October 28February 10, 2014

 

 

 

The Ellettsville, Indiana, Town Council met for a regular meeting on Monday, February 10, 2014, at the Fire Department Training and Conference Room.  Scott Oldham called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m.  DDan Swafford led the Pledge of Allegiance followed with a prayer by Sandra HashPhillip Smithyra..

 

Roll Call:  Members present were Scott Oldham, President;  David Drake, Vice President; Dan Swafford and Scott Thomas.  Dianna Bastin was absent.   Sandra Hash, Clerk-Treasurer, Darla Brown, Town Attorney, and Rick Coppock, Bynum Fanyo and Associates, Town Engineer, were also present. 

 

Supervisors present were:  Mike Cornman, Jim Ragle, Tony Bowlen, Connie Griffin and Mike Farmer.

 

Approval of Minutes

 

 Scott Oldham entertained a motion for approval of the minutes for the Special Meeting on January 20, 2014, the  regular meeting on January 27, 2014 and the Executive Session on February 4, 2014. Dan Swafford so moved.  David Drake seconded.  Motion carried.

 

Accounts Payable Vouchers

 

 Scott Oldham entertained a motion for action to pay Accounts Payable Vouchers.  David Drake so moved. Dan Swafford seconded.  Motion carried.

 

Proclamation for Tri Kappa Week February 16-22, 2014

 

Sandra Hash read the proclamation as follows:

 

TRI KAPPA WEEK

 

WHEREAS, Kappa Kappa Kappa, Inc. more commonly known as Tri Kappa  is celebrating 113 years of community and charity programs statewide during our, Tri Kappa Week Celebration, February 16-22, 2014.

 

WHEREAS, the unselfish service of the seven young women who founded Tri Kappa in 1901, of the nearly 12,000 female members in Tri Kappa today, and of all of the women who served in-between, has all combined to allow Tri Kappa to thrive and serve for 113 years, and

 

WHEREAS, Tri Kappa is a philanthropic organization located only in the State of Indiana; and

 

WHEREAS, The objective of Tri Kappa for the past 113 years, has been and continues to be, to bring women into close, unselfish relationships for the promotion of charity, culture and education throughout the State of Indiana; and

 

WHEREAS, Tri Kappa’s scholarship program, which began in 1913, has provided students with scholarships in the areas of academics, fine arts, and to those returning to school after an extended absence, in addition to supporting Gifted and Talented programs throughout the State in Indiana; and

 

WHEREAS, Tri Kappa’s charity program has been, and continues to be, actively involved with James Whitcomb Riley Hospital for Children since it opened in 1922, and also donates to charities such as Ronald McDonald House, Camp Riley, Indiana Special Olympics, Mental Health Association of Indiana, Very Special Arts of Indiana and the Indiana Association of Retarded Citizens in addition to local charity programs throughout the State of Indiana; and

 

WHEREAS, Tri Kappa’s cultural program has been a strong supporter of the Hoosier Salon since its inception in 1926, and it maintains the Tri Kappa Art Collection, a collection of almost 100 paintings on permanent loan to the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, and supports Youth Art Month throughout the State of Indiana; and

 

WHEREAS, Tri Kappa returns to State and local communities more than $1.5 million every year to charitable, cultural and educational projects throughout the State of Indiana;

 

NOW THEREFORE We, Ellettsville Town Council, do hereby proclaim February, 16-22, 2014, as TRI KAPPA WEEK (Kappa Kappa Kappa Epsilon Xi) in the town of Ellettsville, in recognition of the contributions of the hardworking women who have and will continue to comprise this organization for the next 100 years, and invite all Hoosiers to take note of this special observance. 

