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Commissioners reorganize; Schultz selected president


January 12, 2011
Jim Schultz was selected by his two fellow Crawford County commissioners to serve as the president of the board for the upcoming year during its reorganization meeting Monday, Jan. 3, at the judicial complex in English.

He succeeds Larry Bye, who lost the District 1 seat to Daniel Crecelius, a former county councilman, in November after two terms.

Following his selection, Schultz took over the meeting from Ricki Hawkins, in her first meeting as auditor (she was the office's first deputy for the past eight years).

Historically, the board hasn't had a vice president, but, at the recommendation of County Attorney John E. Colin, they selected one for 2011. District 2 Commissioner Randy Gilmore, who was president before Bye but declined to serve again, was selected for the post.

Crecelius volunteered to oversee the payroll and claims at the County Highway Department until a superintendent is hired. Bye had been fulfilling those duties, which require being bonded.

"I don't mind helping out," said Crecelius, who was approved by a 3-0 vote.

The commissioners also addressed a speed limit ordinance that they unanimously approved (with Bye still on the board) at their Dec. 30 regular meeting. The ordinance sets the speed limit at 40 miles per hour on all county roads currently without speed limit signs.

Prior to passage of the ordinance, the speed limit on those county roads, according to state law, was 55 miles per hour. The ordinance allows the highway department to purchase and erect signs with the new speed limit as they can be afforded. The new speed limit will only take effect once the signs are posted.

Colin, who said there was uncertainty on some of the road descriptions, asked for, and received, permission to contact emergency officials.

In other matters, the commissioners:

•Approved, 3-0, a medical services agreement for care of inmates at the Crawford County Jail.

The contract costs the county $25,000 for the doctor, along with $200 per month for a physician's assistant.

The contract can be terminated by either the county or Collier with 30 days notice.

•Rehired Colin as the county attorney for 2011. The only change to his contract is a provision to designate him as a county employee so that he has access to the county's group health insurance.

Colin, who made the request, said the county council's attorney has it in his contract, as well.

The commissioners voted 3-0 to approve the contract subject to the council's approval of the funding. The council, which met following the commissioners, voted 7-0 in favor of the contract.

•Voted 3-0 to allow Circuit Judge Lynn Lopp to take over the responsibility of providing security at the entrance at the judicial complex. For the past year, Sheriff Tim Wilkerson has had an officer staff the metal detector at the entrance.

The commissioners' approval, however, is subject to Wilkerson being able to deputize the employees hired by Lopp so that they can legally contain suspected offenders.

•Approved, 3-0, deputy auditors Tonia Elliott and Peggy Bullington officially being named the county's human resource officials and to split the designated compensation. Elliott made the request, noting that she and former deputy auditor Ricki Hawkins, who is now auditor, had been doing the job for the past few years. The council earlier gave its approval.

•Set their regular meetings for the last Thursday of the month at the judicial complex. The public meetings will begin at 6:30 p.m. and will follow the closed executive sessions scheduled for 5.

*****

At their Dec. 30 meeting, the commissioners:

•Opened and took under advisement county highway department supply bids for 2011.

•Voted 3-0 to create a sex and violent offender registry administration fund. The county will keep 90 percent of the collected fees, while the state will get 10 percent.

•Appointed, 3-0, Crecelius as the commissioners' representative to the Indiana Department of Homeland Security District 10 District Planning Committee.

•Passed, 3-0, an ordinance allowing volunteer firefighters working for the county to be able to respond to emergencies during work hours. Affected employees are to notify their supervisors that they are volunteer firefighters.

•Voted, 3-0, to allow the Crawford County Solid Waste Management District to utilize 60 feet of county property north of its Marengo recycling facility. The SWMD is to maintain the area.

•Approved, 3-0, Colin to continue to negotiate with Norfolk Southern railroad regarding the repair of County Bridge No. 80 near Taswell, which is owned by the railroad.

•Appointed, 3-0, Dennie Stroud to the Milltown Whiskey Run Fire District board. Stroud's term will be from Jan. 1, 2011, through Dec. 31, 2015.

•Reappointed, 3-0, Carla Striegel-Winner to the Crawford County Tourism board.

•Reappointed, 3-0, Eddie Hammond as veterans services officer.

•Voted, 3-0, to approve the annual contractual service agreement with Purdue University for Extension Service educators. The county's share of the salaries is $39,060.

•Recognized Bye, who was attending his last meeting as District 1 commissioner. Bye took office Jan. 1, 2003.

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