Wednesday, June 24, 2015



Next week (Thursday, June 25th @ 8:30am) the Chamber will be hosting a workshop put on by the online marketing firm InSourceCode. They have started an initiative with the goal of making Indiana businesses more present on the web. Websites, online marketing and social media are their specialty. 

Their goal is an increase in online representation for Indiana small businesses and to refurbish the way small businesses connect with the world and market their products and services.

Currently, only 53 % of locally owned businesses in Indiana have a website to promote their brand, company mission, products and services, as well as engage with existing and prospective consumers. While we have a shortage of websites throughout the small business sector, online engagement continues to skyrocket, with 87% of web users consistently sifting through the web in search of products and services.

For more information check out their youtube channel here.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

16 June 2015 Dearborn County Commissioners Meeting Notes

16 June 2015 Dearborn County Commissioners Meeting Notes

Present: Art Little, and Kevin Lynch, acting president.
ABSENT: Shane McHenry on vacation

Also present: Gayle Pennington, Auditor, Andy Baudendistel, Attorney, and Terri Randall, Administrator

Commissioners resigned a highway contract copy as the one from last meeting was signed.

Redaction Services and Support Agreement- Glenn Wright- Recorder- CSI is the company and they have had it for years. It is a 4 year contract. Baudendistel reviewed.
In January they put $268 into their fund- they get 50 cent fee. Contract is $2,000 and they have money from these fees to cover it. Approved. 

ADMINISTRATOR- Terri Randall- nothing

AUDITOR- Gayle Pennington- presented non collusion agreement from APS (Adult Protective Services) side of Negangard’s office. Bryan Messmore had not submitted it to Baudendistel for review. Baudendistel reviewed tonight and said it was OK to  sign. Approved. 

Contract for EMS services for 2 squads from Moores Hill for $40,000 - approved.

Claims approved.

Minutes from June 2 meeting approved. 

ATTORNEY- Andy Baudendistel- at July 7th meeting they will present a zone map amendment from Plan Commission and zoning codes.

COMMISSIONER COMMENTS- Art Little wanted everyone to remember what July 4th is all about. 
Kevin Lynch concurred. We get caught up in festivities sometimes. He also said at July 21st meeting he will be out of town. He also wanted to lay out that as president of OKI- their annual luncheon will be August 5th at the Lawrenceburg Event Center. This will have business and community leaders- approximately 500 people. Undersecretary Peter Rodoff ( spelling?) from Transportation policy will be the primary speaker. Lynch attended a conference in NC and spoke with people about transportation policies and issues. He gave an interesting and succinct presentation to their group. Judge Exec. Gary Moore from KY presided over that conference. It was good to talk to peers about their issues too.



Meeting Adjourned at 5:16 PM

Christine Bauer Mueller

Lawrenceburg Township

Monday, June 15, 2015

Agenda- June 16th DC Commissioners Meeting

Tuesday, June 16, 2015 
5:00 p.m., Commissioners Room
County Administration Building
215 B West High Street, Lawrenceburg, Indiana




Redaction Services & Support Agreement – Recorder, Glenn Wright
V. ADMINISTRATOR – Terri Randall
VI. AUDITOR – Gayle Pennington

VII. ATTORNEY – Andy Baudendistel




Friday, June 12, 2015



More info from Register Publications on the Council planning for financing the annex selected by commissioners.

11 June 2015 Dearborn County Council Meeting Notes

 11 June 2015 Dearborn County Council Meeting Notes

Present: Randy Lyness, President, Dennis Kraus. Sr., Liz Morris, Charlie Keyes, Ryan Brandt, and Bill Ullrich. 
ABSENT: Dan Lansing- on vacation
Also present: Gayle Pennington, Auditor and Teresa Randall, County Administrator, and Kevin Lynch, Commissioner.

This meeting was advertised to have NO decisions be made.

Lyness opened the meeting saying that Commissioners voted to build the $11.2 million annex. We need to find out if we can afford it. He invited Jason Semler from Umbaugh and Associates to the podium to speak to this. Jason is a partner with Umbaugh and they had worked n the jail. With him was Paige Sansone who was a 12 years with Umbaugh. 

He said in talking with Randy over the phone he drew up a 15 or 20 year bond issue and what it would be. If bonding whole project. Bond counsel would be $150,000, and 1% of bonds as fee. He also had $12.6 million, which  would have to be bonded to cover all of eh $11.2 million price tag. Have to pay $1.2 million for the next 10 years. 20 year bonds for 3.7% were sold by him recently. 
Option 2 with using $4 million cash and bond $7.2 Million. $780,000/year payments.

Using a 20 year option reduces the annual payment. These have property tax backing to guarantee the bonds. These secure the bonds. Otherwise the interest rates go up 1/2 to 1 %. Since the property tax is just a back up you don’t have to worry about referendum because you have no intention of using it. [NOTE: But what if you do have to exercise the property tax levy?]

The next question is what revenues do you, the county,  have to pay it off?
[NOTE: Now we get the sales pitch- they want us to hire them for a comprehensive financial plan.]

Jason- Maybe look at a comprehensive financial plan because of the circuit breaker law. This limits the tax rate. Businesses ( under circuit breaker law) will pay no more than 3% increase., Ag 2% and residents1%.

