January 2, 2009

 

Pursuant to adjournment comes now the Starke County Board of Commissioners and meet in regular session at 10:00 a.m. in the Annex meeting room, Knox, Indiana, and the following proceedings were held to wit:

 

Commissioner Dan Bridegroom requested that all cell phones either be turned off or on silent mode so as not to disrupt the meeting.

 

He also requested that each member of the public to please state their name before speaking.

 

IN RE:  REORGANIZATION

 

Kathy Norem moved to appoint Dan Bridegroom as President seconded by Mark Milo with 3 ayes.

 

Dan Bridegroom moved to appoint Kathy Norem as Vice-President seconded by Mark Milo with 3 ayes.

 

Dan Bridegroom moved to appoint Mark Milo as Secretary seconded by Kathy Norem with 3 ayes.

 

Dan Bridegroom moved to appoint Martin Lucas as the County Attorney seconded by Kathy Norem.  Mark Milo stated that with all the new elected officials, we might want to keep Martin Bedrock at least another year for the commissioners and the drainage board, as it would be helpful to have the same attorney for both the commissioners and the drainage board.  Dan called for a vote on Martin Lucas and received 3 ayes.

 

Mark Milo moved to have the drainage board consist of the 3 commissioners seconded by Dan Bridegroom with 3 ayes.

 

Mark Milo moved to appoint as the commissioners to contact as follows:  Kathy Norem for Jail/Bass Lake Beach and Campground; Mark Milo for the Courthouse and Annex; and Dan Bridegroom for the Highway seconded by Dan Bridegroom with 3 ayes.

 

Mark Milo moved to appoint the 3 commissioners to the finance board, Dan Bridegroom to the Kankakee River Basin, Dan Bridegroom and Mark Milo to the Starke-Pulaski Drainage Board, Kathy Norem and Dan Bridegroom to the Marshall Starke Drainage Board, Kathy Norem to the LaPorte Starke Drainage Board, Mark Milo to the Marshall-Starke-Pulaski Drainage Board, Mark Milo to the Monon Drainage Board, Kathy Norem to the Four County Drainage Board and Kathy Norem to the Economic Development Board seconded by Dan Bridegroom with 3 ayes.

 

Kathy Norem moved to give orientation to new board members and the IC code pertaining to that board seconded by Dan Bridegroom with 3 ayes.

 

Dan Bridegroom stated that previously a person was appointed to the Planning Commission board in error and requested that Martin Lucas, County Attorney, research how to correct the error. Martin stated that he already researched it and that there cannot be more than 2 of any political party on the board.  Proof of political party can be done three ways:  1.  How they voted in the last primary.  2.  If they have never voted in a primary you take their word for their political party.  3.  Ask the party’s County Chairman.  Dan Bridegroom requested that Martin research it further.

 

Mark Milo moved to appoint Kathy Norem, Bev Fraine and Dave Pearman to the KIRPC board seconded by Dan Bridegroom with 3 ayes.

 

Kathy Norem moved to appoint Rich Singleton to the Planning Commission board seconded by Dan Bridegroom with 3 ayes.

 

Kathy Norem moved to reappoint Don White to the Board of Zoning seconded by Dan Bridegroom with 3 ayes.

 

Kathy Norem moved to appoint Dr. Richard Lochner to the Health Board seconded by Mark Milo with 3 ayes.  Kathy Norem moved to reappoint Donna Bailey to the Health Board seconded by Dan Bridegroom with 3 ayes.

 

Kathy Norem discussed a possible multi county health board due to budget constraints and suggested that the commissioners encourage the health board to work towards this.  Dan Bridegroom moved to send the health board a letter suggesting that they entertain and research the possibility of a multi county board requesting an answer back by the commissioners first meeting in May seconded by Mark Milo with 3 ayes.

 

Kathy Norem moved to reappoint Kay Gudeman to the Starke County Library Board seconded by Dan Bridegroom with 3 ayes.

