Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Dearborn County Animal Control Meeting Minutes 30 June 2009

Dearborn County Animal Control Meeting June 30, 2009

Members Present
Steve Hubbard, DVM, President
Sandy Carley, Vice President
Penny Schroder, Secretary
Bill Ullrich
Ralph Thompson
J. R. Holdcraft
Robbin Pelfrey
Doug Taylor
David Schneider

Two visitors, John D. Gay, County Attorney pro tem, and Cary Pickens, County Auditor, were in attendance at the meeting.

The meeting was called to order at 7:33 P.M.

The minutes from the previous meeting, April 9, 2009, were approved and the approval sheet was signed.

Steve said the main item on the agenda was to clarify the responsibilities of the Animal Control Board. Penny had a handout of the county ordinance, Chapter 90.50 which was the section of the ordinance in question.

Mr. Gay said he didn’t know exactly what the Board was looking for, and stated that it wasn’t the best written ordinance he had ever seen, but it seems to him that the ACB has several functions. The only part of the chapter with any autonomy is the first two sections of paragraph A which states (1) Establish rules and regulations concerning the operation of the Animal Shelter; (2) Establish standards for the humane treatment and control of domestic animals in the county. Everything else here is recommendations to the County Commissioners who actually employ and are responsible for the operation of the “dog shelter”.

Mr. Gay said that Chapter 90.50, (A) (7), makes it clear that the ACB is an advisory committee. He said the control of the shelter rests with the County Commissioners.

None of the ACB members had a copy of 90.50, (A) (7). Ralph said the ordinance had to be approved by the commissioners. Robbin said the copy she had was reviewed by then county attorney, Lisa deHart Lehner and approved by the commissioners. At that time Karen Shell was the county commissioner who sat on the ACB. Cary asked if anyone had a signed copy of the ordinance.

Penny said that although many county departments didn’t have current copies of the ordinance, the question at hand was to address Chapter 90.50, (A) (1) – (3) which appears to be the same in all copies of the ordinance.

Mr. Gay read his copy of Chapter 90.50, (A) (7). The intent of this chapter is that the Animal Control Commission is to be an advisory body to formulate and adopt policies for the humane treatment of domestic animals in the county. His copy is dated April 5, 2004.

Ralph said that the ACB is to work with the commissioners, not the shelter.

Cary asked, do you want me to just do my (rules?) in this real quick? I’m in this because I’m the Auditor and the EEO coordinator, and we had a potential sexual harassment, hostile work environment filed. As soon as that happens it triggers an automatic investigation. It went through and cost the county 8500 bucks. I think it was some “B.S.” stuff that could have been talked out. So the reason I’m out there is to make sure this doesn’t happen again. And I’m out there trying to be a team builder, trying to get the folks to write a mission statement of what that animal control board and that facility are really there for. And then when they’re done with that I want them to write a mission statement as to where they want to be in six months. How they actually want to run that thing and the means to get it done. I’m also going to put together a chart to line out a chain of command. That being the fulltime employ takes it to the Director and the Director takes it to the Commissioners. The Commissioners can ask the advice of the ACB. “There should be no communication between the animal shelter and the ACB because they don’t have a damn thing to say about it.”

Robbin asked why we have a board. Cary said to advise the Commissioners. Cary said “I don’t know crap about animal control board, and I’m just out there in the
(south ward?) just trying to learn what’s going on.” Cary said he’s trying to find out what’s going on out there.

Penny asked if the ACB had been going in the wrong direction all of these years. Bill said it wasn’t the wrong direction , but a lack of specific direction and everybody has been acting in good faith to get the job done. Numerous times it’s lack of communication with the proper people to be communicated with and as far as the county employees they’re under the umbrella of the Commissioners and it’s the Council’s responsibility to get them funded, and that’s the extent of it. Beyond that, and thank God for the volunteer help, which includes the P.A.W.S. members right here on this board helping out and providing suggestions for direction which is great. We need that to continue. It was a matter of who do I turn to and who do I talk to. Ralph said what gets me is he said, she said, and no body said. There are too many chiefs and too few Indians.

