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County council meeting erupts into arguments
Updated on: 01.27.14

The Jan. 21 Brown County Council meeting started with arguments and allegations of lies. At one point, police showed up.

It ended with some county officials apologizing to each other.

Councilman Jerry Pittman launched a discussion about a topic not on the meeting agenda. He claimed that in December, the county commissioners invalidated the council’s one appointment to the Brown County Area Plan Commission -- Peggy Thompson -- by improperly scheduling her for a new, four-year term. He said that move will render Thompson invalid to serve on the APC and the Brown County Board of Zoning Appeals for three years starting in 2015.

Thompson is a BZA member by appointment from the APC. If Pittman is correct, Thompson continuing to serve on the APC and BZA after 2014 could jeopardize decisions those boards make.

County council President David Critser said the staggering of terms, which the commissioners did to bring Brown County into compliance with state law, was correct, according to County Attorney Barnes and Thornburg.

That triggered a statement by Pittman about his lack of confidence in the firm's legal advice. The county paid the Indianapolis firm $100,000 over 10 months in 2013, including rates as high as $550 per hour.

“Which opinion would you care to take? The one they have on Monday or the one they have on Thursday?” Pittman said, referring to advice given to the county redevelopment commission. Pittman is also a member of that board.

Pittman and redevelopment commission members Evan Werling and Larry Ness distributed a report containing emails from County Attorney Chris Jeter that show changes to advice he gave the county about which governmental boards make APC and BZA appointments.

Brown County Commissioners President John Kennard tried to explain that the changes in legal opinion resulted from the law firm receiving information from Brown County piecemeal. It was not until Jeter met with APC and BZA attorney David Schilling that the matter became clear.

Kennard said there is no conspiracy or cover-up as Pittman, Werling and Ness suggested.

Kennard also said that the commissioners resetting the board members' terms was the correct action.

When Kennard denied an allegation from Pittman about not returning phone calls, text messages and emails from Werling, Werling showed Kennard his cell phone containing no responses for nearly two months. Kennard and Werling yelled at each other, with Kennard saying he called Werling twice and did not hear back from him.

Werling then bet Kennard $500 that he did not know the state law under which Brown County operates.

“I don’t know the specific law,” said Kennard, who said he relies on attorneys to provide that information.

Werling took offense to Kennard stating that he made errors while researching the APC and BZA laws. “No, this was not my mistake. This is a Barnes and Thornburg mistake, and you know it,” Werling said.

Pittman then upset Kennard by insinuating that the county commissioners illegally made decisions about the APC and BZA situation during a Dec. 3 closed-door meeting with their attorney in Indianapolis.

Critser said the matter had been resolved and it was time for the county to move on, but Ness disagreed.

“We ought to be unique where we ought to be, and that’s in the beauty of this county and its people. And we’re stupid if we think we want to be unique with respect to a law that can’t be understood by those who are intended to oversee it,” Ness said.

After several minutes of Ness talking about how embarrassed he was of the county council, Critser pounded the gavel repeatedly before saying, “I’ve heard enough.”

Critser later apologized to Ness, who did the same.

Before the meeting, Pittman reportedly told Critser he wanted off the redevelopment commission. The council replaced him with Councilman Steve Gore.

Werling and Ness were appointed to the county redevelopment commission by the county commissioners. They are considered “at-will” appointments, which means the commissioners can replace them at any time.

Obituaries
See Full List »

Ronny Wagers, 62, Nashville
  Husband of Mary F. (Campbell) Wagers of Nashville; Father of Ronny K. Wagers, Jessie M. (Shawn Mikesell) Wagers and Heather A. (Chris) Smith, all of Brown County