 

ADOPTED this 10th day of February in the year of our Lord, Two Thousand Fourteen

 

Resolutions

 

Resolution 02-2014 to Purchase Real Estate

 

Darla Brown, Town Attorney, explained this is a resolution regarding real property located at Hartstraight Road and State Road 46 the Town Council is interested in purchasing for the Town.  By statute there is a procedure the Town has to follow when purchasing properties worth over $25,000.  This is the first step in the procedure.  The Town Council is required to pass a resolution which evidences its interest in purchasing the property.  Then they are also required to obtain two separate appraisals of the real estate.  The appraisers are required to return the reports to the Town Council within 30 days of their appointment.  Upon receiving the appraisals the Town may not purchase the property for a price greater than the average of the two appraisals.

 

Mae Cassady thinks it would be a good deal.

 

Scott Oldham advised the reason the Town is looking into this property is because it is a multi-functional piece of ground.  It could serve as a park, gateway and flood control.  If the property cannot serve to assist in flood control it could be a park and an asset of the Town.  It adjoins the main park in the Town.  It is an ideal fit for the Town and could serve as a key to flood control by slowing down the water. 

 

Dan Swafford stated the property is also in the Karst Park Trail area and would connect to the Heritage Trail.  Mr. Oldham further explained the property is located south of State Road 46 and Hartstraight and is a cow pasture.

 

Scott Oldham entertained a motion to adopt Resolution 02-2014.  David Drake made a motion to adopt Resolution 02-2014.  Dan Swafford seconded.  Roll call vote:  Scott Oldham – yes; David Drake yes; Dan Swafford – yes and Scott Thomas – yes.  Motion carried 4-0.

 

Darla Brown asked if the Town Council wants to appoint two appraisers or will one representative talk to them.  Scott Thomas reached out to a local real estate agent whom recommended two appraisers.  Mr. Oldham said he knows of one appraisal and can it be used?  Ms. Brown checked with the State Board of Accounts and they want the Town to get two separate appraisals.  Mr. Swafford asked if the appraisers had to be state qualified.  Ms. Brown answered the statute says the appraisers have to be professionally engaged in making appraisals, trained as appraisers and licensed as brokers under Indiana Code.  Mr. Thomas will talk to the appraisers and have their information for the next Town Council meeting.

 

Ordinances on First Reading

 

Ordinance 2014-02 to Establish the Position of Town Manager

 

Scott Oldham announced this is the first reading of the ordinance.  They have repeatedly discussed why he and some of the other Town Council members think it’s a valuable position.  At the last meeting there was a discussion as to state law concerning the Town Manager and some choices they have made.  The Town Attorney has prepared a template for them to review and go forward.

 

Darla Brown, Town Attorney, took some of the language from the statute and suggestions of the Town Council and incorporated them into the ordinance.  She thinks the Town Council needs an ordinance establishing the position of Town Manager because Indiana Code states, “Unless a written ordinance of the legislative body prescribes otherwise the Town Manager shall have all of the duties that are listed by statute.”  Some of these duties the Town Council did not want the Town Manager to do.  For example, the state statute says the Town Manager would be responsible for hiring and firing.  The Town Council wanted to keep those duties and have the Town Manager make recommendations.  She tried to make the ordinance as general as possible.  Then, she or the Town Council could draft a job description which would set out in further detail the specifics and the Town Council could amend the job description from time to time.  She put language to that effect in paragraph 12 which states, “The Town Manager shall perform all other duties that the Town Council may from time to time assign.”  Paragraph 11 states, “shall perform all other duties as listed in the job description for the Town Manager, which job description shall be on file with the Town Clerk-Treasurer and may be amended from time to time . . .  Her thought is for the ordinance to be general and specifics in the job description.

 

Scott Oldham clarified the general ordinance is a template of what could happen whereas the job description is what they want to happen.  Ms. Brown replied the job description would be the specifics.  Mr. Oldham said at one time they had an ordinance establishing a Town Administrator.  Is this still an active ordinance or was it repealed?  Ms. Hash doesn’t recall it being an ordinance.  Ms. Brown added it is not currently in the Town Code. 