Sandy said there are always two sides to every story. Cary said what he wants to get through to the employees out there is some communication skills so that when they’re told something to do, to get feedback, not just walk away. There is still the question of what still needs to be done. It’s another team building tool to try to get some coherency out there instead of back biting every damn time you turn around. When you walk in out there it’s cold as hell. There’s people not talking and whatever.

Steve had a question for the attorney. One night after hours, he encountered two (shelter) county employees who were waiting on a friend. We had just hired a new shelter director. I walked over and said, hey, how are things going? How’s the new director doing? They looked at me and said we can’t talk to you. We were told that if we discuss director or her job there will be serious retribution. And they were scared s-------, both of them. They were told in a meeting by the Director if they talked to anyone there would be serious retribution. Now what’s that mean to you?

Ralph said first off that’s a lie. I was in that meeting and that’s not what was said. Mr. Gay said I think people are afraid to talk; I think communication….. In order to do a job, you need to be informed about what’s going on. You can’t make decisions in a vacuum. At the same time, Ralph can’t sit here and make a decision for the County Commissioners. No one of you acting alone can make a decision for the ACB. Whatever decisions you make should run to the County Commissioners for approval. They’re the ones who hire, the county’s the one who pay the employees out there. They’re the ones who are ultimately responsible for the performance of their job and how they do their duties. It is my opinion to restrict someone’s freedom of speech to give their opinion on the performance of someone. But I don’t know if it’s the correct way to address the situation. But, there again, you’re trying to find out facts about what’s going on and how you address an issue, if there is an issue. Too many court rooms have heard too many stories about the same event and it sounds totally different I hate to sit here and say based on these guy’s reactions to your innocent question what took place at that meeting. They may have been half listening, they may have heard part of it and they have gotten somebody else’s report of it.

Cary said, Steve, on that one, I’m just going to divulge some of the stuff that went on at those interviews, there were some folks who were threatened by her, and some folks who didn’t take it as a threat at all. So, it’s a mixed audience again. Some folks perceived it as a threat, some folks nothing. In other words, if you’ve got a complaint, take it to the boss.

Steve said, well, that’s the problem. Cary said, well, you’re beating a dead horse because that situation has been removed from the shelter; that’s past history. We’re trying to get things going so we can have a smooth running machine out there.

Robbin said, Cary, we had a smooth operation out there…Cary interrupted with, how many directors have you had out there in the past six years; it’s not a smooth operation. Robbin said Cheryl was there for five years before she got burned out. But now, we’ve hit a brick wall.

Steve said it is the past, but unfortunately, some people don’t feel that way. Ann Averil, the past director, went back to the shelter the day after she was given the opportunity to resign, rather than be terminated, and asked some of the employees to recant their statements.

Steve said to Ralph that whatever your relationship was to Annie or Ann, whatever you want to call her, there has been a sincere feeling among a lot of people that because of her termination that now there is retribution. For a lack of better words, that someone is going to pay for this. Cary said, and that’s why I’m out there, Steve. “I’m not out there to crucify anybody, I’m just out there to get the damn thing straightened out. If I have to play hardball once in a while, hey, I’ll do it. I’m not out there with that intent to do that.”

Steve said to Cary, what people basically feel is that they need protection from the commissioner (Ralph). That they feel threatened by him. People went to H.R. because they didn’t feel comfortable going to him because Ann told them she could do anything she wanted because Ralph gave her permission to do anything she wanted. When someone didn’t do what she wanted, there was hell to pay. Someone told me that they had a discussion with the commissioner (Ralph), and sixteen days later they were written up based on this discussion. Ralph said he didn’t know what it was and he didn’t see the write up.

Mr. Gay said they were loosing sight of one thing; “that anyone who said anything about how insulated this director was from her inappropriate activities and the commissioner (Ralph) were obviously not true. She’s gone.” Also if anyone feels that retribution is being imposed upon them, they should also be looking at their activities, and is their behavior appropriate. There’s got to be a director hired at some time that isn’t subjective to internal strife.