Gayle Pennington said we have  a lot of people hitting the caps here already with the circuit breaker. This means the increases are stopped by the 1,2, or 3% cap. The circuit breaker losses are increasing. 

Ullrich said you don’t want to mess with tax rate.- Impact has been worst on Ag farmers. 

Jason said looking at your funds you see a trend in tax losses.

Lyness- If we are not making tax money- what to take this out of?

Jason- Riverboat Revenues or levy a new tax. That way the security of property tax in the above scenario with the bond issue would essentially become a new tax then. 

Lyness asked for $100,000 assessed valuation what would the tax cost be? 

NO Answer but… another sales pitch come in from Umbaugh:

Jason- You’d want the comprehensive financial plan to help decide this first. (making the  case for more work for his company)

Liz Morris asked what the cost would be to do the comp financial plan. 
Jason said that is Paige’s area. He also brought one plan form Scott County as an example. They had a shortfall. Like we do here. 

Paige said that part of the service we provide to see how to make up that shortfall. They are doing a plan for Lawrenceburg now. She said we would benefit additionally because of this project. They would work scenarios to see how they could fund it. [NOTE: Scenarios are just possibilities based on certain “educated” assumptions. In Master Plans we have seen these needs for land use types be based on population estimates for the county. Even using conservative trends out of IU Kelley’s research our population increases were way too high. This is because of the unintended consequences of some of our policies and decisions. Example- the Riverboat coming in. Boatloads of money and then the obvious unintended consequences of the vice and crime that cultivating a climate of gambling as recreation and tax revenue created. Couple that with the perception that moving to the country was no longer the safe idyllic life that Ohioans had imagined for their kids.]

Jason said the do many budgets. Sometimes they show how circuit breaker losses could be aided by different funds. It looks on a more long term basis than just budgeting.
Bonds are callable so you can refinance them at a lower rate if that happens. The often update their reports for communities every couple years. It takes 6-8 weeks to do a plan. Cost depends on how much you want us to do. Probably looking at $35,000 probably. Some communities only use the top 10 operating funds. You could incorporate this as part of the financing for the project. [NOTE: Now we use the project funds to pay for the plan to finance the project- but we haven’t appropriated money for the project yet. And Lyness has an ethical issue here.]

Lyness disagreed with Jason-  you should just use our cash for this- not part of the project. [NOTE: Well he got that right.] 

Ullrich said Umbaugh has an excellent reputation. 
Liz asked if there were other options. Loan from a bank would require legal documents and public approval. Usually it is bonds. Could send out proposals to Edward Jones. It is bonds. Because you are a government- it is bonds- not a bank.( get it? it is bonds not bank loans!) Debt limit is $14million for us. 

Kraus asked if it could be backed up by COIT instead of property taxes. CEDIT could be added they said as well as raise COITs. Jason said property taxes are more secure than COIT. Could use Public safety LOIT and not adopt the other LOITs. ( LOIT is local option income tax)

You only levy the tax if the bonds are not being paid. [NOTE: In all these scenarios, the security for this is the taxpayers- they will pay if the county can’t get the bonds paid off. That means more taxes.] 

Don’t close on the bonds until you need the money. They don’t close on bonds until they already to move dirt. 
Have to have bonds and cash ready for when they start.

Kraus asked why we don’t have the final on the jail payments yet to close that out. Randall said most are out. She said she can shoot those balances out to you soon. Gayle said only a couple vendors are left. They think it’s only $30,000 left to pay on jail. There is about $9 million in the savings account- some of it is spoken for with other projects.

They think the report may not save money but it would help you make better informed decisions.[NOTE:The report will not save us money- it will tell us how to bond the money and what we can afford to pay back- barring any unknown county catastrophes. why can’t our accountant tell us this?]

Liz Morris said Lyness with a couple others should meet with Umbaugh to determine the scope and Lyness said don’t look at me! Morris said- well you’re sitting in the big chair… [NOTE: Lyness should be very careful here…]

Kraus thinks $30,000 for this and Frank Cummings costs us about $8,000 for our budget. 
Paige said that she could tell them the minimum that would benefit you. And then we could throw in some others if you decide to. MORE SALES PITCH.

Lyness said we are at COIT .006 ever since we adopted it 25 plus years ago. (does he want to increase it?)

Kraus said we do have the cash on hand and it makes about 1.5% interest and then pay almost 4% in interest on the bonds. Why wouldn’t we use our savings?

Morris thought about using a mix of this. 

Pennington said they can digest this and then tell her if they need another meeting. 

Morris wanted a committee to meet to decide the scope of this. 

Lyness wants to “get rolling,” and do what’s right. 
It might involve us getting in the car and coming to Indy and meet across the table.[NOTE: Wait- we are taking a committee meeting that should be open to the public on a road trip to Indy? Transparency??]

Pennington wants Leah, the comptroller, involved. They will get total of 3 council on the committee. ( this avoids quorum) It takes 2 weeks to announce an expenditure meeting to have a decision. 
Pennington will get this info to Lansing who is on vacation now.

Kevin Lynch asked to speak- was glad to hear economic development mentioned. Hopes they use those resources to increase income to the county. (that is too long a shot for payback to help this) Commissioners are behind this and thinks it is long overdue to get a grasp of where we are and look at a plan for our future. Professional excellence and working on our shared vision for the future… [NOTE: More sales pitch for a “professional” study by Umbaugh. And of course there will be no competition for this business.]