Charles R. Clark, 64, Nashville
  Husband of Margaret Clark of Nashville

Floyd Glenn “Bucky” Walters, 87, Trafalgar
  

  • February 8
    Women's support group meets weekly
    6:30 p.m.
  • February 8
    Beeline beekeepers club
    7 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • February 9
    Nashville Parking & Public Facilities Development
    6 p.m. Town Hall, 200 Commercial St.
  • February 9
    CSCD Roads, Security commissions
    6 p.m., 7 p.m. CSCD Office, 8377 Cordry Drive
  • February 9
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Community Center, 746 Memorial Drive at the fairgrounds
  • February 9
    Peaceful Valley Heritage meeting
    6:30 p.m. BC Community Foundation, 209 N. Van Buren St.
  • February 9
    Open 12-step meeting in New Bellsville area
    8 p.m. Harmony Church, 3999 Mt. Liberty Road, New Bellesville
  • February 9
    Women's Bible study on spiritual warfare offered Tuesdays
    1 to 3 p.m. Cornerstone Inn, 54 E. Franklin St.
  • February 9
    Van Buren VFD
    6 p.m. VBVFD station, 4040 State Road 135 South
  • February 9
    B.C. Fair Board
    7 p.m. 802 Memorial Drive at the fairgrounds
  • February 9
    BC Health Septic Review Commission
    10 a.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • February 10
    Jeff Foster at Hobnob restaurant
    6 to 8 p.m. Hobnob, 17 W. Main St.
  • February 10
    Sanders group meeting at library
    7 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • February 10
    CRC Steering Committee
    6:30 p.m. CRC, 246 E. Main St.
  • February 11
    CSCD Water Commission
    5 p.m. CSCD Office, 8377 Cordry Drive
  • February 11
    LEGO Club
    11 a.m., 4 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • February 11
    Nashville Arts & Entertainment Commission
    10 a.m. Town Hall, 200 Commercial St.
  • February 11
    Gospel jam & sing in Gnaw Bone
    6:30 p.m. Country Gospel Church, 5181 State Road 46 East, Gnaw Bone
  • February 11
    Photography club
    7 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • February 11
    Jackson Township Advisory Board RESCHEDULED
    CANCELED
  • February 12
    Bingo
    6 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • February 12
    Dave Miller at sports bar
    6 to 8 p.m. Salt Creek Golf Retreat, 2359 State Road 46 East
  • February 13
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • February 13
    Farm-to-Fifth tours at distillery
    11 a.m. to 5 p.m. hourly Bear Wallow Distillery, 4484 E. Old State Road 46, Gnaw Bone
  • February 13
    Quaff N Brew beer school at brewery
    11 a.m. Big Woods Brewery, 60 Molly's Lane
  • February 13
    Church breakfast free to community
    8 to 10 a.m. Sprunica Baptist Church, 3902 Sprunica Road
  • February 13
    BC Parks & Rec youth basketball
    9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m., noon BC Junior High, 95 Schoolhouse Lane
  • February 13
    BCHS boys basketball
    6 p.m., 7:30 p.m. BCHS, 235 Schoolhouse Lane
  • February 13
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Brown County State Park, 1450 State Road 46 East (north entrance)
  • February 13
    Widowed group
    2:30 p.m. Sycamore Valley Community Center, 746 Memorial Drive at the fairgrounds
  • February 14
    BC Parks & Rec adult basketball
    1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m., 4 p.m. BCHS, 235 Schoolhouse Lane
  • February 14
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    9 to 11 a.m. Brown County State Park, 1450 State Road 46 East (north entrance)
  • February 14
    Cordry Sweetwater Fire Board
    5 p.m. Cordry Sweetwater Fire Station, 101 Firehouse Road, Nineveh.
  • February 15
    Nashville/Brown County Government Offices CLOSED
  • February 15
    BC Public Library Board of Trustees
    6 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • February 15
    Countywide summit on children scheduled
    9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Brown County History Center, 90 E. Gould
  • February 15
    Women's support group meets weekly
    6:30 p.m.
  • February 16
    BC Convention & Visitors Bureau
    8:30 a.m. Artist Colony Inn, 105 S. Van Buren St.
  • February 16
    CSCD Board of Directors
    7 p.m. CSLOA Clubhouse, 8751 Nineveh Road
  • February 16
    Brown County Council
    6:30 p.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • February 16
