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Town BZA approves second towing service

Sunday, December 9, 2007

CLOVERDALE -- The owner of Steele's Auto and Wrecker Service gave the Cloverdale Board of Zoning Appeals a thinly veiled lawsuit threat for unanimously approving a special exception Thursday night that will allow Jeff Everman to operate a wrecker service out of Discount Tire.

Jim Steele stopped just short of using the word "lawsuit," though he said he had retained a lawyer.

The Steeles have been vocal critics of Everman since the BZA voted in February 2006 that he was in violation of town ordinance and must receive a special exception in order to run a wrecker service in Cloverdale.

At that time the BZA required Everman to erect a building and make several other concessions in order to receive the exception. They denied his exception in December 2006 when he did not have a building to house his tires completed by the deadline. No members of the current BZA served on the board at that time.

Everman said it was done two weeks later.

The new board seems to be of an entirely different political bent and has resisted Steele's requests to crack down on Everman, who told the board he moved the towing service's operations to Greencastle.

BZA president Dave Lyons would have taken a vote on the matter without even hearing Steele's request to speak, but BZA Attorney Karen Temple intervened and suggested that the board hear him out.

Steele, however, presented evidence that Everman lied to the board and that he's still working out of Cloverdale.

Steele said it is unfair for the board to give Everman a second chance since he had to "jump through so many hoops."

The board's stance toward Everman's business is discrimination, Steele's said.

"Our attorney did advise us to let tonight's meeting happen and someone will pay the consequences," he told the board before the vote.

The Plan Commission, which met before the BZA, also unanimously voted to approve Everman's request.

The Plan Commission also heard a request from real estate investor John Setty to remove the concrete barriers at the end of Crosswinds Road.

However, when questioned, the board learned that Town Council member John Davis, who also sits on the Plan Commission but was absent Thursday night, placed the barriers there with Utility Manager Mike Gray.

Plan Commission member Terry Puffer and President Jerry Acrea suggested in light of that information that Setty take his request to the town board since the Plan Commission never voted to place the barriers there in the first place.

The commission voted unanimously to forward Setty's request to the town board.

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Mr. Steele's complaints are legit. Not only did he have to jump through hoops, he also had many hurdles to clear.

If I remember right, he also had 2 boards to struggle with.

Maybe Jeff Everman is related to Mr. Sublett.

-- Posted by Xgamer on Mon, Dec 10, 2007, at 4:39 AM

"Our attorney did advise us to let tonight's meeting happen and someone will pay the consequences," he told the board before the vote.

It sounds like just another business in Cloverdale trying to retain its monopoly. I wonder where they learned to make comments like this? Could it be from Cloverdale Town Council members who sue at the drop of the hat when they don't get their way? I think competition is a good thing. We have two places selling pizza with a third on the way. We have two funeral homes. We have multiple places selling hamburgers. I think having another place to take our autos for repair or have them towed by is a good option. Now if we can just get a Dairy Queen back in where Andy Mohr was we will have it all!

-- Posted by CdaleResident on Tue, Dec 11, 2007, at 1:07 AM

I personally know Mr. Steele and understand his position. At the time he was opening up and expanding his business, there was a board member who lived by the business and really made things difficult for him. The board meetings back then were a lot hotter than they are now.

A monopoly is hardly what he is after, mainly fair treatment for anyone else in his business. He wasn't allowed to operate in the same manner that Mr. Everman is now, so yes, Mr. Steele's complaints are legit. He's made a lot of investments into his business to run it up to the town's specs and Mr. Everman should too. There is plenty of towing to go around for everyone.

-- Posted by Xgamer on Tue, Dec 11, 2007, at 1:58 AM

well i feel for mr steele. all the crap he's had to put up with from the town and his looney ex neighbor. soon as he got thru jumping thru one hoop they would come up with something else for him to do. Its not about keeping an monopoly, its about fair policies for business's to go thru...and obviously they let this one slide.

-- Posted by justmoveonwillya on Tue, Dec 11, 2007, at 4:03 PM

"Its not about keeping an monopoly, its about fair policies for business's to go thru"

Yeah, fair. Like the month after month ever changing requests of town board during the John Davis reign against Setty/Sinclair in their development which brought the town a second dollar type store and a new funeral home. Most people saw this for what it was including a judge in Putnam County.

I think people should make a note of the Xgamers constant support of Jim Steele, the former Police Chief Charlie Hallam, and his comments against the Cloverdale Township Fire Department. His judgement is downright one sided. I wonder if this is none other than soon to be Councilman John Davis?

-- Posted by CdaleResident on Tue, Dec 11, 2007, at 7:59 PM

Wow, I'm getting to be famous! Please, everyone go ahead and take note.

My support for Jim Steele has only been in this recent issue over the 2nd towing service allowed. There used to be multiple towing services around here,,, like I mentioned, there is plenty of towing to go around.

As for Hallam, he is a public official hired by a board that represents our town, funded by grants and tax dollars. If Dennis and Don have something on him so terrible, they should have approached him in private and gave him a chance to retire. Instead they chose a PUBLIC meeting to vote on his position change without an explanation to even the other board members who are voting.

As for being one-sided, this comment box wasn't available when I had critical questions for John Davis's actions, so I asked him in person. As far as the CTVFD, you voters got what you wanted, in that issue BOTH sides handled it terribly and BOTH sides deserve extended criticism.

As for Setty/Sinclair like Cdaleresident mentioned, wow, where to begin? A second Dollar store? Yep, we needed one of those, like another motel. A chain movie rental store? So much for Hometown and Video Depot. Another funeral home was a good idea because any family who does not like the Whitaker's would just go to Greencastle. Ask anyone who lives in the Sinclair developement (on County Road 1000 s) how they like that road built by Sinclair.

I'm not "downright one-sided", I am practical and sarcastic and a smart alec. I am Xgamer.

If I could, I would include pictures with my comments so some of you online readers could keep up and understand better.

-- Posted by Xgamer on Wed, Dec 12, 2007, at 7:31 AM

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