Meeting adjourned at 7:45 PM
Christine Brauer Mueller

Lawrenceburg Township

Thursday, June 11, 2015

11 June 2015 Dearborn County Redevelopment Meeting Notes

11 June 2015 Dearborn County Redevelopment Meeting Notes

Present: Dave Deddens, Chairman, Jim Helms, Jim Deaton, Randy Lyness. 
ABSENT: John Rahe and Dusty Burress (non- voting school board member)

Also present: Terri Randall, county administrator and economic development director, Andrea Ewan, attorney, Sue Hayden, minute taker, Gayle Pennington, Auditor and DCRC treasurer.Oren Turner also was present.

Verification of Info discussed in Executive Session- Randy Maxwell attended executive session prior to this meeting. Approved by board as special strategy of purchase or lease of property etc as stated in the public notice.
Action of Executive Session- no action still in negotiations.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES- May 21st meeting minutes approved


Approval of claims for ED Research grant- claims for Oren Turner approved.$56,180 left in account.
Approval of Regular claims- $1032.74- approved
Review of Financials- Each account was gone over with their totals including the TIFs. Randall said the West Aurora TIF account was growing. At some point they need to decide what to do with those district’s TIF money as infrastructure or marketing investments. Whitewater Mill was re- TIFed as a new district when they came in she said. 

Updates from Oren Turner, Research tech- Randall introduced the topic with saying someone had seen that property was listed as available and chipotle was already in it. So they talk about updating sites that link to us. 
Oren Turner passed out materials that he is developing for a site selectors for Dearborn County. Randall is attending something July 16th that will be put out during the All Star game. She is getting with REDI on that and needs some marketing pieces for that. Turner said he is open to any critiquing for these pieces. He wants to upgrade the TIF map to show the TIFs in the cities too. The board threw out some ideas about current businesses here as well. Maybe also show new businesses in the past 7-10 years here too. Also trying to see what their links and web traffic is. Trying to get some professionally done video clips of businesses here perhaps. 
Randall said that they got a letter from Milacron CEO that said they had really wanted to be here- that IN would have been the best corporate environment for them. Other nice things too. Turner will bring Google analysts on their website for traffic next.
They have property search database available thru REDI Cincinnati housed through . Randall pitched all the things we can get thru REDI now that we are members. Someone else is going out in July to get all the available properties on line. Randall said they will try to hook up with them to be sure we get all our available land out there for exposure. “xelegent” is a site for all this. 
Turner is working on some marketing and RFPs pieces. 
Ewan advised him to get real pics and not stock photos for the site. We have enough web photographers in the county too. 


Time to prepare budget for 2016 due June 2 to Auditor. Randall thinks it will be relatively easy. She said she will probably send out the draft to them and go with that for submission. She thinks that is OK to change during the hearing. This is because they will not be meeting before July 2nd and she doesn’t have the budget ready now.

Randall wants to use Umbaugh as the auditor’s office says they get things done on time. Umbaugh is coming tonight at the Council meeting. She thinks we could talk to them then maybe. She says that there is enough work now and she wants to have someone being sure they are reporting everything right. There are reports due July 1st. That is a basic one but there are letters required by July 15 to the taxing districts in the TIFs and there are enough that she wants help. 

Randall said that she has been pressing on the sign on the Aurora Industrial park Signarama has one drawn up but didn’t get it to her in time for the meeting.


OTHER BUSINESS- Deaton said that he attended the REDI meeting and they have one person who can help us out here. She said that many people there passed out their card- and we have no business cards. Most people there were for Ohio- nice networking experience. Talked to a French company rep there and was told they could apply for them too.

Deddens suggested and board decided that they will be meeting every other month now that project platform is off the table. They will meet July, Sept, November. If there is something needed they will call a special meeting. 


Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Damn the Ethics, Full Speed Ahead

Damn the Ethics, Full Speed Ahead

This guest column was also published in the June 9th edition of the Journal Press.

I wish we could clone Jiminy Cricket, Pinocchio’s wise and comedic conscience, and gift him to every local official in the county. Perhaps Jiminy could counteract the temptation to ignore that inner voice that keeps whispering “This isn’t right,”  while others keep pushing, by any means possible, to get something done. The county annex project reached that point at the June 2 Commissioners Meeting,where it was (with apologies to the US Navy) Damn the ethics, full speed ahead!

It is legal to be unethical in Indiana. Conflict of interest has been watered down by our ethically challenged legislature to only include you and your immediate dependents living in your household. 

And yet the IRS definition of family in their conflict of interest instructions to non-profits defines family as all relationships from spouse, siblings (whole and half), children, grand and great- grandchildren, and all their spouses and even ancestors! (See form 1023 p 33 IRS instructions) 


One of the best conflict of interest policies that addresses both legal and ethical ones comes from the Center for Wise Democracy:
 “…no member of the Board of Directors shall participate in any discussion or vote on any matter in which he or she or a member of his or her immediate family has a potential conflict of interest due to having material economic involvement regarding the matter being discussed. When such a situation presents itself, the director must announce his or her potential conflict, disqualify himself or herself, and be excused from the meeting until discussion is over on the matter involved.” 

And not vote on it. 


Our Planning and Zoning department also uses that concept and removes even the perception of conflict of interest.

