Wednesday, January 26, 2011

25 January 2011 Dearborn County Council Meeting Notes

25 January 2011 Dearborn County Council Meeting Notes

Present: Dennis Kraus. Sr., President, Dan Lansing, Jim Hughes, Liz Morris, Maynard Barrett, Bryan Messmore, and Bill Ullrich.
Also present: Gayle Pennington, Auditor and Bill Ewbank, County Coordinator

Commissioner Tom Orschell was also present.

NOTE- The sound system is still not fixed. Mild echoes occur even when it is turned down low.


Council President – Dennis Kraus, Sr.

Council Vice president- Maynard Barrett

Meeting Dates and Times- Start time at 6:30PM now- Feb, May, Oct. There will be several meetings for the jail also.

Budget hearing dates- statutory changes last year moves to Nov 1 for budget adoption. Last week of August set for hearings. Aug 29-Sept1. Estimated revenue from taxes comes in July.


Sheriff's Matrix Agreement- covered towards the end of the meeting- Jack Gay former county attorney presented this. There was a problem they found in the sheriff’s pay matrix. There was no motion, paperwork adopted back in the early 1990’s under Sheriff Wissman. They came back annually to get pay raises on this. Low end of this now is about $36,000. Council did have some minutes showing votes on this. They found that some employees were over and some underpaid. Basically there were issues with jailers having tenure. Kreinhop indicates it goes back as much as 5 years. They investigated it, while he was still deputy sheriff. [NOTE: Why didn’t Lusby handle this?] Switching computer systems in the auditor’s office in 2005 caused some of the discrepancies. Sheriff’s office allowed some seniority as jail officers to be counted when it shouldn’t have. Kreinhop said the SBOA would not accept this when they audit it. Kreinhop found it and is working with Suellen Cauble and Pennington and Gay have been working on it too. Pennington wants to get an ordinance for this. Gay wants to get a foundation so they can fix this from the past. It goes from date of hire. Police officers may have to pay back by not taking a future raise until it covers the amount owed. Kreinhop told Lansing that matrix works well in other depts.- even the state police are on it since 2005.
Kreinhop wants an annual matrix- Kraus said that was “bull”- the other employees don’t get annual raises. Ullrich praised Kreinhop for all the work on this. They estimate there are more underpaid than overpaid. [NOTE: Ullrich works for the sheriff’s dept- he should be recusing himself from this discussion.]
Pennington said the salaries presented at Council budget hearings were the correct amounts. There is a merit board still. Kreinhop does have a record from them – but it did not have specifics. Matrix only affects deputy sheriffs and sergeants. Current matrix is based on 20 years. Gay said we need to go to SBOA next- get an audit of the pay back to 2007 and figure out how to correct it. Underpaid is easy to fix. How to handle overpaid is tougher. Pennington will go to SBOA to discuss this. Field reps don’t normally go thru records in that detail. Approving the ordinance takes care of the present time forward. Council accepted the ordinance. All ayes except Ullrich who abstained. [NOTE: So if Ullrich knew to abstain from voting- why not step away from the discussion too?]


Dennis Kraus Jr- Surveyor- Additional appropriations- Stateline Road and US 50 historic monument from 1838. The truck turn lane runs into it and Ohio ODOT can’t spend money in Indiana. Messmore thought that intersection might become 4 way in the future and be sure to include that idea in the design work. It was advertised for $10,000 out of county general and riverboat. Council voted to approve the $10,000.

Tim Grieve- Highway Supervisor- salary ordinance change- the assistant engineer position has been withdrawn and a mechanic was pulled down to a lower rate. Council voted to reinstate that to mechanics wages.

Todd Listerman- Highway Engineer- Salt—presented by Grieve- have used a lot of salt so far this year. Council approved additional money for salt- no amount stated. If it is unused it will go back.

Personnel Advisory Commission- have to replace Tom Cheek on this- Jim Hughes will take that spot.

Brett Dodd- RQAW- Jail Expansion- Bill Ewbank reported the project on the pre-design phase of the jail expansion. This phase is close to being wrapped up. Last week the commissioners signed an engagement letter with JJ Umbaugh and Associates to work with RQAW to get costs, sources of funding, and impacts. There will be more decisions to be made on when and how to proceed with the project in the future. The first financial report will be at the upcoming Feb meeting.
Dodd and Mark Van Allen presented a report and large booklet to each Council member similar to what the Commissioners received. Dodd gave a brief overview of each of the appendices. Bottom line is 85 cells and 30,000 sq ft short of what is needed TODAY to be efficient. Most of the staff that will be added in the future won’t take up much space in the facility- as they are deputies etc. 110,000 sq ft is planned. Avoiding a basement as it will be costly with the soil type. Concentrate on efficient use of all the current space as well. An arraignment court will prevent transporting prisoners. Trying to open it- staff neutral- no additional staff. Making this jail easier to expand in the future as well. Looking at dormitory configurations- the current jail can serve for the maximum security section. The work release component is a cheaper building to construct. There are a couple ways to finance it. One is a lease back option. It will take a lot longer- more steps. They think they are in the $11.5-11.8million range. They also plan to take this to the public. Bids and bonds sold- maybe break ground in March 2012. The timeline passed out shows how long it MIGHT take. Completion is set for Sept 2013.
Barrett asked about training space. It is in the plan.
Lansing asked about the referendum vote. If you want to do a referendum it takes longer. Dodd said you build in alternates to stay in budget. Like don’t put in all the beds, or don’t do all the parking lot improvements.