Penny said that before Ann was hired, there was progress at the shelter. Everyone was working together as a team. Many improvements were made. As soon as Ann was asked to resign, things have been moving backwards. Many bad feelings exist, and we don’t want that. Before Ann, policies and procedures were put in place, and they were working to everyone’s benefit, including the animals. All the ACB wants is to continue with these practices. Cary said that was fine, but it then needed to be presented to the commissioners at a public meeting for approval. Once the commissioners approve any, or all, of the recommendation, they should take it to the Shelter Director for implementation. Penny said that no commissioner had ever told the ACB that they were handling their responsibilities incorrectly.

Sandy said that sometimes people who have an animal issue with the shelter are referred by the shelter to attend an ACB meeting for a hearing. Is this right or wrong? Mr. Gay said that if it concerns animal control policy, it’s okay. Bill said that the matter is usually the correct interpretation of an ordinance. The ACB hears the person’s concerns and explains the ordinance that pertains to them. Mr. Gay said that is how issues of this kind should be resolved. However, if the ordinance really doesn’t fit the situation, then a recommendation should be made to take it to the commissioners at a public meeting.

Penny asked if the policies and procedures that the ACB has previously passed should now go to the commissioners for approval. Mr. Gay said yes.

Cary said it was the fault of the commissioners for not handling this situation sooner. Ralph said he had told this board many times that they were an advisory board only. Bill confirmed this. Penny said everyone heard the statement many times. Bill said that what the ACB did worked because nobody said anything different. It’s a tough adjustment. Penny said it’s not tough; it’s just that no one ever took the time to say anything.

Bill said it was hoped that by hiring Ann Averil, who had no previous interaction with the shelter, the operation of the shelter would progress. “Instead of making things better, it made things a hell of a lot worse.”

Penny asked if the ACB could still review applications for the position of Animal Control Director, and make recommendations to the commissioners as it states in the ordinance. Cary said the commissioners have the final decision. Penny said what she asked was could the ACB still do this. Cary said yes.
Cary said that in listening to the testimony that was made against the last director; he thinks if you hire somebody who is working there right now, you’ll be right back in the same situation in a month or two, because there’s hostility between all of the folks at that facility. Don’t even consider anyone who has an application who works there now. Find somebody stone cold new and go from there.

Sandy reminded everyone that previously David had suggested getting into the pool of qualified people at other facilities and animal welfare organizations.

David said that he is the newest ACB member, and asked, what have we been doing that is outside of policy? He said we discuss and pass policy and procedure that is then passed on to the other commissioners by Ralph who is a commissioner and a member of the ACB. David said he thought all along that the commissioner sitting on the ACB was doing this. Cary said an ACB representative needs to go before the commissioners at a public meeting.

David said it’s not like we’re moving mountains here; what we’re doing is relatively simple. David said he understands that we’re an advisory board, but everyone here is passionate and dedicated about what we’re doing or we wouldn’t be here. However, when you’re told over and over (by Ralph) that I’m the boss and I make the decisions; it’s not going to happen unless it happens through me, it’s belittling. David said he is here only because of his love for animals; no political gain. He said he cares about the shelter. He wants to see it become and operate like a finely tuned machine. He thinks if everyone involved, ACB, commissioners, county, stay on course, it can be achieved. Before this most recent situation, everything was moving forward.

Doug said he thinks the ACB and the commissioners need to move ahead with their duties as they are stated. Penny said she agrees but is dismayed because the county has never before taken the time to recognize that any of them even exist.

Mr. Gay said he thinks it was the intention of the commissioners to hand off as much of the responsibility as possible to the ACB. The commissioners meet twice a month and they’re busy; they work a lot of hours outside of those meetings. They don’t want to spend their time with animal control matters. Cary said he thinks someone from the ACB should attend all commissioners’ meetings to make sure issues are being stated and handled as the ACB intended.

Mr. Gay thinks Ralph was also happy with the way the ACB and the shelter were operating, and that he moved back in to take control reluctantly. Penny said everyone was satisfied with the progress being made, but now progress has digressed. Cary said it’s time to move forward; it’s past history. Penny said it’s absolutely past history. We want to move forward too.