Currently we have an annex funding issue where the Randy Lyness, President of Council not only has an ethical conflict of interest, he has it on several levels. When asked abut it at a meeting earlier this year, he admitted to finding out just recently that his son is in fact an owner of Maxwell Construction, the Construction Manager contracted for the annex and the previous jail project. His son is listed in the contract with a management role. He also has brothers, some nephews and a brother - in- law also in this company. It’s not just a son. Maxwell Construction has made nearly $600,000 on the jail and the annex will be approximately the same amount as the jail was per their project manager and contract. The Maxwell contract for the annex was approved by Commissioners without going out to bid. That funding for Maxwell comes out of the whole annex project funding that Council is set  to discuss and vote on soon.


Lyness recently presented a disclosure statement  signed May 26,2015 at the May 26th Commissioner/Council Meeting. He told Council last week, he thinks they should fund the annex. He is reportedly mulling over his role and having a hard time deciding what he will do if the vote on funding comes down to a tie and he has to vote to break it. 

I know what Jiminy Cricket would say. It takes a lifetime to earn the respect of friends, family, and the public. That can all come unravelled by not listening to your conscience. I think President Lyness knows what he needs to do. And I hope his colleagues respect him if he chooses to listen to his conscience instead of the background noise of those only interested in their personal stake in this project. Because it takes courage to stand up at a time like this and do the right thing. 

It is hubris to believe that the project will not survive without Council President Lyness leading the discussion and vote. Even the judges know that the project can proceed without Council. One of them has already said she can mandate it. That is not unethical.

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

AGENDA June 11 DC Redevelopment Commission Meeting

June 11, 2015
9:00 a.m., 3rd Floor Commissioners Room
County Administration Building
215 B West High Street, Lawrenceburg, Indiana


Call to order

Verification of Information Discussed in Executive Session

Action of Executive Session 

Approval of Minutes
May 21, 2015 Meeting 

Unfinished Business
Claims & Financials
Approval of Claims for ED Research Grant
Approval of Regular Claims
Review of Financials

New Business
Updates from Oren Turner, Research Tech

Economic Development Officer’s Report

Attorney’s Report
Other Business


Monday, June 08, 2015

Dearborn County Council Meeting Called for June 11 at 6:30 PM

Public Notice 
Dearborn County Council Meeting
Thursday June 11, 2015, at 6:30 p.m.
County Commissioners Meeting Room 

According to I.C. 5-14-1.5-5, the purpose of this meeting is solely to receive information or recommendation in order to carry out administrative functions.  No decisions will be made.

Executive Session Called for DC Redevelopment Commission June 11th

Executive Session 

The Dearborn County Redevelopment Commission 
has called an 
Executive Session for 
Thursday, June 11at 8:00 a.m.

This meeting is for the purposes of discussing strategy with the respect to purchasing real property which is classified confidential by state and federal statutes.  
IC 5-14-1.5-6.1(b) (2) (D)
And to discuss interviews and negotiations with industrial or commercial prospects. IC 5-14-1.5-6.1(b) (4)

These meetings will take place at the
Dearborn County Administration Building, 3rd Floor Commissioners Room,
215 B West High Street,
Lawrenceburg, IN  47025.

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

2 June 2015 Dearborn County Commissioners Meeting Notes

2 June 2015 Dearborn County Commissioners Meeting Notes

see notes at end of meeting

Present: Shane McHenry, President, Art Little, and Kevin Lynch

Also present: Gayle Pennington, Auditor, Andy Baudendistel, Attorney, and Terri Randall, Administrator
Also present: Judges Jon Cleary and Sally McLaughlin and Persecutor Aaron Negangard

911 Dispatch Interlocal Agreement and Resolution with Dillsboro- $5000 paid to the county for 2015. Approved both resolution and the interlocal agreement. Termination clause of 90 days. 

HIGHWAY SUPERVISOR- Tim Grieve: Terri Randall stood in for Grieve.
Asphalt Bid Award- O Mara  bid $914,584.56
Rohe was $937,567.50
Bid was awarded to O’Mara as the lowest bidder.

HEALTH DEPT.- Signature for Grant Agreement for Public Heath Preparedness. No one was present from the Health Dept. Grant was for $51,053. Baudendistel had reviewed this as did the state attorneys office. Approved and Signed. 

Local Elected Officials Agreement Indiana Economic Growth Region 9- We are a member of Region 9- Little represents us on this group. They are using money to place workers in new jobs. She said it is a worthy cause. The only thing to know is the potential liability for the improper use of these funds though there has never been an issue with this. Little said that the board was dysfunctional a few years ago and now this board is really a good example for the state. They work well with IVY Tech. This agreement designates their representative as Little. Commissioners signed the local elected officials agreement. They also voted to allow Little to execute the agreement on their behalf. 

AUDITOR- Gayle Pennington- Claims and May 26th Minutes were approved. We were the 2nd county in the state to finish their settlement. Washington County beat us this year. We are normally first. 

ATTORNEY- Andy Baudendistel:
Resolution Approving Entry Into Interlocal with Aurora  and the actual Interlocal Agreement for Planning and Zoning Services It costs Aurora $25,000/year with a 90 day termination clause. It establishes a joint board if there is ever a dispute. Resolution and the agreement were both approved and signed.  All judicial issues for Aurora will be handled by the Aurora City attorney and not the county planning dept. attorney, which is Baudendistel. Aurora already approved these agreements. 

