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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Residents angry when shushed by town council

Friday, August 15, 2008

Two Fillmore town residents walked out of the Town Council meeting Thursday evening after being told there would not be any public comment allowed at the meeting.

Board President Jeff Osborn explained that he had a previous commitment and needed to keep the meeting short.

"It's just for this meeting," said Osborn. "We'll open the floor for comments at the next meeting."

After hearing there was no public comment, Fillmore residents Julia Sosa and Curt Leonard walked out of the meeting. Osborn did ask Leonard if he had something to discuss. Leonard said if no one else was allowed to talk he would wait.

Several residents complained after the meeting that they were not able to discuss issues or make comments.

Cheryl Bumgardner wanted the board to follow up on her complaint to them at the June meeting regarding ATV drivers and speeders on her street.

"I am really disappointed with this meeting. I want something to be done about the ATV's and speeders," said Bumgardner.

Other residents complained of not being able to discuss the hiring of the new town deputy marshal, changes in the trash pickup billing being added to the water and sewer bills and other issues.

Board member Alan Jones joined the group outside the meeting and suggested they come in and ask to have their complaints put on the agenda.

During the meeting Osborn told Council members that they had planned to have the first six months of budget activity ready but the Department of Local Government Finance (DLGF) had just notified them that their budget of $93,500 was not accepted.

"They only approved $78,872 so we'll have to wait for the next meeting. We have to look at things and see what's what," Osborn told the group.

Osborn also told the council that 230 surveys had been returned and only seven of those objected to adding trash pickup to the water and sewer bills. The council plans on moving ahead with incorporating trash pickup with the water and sewer billing.

Bill Dory, Director of the Greencastle/Putnam County Development Center presented the board with statement of compliance for continuing tax abatement for Liberty Trailers. Dory said this is pretty routine resolution. He explained that most abatements are for seven to 10 year periods and include both property and equipment. He added that tax abatements encourage economic development.

"Twenty-three people work there and that exceeds the number of jobs they promised for the abatement. It was a vacant lot when they came and now it is a 20,000 square foot plant," said Dory.

Council members tabled the request to have time to review it. Dory will appear at the next Council meeting when they vote on the issue.

In other business:

Town Clerk Wanda Seidler announced that Erin Brown, Monrovia was hired to work as a part time temporary Deputy Clerk.

"I know Erin and trust her to work well with me," Seidler told the Council.

Seidler also informed the Council that no Annual Report had been given to the Indiana Utilities Regulatory Commission since 2005. They are due yearly. She will be working on a report for 2007.

The Council informed residents that the town ordinance for dogs and yards requires a visit by the Town Marshal followed up with a letter and a citation in ten days if no action is taken by the resident.

A professional grant writer will be at the next Town Council meeting to discuss possible grants for the infrastructure of the town. The Fillmore Town Council regularly meets on the first Thursday of the month at Town Hall.

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Sounds like the new board is dueing a good job. There are a few out there just wanting to cause problems. If only seven out of 230 returned surveys didn't want a joined bill, I think those seven are SOL. That is great having just one bill a month.

These folks were asked to come in and put their complaints on the agenda but they refused. That is a power play to make the board look like they don't care. Alan covered their butts by making the offer to them. Good job Alan. The rest of you keep your heads up. You can't undo a mess overnight that took years to do. There will be obstacles and people in your way but with patients you can over come them.

-- Posted by mad-mom on Fri, Aug 15, 2008, at 6:35 AM

I think the new Council is doing a great job!!!

Way to take control, respectfully but firm.

Thanks for doing all you are doing for the people of Fillmore.

-- Posted by Aepple on Fri, Aug 15, 2008, at 7:53 AM


-- Posted by BIG BOY on Fri, Aug 15, 2008, at 11:30 AM

I'm sorry Mr. Osborn but you are the president of a town council not the president of your local PTA. You can't skip out on a meeting for personal reasons - this is your job and you agreed to meet the requirements when you ran for election. If there is supposed to be a meeting you should be there not leaving for your own business.

-- Posted by Siera on Fri, Aug 15, 2008, at 6:18 PM

Looking at the big picture on the city trash pick up,,the average cost per household is $14.00 per month.IF,we as a town,can get pick -up for $10.00 per household,that is pure good economical sense.(something that has been rare in the whole county of recent).With about 250 households in Fillmore,and each saving $4.00 per mo.,that adds upto $12,000.00 per year savings for the residents as a whole.Also,this would help some of the households that do not currently have trash pick-up,and as a result,should help clean up our town.

-- Posted by smile on Sat, Aug 16, 2008, at 8:59 AM

Hello Siera.

I am not a big fan of anonymous complaints, but I will address yours. No one "skipped out" on anything. We conducted a complete meeting. Everyone who had requested time on the Agenda was included in the meeting. All items on the Agenda were covered and given as much time as needed.

One point that was not included in the Banner Graphic article is that the Town Council does not have to allow any public comments. In fact, IACT (Indiana Association of Cities and Towns) recommends that public comments NOT be allowed at town meetings. The Fillmore Town Council will continue to invite and encourage public comments at most Town meetings

Just to be sure, I would suggest that you request time on next month's Agenda so that you can voice your concerns publicly.

And I want to thank those who have voiced solid support for the work the Fillmore Town Council and Clerk Treasurer are doing.

Jeff Osborn - President,Fillmore Town Council

-- Posted by JOsborn on Sun, Aug 17, 2008, at 3:41 PM

Good job Mr, Osborn. All of the new Council members are doing a great job!! Thank you.

-- Posted by mad-mom on Mon, Aug 18, 2008, at 2:06 PM

Hello sonicfilter,

I find it interesting that you state you will disclose your name and have nothing to hide - and then remain anonymous.

I will say that I am pleased that you have discovered Indiana's "Open Door" law. If you had been at our meeting, you would have seen the meeting minutes posted by the door; and there were copies circulating. You can also stop by Town Hall or email Town Hall and request a copy of the minutes.

Whoever you are, I am pleased to see you showing an interest in our Town's business.

Jeff Osborn

Fillmore Town Council

-- Posted by JOsborn on Mon, Aug 18, 2008, at 9:02 PM

Hello smaller_gov_now,

If you are on Fillmore utilities, you should have received the aforementioned survey in our annual quality report. You may not have read it, but you should have received it.

We are just ready to go out for bid, so there is no firm timetable. I have had several people voice concerns about the timing. The earliest I would expect a move to Town Trash Pick-Up would be the first of the year. We will make sure we give 3-4 month's notice before we put a program like this in place.

Jeff Osborn

Fillmore Town Council

-- Posted by JOsborn on Mon, Aug 18, 2008, at 9:12 PM

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