2019-01-09 / Front Page

Commissioners not in total agreement for meeting times and leadership duties

By Debbie Lowe
Staff writer

Carroll County Commissioners Steve Pearson, Bill Brown and Loren Hylton spent a portion of the Monday morning meeting taking care of necessary beginning-of-the-year duties, which include choosing leadership of the group, making appointments and setting meeting times. The most controversial of those duties was determining when they would meet each month.

Commissioners’ officers

Auditor Beth Myers, who serves as the secretary for the Commissioners, opened the nominations for president after the pledge of allegiance. Pearson volunteered to serve as president of the group. However, Hylton nominated Brown. Brown said he was ready to serve another year as leader and the other two voted in agreement.

Hylton nominated Pearson to be vice president. Brown gave the second and the motion passed unanimously.

Meeting times

Pearson asked his fellow Commissioners to have at least one meeting a month later in the day due to his fulltime employment obligations and his inability to attend morning meetings sometimes. Hylton said he preferred morning meetings and did not want to meet later in the afternoon, as was the case several times last year. He said he liked to get the meetings completed earlier in the day.

Pearson said he does not think it is a good example for the county leaders to only meet during the morning, which he believes sends the message to younger community members that an elected official has to be retired to be a Commissioner. Hylton said those who work full-time could work second shift to be able to make morning meetings.

Community member Jack Begley advocated from the audience for meetings to be more available to community members who work during the day. He said Commissioners seem to want to get the citizens involved yet they choose not to meet when most people can attend meetings. He said he attended many county meetings last year and it cost him roughly $4,000 in lost wages.

Hylton made a motion to meet at 9 a.m. on the first and third Mondays of every month. Brown gave the second. The motion passed in a two-to-one vote, with Pearson providing the dissention.

Other appointments

The county leaders appointed Commissioner Pearson to serve on the Emergency Management Advisory Council (EMAC).

They appointed business owner and contractor Jeff Watson to the Carroll County Area Plan Commission and re-appointed Teresa Maxwell to the Board of Zoning Appeals.

Janie Smith, Doris McLeland and Phyllis Olinger were reappointed to the Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals (PTABOA) as recommended by Assessor Neda K. Duff.

Pearson was appointed to serve on the Northwest Indiana Solid Waste District Board of Directors.

Joyce Yoder was appointed to serve on the Alcoholic Beverage Council.

Hylton was appointed to the Kankakee Iroquois Regional Planning Commission (K-IRPC).

Commissioner Brown will continue to serve on the Emergency Management Advisory Council (EMAC).

Other business

Commissioners unanimously approved a request from Highway Engineer Paul Couts to purchase a used single axle truck, which includes a snow blade and a salt-spreader for $26,035. Couts said the vehicle has 39,000 miles and will mainly be used during winter months.

Couts said he was submitting three project proposals for Community Crossings road funding, but he expects only one to be funded this year.

Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Director Mike Fincher advised the plan is for the county to have space on two communication towers, both at a cost, when the tower at the REMC building is erected. He said the Harley Tower, located just south of the junction of SR18 and US421, will become the “backup” for the REMC tower for communications. Fincher said the lease for the REMC tower space is expected to be $2,300 per year, although it was earlier thought there would be no cost. There is no signed lease agreement for the use of that tower yet.

The Community Corrections program asked to use the courthouse one time a month on a Saturday for an eight-hour class for first-time offenders. The issue of security was raised and program leaders were asked to search for another venue.

Commissioners scheduled a Board of Finance meeting for Jan. 14 at 4 p.m.

The next Commissioners’ meeting will be Jan. 21 at 9 a.m.

Return to top