[NOTE: This is SO close to the referendum amount- and no extras or change orders are in it yet. It seems this will easily get to $12million and PLANNING for referendum would be a good idea. Unless there is absolutely no tax increase… which would be a miracle. It should be also noted that the purchase of 3 buildings- Votaw, Shumway, and Hoosier Square has already occurred. They have to be torn down or renovated too. This entire campus expansion is well over $12million. Is Council trying to avoid referendum? Are they afraid the taxpayers won’t agree to the project? And even if they are- is it legal or even right to eliminate the taxpayer from this decision?]

Sheriff Kreinhop – said IC36-8-10-21- requires an agreement between sheriff and the county council on the commissary. This is to prevent seeking additional funding from Council. Approved???

Advisory County Plan Commission-Dennis Kraus Sr
Alcoholic Beverage board-Ralph Schaffer
Animal Control—non existent.
EMA Emergency Management Board- Bill Ullrich
CVTB- Convention Visitors and Tourism Board-Maynard Barrett
Economic development- Jim Hughes
Juvenile detention-Liz Morris
Lawrenceburg library- Julia Dickey
OKI and SIRPC- Mark McCormack
Plan Commission- Dan Lansing
PTABOA- Tax Appeals- Mary Booker and Shawna Gentry
Redevelopment Commission- Maynard Barrett
Solid Waste – Jim Hughes
Mental Health – Jim Hughes
DCRSD- Dearborn County Regional Sewer District- Art Wenzel stays on it
Community Corrections- Bryan Messmore

AUDITOR- Gayle Pennington- Minutes approved with amendment on a vote count. Minutes are coming to members via email now.

Pennington- Financial Duty Request-covered earlier in the meeting than on the agenda. Pennington said Pody retired and this is a key position. There should be 2 people on the financial side to be sure there are financial checks and balances. It will take no additional money- and probably will take less- as Pody had years of experience. This person will have some additional duties that were previously outsourced. One was a $6000 outsourced job that is now in house. All positions are being cross-trained.
Hughes asked if there were other depts. with employees that aren’t busy. Pennington said not that would be able to do this task.
Council kept asking about part time options. Statutes require receipts to be checked in within a day and to treasurer and in bank within a day. Council wants to think about it- no decision. This was revisited near the end of the meeting again and Liz Morris said this was not questioning Pennington’s leadership, and other Council members agreed- but they were definitely NOT wanting to fill Pody’s spot as full time. The questions surrounding this request seemed to duck the issues of ethical and legal checks and balances when running an accounting operation.

[NOTE: Any business person knows that you don’t have the same people handling billing, intake, and outflow of money. It’s a procedure and practice that prevents fraud and embezzlement. Council got all worked up over this hire that would have cost nothing extra- and maybe even cost less. By contrast, last month they voted nearly unanimously and WITHOUT QUESTION to transfer $25,000 from a prosecutor’s intern fund to a professional fees fund to pay for legal fees for an “employee”- no questions asked! Council needs to beef up their process across the board- not just flex their mandible muscles on a few token people. Treat all requests the same. And by the way- what exactly was that $25,000 to Bose McKinney and Evans law firm in Indy for?]

Steve Walker- no budget for projects for the Park Board. The park in Bright with fence etc. won’t be able to be done yet. They also can’t do improvements to the new shelter there. $15,000 for fence and $15,000 for the shelter was requested. There may be a capital improvements fund in the annual budget- Pennington to check and get with Walker. It appears according to Liz Morris that the money does go into a fund annually and there is funding available.

Council QUICKLY adjourned at 8:55 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

State of the State Address- Mitch Daniels (text)



JANUARY 11, 2011

Mr. Speaker, members of the Assembly, Hoosier friends and neighbors, thank you yet again for the privilege of this platform.

For most of us, one of the strongest memories of our youth is that great school teacher, that magical man or woman who somehow reached us, and stretched us, and in the process left indelible recollections. For me, one of those was Bob Watson—still, today, Mr. Watson to me—who introduced us to the mysteries of the periodic table in high school chemistry. In addition to mixing potions that suddenly turned purple, and terrifying pop quizzes, Mr. Watson was famous for his aphorisms, little sayings so often repeated that his students still smile and recite them to each other decades later. And the most frequently applied of all Watson’s wisdoms was: “Good things come to those who wait. Patience is the essence of life.”

Patience does not come easily to a teenager. Or to adults, for that matter. At the grocery store, the airport scanner, or the BMV, none of us likes to wait. Like all Americans, Hoosiers are waiting tonight for a national economic recovery. Far too many are without work and, even worse than their number, is how long many have been waiting, waiting for that next job, waiting for the basic human fulfillment of knowing you are standing on your own feet, providing for yourself and your family.

The deep frustration of unemployed Hoosiers is shared by those of us charged with public duties in these times. The best efforts of our state, or any one state, to break free of recession’s suffocating clutch, are never adequate, and we can't wait for better times.

Building one of the best job climates in the country isn’t enough. Breaking the all-time record for new job commitments isn't enough. Adding new jobs at twice the national average isn’t enough. We did all those things in 2010, but it couldn’t offset the terrible drag of a national economic ebb tide that continues to leave too many boats stuck in the muck.

We Hoosiers don't like to wait, when we can act. If we cannot overcome a nationwide job hemorrhage, we can fight back better than others. Again in 2010, we broke all records for road building and bridge building, for the fourth year in a row, and put thousands to work doing so.

As the final installment of our 2008 property tax cuts took effect, hard-pressed Hoosier home and business owners found an additional $600 million still in their bank accounts. Tonight, because of our action, Indiana’s property taxes are the lowest anywhere in America. And thanks to a ringing 72 percent verdict by our fellow citizens, who voted in referendum to protect those cuts in our constitution, they’re going to stay that way.

