be present at the Dec 1st meeting.

Burke Benning Road was accepted into the highway inventory- it is a 12-ft wide gravel road that is .51 miles long. This road replaced Old Pruss Road which is in disrepair. It allows access to land locked pieces. Ownerships had changed in this process- lengthening the time it took to get it settled. Fox said this was also a “no-brainer” compared to the cost of fixing the old road.
FEMA inspected and signed off on storm debris removal costs of $128,058.29 and will pay 75% which is just over $96,000 of this.

Bells Branch Bridge will be let this week.

There is only one consultant bidding on the ITS system (cameras and Artemis) for I-275 section and US 50. There is 100% funding of this from the Feds. This money might revert back if we don’t use it. INDOT still looking at this.

Pickens – Claims and minutes approved. Employee 2009 Holiday schedule approved. 2009 Commissioners meetings will be 1st and 3rd Tues at 7 PM after Jan 1.

Bryan Messmore- Administrator- US 50 Collaborative meets this THURS at 2 PM in the L-bg Library Depot Room.

The Children’s Advocacy Center will be delayed 6 months at least due to scoring on the county application. They will revise this for the next set of grants and submit again in January- for possible approval in March.

Bob Ewbank- Attorney- got approval for the ordinance establishing a VOLUNTARY deferred compensation plan for the sheriff’s dept. No one seemed to know why they have something different that the rest of the county. Auditor needs this to allow withholding from paychecks.

They also approved a revenue sharing agreement and ordinance allowing the sheriff’s dept to charge a fee for crash reports. They can be obtained online now for $12 with $8 reverting to the sheriff’s fund.

Thompson reported that the HWY Dept helped with clean-up of the Old Mt Tabor Church cemetery on US 50. He has been helping with these issues.

Hughes- MONDAY DEC 1st is next meeting- due to the Commissioners Conference that week.

Meeting adjourned at 7:50 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


This editorial appeared in the Journal Press this week.

Will Rogers once noted that he didn't need to make up material but merely reportedwhat politicians said and did--the rest of the country found it hilarious.

The Chair of the Dearborn County Republican Party verbally attacked me in front of witnesses when I was at the polls to vote on Tuesday, November 4. He accused me of being "rude and unethical" in revealing the dynamics of party politics in the letter published in The Journal Press on October 28. I felt like laughing in his face, but he childishly walked away saying, "I don't want to listen to you."

This isn't unusual because the committees that control both parties in this county don't really want to listen to anyone except themselves. This was a ludicrous sight: the Little Boss of the party walking away like a kid who lost his sucker who was going to pout about it. What came to my mind was, "Oh, grow up. Stop acting like a silly fool andbe the chair you're pretending to be." His wife looked as embarrassed as I was at this usually stable man acting like an oaf.

Remember, this guy runs the same ‘ethical’ party that colluded with the Democratic Party to put up a Republican in Democratic clothes to run against the man the Republican Party faithful voted to represent them in the primary. The Republican committee stabbed the Republicans in the county in the back by refusing to promote the candidate that the Republican regulars had chosen. Apparently, the Little Bosses judged the people of the Republican Party in the county to be fools and nincompoops because they had not picked the Little Bosses' choice.

Like any politicians in this county, these small-minded Bosses supposedly derive "their just powers from the consent of the governed." In Dearborn County, however, our Little Bosses apparently derive their power from the consent of the moneyed interests whom they serve and of their own avaricious appetites.

In their connivance in this, the county’s ineffectual Democratic Party lost any credibility among Democratic regulars--this was no big deal since the Party committee had limited value in the races of the Democrats in this election .

On Thursday, October 30, The Register published a letter explaining that those of us who want the future of Dearborn County to be something worth handing on to our grandchildren are an "anti-everything group who oppose everything." This was written by the so-called Democratic candidate for commission who received money and support from both the Republican and Democratic party when he ran against the Republican primary winner. This Republican shill seems to work for whoever makes the best offer--sounds like a practice that's illegal between men and women in Dearborn County.

So, the petty Bosses are alive and well in Dearborn County in at least one of the parties. We should not be foolish enough to think they represent our interests. Theyhave clearly demonstrated that their only priority is their own greed and the manipulation or destruction of what the people of the county want if that stands in the way of their self-aggrandizement and power.