Ralph said moving forward is recognizing what the shelter management is now. There are multiple people going out and giving direction and moving money around the shelter accounts illegally. Sandy asked Ralph to explain. Ralph said there is no person on this board who can unilaterally move money from account to account. Robbin said she did not move any money. She said she called Jessica because there was budget money left and brought to her attention that that money had been coded wrong. Robbin was told she was correct and it would be taken care of. Ralph said Jessica wasn’t permitted to do that either. Ralph said he should have been contacted and he would have directed the matter to council. Bill said that would have taken forever. Penny said that we weren’t aware of all of this until tonight and it’s all in the past and over. Cary said he had given Jessica permission to make those transfers, but tonight the buck stops here.

Bill said it was the logical thing to do at the time. Sandy reminded everyone that Robbin has helped prepare the shelter budget several times, and she is very knowledgeable of the accounts. Sandy said Robbin helped Cheryl prepare the 2007 and 2008 budgets. They were brought to the ACB for discussion and Steve Hubbard presented one of the budgets to council. Again, it’s in the past.

Ralph said in the past colleagues were good about bring things to him, but now some are going around him in retaliation. Several people have basically told him they will not do what they have been told to do. They have been written up for insubordination. Sandy said Lisa Harrison has done that in the past; was it her. Ralph said it wasn’t her and he wouldn’t mention any names.

Steve said our job isn’t to tell shelter employees what to do. Ralph said correct. But at the same time, you talk about the chain of command. We were told that if one of us were to go to the shelter and give an employ direction on what to do, they were to call the Sheriff. Cary said that is not true. They will be asked to leave; if they become hostile the sheriff is to be called. That is to be done as a last resort. Steve said he can’t see anyone going out there doing that. He thinks it’s strange that the shelter employees would even be told something like that. Ralph said someone had commented on a shelter situation to a shelter employee and that employee felt threatened. Bill said that person realized it was out of line and apologized to the employee. Mr. Gay said all direction should come from the Shelter Director or the Commissioners.

David said he doesn’t want this advisory board to feel belittled because of their efforts. We’re here voluntarily. He thinks Steve’s question was an honest, legitimate one. Before Ann was hired, he visited the shelter for fifteen minutes. He was bombarded with complaints and comments from shelter employees. He told them he was only there to visit. He wants to see the shelter improve as everyone else does. He doesn’t want to see all the ACB has done be in vain. As far as he is concerned, progress has been made through the ACB.

Steve asked for the shelter update. Ralph said that he had given Steve and Sandy copies of the new shelter plans and, as of yet, hadn’t heard back from either of them. Anyone else who would like a copy should let him know. The Commissioners have reviewed the plans. They have approved a 95% plan. This excludes electrical and mechanical which has been rejected. Ralph has been working with the Park Board concerning a variance, and plans to go before the BZA on July 15th. We had hoped to break ground in June, obviously, that isn’t going to happen. He had discussed with Sandy that if it was necessary to relocate, it would cost about $2000.00. He is trying to keep P.A.W.S. from paying an additional $2000.00. There is also a farm lease on the land until 2010. He thinks they are close to a resolution on that. It concerns thirty feet of fence. They are trying to have the Park Board release it to the new shelter project.

Sandy confirmed with Ralph that this is a perimeter fence, and should not interfere with the biding process. Ralph said that is correct. Ralph said the farmer who has the farm lease has crops growing on the land, but he thinks a solution is close. Any final comments on the plans need to be directed to him or one of the other commissioners. The bid date is set for August 3, 2009 at 3:00 P.M. The probable award date would be August 17, 2009. Bid notification will be July 15, 2009.

Sandy said the farmer involved had called her. She didn’t know how he got her number, but she directed him to Art Wentzel. The farmer called her back and said things were being worked out.

Sandy asked, based on the Resolution that was prepared and signed last year, when will the ACB become involved. Ralph said you have drawings to review, and he tried to discuss the drawings with Becky, but she was unavailable. The ACB is supposed to review the drawings and make comments. Ralph said he got the impression that the ACB wasn’t interested in seeing the drawings so he gave copies to Steve and Sandy. Ralph said if anyone else wants the drawings, he will have them made.

Sandy asked how involved it was that the mechanical and electrical drawings had not yet been approved. Ralph said his set of the drawings didn’t include the heating and cooling, electrical, and mechanical. Insulation and ventilation were not adequate on his drawings. It is now in compliance with Indiana code.

