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

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