Nov 10 2008
TOWN OF NORTH SALEM COUNCIL MEETING
October 2, 2008
William J. Woodrum, Council President, Present
Mike Russell, Council Vice-President, Absent
Michael L. Selch, Council Member, Present
Cheryl Russell, Clerk-Treasurer, Present
Harold Blake, Town Attorney
Don Perry, Town Marshall
The meeting was called to order by the Council President at 6:03 P.M.
The minutes of the BZA meeting, September Board Meeting, and Special Meeting for the 2009 budget were all approved as written.
Billy welcomed everyone to the meeting and opened the floor for discussion. Jason Summers, representing the North Salem Tractor Club, spoke about how they would like to hold a truck pull during Old Fashion Days next year. They plan many improvements on the field for next year. Fleece Performance will be putting on the Truck Pull in conjunction with the Tractor Club. For full proposal, see attached. The Club asked if it would be a problem to have an ambulance and EMT’s on site during the pull as well as members of the Fire Department and Police. Billy stated that he did not think it would be a problem. They need to speak with Donnie on traffic control, etc. when the time comes. Billy also explained that the Town is trying to purchase the property adjacent to Machinery Field, and told them that if that happens, the club could definitely use that property also. They talked about better parking and parking signs. Brayden Fleece said he could get signs because his business partner owns a sign shop.
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Mike Selch brought up the fact of maybe some problems with the event going until 10:00 pm. Also, with regards to parking, they want to make sure they don’t have “burnables” in the lot….straw, grass, etc, because with catalytic converters on some automobiles there have been some problems with these catching on fire. He also questioned whether or not there was enough liability insurance. Jason Hankins said he has already spoken with Fleece Insurance who handles their insurance and stated that they are amply covered. Mike Selch asked if they planned to promote any accessory companies and allowing them to come in and set up booths. They said they have talked about it, but no definite plans at the moment. The club also asked if the Town had a noise ordinance. Harold explained that if they plan ahead of time and advertise ahead of time so people know it’s going to happen, they could make alternate plans to not be in town when it is going on if they have a problem with the noise. Communication goes a long way. Mike Selch mentioned that it could be a link on the Town’s new website. The Board approved their proposal and granted permission to hold a Truck Pull.
Next on the agenda is the water rates. Ron Astin presented a rate study. Ron explained that Rate two will cover us for several years without overdoing it (please see attached rate study). Cheryl mentioned that the proposal from Greentree for new computer software is a flat $12,000.00 and they would need 25% up front. They do not ever charge for any upgrades at any time. The first year’s service agreement is free and after that it is $80 a month which is still cheaper than Komputrol. Ron recommends going with Greentree and the new rates at the same time. Cheryl says the program is very user friendly. Ron also mentioned that we need to build our reserves back up to cover any repairs we might need in the future. After much discussion, Mike Selch made a motion to hold a workshop to work on figures for the new water rates. Harold asked Ron to run printouts of different customers with different rates, etc. for water, sewer, trash and tax so they could see some different scenarios. Billy seconded the motion and they set the workshop for October 20th at 6:00 pm. Ron said he could attend also.
Billy inquired about the clean-up progress. Donnie informed everyone that there are only 2 people that he has been unable to get in touch with. Everyone else has been served their papers, and most of those have made progress.
Mark Basham gave an update on the Bruce Holder property. He doesn’t think that the state will do anything. He thinks that it needs to go through the county and have a pond put in. Harold suggested that Bruce go to the County Drainage Board to see what they suggest. Mark will try to get in touch with him.
Billy brought up monthly budget updates. He would like to have a report given each month on how much of the funds have been used for Cheryl, Mark, and Donnie’s help. We have a certain amount allotted, and that way we can keep track and help us to know how much we will need for next year. Mark said that he told Doug that he would be
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using him two days each week. Cheryl said that she can keep track of this.
Mike Selch asked if the Harris tree issue was resolved. Mark said that he had a call from the insurance company, but it is not yet resolved.
