Wednesday, August 27, 2014

27 August 2014 Dearborn County Council Budget Hearing Notes

27 August 2014 Dearborn County Council Budget Hearing Notes

Present: Dennis Kraus. Sr., President, Dan Lansing, Liz Morris, Randy Lyness, Charlie Keyes, Ryan Brandt, and Bill Ullrich.
Also present: Gayle Pennington, Auditor, and Leah Bailey, Financial Controller Auditor’s Office

1 PM

Dearborn County Superior Court II

Judge Sally Blankenship – scheduled jury break time to be over here. Said budget was pretty much the same as last year except needing more public defender fees as the current budget is not enough.  Need $1700 for the court reporting system to cope with outside noise in hallways. $2000 for locker for more evidence.  Additional labeling machine- $600. Morris noted that other courts having public defender fee issues also. Some comment about going to another system that they keep trying to push onto us. Unclear what that was about. Blankenship said that if they cut the public defender fees she just has to come back for an additional. She just wants them to be aware of the impending expense. Travel and mileage is up a bit. They cut that back to the $850. Cut public defenders back to $10,000. She will have to come back to request. They apologized for that, but they have to balance it.

Superior Probation and Community Corrections

Steve Kelly-Morris said- Some of this is state mandated pay raises. Kelly said- $43,470 -some are at that and they will stall out from year 4-9 and then after year 9 is goes up again. He goes to CASA and gets a $25,000 grant every year. They use grant first and county money last. The 3 and 3 drug court had one person go out for 4 months so the others doubled up then. It’s not something they can sustain long term. He said he will try to use user fees and whatever to avoid having to come back for additionals.

Trying to get low risk people and not do as many drug screens on them as the high risk ones. Wants to be careful not to cut too much as this keeps people out of the jail. And if they go to the jail it increases spending there. Take some money from drug testing for now. They are looking at charging the convicted person a fee for their drug testing. $100 for felonies and $50 for misdemeanors would yield about $80,000. If they only got 50% collection of that it would yield $40,000. He encouraged people to call them for services to the community for the Community corrections people to do their service hours. They send 2 officers out to monitor the crew also. Kelly does hope to start those fees and it will cut his additional requests.
All salaries are coming out of the grant now. Operating expenses come out of user fees. It makes it easier for auditor’s office to track. 11 full time staff for Community Corrections. This is funded out of Dept of Corrections. Their free rent at Hoosier Square is what the county pays.

They are looking at JCAP by 2016 to combine with Community Corrections by state law. They are already now paying some J-CAP salaries with user fees. They are trying to look at a vehicle from the used ones in the pool. DLGF looks at this budget? Yes. Lyness was worried about them not letting us use user fees some day. Collect $35,000 a month in user fees now. Last fall we were collecting 51%- up to 60% and hope to be 75% at some point. They have to be paid in full or you can’t go on work release. They also can’t grocery shop etc unless user fees are paid in full.

3 vehicles now and need $15,000 requested to repair. In the past they didn’t track vehicle repairs- so he is guessing on this. The one van is brand new. So not much maintenance on that. Gas was in that amount. Kraus said they need to break that out separately. $10,000 for gas as last year they spent $9000. Kraus didn’t like the repair expense- said they aren’t taking good care of the public vehicles.
Monitoring equipment- $62,400- was budgeted by previous person was grossly under done. They always spent about $160,000. It was an expensive and unreliable one. The new one is $230,000 but more reliable. DOC gives about $500,000 grant money and $400,000 operating fees. House Bill 1006 will mean Community Corrections will double in size as Felony Level 6 don’t go to state prison they go to local jail or home detention.

Computers can be slashed to $5000 as they used a grant for some. Furniture can be cut to $1500 from $3000. Counseling has been cut to half. This will be phased out completely by the end of 2015. Community liaison is being done by Gwendolyn Emery as part of her job- so cut that old one out. Lansing asked if they could spread the idea of user fees for Bradley to try in his probation dept also. Kelly said he would speak to him. Lansing said perhaps have the others assessed also. So far they brought it up 30 points in 6 months said Kelly.

Kelly said it can be tough standing up in front of you guys. But I like having checks and balances and it helps me.

2 PM


 Alan Beneker - thanked them for money since 2008 to fight domestic violence. We provide all different services at the Shelter in Batesville and covers 5 counties. Just opened an office in Dearborn County- but it is not at a published address for security issues. They have a2 4 hour hotline. Prevention piece is about Coaching Boys into Men. Law enforcement training for two hours is free to local law enforcement.

Our services are increasing at a large rate. Some at 20%. Served 253 individuals from Dearborn County last fiscal year. $90,000 gap in their funding. 40% federal and state and 60% from locals. Ripley is considering $20,000, Batesville, $15,000. Lawrenceburg gave $6300, Sunman gave $2000. They would hope for $20,000. Ryan Brandt said his experience as a police officer they do a great job. BUT as we said in our first day of hearings we are dropping many of these. Community Foundations will not help with operating costs. 30% go back to abuser. Our rate is only 8% going back to abuser. Which is a great rate. Ullrich said maintaining is a possibility. Alan kept saying that he completely understands. Our last amount was $5000. Lansing told him he was a good front man for them – you have a good attitude. Council will work on this at the end of the hearings.

Miscellaneous Discussions:

Kraus- Regional Sewer Board has asked for a raise for Part time help. Discussion from council was they had been told the person who is doing it is virtually incompetent. There has been an issue of billing problems. Discussion about why should they reward incompetence.

Eric Hartman –Maintenance Dept.- Kraus said if they pay him overtime it is appropriate. $55-60.000 should be his salary. But with $48,000 plus overtime he is there. They are going to leave that as is. Morris said he does prevention as well as maintenance. Ullrich said he responds quickly.

Judge Cleary is not scheduled to appear as his budget is less than last year. He did relay info that he would be glad to have them come over if they had any questions for him.

Council continued to discuss places to cut in each budget.

2:15 PM- I left.

Christine Brauer Mueller

Lawrenceburg Township


Anonymous said...

Let me see if I've got this straight:

1. Council has no problem changing the rules to allow itself to plunder the riverboat savings account to the tune of $11 million (and counting?) for a new jail and is talking about a new courthouse addition;

2. Council has no problem giving Negangard $25K to defend himself against a disciplinary complaint;

3. Council evidently has no other problems with the proposed budgets from Negangard, Humphrey and Blankenship (God bless Cleary, whose budget actually DECREASED) and has otherwise gone along with the creation of a "jail industrial complex" in DC;

4. BUT Council wants to complain about the costs of the public defenders, whose costs have increased as a direct result of their other decisions?

The Constitution (and the rules in general...) sure seems to be more and more of an inconvenience around here.

Anonymous said...

Can we clone Judge Cleary?

Anonymous said...

Amazing.......maybe if Mr. Kelly would put in a 40 hour work week instead of a 24 hour work week, so much $$ wouldn't be necessary. This just adds more "icing" to the Dearborn County cupcake corruption. Thank God I'm not a resident. I'd hate to think my tax paying dollars would contribute to this atrocity!!