 

Dan Bridegroom moved to reappoint Jim Long to the Aviation Board seconded by Kathy Norem with 3 ayes.

 

Mark Milo moved to appoint Dr. Tom Browne to the Hospital Community Board seconded by Dan Bridegroom with 3 ayes.  Dan Bridegroom moved to reappoint Ed Hasnerl to the Hospital Community Board seconded by Kathy Norem with 3 ayes.

 

Dan Bridegroom moved to reappoint Herb Freeman to the Alcoholic Beverage Board seconded by Kathy Norem with 3 ayes.

 

Mark Milo moved to reappoint Dan Anderson to the Solid Waste Board seconded by Kathy Norem with 3 ayes.

 

Kathy Norem moved to table the appointment for the Regional Workforce Board until the next meeting seconded by Mark Milo with 3 ayes.

 

Kathy Norem moved to reappoint Tim Brettin and Jeff Houston to the wage commission seconded by Dan Bridegroom with 3 ayes.

 

Kathy Norem moved to reappoint Mark Jensen and Ron Simoni to the P.T.A.B.O.A. Board seconded by Dan Bridegroom with 3 ayes.

 

Mark Milo moved to appoint Kathy Norem, with Dan Bridegroom as proxy, to the L.E.P.C., the Emergency Management Board and the F.E.M.A. Board seconded by Dan Bridegroom with 3 ayes.

 

Kathy Norem moved to reappoint Julie Dessauer, Judy Jelinek and June Sunderland to the Innkeepers’ Tax-Visitors Association Board for two years seconded by Dan Bridegroom with 3 ayes.

 

Mark Milo moved to reappoint Paul Warnke and James Buza to four-year terms on the Koontz Lake Regional Sewer District Board seconded by Dan Bridegroom with 3 ayes.

 

IN RE:  2009 COMMISSIONER MEETING SCHEDULE

 

Kathy Norem proposed two options for the 2009 meeting schedule.    The first option being the 1st Monday of the month at 9:00 am and the 3rd Monday of the month at 7:00 pm with office hours on Wednesday of the 2nd week of the month from 9:00 am to 11:00 am and on Wednesday of the 4th week of the month from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  The 2nd option being the meetings on the second Tuesday at 9:00 am and the 4th Tuesday at 7:00 pm with office hours on the first Wednesday from 9:00 am to 11:00 am and the 3rd Wednesday from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm.

 

Bob Rayburn feels they should set a time and stick with it.  Kenny Wallace stated that most people couldn’t make it by 4:00 pm, as they don’t get off work in time.

 

Kathy Norem moved to go with option 1 starting in February seconded by Dan Bridegroom with 3 ayes.

 

The meeting on Monday, January 5th will be at 5:00 pm and the meeting on Monday, January 19th will be at 4:00 pm.

 

IN RE:  CODE OF ETHICS AND EMPLOYEE HANDBOOK

 

Kathy Norem discussed having educational sessions with the employees.  She would like to meet with the department heads to go through it.  Mark Milo would like the county attorney to look into it to make sure the verbiage is up to code and that the policies are up to date.  Dan Bridegroom moved to have Martin Lucas revue the handbook and make recommendations seconded by Kathy Norem with 3 ayes.

 

We are to ask the office holders how they would like to handle the training sessions—the department head sitting in and then relaying the information or have their employees sit in themselves.

 

IN RE:  HIGHWAY

 

Dan Bridegroom would like Steve Siddall to remain as interim superintendent and have him select his own interim foreman.  Kathy Norem stated that we need to post for 3 days for a superintendent from the present workforce.

 

Steve Siddall requested that they please appoint a permanent superintendent as soon as possible as it has been hard for all the employees this past year.

 

The commissioners want the job description posted with the ad.  Dan Bridegroom stated that the person who best meets the job description is the best one for the job.

 

Richard Rowe stated that the commissioners should just post it for employees and that the commissioners should consider Steve Siddall as no one knows the roads better than he does. 