COMMISSIONER COMMENTS- McHenry said that he appreciated all the work we and the Redevelopment Board put into the work trying to get Milacron. It was unfortunate they didn’t get it. Lynch said the corridor is getting attention now. Little also said that he agreed with this.



COURTHOUSE ANNEX DISCUSSION: Eric Ratz of DLZ recapped what they presented to the Council and Commissioners last week. He stressed the 1871 Courthouse and trying to be sensitive to the architecture. He showed the three entrance options. He showed the two story squared off one as option 1 with windows. The 2nd was the modern curved glass two story option. The 3rd was the one story option with columns. 
Brad Rullman of Maxwell spoke of the pricing. Option 1 $11.4 million Option 2 $11.2 million. Option 3 is 11.04 million. All with full basement. The tunnel system allows tie in to the existing tunnel system. This allows for security. Very abbreviated presentation.
McHenry asked about giving the judges the space they actually need. Rullman said this is the schematic design stage. There will still be some walls moving around in the design development phase next. The mechanicals then get brought in etc. Then they get approval from commissioners. Then they get to the bidding phase to construction phase. 


Kathy Scott asked about printable plans availability.Not yet.

Phil Darling- wanted to be sure that we will actually use the basement space. He asked how many square feet would be in the basement to use? About 6,000 sq ft. He said the judges need more court space- maybe use the basement for this- esp jury trials. He also registered that he didn’t want the rounded glass front- maintenance issues. 

Dan Lansing- spoke to the cost issues that Council is facing. He had hoped for a project that was a different monetary option. Like maybe a $8-9 million option. He wants the judges and prosecutor to get their space but…. Can’t keep spending and spending.

Chris Mueller- said that most of her concerns were addressed by the previous speakers. She asked about using the basement space  for optional items like overlapping jury trials only and meetings - not offices for staff with no windows. (We average about 12 jury trials a year) They also may have an option of putting windows on one wall of the basement for exterior light per McHenry and Rullman, 

Dan Lansing - asked if the price included all the new equipment they would need. Alyssa Rullman of Maxwell said that it is a mix of usable and new needed which are not in the price.They have figured out how to cover some of this. 

Aaron Negangard asked about the timing till it is finished. Answer 2 years. He said he appreciated everyone’s input. He wished there was an $8 million option.He wished he had a winning lottery ticket too. But there is no $8 million option. He also wants the big round entrance. He wants people to move round in there and everyone see where the entrance obviously is. It gives 600 sq ft more per floor in the rounded lobby. [NOTE: Want to bet they vote for Negangard’s option?]

Little motioned and Lynch ended for the rounded front $11.2 million option with the full basement. All ayes. 

McHenry asked if they would have a 2nd entrance option. RATZ SAID of course they will have these doors as emergency exits with the existing entrances now. But it is a matter of options that can be addressed later. 

Randall reminded them that we don’t have funding. So the next step is to get with Council to figure that out. She said we don’t want to rush them getting the guidance they need. She will want to come to them to get funding to at least keep the project moving until Council finds funds.  [NOTE: No pressure there??? ]

McHenry said Council has made a wise decision to seek outside help to make the decision. 

Randall was worried about missing construction time next summer if it goes too long and also the costs increasing. 

McHenry wants it to be a collaborative effort.

McHenry thanked all the Maxwell team and the judges and prosecutor for showing up and also the public. He said it was unfortunate there are not more folks taking more interest and time to show up. [NOTE: Meetings called at 5 PM and ending at 6:15 will miss input from most of the working (taxpaying) public. That being said, it was pretty clear that previous and current public input was not weighted very heavily in the final decision. Even the historical society’s input on the architectural aspects didn’t figure in this final decision. Nor did the long term maintenance costs associated with the glass entry. ] 

Meeting Adjourned at 6:15 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller

Lawrenceburg Township

Thursday, May 28, 2015



Plans and pictures can also be viewed with a link at the end of the Register online article.


Attorneys Smart and Ewbank filed a motion to dismiss all charges claiming Kathy Hess has not been granted a speedy trial guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment of the US Constitution.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015



Disclosure Pursuant to Indiana Code 36-1-21-5(b)(1)

Describe the contract or purchase to be made by the unit:

The Dearborn County Board of Commissioners entered into a contract with Maxwell Construction to be the Construction Manager on a proposed Courthouse Expansion Project. Prior to the selection of Maxwell Construction Manager, the Dearborn Cunty Council, of which I am a member, approved funding for the hiring of a Construction Manager.

Describe the relationship that the elected official has to the individual or business entity that contracts or purchases:

Upon recent inquiry it has come to my attention that my son, Jeff Lyness, is a shareholder in Maxwell Construction, however, at the time the contract between the Dearborn County Commissioners and Maxwell Construction was signed, I had no knowledge of the fact that my son was a shareholder. Since that information has now become known to me I am filing this disclosure pursuant to State statute. 


Randy Lyness, President
Dearborn County Council


Before me, the undersigned, a Notary Public in and for said County and State this the 26th day of May, A.D., 2015 personally appeared the within named Randy Lyness, President of Dearborn County Council, in the above Disclosure and acknowld=edged the execution of the same to be his voluntary act and deed for the use and purpose herein mentioned. 

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereto subscribed my name and affixed my official seal. 

