Friday, April 30, 2010


See the links at the end of this posting of Thompson’s transcript for links to Jeff Hughes’s commentary and Ralph Thompson’s verbal response.


In a recent Flypod Commentary, Commissioner Hughes implied the current Government is seeking to hide some large expenditure and slip it past the public without a referendum or public notice.

Currently, there has been no plan developed! The results of the very public joint Commissioner – Council meetings and the Charette were presented at the last Commissioners meeting including preliminary option cost estimates. The report was tabled to allow time to review and digest the suggested options, information and probable costs. The preliminary jail estimate is over $20 million and will, if it moves forward, require a referendum. No packages have been accepted to even move forward to further discussion. Commissioner Orschel and I inherited the projected $38 million project costs. All the efforts to reduce cost were not to get those cost below some limit; but, simply to reduce the costs for the taxpayers.

Ask Commissioner Hughes why he posted this commentary of misinformation one week before the election. Did he hope there would not be time to respond and set the record straight? Does he hope if I might lose, county government could go back to shutting the public out?

I presume he intended to damage my reputation; but, he has disparaged the other Commissioner and Council members who are seeking possible solutions to real problems.

Hughes has implied he is for open government.

Ask Hughes why in 2006, the Commissioners, including Hughes, worked to keep the Vieste plan secret. And even into 2007 when Vera Benning was replaced they continued to keep it out of the public view. They even resorted to serial meetings, where Vieste met individually with each Commissioner and Council member to avoid a Quorum and a public meeting. Mark Mitter and I refused to attend these meetings. Serial meetings are illegal under the Open Door Law.

Ask Hughes, why he and Fox passed the Vieste plan with minimal public notice, less than a 15 minute hearing and almost no public input! That plan was for almost $127 million and there was no intention to call for a referendum.

I made copies of the plan and made it public so that when the plan went to Council the next week there was a large public outcry against the plan and Council voted down the Northwest Quadrant part. The plan later failed.

Ask Hughes why he still supports that plan which would have replaced many farms in the Northwest Quadrant, that have been in many families for 4, 5 or more generations.

Ask Hughes why some realtors and elected officials knew about the plan before it was made public and were trying to buy up farm land cheap before anyone became aware of the potential huge increase in land value if the plan moved forward.

Ask Hughes why the County spent over $300K for Vieste, to do virtually nothing.

Ask Hughes why he eliminated public comments from the Commissioners meeting and voted against restoring it in 2007 when I suggested it be restored.

Ask why he kept a Deputy at the Commissioner’s meetings and who was used to remove people who wanted to have a chance to express a contrary opinion.

Ask Hughes why in 2008 before his bid for re-election, he and Mr. Fox instituted a series of meetings to study the jail and courthouse issues that were conducted in the basement of the jail and were not open to the public and even not open to some Elected Officials. When Mr. Fox lost his election, the whole program was dropped.

Ask Hughes why he said he didn’t know about the so called secret meeting, when he stated in his complaint that he was asked by Mr. Pickens to attend and declined by saying he had to be elsewhere. Ask him why he didn’t express his concern about the legality of the meeting to Mr. Pickens and then, as stated in his complaint, had the County Administrator verify the meeting took place, so he could file the complaint. The issue with the meeting was lack of 48 hours prior announcement.

Ask Hughes why when he went on the radio to publicize the issue he said he never violated the open door law, and Cary Pickens responded by naming dates and places where he had.

Ask Hughes about the unannounced, closed door meetings with the County Administrator, Mr. Fox and himself, excluding Vera Benning and later me.

Ask Hughes about the numerous sessions after the Commissioner’s meetings, with Pickens, Fox and other people at the Legion, without any public announcement and without Vera Benning or later me. And by the way, you have to be a Legion member or escorted by a member to gain entry.

Ask why the Bright Fire Protection Plan, from his district, was brought to Commissioners without proper public notice. Commissioner Orschell and I set up a proper public meeting at Bright Christian Church to allow the public to be heard.

Ask why he opposed the new Highway garage costing less than $1 million that will pay back all the cost in ten to fifteen years and save money for the County from then on, when the Vieste plan had almost $4 million for a new Highway garage.

Ask why during his term almost nothing was accomplished, except Vieste which cost the County over $300,000 and produced no usable result.

Ask why he thinks he is the guardian of open Government, when his record screams the opposite.

I was always taught, if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

It is time for Jeff to grow up and become part of the solution.

If you have any questions, my cell number is 812 584-3974.

Ralph Thompson, Commissioner District 3

LINKS to for both commentaries below:

Greetings to our listeners and subscribers –

CITIZEN COMMENTARY: JEFF HUGHES (COUNTY COMMISSIONER) - Mr. Jeff Hughes expresses his view and opinion pertaining to a major Dearborn County project. To listen to this commentary, click on the following direct show-link:

CITIZEN COMMENTARY: RALPH THOMPSON (COUNTY COMMISSIONER) -- Ralph Thompson offers his opinions and commentary on issues of interest to Dearborn County citizens. Since 2007, TheFlyPod Media Network has offered its OPEN FLY FORUM. Commentary opportunities are available to any citizen. To schedule your commentary session, email our studio or submit your audio file online. To listen to this episode of Citizen Commentary, click on the following direct link:

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Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Hughesisacheapdate said...

Hughesisacheapdate said...

Hughes is just a gerbil in a condom for Ewbank and the other DCEDI users and losers.

durrrr.... said...

Jeff Hughes makes as much sense on his 1st beer or his 20th beer. It is time for people to understand who he is and what he has done (nothing) for Dearborn County. He has only cost Dearborn County tax payers money with his reckless and stupid antics.

MustBeKidding said...

Jeff Hughes should consider it a compliment that the tasteless, classless and vulgar people who commented above don't like him. Show me your friends (are they your friends, Ralph?) and I'll show you who you really are.

Puppet said...

Jeff Hughes is lead around by the nose by his development puppet masters.

Jeff Hughes never had an original thought in his life.

But for being an useful idiot for a local handful of self-dealing development interests, Hughes serves no purpose in life.

shp said...

i dont care if it is 500 or 1.000000 of tax payers money you all are voted in to help the county not yours self we work hard for it not just piss it away.

lying politicians said...

What would have been the average costs to homeowners if the DCRSD was able to send out forced sewer hookup letters?

Over ten thousand dollars.

What politicians told us that the citizens had no choice in the matter?

What politicians proved that to be a lie?

We know what to expect from McHenry, just more of the same development owned onerous crap.

lying politicians said...

What would have been the average costs to homeowners if the DCRSD was able to send out forced sewer hookup letters?

Over ten thousand.

What politicians told us that the citizens had no choice in the matter?

What politicians proved that to be a lie?

We know what to expect from McHenry, just more of the same development owned onerous crap.

Anonymous said...



Vera Benning: Working 24/7 to force everyone on substandard sewers because it will prosper her development masters.