Sandy said she is concerned that the changes and additions will result in higher construction costs; a hard figure for cost isn’t yet available. Ralph said he asked for an estimate, but was told they couldn’t yet give him one. Sandy said a lot of bids will probably be received. Ralph agreed that the present economy should play a part.

Ralph said the remainder of P.A.W.S.’s money would need to be turned over when it goes out for bid. Sandy said she needed a more accurate figure. Ralph said when the bids come in a better figure will be available. On August 3rd, there will be hard figures.
On this day there will be a public meeting to open the bids. Sandy asked Cary if he would have a part in the bid process; he said no, he will just be a bean counter. Also, August 18th is just a tentative date for awarding a bid. Cary said all of the bids could be rejected on August 18th. Ralph said from what he has been seeing, bids are coming in lower than in the past.

John Gay and Cary Pickens left the meeting.

Steve left the meeting for a few minutes so Sandy continued on with the presiding of the meeting.

There was no end of the month shelter report because we were still in the month in question.

Sandy asked for any old business. Penny asked about the SPOT training that Tara Rogers attended. There was shelter procedure that was to be adopted based on this training and the ACB was supposed to get a report on this. Ralph said the chain of command is to be followed. Tara just presented him with the report. Penny asked if someone would give this report to the ACB at the next meeting on August 13th. Ralph said he would give the report.

Ralph said there have been a few times that employees have been asked to do things and they have refused to do them. They have been told they will be written up if they don’t comply. Penny just wanted to confirm that the report would be given at the next meeting so that it could be discussed, and then recommendations made to the commissioners for approval.

Penny asked Ralph to explain the email he had sent to the ACB concerning Greendale’s ordinance. Ralph said Greendale has its own animal control ordinance. Because of that the county doesn’t have the authority to handle this type of situation in Greendale. Greendale has passed a resolution to allow the county to enforce the County Ordinance in Greendale. This is currently being enforced through a verbal agreement with Doug Hedrick, Mayor of Greendale.

Sandy asked for the status of the grant request to Dearborn Community Foundation for shelter vehicles. Ralph said the deadline was missed. Ralph said he still had all of the paperwork and would try to meet the next deadline.

Sandy said the next two things that had been discussed were Pet Point and adoption fees. Ralph said the information on Pet Point was incomplete. The contract was sent out, but it turned out to be more complicated than originally thought. It needs to be looked at again. Ralph said he has sent out surveys to rescues about raising pulls, not adoptions but pulls. Adoption fees do need to be increased because we’re lower than anywhere else. Sandy reminded everyone of the handout she had given to everyone a couple of meetings ago. It shows all of the surrounding shelters’ fees. A decision needs to be made soon because after the ACB makes a decision, it needs to proceed as a change to the ordinance, and then follow those channels.

Steve returned to the meeting. Sandy told him we had moved on in his absence.

Steve asked what Becky Foster’s status was; is she back to work? Yes, but not as before; currently she is only working on rescues. Ralph said there was some misunderstanding on the last Rescue Waggin rescue. Ralph was told by Marlene of the Rescue Waggin that Tara could handle it, but then got back with him saying that only Becky Foster was trained to handle the process. Ralph said they have moved forward to make it happen.

Sandy said she has heard that it is being said that P.A.W.S. is overstepping their boundaries. She said she wants everyone to understand that P.A.W.S. came into the picture years ago when the county shelter was getting very bad press about euthanizing 1400 animals in a years’ time. Robbin was the founder of P.A.W.S. With the help of P.A.W.S. through the years the euthanasia rate has dropped drastically, and they pay for the shelter animals’ medical needs and spays and neuters. See the handout.

Sandy said that P.A.W.S. volunteers have given countless hours and monies to help the county animals. Also the community has entrusted P.A.W.S. with their money to continue these practices and to build a new shelter. Bill said he didn’t think anyone here would argue that point. Sandy said she just wanted everyone to know what P.A.W.S. does and will continue to do.