Sue Ann Hayden
Notary Public State of Indiana
Dearborn County
Commission # 654753
My Commission Expires
June 19, 2022

26 May 2015 Dearborn County Council Meeting Notes

 26 May 2015 Dearborn County Council Meeting Notes

Started late at close to 7:30 PM due to  annex meeting.
Present: Randy Lyness, President, Dennis Kraus. Sr., Dan Lansing, Liz Morris, Charlie Keyes, Ryan Brandt, and Bill Ullrich. 
Also present: Gayle Pennington, Auditor and Teresa Randall, County Administrator

The executive session that preceded this was certified to have only discussed pending litigation by Baudendistel.

AURORA PUBLIC LIBRARY- Board Appointment- Gayle Pennington said it was for Ben Turner for 4 years. Approved. 

MAINTENANCE DEPARTMENT- Utilities- $100,000 that was cut from original budget- Approved. 

CIRCUIT COURT - Judge Humphrey out of own for son’s grad from Air Force Academy- Lyness had his letter- Transcript overtime- $10,000- approved.

AURORA LIONS CLUB - Mike Heffelmire- sent letter-  Aurora Farmers Fair- $1200 for the clown payback. Approved for this year- but is is to be less per budget time. Council said that the motion incudes the letter to notify them that this will not continue. 

TREASURER- Phil Weaver- Resolution of Investments- to invest funds outside the county as we have done since 2011. Council approved this Resolution for CD invested outside the county in northern Indiana. It is for 2 years. 

COMMUNITY CORRECTIONS- Steve Kelly- Vehicle purchase- only need two vehicles now and the officers work in pairs so they only need two vehicles now. This will be paid out of Community Corrections user fees. Haag Ford quote under $30,500 for a 2015 used Ford Explorer. Morris said she sits on the board and it was discussed as a prudent way to proceed. The 5 vehicles that are now there will reduce costs of insurance and maintenance. Approved from Juvenile User fees. 

PROSECUTOR- Aaron Negangard- Depositions and witness fees- due to increased number of jury trials. transcriptions run several thousand dollars. $7500 for each of these fees. It came out of Riverboat Revenue- approved. 

HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT- Todd Listerman- Replace Bridge #61 - Kaiser Road- no longer a box beam bridge so there is $110,000 left in that box beam fund. Plus balance out of the total $525,000 in Bridge rehab account. Approved. 
Replace Bridge #38 Schwipps Road- Infrastructure account has money for this - $675,000 portion for this with a new line item. Approved.

911 COMMUNICATIONS- Jared Teaney- Radio System for $21,957.06 for moving it from Aurora. We are doing their dispatch now. Approved.  

PLANNING AND ZONING- Mark McCormack- Legal advertising- $400 for blight elimination program.- approved.

Vehicle Maintenance- $500- approved.

Potential interlocal agreement with Aurora- regarding the County Planning Dept doing their planning code enforcement. There are 17 enumerated items in the draft agreement so far. This is structured so as not to cost the county more money. McCormack delineated the way this position could be paid. Kraus told him you can’t call it a bonus- those are illegal. Guinevere Emery ( Aurora’s city manager) said that they have higher needs than Bright or St Leon or West Harrison has for County Planning use. Issues of the benefits. Baudendistel told them that Stratman will handle any of the court cases on this- not him as county attorney. Council approved moving ahead with the agreement but being sure no bonus- just salary. $25,000 is the fee. 

EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY- Bill Black, Jr.- $8,755.57 for his sick leave payout (1/4 of his remainder is paid) and hiring someone 2 weeks before he leaves- he retires July 31st. The state will reimburse for half of this.  EMA replacement is being sought. They need to advertise soon. Approved. 
Black did not get the grant money he applied for. This was to replace computers. They can reapply for another grant if Council approves. Pennington said that there is a grant process in place and she said she will check to see if this is allowed. 

SHERIFF DEPARTMENT- Mike Kreinhop- Inmate medical care- he gave them corrected figures on this.He can only get what is advertised for- so this is more than that. $300,000 last year. They are averaging 240 inmates this year - their number is down. Used to be about 300. Liz Morris asked about after 30 days if the inmates are Medicaid eligible. They are checking on this. 
$21,000 per month for Advanced Medical per Kreinhop. Keyes motioned to give him all requested. Ulrich ended and 5 names on that.  $107,374 approved. Keyes Nay

Vehicle maintenance $7800 approved. Keyes Nay

Gasoline- Keyes asked Pennington to get this set so each dept has its own gas fund and it shouldn’t go back to county general- it should go back to gas fund if unused. She is looking into this for budget time. $75,000 approved. Keyes Nay

Reinstatement of Police Fund- requires the Council President’s signature. Fee is paid from fund itself. Approved.

PARK BOARD- Jim RedElk- Bright Meadows Park Repairs

General Park Maintenance and Repairs

Gladys Russell Park Repairs

Rullman Park Fence

Approved for $16,000 out of Parks Capital Improvement Fund for all the above requests.

COMMISSIONERS- Terri Randall- Landscaping for jail- she is here for Eric Hartman who is having trouble maintaining that area. $14,119.64 Caseys Outdoor Solutions. 
$22,774- Goodwin. 
She showed them the plans and said she hopes to return a little bit from the jail budget. Kraus wanted to use only jail funds for this. Morris agreed. Approved for only using leftover jail funds. 

