Tipton elected president of council

Thursday, January 14, 2010

CLOVERDALE -- It's been more than a decade since a woman has been president of the town council. On Tuesday, Kathy Tipton was unanimously voted the new president for the new year.

After changing seats with outgoing president Don Sublett, Tipton took the reins of the meeting. She started by adding use of town's credit cards, deputy clerk's computer and outsourcing payroll to the agenda.

Tipton said her concern with the credit cards was the number of them held by the town. She discussed the practicality of reducing the number to just one and clerk-treasurer Patti Truax having control of the card.

"In my personal opinion, the spending is out of control," she said.

Council member Terry Puffer suggested the town also have a backup credit card for emergency use only. Truax agreed to collect the other credit cards from department heads and reduce the number to two.

In her proposal to outsource payroll, Tipton said she had done research on communities the size of Cloverdale and almost all of them had payroll done by other companies.

Truax said the payroll program, Keystone, used by her office has export capabilities.

The council members agreed it was worth looking into and calls would be made to payroll companies such as ADP in Indianapolis or Payroll Express Business Services in Greencastle.

In other business:

* Following nominations from council members Dennis Padgett and Puffer, it was unanimously decided Steve Caulkins remain as vice president of the town council.

* Since the de-funding of the deputy clerk-treasurer's position this year, the extra computer will have the hard drive scanned at a cost of approximately $95 and reused in another department.

* The town is still searching for two individuals to fill positions on town boards. The Plan Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals have one vacancy each for any interested Cloverdale resident.

"These are very important boards," said town attorney Alan Yackey. "Especially when there is development and growth in the town."

To sign up to be a board member, call town hall at 795-6033.

* Truax requested additional appropriations from the rainy day fund to cover $12,075 for the fencing at the sewer plant. It was granted.

* The town council will meet at 4 p.m. Jan. 23 for a special session to discuss a replacement for former town marshal Don Pearson. Pearson resigned his post effective Jan. 10 and stated "political pressure" behind his decision.

* Following a complaint by Don Gedert, it was determined there is an issue with the way water bills are set up.

Gedert felt he was being double billed on a rental home he owned. He received a bill indicating it was for the entire month, which he paid. However, his tenants received a bill that appeared to be overlapping the previous billed received by Gedert.

Utility superintendent Don Guthrie said there was not an issue and the bills were correct.

After an investigation by Yackey, he said the bills don't reflect accurate end of service dates. "It could be perceived a landlord, such as Don, being over billed."

Yackey recommended the issue be taken to the utility board for further investigation and discussion.

However, his just more than $400 bill for the work raised a discussion among the council. Yackey said he was trying to be proactive and move the process along.

"You got value out of what I did," he said.

The entire council meeting Tuesday took a little more than two hours with Tipton adjourning just after 9 p.m.

"I wish her the best of luck in 2010," said Sublett. "Congratulations to her."

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