    Open 12-step meeting in New Bellsville area
    8 p.m. Harmony Church, 3999 Mt. Liberty Road, New Bellesville
  • February 16
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Community Center, 746 Memorial Drive at the fairgrounds
  • February 16
    Women's Bible study on spiritual warfare offered Tuesdays
    1 to 3 p.m. Cornerstone Inn, 54 E. Franklin St.
  • February 16
    Hamblen Township Board
    6:30 p.m. Hickory Ridge Community Center, 2314 Hickory Ridge Lane off Hornettown Road
  • February 16
    Nashville Development Review Commission
    6 p.m. Town Hall, 200 Commercial St.
  • February 16
    Nashville Police Merit Commission
    6 p.m. Nashville Police Station, 200 Hawthorne Dr.
  • February 17
    Jeff Foster at Hobnob restaurant
    6 to 8 p.m. Hobnob, 17 W. Main St.
  • February 17
    BC Commissioners
    6 p.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • February 17
    Sanders group meeting at library
    7 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • February 17
    Brown County Schools Board of Trustees executive session
    6 p.m. Brown County History Center, 90 E. Gould
  • February 17
    B.C. Election Board
    2 p.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • February 18
    LEGO Club
    11 a.m., 4 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • February 18
    WRAPS
    7 to 9 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • February 18
    Nashville Town Council
    6:30 p.m. Town Hall, 200 Commercial St.
  • February 18
    BC Corrections Advisory Board
    4 p.m. Veterans Hall, 902 Deer Run Lane
  • February 18
    Brown County Schools Board of Trustees
    6:30 p.m. BCHS, 235 Schoolhouse Lane
  • February 18
    Gospel jam & sing in Gnaw Bone
    6:30 p.m. Country Gospel Church, 5181 State Road 46 East, Gnaw Bone
  • February 18
    Helmsburg Sewage Board
    7 p.m. BC Community Church, 2370 Main St., Helmsburg
  • February 18
    Jackson Township Advisory Board
    6:30 p.m. Jackson Fire Dept., 4831 Helmsburg Rd.
  • February 19
    Bingo
    6 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • February 19
    Cordry Sweetwater Fire Department
    7 p.m. Cordry Sweetwater Fire Station, 101 Firehouse Road, Nineveh.
  • February 20
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Brown County State Park, 1450 State Road 46 East (north entrance)
  • February 20
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Community Center, 746 Memorial Drive at the fairgrounds
  • February 20
    'Bourbon Experience' at distillery
    10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Bear Wallow Distillery, 4484 E. Old State Road 46, Gnaw Bone
  • February 20
    BC Parks & Rec youth basketball
    9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m., noon BC Junior High, 95 Schoolhouse Lane
  • February 21
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    9 to 11 a.m. Brown County State Park, 1450 State Road 46 East (north entrance)
  • February 21
    BC Parks & Rec adult basketball
    1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m., 4 p.m. BCHS, 235 Schoolhouse Lane
  • February 22
    American history DVD to play at library
    1 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • February 22
    Women's support group meets weekly
    6:30 p.m.
  • February 23
    Open 12-step meeting in New Bellsville area
    8 p.m. Harmony Church, 3999 Mt. Liberty Road, New Bellesville
  • February 23
    Family history workshop offered at the library
    1 to 4 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • February 23
    Live music at sports bar
    8 p.m. to midnight Salt Creek Golf Retreat, 2359 State Road 46 East
  • February 23
    BC Area Plan Commission
    6 p.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • February 23
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Community Center, 746 Memorial Drive at the fairgrounds
  • February 23
    Women's Bible study on spiritual warfare offered Tuesdays
    1 to 3 p.m. Cornerstone Inn, 54 E. Franklin St.
  • February 24
    BC Board of Zoning Appeals
    6 p.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • February 24
    BC Parks & Rec Board
    5:15 p.m. Parks & Rec Office, 1001 Deer Run Lane
  • February 24
    Jeff Foster at Hobnob restaurant
    6 to 8 p.m. Hobnob, 17 W. Main St.
  • February 25
    Gospel jam & sing in Gnaw Bone