David said that he and Ralph had attempted to arrange some training for the shelter employees through a program headed by Sheriff Lusby, but due to bad timing it wasn’t able to happen; the schedule wouldn’t accommodate it. This is something that can come about in the future, and should be pursued for the shelter employees. David said he also hoped we could get back to addressing the need for uniforms for employees.

Ralph said they have already gone through the money budgeted for food and supplies as of May. He is trying to estimate budget costs for 2010 with the new shelter also in mind. He said the county can’t afford to feed a new shelter filled with animals.

The ACB needs to proceed with finding a new director. New avenues should be searched in order to find those best qualified for the position. Ralph reminded everyone again that the ACB could only recommend someone to the commissioners; the commissioners make the final decision.

Penny asked if the commissioners had to give approval for the ACB to make a request for applications for the shelter director’s job. Ralph said no. We should make a list of avenues to pursue for this position.

David said when the ACO’s complete the training mentioned above; a fund needs to be established so that the citations they write will be directed to that fund.

Sandy made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Bill seconded the motion and all were in favor. The meeting was adjourned at 9:10 P.M.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Commissioners and Council to Have Joint Meeting July 7th

There will be a joint meeting of our Council Members and Commissioners. This will be held during the July 7, 2009 Commissioner’s meeting at 7:00 at the Administration Building.

The reason for this meeting is to discuss the latest edition of the County Campus plan.

This will be the first item on the Commissioners meeting agenda so the Council Members may leave directly following the discussion, if they wish.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

16 June 2009 Dearborn County Commissioner Meeting Notes

16 June 2009 Dearborn County Commissioner Meeting Notes

Present: Thompson, President, Orschell, and Hughes

Also present: Pickens, Auditor, and Gay, Attorney. [NOTE: Jack Gay thanked the Commissioners at the end of this meeting as Witte is returning in July and Gay said serving the people of Dearborn County has been an honor, privilege, and an education. Commissioners expressed their gratitude to him as well.]

An executive session preceded this meeting. At the regular meeting, the commissioners approved a change in the wording of the health care policy on appliance replacement to new appliances 5 years old or older and repairs not to exceed 75% of replacement.

Commissioners gave Thompson the latitude to solve the personnel problem with Animal Control by Friday.


Bond Commission president and DCRSD Sewer line for SR 52 remain tabled.


Mark Seiler (for Highway Dept) brought in the signature page for ITS in I-275 and cover drawings. Commissioners approved and signed.

Margaret Minzner received grant signature ratification for a grant request to go to the DC Foundation. The grant is to get GIS Data compressed and onto the 34 laptops of the first responders laptops, that were furnished by Homeland Security.

Mike Hall presented 3 contracts for Infrasource, Linkmeyer, LLC, and O’Mara for the intersection work by Walmart and Aurora Lumber to accommodate new business there and provide safer access. This is Phase 1 of the back road to the businesses on the riverside of US 50. Commissioners stressed that the EXISTING businesses were not to be harmed and were on board with the plans now. Commissioners praised Mike Hall for all his work negotiating the businesses’ cooperation.

Jeremy Shepherd was not present for the FIT FOR LIFE CAMP Information.

Thompson introduced the next two items regarding website design and said that he’d heard complaints about the current site needing updates etc.

Jeff Zoller presented website improvements for FX Design. Zoller noted his company had managed the site for the county for 12 years, when it started as a state funded grant. His company is a full service graphics design company registered as a minority and woman owned business. His wife Tamara is listed as the owner.
He has introduced Joomla as the webpage design tool for each department and demonstrated it with the health Dept site. He plans to redesign the front page with buttons including those to the Chamber and Visitors Bureau. The plan is to have trained staff in each dept who can add to their own pages. Each dept gets 4-5 pages. More can be added for different cost. This then becomes primarily updated by the county staff.
The site is free of political or other ads. He plans to do less than before, but do it well. Cost to the county is about $500 per year for hosting the website and maintenance of Joomla.

