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Fact-finding committee on courthouse urges public input
Updated on: 10.24.13

From League of Women Voters President Julie Winn:

"In the wake of a citizen remonstrance that suspended a proposed renovation/extension of the courthouse for at least a year, the Brown County Community Foundation and the League of Women Voters of Brown County are partnering to pursue a fact finding initiative to support future decision-making on this topic. An ad hoc fact finding committee comprised of interested private citizens and representatives of county and town government convened Oct. 23 to determine how to proceed.

"The committee agreed that doing nothing about the structural problems of the courthouse is not an option. There are several ways in which the courthouse is not meeting the current needs of its tenants and the diverse clientele that visit and use the building. Most participants believed that Brown County residents understand that the courthouse falls short of modern standards in several key areas. The citizens who opposed the county’s plan and signed the remonstrance, however, said at the time that they were concerned about cost, the process for arriving at the plan, the possibility that other options were not explored, or some combination of these.

"In the immediate term, the fact-finding committee asks the community for their input. What options do you think should be at least considered? What questions do you believe need to be answered before a particular option can really be assessed? Do you have suggestions about folks in Brown County who could help answer these questions? The committee welcomes all input, which can be sent to larry@bccfin.org.

"Committee members agreed that miscommunication and misunderstanding increased resistance to the county’s plan for the courthouse, despite discussions at county meetings and a Community Conversation sponsored by the League of Women Voters. That is why, the facilitators suggested, the community needs some fact-finding done.

"People have raised questions on locale (e.g., why not put the court near the Law Enforcement Center or buy the Brown County Inn), on cost, and on how the courthouse and its surroundings should look and be integrated into the historic Nashville center. Drawing on the expertise of committee participants and members of the public, we should define what questions need to be asked with regard to any particular option for the courthouse, and get them answered with facts. The committee can then take a matrix of various options and facts to the public for further discussion over the coming months.

"Members of the ad hoc fact-finding committee are Ken Birkemeier, Pam Raider, Debbie Dunbar, Al Cox, Pam Gould, Jim Schultz, Tom Vornholt, Andy Szakaly, Bob Kirlin, David Critser, John Kennard and Michael Thompson, as well as facilitators Larry Pejeau for the Brown County Community Foundation and Julie Winn for the League of Women Voters."

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    'Gone Girl' at the Playhouse
    1 p.m., 4 p.m., 7 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • December 21
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    1 to 7 p.m. BC RR Museum, 18 W. Three Story Hill Road, Fruitdale
  • December 23
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  • December 23
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    6 to 7 p.m. Harmony Baptist Church, 3999 Mt. Liberty Road, New Bellesville
  • December 24
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    7 p.m. Becks Grove Christian Church, 8009 Becks Grove Road
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    7 p.m. Brown County Community Church, 2370 Main St., Helmsburg
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    6:30 p.m. Country Gospel Music Church, 5181 State Road 46 East
  • December 24
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    7 p.m. Church of the Lakes, 8844 Nineveh Road
  • December 25
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  • December 26
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    6 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • December 26
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  • December 26
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    4 p.m., 7 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • December 27
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • December 27
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    5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Abe Martin Lodge, Brown County State Park
  • December 27
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    4 p.m., 7 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • December 27
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    7:30 p.m. Mike's Dance Barn, 2277 State Road 46 West
  • December 28
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    4 p.m., 7 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • December 29
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    7 p.m. Jackson Township Board, Trustee's Office, 5765 Carmel Ridge Road
  • December 30
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