And in the clearest example of Hoosier resolve, we handled a two billion dollar drop in state revenues as any family would, as any small business would. We decided what is most important, separated the “must do’s” from the “nice to do’s,” and matched spending to income.

Across the country, state spending, despite the recession, is still up sharply the last six years. But here, it is virtually flat, one-third the rate of inflation. Elsewhere, state government payrolls have grown, but here, we have the nation's fewest state employees per capita, fewer than we did in 1978. During this terrible recession, at least 35 states raised taxes, but Indiana cut them. Since '04, the other 49 states added to their debt, by 40 percent; we paid ours down, by 40 percent. Many states exhausted any reserves they may have had, and plunged into the red, but our savings account remains strong, and our credit AAA.

What we did in 2008, and 2009, and 2010, we will do again this year. We will take the actions necessary to limit state spending to the funds available. We will protect struggling taxpayers against the additional burden of higher taxes. We will continue improving our jobs climate by holding the line on taxes as our competitors take the easy way and let theirs rise. We say tonight, whatever course others may choose, here in Indiana we live within our means, we put the private sector ahead of government, the taxpayer ahead of everyone, and we will stay in the black, whatever it takes.

In two days, I will send to this Assembly a proposed budget for the next biennium. As always, I know that our final product will be a mutual one, and I welcome your amendments and improvements, so long as they live up to the following principles:

One, I just mentioned; no tax increases. Can I get an “amen” to that?

Two, we must stay in the black at all times, with positive reserves at a prudent level throughout the time period.

Three, the budget must come into structural balance, meaning that no later than its second year, annual revenues must exceed annual spending, with no need for any use of our savings account.

Four, no gimmicks. We put an end to practices like raiding teacher pension funds, and shifting state deficits to our schools and universities by making them wait until the state had the cash to pay them. That’s a form of waiting we should never impose again.

And, to hasten the return of an even stronger fiscal position, I again ask you to vote for lasting spending discipline by enacting an automatic taxpayer refund. When the day comes again when state reserves exceed 10 percent of annual needs, it will be time to stop collecting taxes and leave them with the people they belong to. Remember what the Hoosier philosopher said: “It's tainted money. ‘Taint yours, and ‘taint mine.” Beyond some point, it is far better to leave dollars in the pockets of those who earned them than to let them burn a hole, as they always do, in the pockets of government.

Doing the people’s business while living within the people’s means is our fundamental duty in public service. Redrawing our legislative lines without gerrymandering, and adjusting an out of balance Unemployment Insurance system, are other examples of duties we must meet this year. I know you'll do so, head on.

So we had a little election last November. It changed a few things, like the seating arrangement in this chamber. One thing it didn’t change at all: our common duty to take every action possible to make this a better state, a more progressive state, a standout and special and distinctive state. That election, like all elections, was not a victory for one side, it was an instruction to us all. It was not an endorsement of a political party, it was an assignment to everyone present. By itself, it accomplished nothing, but it threw open the door to great accomplishment. Starting tonight, we must step through that door, together.

One opportunity lies in reform of our criminal justice system. Helped by the nation's most respected experts, a bipartisan task force of police, judges, prosecutors, and others fashioned a package of changes to see that lawbreakers are incarcerated in a smarter way, one that matches their place of punishment to their true danger to society. We can be tougher on the worst offenders, and protect Hoosiers more securely, while saving a billion dollars the next few years. Let's seize this opportunity, without waiting.

Two years ago, the bipartisan commission led by two of Indiana’s most admired leaders presented to us a blueprint to bring Indiana local government out of the pioneer days in which it was created and into the modern age. Of their 27 proposals, seven have been enacted in some form. That leaves a lot of work to do. Indiana is waiting.

Some of the changes are so obvious that our failure to make them is a daily embarrassment. The conflict of interest when double-dipping government workers simultaneously sit on city or county councils, interrogating their own supervisors and deciding their own salaries, must end. The same goes for the nepotism that leads to one in four township employees sharing a last name with the politician who hired them.

Township government, which does not exist in most states, made some sense on the Indiana frontier. Many township lines were laid out to accommodate the round-trip distance a horse could travel in a day. We’ve come a little ways since then.

Today, over 4,000 politicians, few of them known to the voters they represent, run over a thousand different township governments. They are sitting on hundreds of millions of dollars in reserves. Some have eight years of spending needs stashed in the bank, yet they keep collecting taxes. Some townships are awash in money, while the township next door does not have enough to provide poor relief to its needy citizens. Adjacent townships each buy expensive new fire trucks when one would suffice to cover them both.

Those serving in township government are good people, and well motivated. We thank them for their service. Our problem lies not with those holding all these offices, but with the antique system that keeps them there. I support the clear and simple recommendation of the Kernan-Shepard Commission that we remove this venerable but obsolete layer of government, and assign what little remains of its duty to elected city and county officials.

Likewise, our strange arrangement of a three-headed county executive should change. No business has three CEOs; no football team has three head coaches; no military unit would think of having three coequal commanding officers. We should join the rest of America in moving to a single, elected county commissioner, working with a strengthened legislative branch, the County Council, to make decision making accountable and implementation swift and efficient.

As in the last two sessions, I look forward to constructive cooperation with the Assembly in bringing reform about. The only outcome that is unacceptable is no action at all. Hoosiers have waited for decades for our governmental design to catch up to society. Let’s not keep them waiting any longer.

In no realm is our opportunity larger than in the critical task of educating our children. The need for major improvement, and the chance for achieving it, is so enormous tonight that opportunity rises to the level of duty.

