2018-01-17 / Front Page

New Council president makes new rules

By Debbie Lowe
Staff writer

The Carroll County Council was called to order Thursday afternoon by newly elected president Ann Brown. Brown explained changes about how the meetings will be managed this year in a handout called “2018 Rules of Order for Carroll County Council Meetings.”

She said the changes were designed to reduce the time spent in meetings.

The prescribed order of business includes a roll call of members present, approval of the minutes of the last meeting, etc. Motions are to be presented in the affirmative rather than stating “I move we do not…” There will be a time for further debate.

“No member can speak twice to the same issue until everyone else wishing to speak has spoken to it once,” the Rules of Order read.

Brown established transfers will be voted on with general consent. Approval of minutes will also be handled differently this year.

“It will be assumed when the vote is called for, that all members are voting YES by their silence,” the Rules read. “There will be a call for NAY (votes) and those members voting will be recorded with their NAY vote.”

Indiana’s Public Access Counselor Luke Britt was contacted about the lack of voting in favor of motions. Britt stated this should not be done.

“Votes have to be recorded individually in minutes unless it is truly unanimous acclimation, Britt said when contacted. “That’s simply a unanimous vote where they don’t go down the roll call. No one objects. But everyone says “Yea.”

“If a member doesn’t verbalize a vote, it’s technically an abstention,” he added.

Brown was advised of Britt’s opinion of the matter and indicated the Council will no longer vote in general consent.

In addition, the Council will return to the policy of assigning several departments to each Council member for consultation and advice. Department heads will be required to send additional appropriation requests to County Auditor Beth Myers and to all Council members including the one designated to consult with the department.

“A thorough discussion of your request with your assigned (Council) representative should be held in advance of the scheduled Council meeting,” Brown wrote to all department heads on Jan. 3. “The assigned representative will make the presentation request to the full Council during the meeting. You may attend if you like….”

Council member assignments from Brown are: • Brown - Auditor, the Council, Carroll Superior Court, Joint Courts, Carroll Circuit Court and the Animal Control Program;

• Carol Clawson – Sheriff, Jail, Prosecutor, IV-D Prosecutor, CASA, Pre-Trial Diversion and the Veteran’s Office: • Josh Plue – Treasurer, Recorder, County Elected Officials Training Fund, Emergency Management Agency (EMA), County Parks, Area Plan Commission, Statewide 911 and Contractual 911; • Tim Radcliff – Clerk, Clerk’s Records Perpetuation, Election Board, Courthouse, Ambulance, Supplemental Adult Probation and the Supplemental Juvenile Probation funds; • Jamie Rough – Coroner, Health Department, Tobacco Settlement, Local Health Maintenance, Bioterrorism Preparedness, Commissioners and Cumulative Capital Development; • Jason Scott – County Extension, 4-H Fair, Soil and Water, Trash Transfer Station, Community Corrections and Carroll Manor; and • Dr. Lawrence Stauffer – Surveyor, Drainage Board, Assessor, Reassessment, Cumulative Capital Bridge Fund and the Local Road and Streets, Motor Vehicle and Highway funds. Treasurer

Treasurer Melinda Rossetter requested additional funds to procure help from Harris Financial, the provider of the software used in her office. She indicated she has 2016 adjustments to make as well as some from 2017. The Treasurer, who has been working in the office for five months, indicated the office books are not reconciled with the bank statements, but did not say the amount of the difference. She also did not state how much money it would cost to pay a Harris representative to come to her office and provide assistance.

Rough said this is the first of the year, the Treasurer should transfer money within her budget rather than ask for another appropriation.

“This is only Jan. 11,” Rough said. “She can take it from her budget. It’s up to the department head to manage her own budget.”

It was strongly suggested Rossetter call a Harris representative and discuss questions without paying for an onsite visit.

Other business

Legal counsel Eric Burns’ contract was approved by roll-call. Per the contract, Burns’ fees are $200 per hour for a partner’s time and $95 per hour for a paralegal. The cost for an associate will be an unreported regular hourly rate. The Council will not be billed for normal travel time for meetings.

Auditor Myers reported the county received $30,949 from Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) revenue. She said revenue will be received monthly.

Myers said she performed a $41,231.92 transfer in an account without the Council’s permission in order to avoid a negative balance in the account at the end of the year.

Janet Smith was appointed to the Delphi Public Library Board.

Radcliff was appointed to represent the Council on the Kankakee Iroquois Regional Planning Center (K-IRPC).

The Council decided to change the day of their meeting for the remainder of the year due to conflicts. They will meet on the third Thursday at 3 p.m. for the rest of the year.

The next meeting will be Feb. 15 at 3 p.m.

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