Mike informed everyone that the 175 Committee is having a bean supper in the Community Building on November 8th from 5-8 p.m.
Mike also said that he has an update on the Town’s website, and that they could take a look at it after the meeting.
Mark thanked the Board for letting him use Doug; he’s worked out great and accomplished a lot. He already knows how to do most of this stuff, so he hasn’t required training. He still has to teach him the water testing, etc. He also has to have him work for a year before he can take the state exam.
Donnie asked to set the hours for Trick-or-Treating. The Board agreed that it would be from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Friday, October 31st. Also, Public Safety Day is on October 11th.
Mark suggested that with all the financial issues going on, that we eliminate our Christmas Dinner this year. Everyone agreed.
Harold informed the Board that the Mitchell property on 6 and 8 North Main is being sold, so we should be receiving the payment for the ordinance violations after the closing.
The Board discussed the unconveyed gap on the Tedrow property facing Nebraska Street. The bank is getting ready to sell it, and they were trying to get everything figured out to be included in the description.
Billy said that the Town still needs to have a meeting with the Old Fashion Days committee sometime. Beth said that they would be meeting towards the end of the month. They planned to meet on October 20th at 7:30 p.m. at the Town Hall.
Billy stated that he received a letter regarding the Town Clerk’s position, and was asked to read it into the minutes. They want to know “how many people does it take to do the Town Clerk’s job. Many times the Town Clerk and extra help are working at the same time. Is there that much work for a Town of 500 people? It is my opinion that it is not professional to have a baby in a public office during business hours on a weekly basis. It is understandable that emergencies come up, but this is a weekly occurrence. I cannot recall any of the Town Clerks in the past 20 years ever having extra help on a regular weekly basis. How many people are on payroll for this job, considering we are paying a
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monthly surcharge for water?” Billy added that when people are paying a monthly surcharge, they start looking at all kinds of things. Billy clarified that there were 3 extra people working. Everybody sees things different, and instead of coming to meetings and addressing things, they leave a note. Mark commented that they don’t even know how much money is spent on extra help. Billy added that if we have a monthly report on how much money we use for that, people have a right to know, and it would provide that information. Beth asked how something could go on the record when there’s no signature. Can it go on the record anonymously? Other complaints are not accepted unless they are put in writing. Billy said that even if it doesn’t go on the record, it’s been voiced in a public meeting. Cheryl added that things have changed over the years. Beth, Tammy and Emily stay busy. Cheryl said that if people want to come in and watch her work, they can watch her work. If they don’t like the way she does it, they can run for the position. Billy said that it is possible. Looking from the outside in, you see different people. He didn’t know if Louise Roush had extra help, and he didn’t know what all has changed. Cheryl added that the Board members allotted the money for extra help. When Leanne was in this position, she had $600.00 a year. The 3 current Board members allotted more money that than. Billy added that it was a lot more. Beth added that she’s looked in the minutes before when Leanne was the Clerk and Louise was her deputy. Billy said that he didn’t know how many hours Louise actually worked. Beth said that she works 5 ½ hours per week. Billy said that these are complaints that have come from different people. The biggest thing is that sometimes people come down here and the doors are locked and there’s no one here, and from what he understands, it’s not always at lunch time. Cheryl said that she finds that hard to believe. If somebody wants to say that, Billy needs to tell them to come to Cheryl. Billy agreed, or they can come to the meeting, and they can voice their complaint. Harold said that Cheryl is an elected official, and if they have a complaint, they need to come to her. As far as the issue of what’s on the records, it’s not like we’re in a court of law. That’s a discretionary thing as far as what Billy wants to put in the minutes. Just because someone asks for something to be put “on the record”, doesn’t mean that it has to be. If they’ve got the guts to come to the meeting and make a statement, let them do that. You do not have to feel obligated to read every thing you get. You can run it at your discretion. It’s important for Cheryl to express her views too. Billy said that people typically won’t come directly to you with a problem, unless they are in a group. They just don’t want to confront