Advocates of change in education become accustomed to being misrepresented. If you challenge the fact that forty-two cents of the education dollar are somehow spent outside the classroom, you must not respect school boards. If you wonder why doubling spending didn’t produce any gains in student achievement, you must be criticizing teachers. If your heart breaks at the parade of young lives permanently handicapped by a school experience that leaves them unprepared for the world of work, you must be “anti-public schools.”

So let’s start by affirming once again that our call for major change in our system of education, like that of President Obama, his education secretary and so many others, is rooted in a love for our schools, those who run them and those who teach in them. But it is rooted most deeply in a love for the children whose very lives and futures depend on the quality of the learning they either do or do not acquire while in our schools. Nothing matters more than that. Nothing compares to that.

Some seek change in education on economic grounds, and they are right. To win and hold a family-supporting job, our kids will need to know much more than their parents did. I have seen the future competition, every time I go abroad in search of new jobs for our state, in the young people of Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China. Let me tell you—those kids are good. They ought to be. They are in school, not 180 days a year like here, but 210, 220, 230 days a year. By the end of high school, they have benefited from two or three years more education than Hoosier students. Along the way, they have taken harder classes. It won’t be easy to win jobs away from them.

It’s not just tomorrow’s jobs that are at stake. The quality of Indiana education matters right now. When we are courting a new business, right behind taxes, the cost of energy, reasonable regulation, and transportation facilities comes schools. “What kind of school will my children, and our workers’ children attend?” is a question we’re always asked. Sometimes, in some places, it costs us jobs today. There is no time to wait.

In 1999, Indiana passed a law that said schools must either improve their results or be taken over by new management. The little ones who entered first grade then, full of hope and promise, are eighteen now. In the worst of our districts, half of them will not be graduating. God bless and keep them, wherever they are and whatever life now holds for them. For those children, we waited too long.

And it's not just about the most failing of our schools. The last couple years have seen some encouraging advances, after years of stagnation. But the brute facts persist: only one in three of our children can pass the national math or reading exam. We trail far behind most states and even more foreign countries on measures like excellence in math: at the recent rate of improvement, it would take twenty-one years for us to catch Slovenia, and that’s if Slovenia stands still. That’s too long to wait. That's too many futures to lose.

In every discussion, someone says “This is very complicated.” Then someone says, “These changes won't be perfect,” and then you hear “The devil is in the details.” All true. But we can no longer let complexity be an excuse for inaction, nor imperfection the enemy of the good. When it comes to our children's future, the real devil is not in the details, he's in the delay, and 2011 is the year the delay must end.

We know what works. It starts with teacher quality. Teacher quality has been found to be twenty times more important than any other factor, including poverty, in determining which kids succeed. Class size, by comparison, is virtually meaningless. Put a great teacher in front of a large class, and you can expect good results. Put a poor teacher in front of a small class, do not expect the kids to learn. In those Asian countries I mentioned, classrooms of thirty-five students are common, and they‘re beating our socks off.

We won’t have done our duty here until every single Indiana youngster has a good teacher every single year. Today, 99 percent of Indiana teachers are rated “effective.” If that were true, 99 percent, not one-third, of our students would be passing those national tests.

Today’s teachers make more money not because their students learned more but just by living longer and putting another certificate on the wall. Their jobs are protected not by any record of great teaching but simply by seniority. We have seen “teachers of the year” laid off, just because they weren’t old enough. This must change. We have waited long enough.

Teachers should have tenure, but they should earn it by proving their ability to help kids learn. Our best teachers should be paid more, much more, and ineffective teachers should be helped to improve or asked to move. Today, the outstanding teacher, the Mr. Watson whose kids are pushed and led to do their best, is treated no better than the worst teacher in the school. That is wrong; for the sake of fairness and the sake of our children, it simply has to end. We have waited long enough.

We are beginning to hold our school leaders accountable for the only thing that really matters: Did the children grow? Did the children learn? Starting this year, schools will get their own grades, in a form we can all understand: ‘A’ to ‘F.’ There will be no more hiding behind jargon and gibberish.

But, in this new world of accountability, it is only fair to give our school leadership full flexibility to deliver the results we now expect. Already, I have ordered our Board of Education to peel away unnecessary requirements that consume time and money without really contributing to learning. We are asking this Assembly to repeal other mandates that, whatever their good intentions, ought to be left to local control. I am a supporter of organ donation, and cancer awareness, and preventing mosquito-borne disease, but if a local superintendent or school board thinks time spent on these mandated courses interferes with the teaching of math, or English, or science, it should be their right to eliminate them from a crowded school day.

And, while unions and collective bargaining are the right of those teachers who wish to engage in them, they go too far when they dictate the color of the teachers’ lounge, who can monitor recess, or on what days the principal is allowed to hold a staff meeting. We must free our school leaders from all the handcuffs that reduce their ability to meet the higher expectations we now have for student achievement.

Lastly, we must begin to honor the parents of Indiana. We must trust them, and respect them enough, to decide when, where, and how their children can receive the best education, and therefore the best chance in life.

Visiting with high school seniors, I discovered one new option we should be offering. A significant fraction of our students complete, or could complete, their graduation requirements in well under twelve years. We should say to these diligent young people, and their families, if you choose to finish in eleven years instead of twelve, we will give you the money we were going to spend while you cruised through twelfth grade, as long as you spend that money on some form of further education. In this year’s survey of high school students, three out of four said they would like to have that option. Let’s empower our kids to defray the high cost of education through their own hard work, by entrusting them with this new and innovative choice.