    6:30 p.m. Country Gospel Church, 5181 State Road 46 East, Gnaw Bone
  • February 25
    Brown County/Purdue Extension Board
    7 p.m. 802 Memorial Drive at the fairgrounds
  • February 26
    Nashville Development Review Commission
    6 p.m. Town Hall, 200 Commercial St.
  • February 26
    Bingo
    6 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • February 27
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Community Center, 746 Memorial Drive at the fairgrounds
  • February 27
    BC Parks & Rec youth basketball
    9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m., noon BC Junior High, 95 Schoolhouse Lane
  • February 28
    BC Parks & Rec adult basketball
    1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m., 4 p.m. BCHS, 235 Schoolhouse Lane
  • February 29
    Women's support group meets weekly
    6:30 p.m.
  • February 29
    Photography club
    7 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • March 1
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Community Center, 746 Memorial Drive at the fairgrounds
  • March 1
    Open 12-step meeting in New Bellsville area
    8 p.m. Harmony Church, 3999 Mt. Liberty Road, New Bellesville
  • March 1
    Nashville Redevelopment Commission
    4:30 p.m. Town Hall, 200 Commercial St.
  • March 1
    CSCD Building Commission
    7 p.m. CSCD Office, 8377 Cordry Drive
  • March 2
    BC Soil & Water District
    5 p.m. SWCD Office, 802 Memorial Drive at the fairgrounds
  • March 2
    BC Commissioners
    9 a.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • March 2
    Nashville Main Street Committee
    9:30 a.m. Town Hall, 200 Commercial St.
  • March 2
    Jeff Foster at Hobnob restaurant
    6 to 8 p.m. Hobnob, 17 W. Main St.
  • March 3
    Gospel jam & sing in Gnaw Bone
    6:30 p.m. Country Gospel Church, 5181 State Road 46 East, Gnaw Bone
  • March 3
    CSCD Ecology Commission
    6 p.m. CSCD Office, 8377 Cordry Drive
  • March 3
    Brown County Schools Board of Trustees executive session
    6:30 p.m. BC Intermediate School, 260 Schoolhouse Lane
  • March 5
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Community Center, 746 Memorial Drive at the fairgrounds
  • March 7
    4-H Council
    7 p.m. 802 Memorial Drive at the fairgrounds
  • March 7
    Gnaw Bone Sewage Board
    5:30 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • March 8
    CSCD Roads, Security commissions
    6 p.m., 7 p.m. CSCD Office, 8377 Cordry Drive
  • March 8
    Nashville Parking & Public Facilities
    6 p.m. Town Hall, 200 Commercial St.
  • March 8
    B.C. Fair Board
    7 p.m. 802 Memorial Drive at the fairgrounds
  • March 9
    CRC Steering Committee
    6:30 p.m. CRC, 246 E. Main St.
  • March 10
    BC Convention & Visitors Commission
    8:30 a.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • March 10
    Nashville Arts & Entertainment Commission
    10 a.m. Town Hall, 200 Commercial St.
  • March 10
    CSCD Water Commission
    5 p.m. CSCD Office, 8377 Cordry Drive
  • March 15
    BC Board of Health
    7 p.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • March 15
    BC Convention & Visitors Bureau
    8:30 a.m. Cornerstone Inn, 54 E. Franklin St.
  • March 16
    Lake Lemon Conservancy District Board
    6 p.m. Benton Township Senior Center, 7616 E. State Road 45, Unionville
  • March 17
    Brown County Schools Board of Trustees
    6:30 p.m. BC Intermediate School, 260 Schoolhouse Lane
  • March 23
    BC Parks & Rec Board
    5:15 p.m. Parks & Rec Office, 1001 Deer Run Lane
  • March 23
    BC Board of Zoning Appeals
    6 p.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • March 28
    American history DVD to play at library
    1 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • April 4
    Gnaw Bone Sewage Board
    5:30 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • April 5
    CSCD Building Commission
    7 p.m. CSCD Office, 8377 Cordry Drive
  • April 5
    Nashville Redevelopment Commission
    4:30 p.m. Town Hall, 200 Commercial St.
  • April 6
    BC Soil & Water District
    6:30 p.m. SWCD Office, 802 Memorial Drive at the fairgrounds
  • April 6
    BC Local Emergency Planning Committee/Emergency Management Advisory Council
    8 a.m. Ambulance base, 53 State Road 46 East
  • April 6
    BC Commissioners
    9 a.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane