Retired educator seeking nomination for County Council

A long-time Bartholomew County resident and teacher is seeking a seat on the Bartholomew County Council.

Lynne Lewis Fleming filed in Bartholomew County on Jan. 28. She is seeking the Democratic nomination for council at-large. Democrats Pam Clark and Gabrielle Cheek also have filed for the Democratic nomination.

Fleming moved to Bartholomew County in 1975 when she began teaching in Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp., a job she held until her retirement in 2013. She and her husband, Dan, own a local small business, Fleming Family Beef.

After involving her sons in 4-H, Fleming said she began to learn about the county’s plans to build a new annex building. When those plans fell through, Fleming became concerned with how the council was handling local funds.

Similarly, Fleming said the realization that health insurance costs in the county — which is self-insured — had risen 137.5 percent from 2013 to 2014 also raised a red flag in her mind.

“That’s our tax money,” Fleming said. “I’m really upset with the way they’re handling the budget.”

Like the county, Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. is self-insured, so Fleming said she is familiar with how a self-insurance system works. She said her goal on the county council would be to help county employees understand how self-insurance works and give them tips on ways to keep their costs down.

“The school corporation did a good job with education for the staff about self-insurance and making them understand that you need to start looking at the costs,” Fleming said. “I can’t find any evidence that anyone has done any education with the county workers about self-insurance.”

Outside of insurance issues, Fleming said she thinks there needs to be a change in the way funds are awarded to the various county departments in the budget.

Each department head should have to present a detailed budget proposal to the council outlining the reason behind any budget changes, especially budget increases, she said.

Additionally, Fleming said there needs to be increased communication between the county council and commissioners.

“It doesn’t make sense that the council sets the budget while the commissioners are doing the contracts with the money in the budget, and the two don’t seem to be communicating well,” she said. “There needs to be a better relationship between those two.”

While Fleming is largely concerned with budget issues, she said she plans to begin attending council and commission meetings to learn more about the inner workings of Bartholomew County government.

Four Republican candidates also are running for the nomination for council at-large — Matt Miller, incumbent Bill Lentz, incumbent Jim Reed and incumbent president Evelyn Pence.

About Lynne Lewis Fleming

Age: 62

City of residence: Columbus

Office sought: Bartholomew County Council

Party: Democrat

Previous offices sought: None

Occupation: Owner, Fleming Family Beef; retired Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. teacher

Education: Bachelor’s degree from University of Louisville; master’s degree from Indiana University in education post-graduate degree from Butler University, all in education.

Community involvement: First United Methodist Church praise band; Columbus Educators Association; Delta Kappa Gamma; Bartholomew County Democratic Women; Indiana Beef Cattlemen’s Association

Family: Husband, Dan; sons, Travis, Clinton, Peter

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Olivia Covington is a reporter for The Republic. She can be reached at ocovington@therepublic.com or 812-379-5712.