 

David Drake asked if the duties in Section 3 should also include the Fire Department.  Ms. Brown answered it could include the Fire Department.  She drafted it that way because the state code says the Town Manager may not serve as a member of any body that hears disciplinary charges against the town marshal or any member of the town police department.  Logically, the Town Council by statute hears disciplinary charges against police and fire in excess of so many days suspension.  Mr. Drake thinks it makes sense to include the Fire Department because the statute that pertains to police and fire discipline is identical.  To be consistent the Fire Department should be included.  Mr. Swafford and Mr. Thomas concur.  Ms. Brown confirmed the statute is to read “Except for the police department, marshal and deputies and fire department chief and firefighters.”

 

Dan Swafford still wants to know how the position will be funded.  The Town Manager position cannot take any authority away from the Town Council.  Since the ordinance is so vague could the Town Manager act on something that should be brought to the attention of the public?  Ms. Brown relied the only thing the Town Council wanted in the ordinance, and that is in their prevue, is the Town Manager serving as the purchasing agent in the amount of $50,000 or less.  Mr. Oldham said there was a discussion of whether or not the Town Council needs to know the make and model of a copier someone wants to purchase that is already in the budget.  Mr. Swafford thinks the limit is $25,000.  Ms. Brown noted by state code the limit is $50,000.  Mr. Swafford would rather the limit be $25,000 because with a larger purchase the public should know where their tax money is going.  Ms. Brown stated when drafting a job description she wanted to give this person enough authority they’re not underutilized and not micro managed at the same time.  Mr. Swafford understands but still doesn’t want things being purchased or done that should be brought to Town Council so it is publicly known.  Ms. Brown noted there is nothing in the ordinance that allows the Town Manager to make policy for the Town.  This is why No. 9 states, “may with the approval of the Town Council, execute contracts . . .”  The Town Council could put a limit on the amount of the contracts to be executed by the Town Manager.  On some of the larger contracts, the vendors likely won’t accept the Town Manager’s signature and will want it to go before the Town Council for a vote to protect them.  Mr. Swafford would feel more comfortable with $25,000 as stated in Town Code and he still wants to see the purchases and where the money is being spent.  It is fine with him if the Town Manager requests approval for the purchases.  He reiterated he wants public knowledge.  Ms. Brown remarked No. 1 of the ordinance requires the Town Manager to “attend the meetings of the Town Council and recommend actions he considers advisable.”  Mr. Swafford does not want this to occur after the fact.  Ms. Brown said this could be put in the ordinance or the job description.  For example, do they want the Town Manager to be the human resource (“HR”) person or the Affordable Health Care Act person?  Mr. Swafford thinks this is the Clerk-Treasurer’s responsibility.  Mr. Oldham said it defaulted to the Clerk-Treasurer as other things have because she is the only one here every day.  Ms. Brown continued asking do they want this person to be the grievance officer or set the agenda for every Town Council meeting.  These are the types of things the Town Council will have to decide they want the Town Manager to do.  Mr. Swafford definitely thinks the Town Manager could set the agenda for the meetings and the Town Council would still have the authority to put something on the agenda.  He agrees the Town Manager could go to all the supervisors and employees to find out if there is something they need put on the agenda.  Ms. Brown said it is up to the Town Council as to the amount of administrative authority they want to give to this person.  Mr. Oldham said these details are more job description than ordinance related.  No one has a problem with lowering the purchasing authority to $25,000.  Ms. Brown said she added the requirement that the Town Manager be a resident of Monroe County and asked if there is a problem with it.  After a brief discussion, the Town Council agreed on the residence requirement of Monroe County.

