Council member advised to resign in Russellville

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

In a surprising turn at Russellville's recent town council meeting, town council member Cathy Jones told those present that she had been advised to resign from her position.

The reason for Jones' advisement to step down is she holds two positions that are considered lucrative, one being on the town council and the other being part of the Little Raccoon Sewer Board.

Russellville town attorney Jim Ensley advised Jones to resign because she could be in violation for holding dual offices.

Indiana law holds that government officials cannot hold dual lucrative office positions.

In the dual office holding guide for Indiana it states that: "The holding of two lucrative offices may result in the constitutional violation commonly referred to as 'dual office holding'. Further, even if serving in two positions does not result in a constitutional dual office violation, it may violate the constitutional doctrine of separation of powers, create a conflict of interest or public policy concern, or be prohibited by another federal, state or local law."

Jones was also advised by sewer board attorney Patricia Sosbe that she was not in violation, Jones has not stepped down as of yet.

"For me the call to serve our community is a strong one," Jones stated. "I intend to serve the community to the best of my knowledge. Not for money, power of fame; but for the friends of Russelville who elected me."

In other business:

* Russellville Water Superintendent Mike Varvel let the council know that the water tower is up an running and everything was going smoothly.

* The community center roof leak has been fixed.

* The council has voted to allow a community member to take some of the scrap that is behind the community center. With the stipulations that a list of what is scrapped is given to the council and that the underage youth has a release signed by the parents.

* Russellville Street Superintendent Jim McAffe let the council know that replacing the snowplow would cost about $4,700. President Don Reddish suggested tabling discussion on replacement for the next few months.

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  • It is about time Russellville got their act together and spend more time taking a good look at their town, especially what it looks like when you drive into town from 236, than trying to railroad out a good board member! Cathy Jones was elected by the town people, so what if she serves on two boards, at least she is serving for a cause, not a name! No, I didn't vote for Cathy because I don't live in Russellville, I just know what I know! I love Russellville, my kids went to school there, I would just like to see it cleaned up and try to get some business there!

    -- Posted by interested party on Wed, Apr 24, 2013, at 8:21 AM
  • Jim Ensley is the county attorney, the Russelville attorney, and a deputy prosecutor. Are attorneys not expected to abide by this rule that he quotes?

    -- Posted by justasking on Wed, Apr 24, 2013, at 11:19 AM
  • I have lived in Russellville for many years, I Voted for Miss Jones upon the recommendation of the church and community center. Russellville needed a change from the way things had been done in the past. I felt that New people would bring the new changes needed to town.I do not know Miss Jones personally. However I have been paying attention to the performance of the new members of town government. I must say I am very disappointed in Miss Jones. Her efforts seem to be more focused on the Community Center,(Board Member) than the town as a whole. After much conversation with friends it was brought to our attention that Miss Jones was holding yet another office,(LRRWD) We are very upset that one of the people we voted for isn't focusing more on the Towns needs and less on what everyone else wants. So I feel that if you are not abiding by the Law you took an oath to uphold, you should not be in office representing our Community.

    -- Posted by Resident/ Voter on Wed, Apr 24, 2013, at 2:43 PM
  • All well and good, but another attorney, Ms. Scosbe, according to ther article,told her it was legal. I know there is a lot more to this story. I think some people are just having a power struggle. I hope however it plays out that it will make a better town out of Russellville.

    -- Posted by interested party on Wed, Apr 24, 2013, at 4:17 PM
  • I just think the law is too confusing and can be worded so many ways.If it's called dual office holding,would the sewer board be considered an office?

    When I think of an office,I think of an elected official by the city or town.In that way the sewer board wouldn't be an elected official.It wouldn't be an office.

    If a law like "dual office holding" can boot somebody elected by the town as a whole;off the town council,because of an appointed sewer board position.This country has gone wrong.The town vote rules over the appointed possession.Therefor Ms.Jones should stay on the town council.

    -- Posted by concerned475 on Wed, Apr 24, 2013, at 10:07 PM
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