Lawsuits settlements- $35,000 approved - had a $25,000 deductible in 2014. They have 5 lawsuits with this deductible. This is federal court as it is civil rights. The new insurance is less deductible now  ( $5000) now that the jail is built. They are filed pro se without an attorney and are handwritten often from looking things up in the law library. 

Legal services- $25,000 approved. The is for Baudendistel’s extra work. 

ATTORNEY- Andy Baudendistel- County Extension Office Contract- not asking for money at this time. Current lease is with Aurora for 10 years. Up in Nov 2015. $15,000 per year is the total cost plus utilities. We are paid thru Dec of this year. We are one of two that are not in the county seat. Hornbach would like to stay there and Aurora would like to have them stay there. New lease is for 2 years which will be $18,000 per year. 
Hornbach said that they have been there for many years. 89 meetings have been there this year. They are in the new city building. This building is good for having master gardener class and 4 H meetings etc. They can handle up to 60 people. Council wanted it to be for 5 years at least at that price. They will come to budget with the answer. 

AUDITOR- Gayle Pennington- Lewis Kappes contract had to be rewritten because Aurora wants to be out of it. It cost them $8,000. The price was reduced as they were not being represented. Morris was hot about this- and said that they benefit from this too. Cities get 25% of the Riverboat money. Randall and Baudendistel said that they (Aurora city government officials) don’t feel like they need lobbyists as they have state reps doing that. Commissioners signed off on this per Pennington. Fair amount of grousing about how Aurora might get less favorable treatment for not cooperating with the county on lobbyists. [NOTE: You have to wonder how effective this lobbyist scenario really is. They- like our representatives-  serve more entities than Dearborn County. As the Bible says- No man can serve two masters...]

Budget hearings might have to be changed due to the non-binding agreements that have to be approved separately. Schools, trustees, solid waste, libraries etc. They have to do it after Sept 1 but before November. Council decided to stay with August budget times. 

Minutes approved from the January 13th meeting and the March 17th meeting.

Lyness ( despite his disclosure statement lead the discussion as to how to pay for the annex) said that they sat through the Annex meeting. He talked to Liz and Denny also. They have to decide how to pay for it. They think they need to get a consultant to tell them how to pay for it- leaning toward Umbaugh and Associates. Gayle can talk to Umbaugh and London Witte and some others and see what they can do for us. They can also approach Lawrenceburg to borrow from them. Randall said that now that there is vacant space in the jail maybe get DOC to send inmates to us to help offset some costs. House Bill 1006 will bring some money in as we have to incarcerate more here and others need to send inmates here. 
They will schedule another meeting before budget hearings to decide on financing this. 

Meeting adjourned at 10:20 PM
Christine Brauer Mueller

Lawrenceburg Township

26 May 2015 Annex Update on Alternatives Presentation Dearborn County Commissioners and Council Joint Session

26 May 2015 Annex Update on Alternatives Presentation Dearborn County Commissioners and Council Joint Session

Commissioners sat in their regular seats and Council sat at tables facing them in the front of the room. he presentation was to the side of the room. Two DLZ Architects reps and Brad and Alyssa Rullman presented for Maxwell Construction. 


Lynch motioned to accept it and Little seconded. Accepted.
Lynch also went on about how and why they hired Maxwell.
Baudendistel said he had to file it with the Clerks office and the state. 
[NOTE: Lyness continued to sit at the presentation and ask questions during the presentation. ]

DLZ gave presentation of the project.
In the first alternate- They removed the basement other than the elevator etc. The rest is on slab and infill added.

There is 5.5 and 1/2 inch difference in height.between two buildings.
The Courthouse 2nd floor is same except to address the jury room issue for circuit court.
Third floor of courthouse has magistrate court and there is no 3rd floor on the annex.
Eric Ratz of DLZ talked about another option for exterior. They propose something that does not compete with the courthouse but fits with it. They mass the windows and size  them to complement the courhouse. It has one story columns. Using same materials as courthouse and fenestration.

Brad Rullman of Maxwell went over the pricing. Partial basement deducts $500,000 ( the basement is about 6,000 sq ft. The infill eats up the rest of the “savings”
East entry modified with full basement gives us $11,040,000 price tag
Rpunded column glass entry with full basement- $11,200,000 price tag
Greek Revival with full basement- $11,400,000 price tag
Parking concerns- completing paving between the jail and EMA building- got 60 more spaces. There is no additional personnel and we have 127 parking spaces total. 
The commissioners meeting room will go to 1st floor annex and have public entered sequestered at night meetings in the lobby area for security. 

McHenry said that they asked about the feedback about the security from staff dept heads and he had not gotten that to the council. He would get that to them soon. Council let him know they already had it. [NOTE: I had requested this information under Open Door Law and Public Access. I passed on copies and Council received them well in advance of the meeting via one of their Council members.]

They said each dept averages about 6-7,000 sq ft. 
The building will last a long long time. It will be here a 100 years per Ratz.
New expansion is 
27,135 sq ft in existing courthouse ( net is17,000 + sq ft)
36,000 sq ft in annex with full basement.
Circulation can be 25-35% of the total.

It is intended to enter thru the annex entry. Staff could enter separate entrance. 
Construction itself is 17-18 months. With bidding etc it is 2 years. 
Randall stressed that the court rooms are modest. They are large enough to hold felony jury trials. [NOTE: This was later questioned by one of the judges- as the jury can overhear the attorney client conversations etc. Mistrial issues. The answer may lie in enclosing the jury in a soundproof section and turning microphones on and off. Or using the basement space for a large courtroom???]

Lynch asked the 2 judges- Sally McLaughlin (formerly Blankenship) and Jon Cleary to comment.

Judge Sally McLaughlin said that she keeps a B-17 airplane picture that her father flew as gunner WW II in her office to remind her of the reason they do this. The people who come to the courthouse are important. She said the first courthouse has been here almost 144 years, 1871.The physical structure has to serve the needs of the people. 1871 schoolhouses don’t work for us now. Neither do these old courthouses. 

Disabled people have basement access- they need better access. Jury room is not good for the community. Only one bathroom - no male and female bathroom for the jury.
Prisoner access to the public. No private space for people to speak with their attorney. 
Our citizens deserve something better.

Victims of crimes. Especially children with no privacy. 
Entryway now has no information desk. 

Judge Sally has been prosecutor and then judge and these plans have been talked about for 15 years. She said  Maxwell has done the best plans. She is concerned with cutting space from the entryway- they need security and information out there. This is a fire hazard with the current courtrooms. She thinks the 3 judges work together well. They made it work pretty well so as not to cancel jury trials. Fair and impartial juries are hard to have if they can overhear conversations at the attorney and prosecutor tables. 

She said we could share some of these spaces for trials. The trouble is that they cannot predict how long they last. They schedule 20-30 jury trials per month per judge. No they don’t always go to trial. [NOTE: In fact very few go to trial.] Jury trials don’t happen often but when they do you have to have the space. 

What we are going to do will last at least 75 years. I am not ready to say 100. We the judges are inconsequential- it is about the people who will use it. 

She wrapped it up with saying  people deserving dignity, privacy, and right to fair and impartial jury of their peers. She said we need a leader to get this moving. She said she could work in the same space for another 10 years and be happy- but the people wouldn’t be. 
[NOTE: Judge Sally has been the most vocal of the judges regarding the space issues over the years, and to be fair she has had the least efficient space.]

Judge Jon Cleary said the issue is space. Mistrial motions occur because of small space and the jurors can hear things they should not hear. He gave stats:  From 1990s to present in the county there were 285 to 710 new felony cases. Indiana went  from 49,543 new felony cases to  now having 66,324.
Dearborn County has 149% increase and Indiana has only 34% increase.
Cleary said he did not know why the increase was that way. 
[NOTE: There was no reason given for that big difference in the felonies for our county except the perfect storm of casinos, tri state area, and heroin etc. Though several other counties in Indiana have the same geography and  riverboat casino.]

It is a space issue and a pride issue. Courthouses in a community say a lot about the community. Cleary is concerned about 1200 sq ft being adequate for courtroom. How to get a fair trial seems to be is biggest concern. Council asked if DLZ used other courtrooms to get adequate space. [NOTE: This was not answered well- and it seems that if we have an experience architect- we should easily know the answer to that question. ]

Prosecutor Aaron Negangard wanted to speak. He said he was very fortunate to work with 3 judges who were absolutely committed to fair trials. When I sat on Council years ago we were committed to the county having a third court. He went to the state as a COUNCIL member when he was also deputy prosecutor then and testified to that to the legislature. He raised his voice saying he went SEVERAL times. [NOTE: Negangard benefitted from this deal- We got an extra court. His boss, Sally Dierking (who remarried and became Judge Sally Blankenship) also was named the new judge for the new court. This opened the door for Negangard to be appointed to her position as prosecutor.]
Negangard said they started saving money right then for that. He resumed pleading his case saying - They had a statutory commitment to provide offices for them. They have a legal liability and the lawsuit will make this $11.4 million price look like a drop in the bucket! We have fire issues and disability issues. Joe Johns was stuck in an elevator for 3.5 hours. He is a paraplegic in a wheelchair and is a well respected attorney. If he wasn’t such a nice guy- he could have sued us already. This is not a majestic solution- it is ONLY $160,000 to have the nice entrance. People need to know where to go in. [NOTE: A nice sign might do the trick.
As for security- He gave a story of a human trafficking case (and details which I will omit here.) He talks about how close the defendant in that case will be to the jurors. 

His office will be a SMALL CORNER OFFICE and he is OK with that. He serves the public. What about lone shooters and security. Other communities smaller than us do it. “I am proud of the fact that we send more people to jail than other counties!
That’s how we keep it safe here.”

Hoosier Square was a bandaid- because of bathroom sharing with Hep C drug testers and kids who take tours. Negangard was on a roll and McHenry asked him twice to wrap it up.

Negangard finished with saying - This project is SAVING as it is $20 million less than the original $44 million proposed for jail and courthouse too. [NOTE: The Vieste proposal using the NW Quadrant farms to pay for it all was proposed before the economy tanked. The price of construction and real estate was significantly different from today. As we learned at the Council meeting after this one- the jail census is running lower and they are looking to take in outside inmates. So we are entering the jail BUSINESS. And if we have such high crime rates due to casinos- shouldn;t these rate be dropping as the casino patrons drop off due to Cincinnati getting a casino also?]

The next meeting for Commissioners will be an evening meeting June 2nd and the public can speak. 

Kraus asked about financing- and they will have to discuss that. 

Meeting ended at 7:20 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township