 

Scott Thomas asked if language in No. 8 should be added to state they can spend $25,000 and/or budgeted for.  Also, No. 8 also states, “ . . . to authorize routine purchases . . .”  For example, could they say routine purchases would be a new police car?  Do they want the person to be able to exceed the budget of a department?  He doesn’t think so. If it is not in the budget it needs to come before the Town Council.  Mr. Oldham agreed and asked if “necessary” could be added.  Ms. Brown confirmed it should be changed to “as budgeted” or “as necessary and with the authority of the Town Council.”

 

Dan Swafford feels this is a job being created that doesn’t need to be and he would like to hear the supervisors input.  Mr. Oldham commented a lot of things have defaulted to the Clerk-Treasurer over the years and not by statute but because she is here.  Is there anything she would like to see added or redacted?  Ms. Hash replied it will be difficult to come up with a perfect job description.  The position needs to be established, the job description prepared and modified as needed.  Things may come up that would be appropriate for the position.  She doesn’t see any problem with the ordinance.  As for human resources, because she is in payroll she will still have to do some of it.  Everyone will have to work together and find out what works best.  Over the last few years with the changes in health care, property and liability insurance she relies heavily on the agent.  She doesn’t have the time required for reviewing policies.  She would appreciate some help with health, property and liability insurance.  She is accustomed to doing the agenda and it goes hand-in-hand with the minutes.  However, there are times she needs approval for putting items on agendas.  The agenda isn’t one of the difficult parts of her job but if they feel the Town Manager is better equipped she would like to work closely with them because it effects different things she does as well.  Mr. Swafford asked if the Town Manager is the HR person then where will the records be stored.  He thinks the records should be kept at the Clerk-Treasurer’s office.  Ms. Hash remarked she has to have the payroll records as Indiana Code requires that she be in charge of payroll.  Disciplinary actions and evaluations are no longer coming to her and are held by the supervisors.  Mr. Swafford thinks the Town Manager should be located near or at Town Hall.  Ms. Brown asked if they intend for the Town Manager to be the substitute for the liaisons.  Mr. Oldham replied they will discuss this and it could be listed in the job description instead of the ordinance.  Mr. Swafford has enjoyed serving as a liaison for the different departments because it helps with knowledge of day-to-day operations.  But agrees this needs to be part of the job description and discussed later.

 

Scott Thomas asked if No. 2, the hiring of Town employees, could be changed from the supervisors to or in addition to the Town Manager.  Mr. Oldham replied usually the supervisors find the person for the job opening.  There have been discussions the Town Manager would work with the supervisor once the person was selected.  They envision the supervisor making the decision with the Town Manager.  Mr. Thomas doesn’t want to take that ability away from the department heads.  Mr. Oldham agrees.  Mr. Thomas wants this to be a direction of the job description because he doesn’t want the Town Manager to have the final say and override the supervisors.  Ms. Brown confirmed No. 2 of the ordinance should be changed so that it is clear the Town Manager works in conjunction with the supervisors to bring the best candidate to the Town Council.  Everyone agreed.

 

Darla Brown asked if No. 5, “shall administer and enforce all ordinances, orders and resolutions of the Town Council is sufficient.  She envisions this meaning the Town Manager may give her authority to file something in court.  Mr. Swafford reiterated this is taking away Town Council responsibilities and he doesn’t like it.  They are elected to do these things.  Mr. Oldham stated this is more about a job description.  This is about making sure ordinances are enforced by the responsible department as opposed to an enforcement action being taken and Town Council having to follow-up.  Ms. Brown explained the Town Manager’s job is to talk to the supervisors with regard to the enforcement of ordinances whether it’s animal control or something else.  Ms. Hash said the Town adopted its code by ordinances and it would be the position of the Town Manager to enforce those things put into place.  This isn’t going around the Town Council but simply ensuring the codes get followed.  If that creates an ordinance violation the Town Manager would follow through to make sure they’re enforced.  These are the day-to-day things they’re having difficulty getting completed.  As long as the directives are clear they should be able to follow through without challenging the Town Council’s authority.

 

Dan Swafford has a problem because there are ordinances and resolutions on the books that are very confusing and should be changed but they don’t even know about them until something happens.  Would that bypass them if it is not brought to their attention?  Ms. Hash said the Town Manager could bring it to the Town Council’s attention.  Mr. Swafford said this could go under the job description. 

 

Darla Brown asked if Town Council wanted her to draft a job description.  After a discussion it was decided to send suggestions to her so she can have it drafted by the next Town Council meeting.

 

Ordinances on Second Reading

 

Ordinance 2013-18 to Amend Chapter 96 of the Ellettsville Town Code Concerning Animals

 

Darla Brown, Town Attorney, explained it would be helpful if this ordinance would go to the Plan Commission for their thoughts or suggestions with regard to things such as what type of structures are the chickens to be enclosed in and how it fits in with the planning and zoning ordinance under §152.  She had put this together to try and get an idea from the Town Council as to what they were looking for such as the number of chickens.  Her suggestion would be the Town Council table this until the second March meeting to give the Plan Commission a chance to look at it and come up with their own thoughts and suggestions with regard to the planning and zoning elements.  Then, when it comes back to the Town Council they can decide how many chickens, how do they keep them, what kind of structure and the setbacks.  Then, they’re looking at both of them at the same time.  Mr. Swafford agrees.

 

David Drake made a motion to table Ordinance 2013-18.  Scott Thomas seconded.  Roll call vote:  Scott Oldham – yes; David Drake – yes; Dan Swafford – yes and Scott Thomas – yes.  Motion carried 4-0.

 

Old Business

   

Contract for Eagles Landing

 

Sandra Hash explained the lease would run from February 10, 2014 to February 10, 2015, and would be $450 a month per suite compared to $475 month-to-month.  It would make the annual amount $10,800. 

 

Dan Swafford asked which budget this comes out of.  Ms. Hash replied she doesn’t have a budget line for rent.  For now she has been paying for some of the things out of Meeting Room Maintenance.  She hasn’t received state approval of the budget but soon hopes to file an additional appropriation.  They’ve received almost all of the bills for getting the new offices ready.  There are some things Utilities paid for and she needs to reimburse them for her portion.  In the past for Town Hall, Utilities took care of everything.  Then the only expense she had was the telephone and she paid one-third of the security system.  The money is in the operating balance and she will budget for it next year.

 

Scott Oldham asked if they want to sign the lease for a year or month-to-month.   Mr. Drake commented it only cost $25 more per room for month-to-month.  He is concerned about locking the Town into a year long contract when they don’t know what they’re going to do with the current building.  Mr. Swafford wants to know what they’re going to do with Town Hall and thinks month-to-month would be best.  Everyone agreed. 

 

Scott Oldham entertained a motion to approve the lease with Eagles Landing on a month-to-month basis.  David Drake made a motion to approve the lease with Eagles Landing on a month-to-month basis.  Dan Swafford seconded.  Roll call vote:  Scott Oldham – yes; David Drake – yes; Dan Swafford – yes and Scott Thomas – yes.  Motion carried 4-0.

 

New Business

 

Ellettsville Police Department Generator Maintenance Agreement with Cummins

 

Darla Brown, Town Attorney, explained this is a proposed maintenance agreement.  It is her understanding this a renewal of a contract that has been in place for many years between Cummins and the Town.  The person who services the police generator lives close by and that person can be called on quickly.  It is her understanding when the generator is serviced it is an all day job.  This is a simple contract for three years costing $1,077.72 a year for a total of $3,213.16.  The proposal calls for the generator to be serviced twice a year in March and September or as otherwise agreed.  Mr. Drake commented it is well worth the money to make sure it works when it is needed.

 

Scott Oldham entertained a motion to approve the contract with Cummins for the maintenance of Police Department generator.  David Drake made a motion to approve the contract with Cummins for the maintenance of Police Department generator.  Dan Swafford seconded.  Roll call vote:  Scott Oldham – yes; David Drake – yes; Dan Swafford – yes and Scott Thomas – yes.  Motion carried 4-0.