Another new kind of choice has come to Indiana parents the last couple years, as a byproduct of our property tax reductions. Families are now able to choose public schools outside the districts they reside in, tuition-free. Schools have begun advertising campaigns, touting their graduation rates and higher test scores. This competition is a highly positive development, as long as it is fair. I ask you to protect our families against any possibility of discrimination by requiring that any school with more applicants than room fill it through a lottery or other blind selection process.

Indiana has lagged sadly behind other states in providing the option of charter schools. We must have more of them, and they must no longer be unjustly penalized. They should receive their funding exactly when other public schools do. If they need space, and the local district owns vacant buildings it has no prospect of using, they should turn them over.

Widening parents’ options in these ways will enable the vast majority of children to attend the school of their choice. But one more step is necessary: For families who cannot find the right traditional public school, or the right charter public school for their child, and are not wealthy enough to move near one, justice requires that we help. We should let these families apply dollars that the state spends on their child to the non-government school of their choice.

In that gallery and outside sit the most important guests of the evening. They are children, and parents of children, who are waiting for a spot in a charter or private school. They believe their futures will be brighter if they can make that choice. Look at those faces. Will you be the one to tell the parents “tough luck”? Are you prepared to say to them “We know better than you do”? We won’t tell you where to buy your groceries or where to get your tires rotated, but we will tell you, no matter what you think, your child will attend that school, and only that school. We have the money to send our children where we think best, but if you don’t, well, too bad for you.

These children, and their parents, have waited long enough, for a better chance in life. And Indiana has waited long enough for the kind of educational results that a great state must achieve. I have spoken of the economic implications. But, at bottom, this is not about material matters. It is about the civil right, the human right, of every Indiana family to make decisions for its children. It's about the right of all Hoosier children to realize their full potential in life. Will you join me in saying, the waiting is over, change has come, and Indiana intends to lead it?

For us sports fans, recent times have brought a frustrating string of “almosts”. At 60, Tom Watson almost won the British Open. The Colts almost won the Super Bowl. Little Butler almost won a national basketball championship. Besides the disappointment of coming so close, the bad thing about “almosts” is knowing that you may never get that close to victory, and history, again.

This cannot be the “almost” General Assembly. We are on the 18th hole, in the red zone, on the final possession of a chance for historic greatness. Indiana has waited long enough for local government that fits the realities of the 21st Century. We have waited long enough for an education system known for excellence in teaching, and accountable schools that deliver the results our kids deserve. Our parents have waited long enough for the freedom to decide which school is best for their children. We cannot “almost” end the waiting.

One thing is certain. The rest of the world will not wait on us. Other nations, and other states, are forging ahead with the kind of reforms I have proposed here. Indiana is now a leader in business climate, fiscal integrity, transportation, property taxes, and so many other respects. Now comes the chance to lead in ways that, long term, may matter more than all of those.

Wishing won’t make it so. Waiting won’t make it so. But those of you in this Assembly have a priceless and unprecedented opportunity to make it so. It’s more than a proposal, it’s an assignment. It’s more than an opportunity, it’s a duty.

Our children are waiting. Our fellow citizens are waiting. History is waiting. It’s going to be a session to remember. You’re going to do great things. I can’t wait.

God bless this Assembly and this great state.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Agenda for February 1st at 6 PM Commissioners Meeting

February 1, 2011
6:00 p.m., Commissioners Room
County Administration Building
215 B West High Street, Lawrenceburg, Indiana



1. Maximus Consulting Services
2. HiTech contract renewal
3. LifeTime Resources - CDBG Grant Award Signatures

2. OKI - Appointment for Alternate for Executive Committee
3. Reaction PC - Maintenance Renewal


VI. AUDITOR – Gayle Pennington

VII. ATTORNEY - Andy Baudendistel

1. The Schneider Company Contract
2. Umbaugh & Associates Agreement
3. Audit Reports


X. COMMISSIONER – Tom Orschell





Tuesday, January 18, 2011

18 January 2011 Dearborn County Commissioners Meeting Notes

18 January 2011 Dearborn County Commissioners Meeting Notes

Present: Jeff Hughes, President, Tom Orschell, and Shane McHenry
Also present: Gayle Pennington, Auditor, Bill Ewbank, County Coordinator, and, Andrew Baudendistel, Attorney


Maximus Consulting services- continued tabled.

Vacating a portion of Happy Hollow Road- Baudendistel indicated that it has to go through Planning and Zoning first because it originated with the property owner (Lykins) and not the county. John Kellerman, attorney for neighbor, the Engels, was pleased with that determination.

Vacating a portion of Willoughby Road- Todd Listerman, County Engineer, and Dennis Kraus, Jr, County Surveyor, presented. ROW in 1999 was dedicated to the county. Donaldson the owner has been in court over that dedication that he claims he did not agree to. They went to mediation. This new plan allows all people on Willoughby to have road access. This inventory length increases by 0.2 miles. All neighbors were renotified by regular first class letters again. A neighbor said he’d talked to all residents and they were satisfied with the new plan. No other public spoke. All vacated north of the proposed cul-de-sac (0.535 miles). The ROW on the proposed cul-de-sac was also accepted. Commissioners approved.

HiTech Contract Renewal- Pennington still gathering information and going month-to-month with Hi Tech now.