Steve Pope presented for Epop Studio. They have existed since 2001 and 15 years prior to that in an ad agency. Most of their work is web design vs about 30% print. He prefers a custom database where data is pulled to the site rather that buttons which take you off site. He also likes a uniform look to all pages. Epop has designed Perfect North Slopes, CVTB, DCEDI, Florence Freedom, Big 10 Conference, Creation Museum, Greendale Cinemas, etc. When asked about our current site he had told commissioners to “blow it up and start over.” He prefers one click navigation and no scrolling. Pope feels that Joomla allows too much freedom to change fonts and colors and the site may have too many different styles. He wants to keep it consistent throughout.

Commissioners took all information on the websites under advisement.

Pickens- presented claims and minutes that were approved and signed.

Jack Gay – Attorney- see above note at the top.

Tom Orschell- relayed the information that Phil Weaver is looking for file cabinets and storage.

There was no Public Comment.

Meeting adjourned at 8:08 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Jefferson Day Dinner and We The Hoosiers ( Tea Party) on www.theflypod.com

Below is a direct show-link to last night's broadcast of the Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner, in Lawrenceburg.

All of the visiting speakers are included in this show.


Feel free to share this link with your friends, family and supporters.

WE THE HOOSIERS: ANDREW LOHMILLER -- TheFlyPod Media Network host Gary Puckett, interviews one of the organizers of this regional TEA PARTY MOVEMENT group known as We The Hoosiers. To listen to this interview show, click on the following direct show-link:


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Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Notes on the NO BURN area set up on Mt Tabor

To expand on research for the NO BURN area discussed at the May and 2 June 2009 Commissioners Meetings see the notes on the blog a year ago on 17 June 2008 and on 15 July 2008. Commissioners ratified a no burn area as previously set up with letters to residents from Aaron Negangard, Prosecutor, and Dave Lusby, Sheriff. The problem ensued when NEW neighbors moved in and burning began again per the notes.

17 June 2008 excerptfrom blog notes:

Pat McAdams- Mt Tabor presented for his wife Theresa who is housebound due to her chronic severe asthma. They currently have a no- burn area in their neighborhood enforced by letters approved by Lusby and Negangard and possible prosecution if they violate. Some new people have moved in and open burning is occurring in the area. He read a letter by her pulmonologist (lung doctor) Dr Zidarescu.
This is not in an Agricultural area and takes in about the first 1/8 mile of Mt Tabor and some side streets. Ewbank will review the letter and the wording on some signs marking off the area as a no burn area. McAdams showed pictures of his wife in a coma for a week after people burned in the area. Some people have asked them to leave for a weekend and one to leave permanently. Apparently, there is cause to enforce this as it is life-threatening for Theresa McAdams.

15 July 2008 excerpt from blog notes:

Mt. Tabor Road (Theresa McAdams) tabled from 7/1/08 - Ralph Thompson suggested they ratify and confirm the No Burn Area from US 50 S. to the bend approximately 2,900 feet South of US 50, approximately, 3/8 of a mile area.

Todd Listerman stated signs (regarding the No Burn Area) should be in place southbound and northbound of the area.

Rick Fox said there is a concern that there will be future calls requesting the same consideration from others.

Hughes said the Sheriff has a State law to handle this situation.

A discussion followed that IN code 13-17-9 deals with fire creating a nuisance. The Commissioners discussed that this is a life and death situation.

Ewbank stated this matter is under Home Rule and left to local municipalities.

Ralph Thompson restated the motion that they ratify and confirm the No Burn Area for life and health as long as Theresa McAdams is in her current residence, with authorization for signs to be placed.

Rick Fox seconded the motion. Jeff Hughes voted Nay. Motion passed.


The Dearborn County Plan Commission will NOT meet in June due to lack of applications.

2 June 2009 Dearborn County Commissioner Meeting Notes

2 June 2009 Dearborn County Commissioner Meeting Notes

Present: Thompson, President, Orschell, and Hughes
Also present: Pickens, Auditor, and Gay, Attorney

After the executive session the Commissioners decided to amend the county health policy to include children in home school situations.

They tabled the purchase of a “replacement appliance” for an employee for further research.