Bob Sauerbrey
Miller Township

Monday, November 10, 2008

Aurora to Consider Annexation for 7 acres Along SR148

The annexation for a 64 unit complex comes up for consideration at the Aurora City Council's next meeting, which will be 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 17, at Aurora City Hall, 235 Main St.
The property, just over 7 acres, is located off Ind. 148, Sunnyside Avenue, and adjacent to Woodlawn Avenue and Dinah Drive.
Owners Tom Kent and Emmert Leffler are asking the city to annex the site as R-3, multiple family, zoning.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

5 November 2008 Dearborn County Commissioner Meeting Notes

Present: Hughes and Thompson

Fox ABSENT- Hughes said Fox was working.

Ewbank, Pickens and Messmore were also present. Commissioner –elect Tom Orschell was present.

No uniformed police officer was present.

There was a group of boy scouts in attendance. No one addressed them during the meeting, though Ewbank answered their questions after the meeting closed.

Bill Black – EMA- gave a summary of the Multi-hazard mitigation plan that he said every county is supposed to have. Groups of county agency reps and departments took part in making up the plan. They addressed needs and goals and education for the community. Black said this does not obligate the county monetarily. Thompson asked for time line- and Black said ASAP. Thompson motioned to table it for two weeks to complete his reading of the documents. Hughes 2nd. Tabled.

November 16-22 was proclaimed as Winter Weather Preparedness Week.

Storm damage will be reimbursed at 75% and Listerman said Highway has about 100,000 to submit on this. They are taking part in a pilot program that doesn’t require overtime only- they can be reimbursed for straight time labor on this clean up as well.

Todd Listerman- Transportation director- gave a 24 minute report:
1. Meeting with area case workers on storm debris cleanup

2. Accepted Williams retreat Road - .22 miles off Bischoff Rd. Some of the 7 lots are sold- no homes yet.

3. Consultant on the Artemis project proceeding.

4. Millings placed on Schantz and Rumsey and chip seal completed on both.

5. Chesterville Bridge open- some minor work remains this month.

6. Holt Road dry ford design contract with Heritage Engineering Jeffersonville. Construction is in-house and they will build it to the 50 year flood limit.

7. Bridge Foreman had minor surgery- will affect the bridge work schedule.

8. One employee left for health reasons, and Tom Orschell gave two weeks notice as he will be commissioner. Listerman requested permission to go to Council to seek approval to fill those two spots.

9. Pickens wanted spots not filled to save some money by losing some positions due to attrition. Listerman was seeking permission to go to Council to obtain 535,000 for next year to pay bills on operating expenses. He has 1,246,000 in the 172 account. Pickens didn’t think he had to get permission for this one. Listerman wanted to be safe. OK’d to go to Council

10. 146 RR account had $60,000 for HWY operations and Listerman says $43,000 is left that he needs for fuel and oil till Jan 1. To date $175,000 has been spent on fuel. Pickens said they only have to go to Council for the $1.4 million on bituminous paving.

11. Trucks will be going home with drivers for winter readiness soon.

Claims and minutes signed.

Messmore- NOTHING- unless there are questions on ongoing activities. There were none.

Ewbank- no new suits.

Thompson- Congratulated Hughes and Commissioner –elect Orschell on their successful election bid for 2009.

Meeting adjourned at 7:20 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Dearborn County Local Contested Race Election Results

Dearborn County Local Contested Race Election Results
For more state results see The Register website at

There were 4,858 Straight Republican voters and 2,495 Straight Democrat voters.
A total of 22,710 votes were cast in Dearborn County today for a 60.55% turnout.

Dearborn County Commissioner District 1
Jeff Hughes 10,715
Doug Taylor 10,350

Dearborn County Commissioner District 2
Tom Orschell 10,848
Richard Fox 10,041

Dearborn County Council At-Large (pick three)
Bill Ullrich 13,504
Maynard Barrett 11,727
Charlie Fehrman 11,660

Philip Darling 10,006

Dearborn Superior Court No. 1 Judge
Jonathan Cleary 15,727
Barbara Wyly 6,002

Sunday, November 02, 2008

New information has been added to the Citizens for Dearborn County, a registered Political Action Committee (PAC), website.

Citizens for Dearborn County is a registered Political Action Committee (PAC) formed by a group of your concerned friends and neighbors for the primary purpose of promoting ethical and open government in Dearborn County. While events and circumstances at the national level are important, local government decisions have the most immediate and direct impact on our daily lives.

Citizens for Dearborn County seeks to identify the important local government issues and provide you with a non-partisan, objective explanation and analysis. We attempt to determine how candidates will serve citizens' needs by evaluating their past performances and/or service to the community. The goal is to provide you with the information you need to make informed decisions on local issues and candidate qualifications for the upcoming elections on November 4th. Visit our website for more information.

Citizens for Dearborn County
Mark Hall, Treasurer