Prosecutor’s Office- Aaron Negangard- Bad check program— implement a system that is cheaper for someone to resolve bad checks. Probably LOSE revenue for the prosecutor’s diversion program per Negangard. Under this program the bad check writer will pay $27.50 in fees rather than $300 they do now. They will market this better to make more merchants aware of this program. Josh Hartlage of Ad Lit is the company that processes this and administers the program. Only one bank is used in this program. If they don’t pay in 17 days- they get sent to prosecutor for prosecution. They try to use a regional or national bank to get payment in the tri-state area. Hartlage said 3rd party collections takes 30-50% of the collection. This way the merchant gets the full face value of the check. [NOTE: This collector has the strong arm of the prosecutorial threat behind him. There’s the threat of prosecution. Who gets the money? Does the prosecutor have a statutorial use for his share of this?] Commissioners accepted the ordinance as presented by Negangard and Hartlage.


Hughes brought up this decision from executive meeting forth: Put Andrew Sutor doing the mapping under the Surveyor and Margaret Minzner GIS under the auditor’s authority. This dissolves the GIS office. Commissioners agreed to do this. This was discussed in executive session prior to the meeting.

Lifetime Housing CDBG ( Community Block Development Grant) Award signatures- no one available. Pennington presented this. $150,975 was granted for training sessions and the repairs that the housing authority makes. They aren’t sure how this will be spent. Commissioners will have them come in and explain how the funds will be spent.

CASA- Donna Thacker- Grant recommendations- she outlined the projects that CASA now does. 15 students from CASA are now area ambassadors too. (5 from each area school) They wanted to ban the sale of K2spice and were disappointed that the feds beat them to it. In the 2nd year they are to plan to sustain the group without the grant eventually. Lawrenceburg has decided to continue to help funding the group. The next youth summit will be geared toward middle school kids. The true change will come from prevention in the first place. Budget is the same as the last couple years. Commissioners approved the grant application and commended Thacker and the youth in this group.

Lawrenceburg Library District Appointments- Commissioners approved Dan Toon to the board.

RQAW- Jail updates- Brett Dodd and Mark ??- presented a preliminary design to the 9 member advisory group and the commissioners then too. Committee agreed that the diagrams are appropriate per their input. 224 beds with 64 beds work release. Probably 4 person dorm groups. This includes renovation to the existing building and does not include a basement, which would have been expensive. Majority of questions related to staffing issues. Dodd said the initial construction pales in comparison to staffing costs. They thought there was a way to make staff almost the same- by using technology and reducing staff in one are to use in another. Work release has minimum staff needs- just AM and PM. These extra beds can be leased to neighbors and get revenue that way to offset staff costs. Housing pods help manage the population. Went thru ACA standards and the 4th edition is less prescriptive and more performance based. They are more concerned with how the jail operates and functions. They will put up appropriate firewall to separate new jail form old jail. Instead of moving detainees thru the courthouse, move the judge to the jail and/or do video arraignment. This helps with security issues and staffing. Orschell said he had attended the meetings and agreed with the idea of keeping staff needs similar to currently. He thinks going slow and working out the problems is beneficial. The predesign phase when completed goes to a timeline. Bill Ewbank has been working with Umbaugh on tax impacts. The schematic phase will go to a layering detail to understand the building and uses of floor plans. Then you go to design development. Then go to actual plans and bidding and construction phase. RQAW wants to get to design in early spring- bidding in fall and footers set before weather gets bad. Copper prices and steel are going thru the roof. So we have to build those inflationary issues into the costs. [NOTE: This will push the price to referendum.]
Hughes asked why he thought the felonies are increasing and misdemeanors are decreasing. Hughes wondered if they were increasing felony arrests because they go to the state. [NOTE: OR- it could be that if you charge with a felony- keep them in jail with high bonds. Then you can plea them down to a misdemeanor with credit for “jail time already served.” ]

Jail can handle maximum security. New building will be for minimum security. If the c and d felons get sent back to the locals to house- our maximum security current jail space could probably handle that. RQAW also indicate that offense is not always the determinant of security level. Non-violent felons sometimes need no max security and a gang member in on a misdemeanor might need max security. Felons here would increase jail time too. Another 224 housing bed could be added to the west should the future require that. They are also putting the kitchen closer to the new pod so it is more centralized should additions be needed in the future. McHenry said some of the drug cases may drop to c and d felonies. Dodd said they just can’t answer to the future needs as they just aren’t getting that information released to them.

Liberty National Life Insurance Company- Guy Reinert- and Steve Hargus- opportunity to enhance employees benefits package. 100 plus year old company. No adm costs- but it is a payroll deduction- pre-tax. This gives employee and county a tax break. In a county this size it could be several thousand dollars. They do this for the city of Lawrenceburg. They do s group term life insurance policy. Usually benefits offer a $10-25,000 policy. Liberty National offers something different- it is a benefit that goes with the employee when they leave- if they want it. It locks them into the price till age 100. These are portable group term policies and their spouse and kids can get this. They are probably the only company that offers this and doesn’t ask the tobacco use question. They give a 1 year $3,000 pay out policy for the family for the entire year on an Accidental death benefit for free. After that they can continue that for $10. County can consider this. Gayle would have to look into this with HR. She can also ask Jackie Stutz how Lawrenceburg handles this. No decision.

HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT- Todd Listerman, County Engineer, gave a 10-minute report:

LPA Consulting Contract with United Consulting on Bridge Inspections. Chris Pope from United talked about changes in requirements that increased the costs of this service. United does 15-16 counties for this. It’s an 80/20 cost split with eth federal government funds. The data is now put in software that the feds mandated. Fracture critical inspections also cost more. Truss bridges are like this. These require a multiple man crew. They have to clean off the structural members and inspect each at arm’s length. Because Collier Bridge is closed it won’t cost the $10000 or more for that inspection. Other type bridges cost about $600. Triple Whipple only has to be done every 4 years as it is a pedestrian bridge. New bridges get inspected and repaired ones also when they are open to traffic. $199,000 is the total cost and county cost is just under $40,000 for this contract. Commissioners signed the contract with United Consulting.