Bond Commission president and DCRSD Sewer Line for US 52 project both remain tabled


Kevin Gick- introduced himself as the new Bright Fire Chief. He talked abl=out the many challenges on his plate and his need for support and guidance from the county. He said he had given a previous talk to his dept. about goals and his guiding principles. He is trying to unify members and rebuild trust and confidence in the community. He wants to learn the community expectations and needs volunteers and sources of funding. His goal is to see how to best serve with the available resources- both money and volunteers. Gick plans to run the dept like a business in a way that benefits the dept and community – not just an individual. He wants decisions based on facts and data- not emotion. He sees about $150,000 in his operating budget with expenses nearly twice that and hopes the festival will help raise that. He has an open door and is willing to share the books showing how money is spent to anyone who asks. Volunteers are their most important resource and he is NOT pursuing the Fire District. All 3 commissioners expressed a willingness to help out. Gick said he has an article in their local paper- the Bright Beacon and needs to understand what his “customers” want. He plans to refurbish equipment to help keep budget in line. Thompson also indicated that they may be able to find a more universal solution to a problem that all depts. are facing.

Ken Griffin- introduced himself as the head of District 9 for the State Dept of Health- comprised of 12 counties. He works along with Doug Baer as well.

Hughes presented the condition of Jewett Drive complaint – and Todd Listerman stated that the 400 ft in bad repair is in the town limits of Dillsboro- they county section at the end is holding up well. Listerman had notified Scott Fortner – Dillsboro town manager – who told him they’d get to it when funds were available.

Ginny Daum- introduced herself as a 3- year Bright Resident and nurse licensed in Ohio. She spoke at length on volunteering for Emergency Preparedness and the deficiencies she saw in our system. She thinks we need to think without state lines to be prepared on that side of the county. She started to talk about the POD for disasters and Ken Griffin got up and stated that this site was not public due to Homeland Security issues. She commented regarding the certification of Indiana EMTs and our inability to push drugs in the field. Thompson told her that by law- if the commissioners and the state both declare a disaster then state licenses are waived. She asked the commissioners to consider her to volunteer to fill in the role vacated by Terry Miller when his grant ran out. No decision made.

Chris McHenry- called the Commissioners’ attention to the records lost in the Madison Courthouse fire. Pickens stated that the recorders were digitized and stored offsite in Utah and Texas. Clerks office began digitizing in Feb. Chris McHenry volunteered to be on a committee to be certain records are copied and protected. She also referenced John Newmann (sp?) , a former resident of Franklin County who plans to return there from Indy and a good consultant, since he helped with Madison County’s mess. She said Steidel said Lawrenceburg might be able to help fund some of this. The bottom line- the commissioners need to give serious thought to perpetuating records in the event of a disaster.

Todd Listerman- Transportation Director- gave a 10-minute report- (after taunting everyone with his promise to get out of there at least before 11:45 PM like at the Council)

1. The agreement was tabled with Beam Longest and Neff while waiting on a ROW agreement and updated cost estimates.

2. They opened bids yesterday and salt- pretreated- is coming in less than untreated last year by $26/ton. Current price is $73.62 /ton delivered.

3. INDOT letter regarding North Dearborn project between SR 1 and McCann will require his presentation at a July 1st meeting to get the additional $1.5 mil needed. INDOT already granted $1 mil last year. There are only 2 competing projects – our chances are good.

4. ITS system for 275- commissioners signed both agreements for DC and INDOT and DC and URS Corp. The project is 100% federally funded- and will be reimbursed to the county. Should be let by Sept.

5. Report on Council’s approvals- see Council notes from last week for details.

6. Listerman will beat a conference then on vacation for the next Commissioners meeting.
Pickens- Auditor- commissioners agreed to the Council’s decision to send the school funds back to the state- an old $29,000 CD.

Claims and minutes signed- Hughes abstained from claims as he hadn’t had time to review them all.

Hughes- asked about reversing the burn ban on Mt Tabor Road. Jack Gay said he researched the minutes and saw the discussion and decision but no follow-up resolution or ordinance. The state statute covers what cannot be burned. Essentially its a private nuisance matter – a civil matter- that would be decided by a court. [NOTE- So what happens to the no burning signs the county put up?]

Thompson- reported he was trying to clear up some minor issues with the Animal Control Center to get the building started in June. He did not elaborate on what those issues were.

No one asked to speak at public comment.

Meeting adjourned at 8:10 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township