 

Council Comments

 

Dan Swafford wants to know if there’s an update on Town Hall.  Mr. Oldham replied no, they’re still waiting to get to where they can actually look at how much it will cost the Town.  There have been some ideas kicked around for alternatives and they’re still trying to get together some figures.  Mr. Swafford would like an engineering firm to look into ways of preventing the flooding downtown and to continue using the historic Town Hall.  Once Town Hall goes a lot of the Town will go.  There are ways to prevent flooding in the future.  Mr. Oldham doesn’t disagree but this is a multi-tiered question.  (a)  Can they prevent flooding?  (b) If they can prevent flooding, how much will it cost?  (c) Has the Town outgrown the resource for the use they have?  (d)  If they have outgrown Town Hall how much more space do they need?  (e)  If the Town hasn’t outgrown the space, how much longer will it continue to be a resource until they outgrow it? 

 

Scott Oldham and Scott Thomas met with the Indiana Department of Transportation (“INDOT”) this week and they are coming to help the Town look at the construction of the highway and figure out if it altered the hydrodynamics and did the Town have a change when the highway came in.  The Army Corps of Engineers is going to come in and wants to see the property without 8” of snow on it.  Connie Griffin is working with the Department of Natural Resources (“DNR”) to get a permit to dredge Turtle Back Creek and Jack’s Defeat Creek.  They are making progress but it is slow waiting on the weather to break.  It will not be an overnight solution.  Mr. Swafford added the Town is a member of the local Metropolitan Planning Organization (“MPO”) and they can afford to pay money for building a new bridge that is raised higher.  He or Connie Griffin can look for projects in 2016.  They could put in a new bridge such as the one in Greenbrier so the community is not shut off from the world when there is a flood event.  He will check on getting the Town on a project list.  Mr. Oldham remarked it is something worth looking at.  They’ll know more once they hear from INDOT and the Army Corps of Engineer. 

 

Scott Thomas asked where the Town stands on honey bee hives under Ordinance 2013-18.  Ms. Brown replied the code doesn’t address it.  Mr. Thomas added the number of individual beekeepers are growing and cities are adopting ordinances.  Ms. Brown added now would be a good time to look at it.  Ms. Hash said Ordinance 2013-18 was introduced in 2013 and has been overhauled.  Can she renumber it to 2014?  Ms. Brown replied that would be a good idea.

 

Supervisors Comments

 

Town Marshal Tony Bowlen is requesting to hire a part-time officer, Alex Leggio.  A background investigation was conducted and after conducting interviews the Board of Officers recommended Mr. Leggio for the position.  Mr. Leggio graduated from Bloomington High School South and is in his last semester and Indiana University.  He is currently a police officer at Indiana University and certified through the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy.

 

Scott Oldham entertained a motion that Alex Leggio be hired as a part-time Police Officer with the Ellettsville Police Department.  David Drake made a motion that Alex Leggio be hired as a part-time Police Officer with the Ellettsville Police Department.  Dan Swafford seconded.  Roll call vote:  Scott Oldham – yes; David Drake – yes; Dan Swafford – yes and Scott Thomas – yes.  Motion carried 4-0.

 

Sandra Hash administered the Oath of Office to Alex Leggio.

 

Privilege of the Floor

 

Mae Cassady is very encouraged by what she has heard at the Town Council meeting.  She likes the idea of the Town wanting to purchase the land.  She will be really happy to see a Town Manager. 

 

Adjournmentt

 

Scott Oldham entertained a motion to adjourn.  David Drake made a motion to adjourn.  Dan Swafford seconded.  Motion carried.  Scott Oldham adjourned the meeting at 7:28 p.m.

                                                                                                                         

David Drake                                             Sandra Hash, Clerk-Treasurer, IAMC, MMC