AUDITOR- Gayle Pennington- claims and minutes were signed, even though the commissioners hadn’t completely reviewed the entire set. Commissioners will review them after the meeting and allow Hughes to sign off on them after that.

ATTORNEY- Andy Baudendistel- met with Gay last week and completed file transfer. Gay will monitor Hoosier Square and Votaw Building. [NOTE: That will avoid conflict of interest for the current county attorney who works with Votaw’s group.]

Also spoke with county planning to get the resolution for the new zoning map format. Baudendistel will write that up soon.

Hughes asked about- back burner item- purchasing agreement ordinance that was drafted by Witte and Gay has reviewed it. Baudendistel will check on it.

COUNTY COORDINATOR- Bill Ewbank- wants people to have applicants come in to advise commissioners on what they are asking to have signed- at the meeting.

Agreement with Samantha Woods MD and Ron Phillips, Nurse for juvenile facility. The term and amount asked for is within discretionary amounts. He’s recommending this personal services agreement be signed. Commissioners agreed. He thinks they can do this in the future without meeting-a s it falls in the budget.

HJ Umbaugh and Associates for the Financial advisory services for the jail project. They were involved in the current jail, courthouse renovation etc for the bonds. This is an hourly agreement- not a fixed amount. Initial phase estimate is financial feasibility and analysis- $15-20,000. Funds available in Commissioners budget- but recommends asking Council for supplemental funds to do this. They will also tell us how we can pay for it. Contract can be terminated with 30 days notice. Commissioners decided to do this. Hughes said- we used London Witte in the past and this will give us fresh eyes. Commissioners put a cap on it of $20,000. We have an obligation to put forth accurate information on this to the public- regarding costs. Commissioners signed the agreement with the $20,000 cap.

District 9 Advisory Board for Emergency Management has an open position- Bill Black presented this info for a new appointee. Three reps from each county. Ralph Thompson was on it before. Jeff Hughes said he was not going to be presumptuous to say he could take Ralph’s place- but he’d be willing to do it. Hughes was approved to fill the spot.

Jeff Hughes- OKI has a water quality commission and Thompson had that spot. Orschell will take that over now. Commissioners approved Orschell. He will go to Thursday’s meeting, Travis Miller is in charge of that meeting.

Tom Orschell- none

Shane McHenry-asked Ewbank about the Spice ordinance. Ewbank has an ordinance drafted and prepared. Baudendistel will review that. McHenry does not want to let this slip through the cracks if fed drops the ball.
McHenry has had only positive comments about how highway has handled snow removal this winter.



Meeting adjourned at 11 AM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township


The New York Times carried the following OpEd regarding Mitch Daniel's answer to overblown increases in prisons. Go to this link:

Friday, January 14, 2011

Agenda for Jan 18th Commissioners Meeting- 9 AM

January 18, 2011
9:00 a.m.
City of Lawrenceburg
Administration Building
230 Walnut Street, Lawrenceburg, Indiana

EXCECUTIVE SESSION - 8:30 AM - Personnel Matter



1. Maximus Consulting Services
2. Vacate portion of Happy Hollow Road
3. Vacate portion of Willoughby Road
4. HiTech contract renewal

1. LifeTime Housing CDBG Grant Award Signatures
2. Donna Thacker /CASA - Grant recommendations
3. Lawrenceburg Library District Board Appointment
5. Prosecutor’s Office - Bad Check Program
5. Guy Reinert - Liberty National Life Insurance Company


VI. AUDITOR – Gayle Pennington




X. COMMISSIONER – Tom Orschell





Thursday, January 06, 2011

2011 Project Based Learning Academy REGISTRATIONS

2011 Project Based Learning Academy
Registrations being taken!

Dearborn County Teachers are taking
advantage of learning about this new
wave of developing learning environments!

See Email Information supplied below!!!!!

Mark J. Neff
Dearborn County EcO15 Coordinator
Dearborn Community Foundation
322 Walnut Street
Lawrenceburg, IN 47025

(812) 539-4115 Foundation Office
(812) 539-4119 Fax
(812) 584-7629 Cell Phone
Info about the PBL Academy..........Great opportunity for K-12 STEM Teachers!!!!!!!

You're invited to contact Mr. Abrams for more information about benefits to teachers attending the ACADEMY!

I’ve caught up now with PBL Academy registrations. 39 folks have already registered, sorted by county.

New registrations are coming in regularly and, I believe, to date the ‘marketing effort’ has been limited to sending out a flyer via email. Undoubtedly I’ll need your help in getting the word out about the program later.

Also, we’re about to release a ‘new and improved’ PBL Academy website which will greatly facilitate providing information about the 2011 program which is significantly expanded in scope (subject areas, level of PBL classroom experience, etc.). The three content areas of focus are K-12 math, MS/HS science, and MS/HS technology education (i.e., advanced mfg prep – this area will be led by Bob Sexton of Seymour HS). However, the fundamental purpose of the program is to prepare teachers to utilize PBL, so all teachers are welcome. We already have several elementary science teachers, English teachers, and language arts teachers who have registered. You’ll note that an elementary principal (from Jac-Cen-Del) has enrolled. That’s great! The more administrators who can get involved, the better.

I’ll provide a further update on the program design, registrations, and on-going communication plan during the webinar next week.

