Letter: Time for change on county council

From: Sharon Krieg


Every day I read another article about well-known, influential Republicans who refuse to vote for Donald Trump. They are afraid … very afraid, with good reason. To a person they have indicated they are going to concentrate their efforts in down-ballot races. To them that means U.S. Senate and House races.

To me, an average Bartholomew County voter, a down-ballot race includes the Bartholomew County Council.

I attended the county council meeting on Aug. 7. It was an interesting experience to say the least. There was much discussion on whether to hire a financial consultant before the budget process begins this week. The previous consultant retired in the spring. More than enough time passed to actually take bids and get specifications on what the consultant will do for the county.

As reported in The Republic, not everyone was happy with the decision of hiring Seymour-based Reedy Financial Group. The auditor felt it necessary to scold the council for making this decision without asking for her input. She is the person who works most closely with the consultant.

Another name mentioned was Tim Berry. He was the elected state auditor from 2007 to 2013. Berry was also more expensive. I suppose that’s as good a reason as any not to hire him.

I left the meeting with more questions than answers.

1.) Why did the council wait until one week before the budget process to talk about hiring a consultant?

2.) Why did the council vote to hire a company as a consultant without taking bids and determining what they are going to get for the money?

3.) Why wasn’t hiring a consultant on the agenda for the meeting?

4.) Why did an elected officeholder in the audience offer to pay for the consultant out of her budget?

5.) The at-large members of the council have a combined total of 52 years’ experience on the council. Did not one of them know that the offer from the elected official was not allowed? That point was not made until the county attorney showed up for the meeting and told them.

6.) Do we really want county commissioners in the audience telling the council to do whatever the council wants, the commissioners will back them up?

If this is how the council handles hiring a financial consultant, I shudder to think how they handle real issues facing the county.

It’s time for a change on the council. It’s time to elect people who understand the value of planning. It’s time to elect people who understand the importance of budgets. It’s time to elect people who understand it’s better to know exactly what you are getting for your money before you sign a contract.

It’s time to elect Pam Clark, Lynne Fleming and Diane Hawes.