 

Dan Bridegroom moved to revue the job description before the next meeting seconded by Mark Milo with 3 ayes.

 

There was much discussion regarding the fact that John Norris continued to receive forman pay while he was the interim superintendent and the fact that Steve Siddall is not receiving superintendent pay.  Kathy Norem moved to pay Steve at the superintendent pay rate for as long as he is the interim superintendent seconded by Mark Milo with 3 ayes.

 

Kathy Norem stated that she would like the highway inventory given to the media and she would like a copy of what the major moves money was spent on.

 

Kathy Norem feels that John Norris should be suspended without pay pending the results of the trial.  Mark Milo feels that 29 years of service should be considered.  Martin Lucas stated that the way the handbook reads, it is a case by case decision and at the discretion of the board.  Bill Wallace asked if this would apply to any arrest, such as battery, etc.  Dave Pearman stated that we have guidelines and they should be followed.  Kathy Norem moved that by virtue of the allegation John Norris should be suspended without pay until the outcome of the trial seconded by Dan Bridegroom with 2 ayes 1 nay (MM).

 

Steve Siddall requested that the commissioners consider filling some truck driver positions, as they are really short handed.  He also requested that the commissioners let John Norris know their decision.

 

IN RE:  SEWAGE LEAK IN PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE

 

Dan Bridegroom moved to declare an emergency regarding the sewage leak in the Prosecutor’s office and to get someone there to correct it as soon as possible seconded by Kathy Norem with 3 ayes.

 

They requested proposals from North Judson Mechanical, Hoppe Hardware, Davis Plumbing and Heating and the company from Plymouth who worked on it before.

 

IN RE:  SNOW DAY PAY FOR DECEMBER 26TH, 2008

 

It was brought to the attention of the commissioners, that the highway workers and the sheriff’s department workers thought they were going to get paid holiday pay for the day the courthouse and annex were closed due to the bad weather.  Dan Bridegroom stated that he found nothing authorizing the commissioners to pay holiday pay to those highway personnel and police personnel who worked on December 26th when the courthouse and annex were closed due to the ice.

 

Judy Benninghoff stated that they used to get a day off later if they worked on a closure day.

 

Dan Bridegroom feels it would need to be in the handbook in order for them to pay them the holiday pay.  Dan further stated that it was never in the commissioner minutes to pay holiday pay for this and therefore it would not be paid as holiday pay.

 

IN RE:  SAN PIERRE COMMUNITY GRANT

 

Edwin Buswell with K.I.R.P.C. wanted to know if the commissioners were still willing to sponsor the San Pierre grant.  Dan Bridegroom moved to continue sponsorship seconded by Kathy Norem with 3 ayes.

 

IN RE:  NEW EMERGENCY TOWER

 

Dave Pearman informed the commissioners that the tower was ready and wanted to know if the budget included a new antenna.  He requested that the commissioners let him know what they want done next.

 

IN RE:  COUNTY EXTENSION CS EDUCATOR CONTRACTS

 

Kathy Norem moved to approve the county extension CS Educator contracts seconded by Mark Milo with 3 ayes.

 

IN RE:  PAYROLL CLAIMS

 

Mark Milo moved to approve the 12-19-08 and the 12-31-08 payrolls seconded by Kathy Norem with 3 ayes.

 

IN RE:  KEYS FOR NEWLY ELECTED OFFICIALS

 

The commissioners signed approval for keys for the two new commissioners, the new treasurer and the new surveyor.  The commissioners received keys for the courthouse and the annex.  The treasurer and surveyor received keys for the annex only.

 

There being no further business to come before the board Kathy Norem moved to adjourn seconded by Mark Milo with 3 ayes.

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                               

Dan Bridegroom, President                                           Kathy Norem, Vice President

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                               

Mark Milo, Member                                                     Michaelene J. Houston, Auditor and

                                                                                    Secretary to the Commissioners