Robert Abrams


Project Manager - STEM Education and Regional Manufacturing Network

524 Franklin Street

Columbus, IN 47201


Wednesday, January 05, 2011


At the January 4th meeting County Commissioners changed their evening meeting time to
6 PM at the County Adm Bldg.
Their morning meeting will remain the same- 9 AM at the Lawrenceburg Council Chambers.
Evening meetings are the 1st Tues and morning ones are the 3rd Tues.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

4 January 2011 Dearborn County Commissioners Meeting Notes

4 January 2011 Dearborn County Commissioners Meeting Notes

Present: Jeff Hughes, President, Tom Orschell, and Shane McHenry
Also present: Bill Ewbank, County Coordinator, and Andrew Baudendistel, newly appointed Attorney.

ABSENT: Gayle Pennington, Auditor (Connie Fromhold took minutes)

The sound system had a distinct echo reverb throughout the entire meeting. Attempts to fix it were unsuccessful.

Hughes was elected as President of the commissioners.


Maximus Consulting services- remains tabled

Vacate portion of Happy Hollow Road- tabled

Vacate portion of Willoughby Road-rescheduled for JAN 18TH meeting. Tabled until then.

Hi-Tech Contract renewal- Ewbank stated that committee hasn’t met yet due to the holidays. Tabled.


Commissioners decided to have the agenda set 5 days in advance of the meeting.

Reorganization and appointments:

County Attorney- Andrew Baudendistel was nominated by Shane McHenry. Orschell hadn’t had time to meet with him so he abstained. Baudendistel was appointed county attorney, with Orschell abstaining.

HIGHWAY – Todd Listerman gave a 10-minute report

Wants to split the department into two- one as engineer and the other as highway supervisor.
This will free up the position of eng ass’t for $32,000 plus $13,000 benefits. This will not affect the level of services for taxpayers.
Engineer will be Listerman and Grieve will be the Highway Supervisor. The supervisor will be appointed by county commissioners, the same as the engineer. Orschell asked to do this on a 90-day trial to see how this separation works out. Commissioners voted to do this.

INDOT Contract for flashers at 3 local schools were signed.

Spoke to Dan McAllister Excavating for Holt Road. When good weather will get the old ford out and install new one.

Commissioners reappointed and appointed the following:

Bill Shelton- Bldg Inspector
Margaret Minzner- GIS
Bill Black- EMA
Charlie Ashley- 911
Mike Burgess- Vet services officer
Eric Hartmann- Maintenance as non-exempt employee
Marlene Underwood- Animal Control
Bill Ewbank- County Coordinator
Shane McHenry - Common construction wage and Juvenile Adv Board
Orschell kept his same boards-County Farm EMA and Redevelopment
Hughes – SEIRPC, OKI, and Plan Commission
Ken Nelson -Plan Commission
Rodney Dennerline and Mike Hankins -Health Board
Art Wenzel- Cemetery Board
Mike Heffelmire and Richard Bauer- County Farm
Barry Pruss and Robert Lischge ( sp ?)- Sewer Board
Jim Dole- Alcohol Board
Charlotte Hastings, Dave Lorey, and Debbie Morris -CVTB
Ken Nelson Nicole Daily- BZA
PTABOA-Bill Hartwell, Mark Neff, and Mark Hardenbeck

Mary Alice Horton- Aurora Public Library – Horton asked to appoint Sue Manford and Angela Burkhardt to the board. Commissioners approved. It was unclear if Horton was also appointed.

AUDITOR- Connie Fromhold - Claims and minutes approved.

COUNTY COORDINATOR- Bill Ewbank- spoke with Jack Gay and he will continue with the real estate acquisitions from December. He suggested we get title searches on all real estate purchased and environmental on Votaw Building. Some suits Gay will continue to monitor. Dispute with Aurora on Extension Services lease. Other accident suits. Baudendistel will communicate and coordinate with Gay.

Ewbank- appoint county extension agent signatory authority for County Farm for US Dept of Ag – Heffelmire was appointed to this.

L-bg Conservancy District- election is Jan 10th- Hughes was voted to make that decision for the ballot for the county. [NOTE: Presumably, the county gets a vote as they own land in the district????]

ATTORNEY- Andrew Baudendistel- introduced himself as being from Lawrenceburg- and lives in Guilford now. He’s honored to be appointed. Knows there’s been a lot of turnover in the position and will work with Gay to coordinate transition.

Tom Orschell- what do you think about 6 PM for evening meeting? Commissioners voted to move evening meeting time to 6 PM. Congratulated Shane – looking forward to working with him. He also wanted all 3 commissioners to sign a letter stating the same to Jud McMillin as our new representative.

Shane McHenry- thanked Orschell and looking forward to working with him. He also recognized an eagle Scout- in the audience.


Ginny Daum- Medical reserve corps director - have a total of 7 nurse aides- state also planning a mock earthquake training in May sometime. 26 MRC (Medical reserve Corps) units in Indiana out of 92 counties. Switzerland County and Dearborn are the only 2 in SE Indiana. She has a pharmacist who works for Krogers who will help network for medications in emergencies. Caring First in St. Leon has women to deploy. In southern county they use Interim Health care – for home health care issues. Commissioners are heads of the fiduciary funds. They have about $15,000 in funds. They are getting a small mobile unit with ICU equipment. Stephanie Craig- DCH Emergency preparedness- is working with Daum. She will not sign any memoranda of understanding without commissioner’s approval. Discussed working with the Red Cross. Wants to have a meeting with commissioners to work on a merger. Daum went on in detail about various services and shelters she’d be setting up in the event of a disaster.

Orschell suggested moving the podium to the side so the audience can hear better.

Mark Itura (sp?)- congratulated the elected commissioners and appreciated Listerman working to save money for the county.

Meeting adjourned at 8:10 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township