one on one. Mark added that it’s usually around lunch time when people are asking why the Clerk-Treasurer’s not in. It’s been that way with every Clerk-Treasurer that’s been here. He tells them to come at 9:00 when the office opens, and there will be someone here until at least 3:30, with the exception of lunch. Harold said that as the Clerk-Treasurer, Cheryl has the authority to set office hours and post them on the front door. If the public doesn’t like it, they can run for the position and have hours from 6:00-6:00, 7 days a week. Billy said that maybe we need to post hours. Cheryl said that she has more to her life than just this place, and if somebody doesn’t like it, they can run for her job. Cheryl added that she’s said it before; if they have a problem with her, they need to come to her. If they
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don’t, then come to a meeting, or just be quiet. Billy said that he’s asked these people
to come to a meeting, but they won’t. Cheryl said that she doesn’t know what he wants her to say. Billy said she should say what she wants to say. Cheryl said that she just did. Billy said that he’s just telling her what’s been said to him. Cheryl added that it’s funny that she’s been in this job for five years without one complaint. Now, she’s getting them around once a month, and she’s tired of it. Billy asked if something has changed in her habit. Cheryl said no, and that she thinks she does a good job in this office, and everybody that works in this office gets along. Billy said that he’s not saying that she doesn’t, or that there’s a problem with her personally as far as getting the job done. He’s just passing along what he was asked to pass along. Cheryl said that she doesn’t care what the letter says because they didn’t sign it. Billy said that if they had signed it, there would still be the same reaction; that’s understandable. If you know who the person is, you’re not going to like that person anymore, that’s just how it works. All of us that are in public office have had complaints. People have complained about Donnie before. Cheryl said that Billy is Donnie’s boss, and he can tell him what to do; Billy is not Cheryl’s boss, and that’s what he needs to tell people. Cheryl said that she is an elected official, just like Billy. Cheryl added that they have been over this before, and she’s done talking about this. Billy said that’s fine. Cheryl said if they don’t like her job, they can run for it. Cheryl added that this is her office, and she can run it the way that she wants, and that she does a good job. Billy said that’s fine, and he’s not saying that she doesn’t, but, he wants to finish up by saying that it is a public office, so, people can say what they want; they can come in or write a letter, it doesn’t matter, but they can still complain. He’s sure they complain about him too.
The last thing Billy had for discussion was regarding a donation. The Stewart family wants to donate $200.00 to the Town. Ron said that a donation fund could be set up. Harold suggested the Hendricks County Community Foundation North Salem fund.
Mike S. asked if we needed to do anything regarding Greentree. Harold clarified that the $12,000 would only be for utilities and payroll. Harold said that they could look at this during the workshop to figure out how to split the cost between funds.
Cheryl gave the Board information on new insurance through Sagamore. There was a big difference in rates. Harold asked about pre-existing conditions. Cheryl said they would have to fill out applications. Mike added that the County’s insurance is through Sagamore, and they haven’t had any problems. Cheryl added that if we can save $1,000.00 per month, that’s $12,000.00 per year. Harold’s concern is that if there is a condition that they will not cover for 2 years, that’s a major consideration. Cheryl said that it’s up to the Board as to whether we let them come out to take information. We wouldn’t be obligated to do anything. Mike suggested doing what they were comfortable with, but to be sure and ask lots of questions. Mark likes this plan because they can build up a savings with it. Also, Donnie, Cheryl, and Mark have a retirement that is taken out
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each week and sent to Hartford Life. Hartford is getting out of the 403B’s, so they will no longer accept contributions after this month. A representative came out from Hartfield, but they will charge the Town $500.00-$600.00 to roll it over into something else, so she told them they couldn’t do that. She is checking into other retirements. They can roll over a certain amount without being penalized, but they have to keep the rest in there and can’t contribute to it. Ron Astin suggested looking into a deferred comp through the state. Harold suggested speaking with a certified financial planner.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 7:30 p.m.
William J. Woodrum, Council President
Mike Russell, Council Vice President
Michael L. Selch, Council Member
Cheryl Russell, Clerk-Treasurer