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2010 election coverage
 
Assessor candidate announcements

RHONDA HARDIN KELP (D)

No announcement published as of 4/27/10.

DONNA KELP LUTES (R)

The past four years have been emotional for Donna Kelp Lutes.

Actually, it’s been more years than that.

Lutes spent 20 years as Brown County assessor. The job, for her, was about more than sifting through property records and values and taxes. It was about maintaining local roots – hers and others’.

Lutes took a personal interest in some locals’ property plights – especially after the state-mandated reassessment.

"When people would come in, crying, I’d cry with them," she said.

She went so far as to attend state hearings with some taxpayers seeking adjustments.

"I don’t think you can find one taxpayer out there who can say I didn’t try to help," she said.

Having spent the past four years working as a real estate agent, commuting and trying to make ends meet, she sees both sides of the coin even better.

"I’m a whole lot more understanding," she said. "I look at things different now."

Lutes is a lifelong Brown Countian whose family’s roots run deep. The abandoned village of Kelp, now a part of Brown County State Park, was named after her family.

Lutes’ first job out of high school was at the old Nashville State Bank. She worked a while in the town water/sewer department, too. She’s a member of the Lions Club and has volunteered with the Agency on Aging, senior center and American Cancer Society.

She intends to stay here, and continue raising her children here.

"I’m ready to step in and take over, and start off new," she said, of re-entering the assessor’s office.

"Steve Gore stepped into a nightmare. … He’s done a great job. Has worked very hard and diligently, to help get things caught up," she said. "Hopefully, we are on track, and I will help us stay on track."

Lutes is still a Level 2 certified appraiser. And even though the county contracts a company to go out in the field and calculate property values, Lutes says she can help with that, especially if the value is disputed.

"I feel like I’m there as an advocate for taxpayers," she said.

Though Lutes has enjoyed the change of pace and the experience she’s picked up working as a full-time real estate agent, she says she’s ready for a return to the courthouse.

"I love that job," she said. "Even though it is political, and we have to run for office every four years, and people think we’re crazy for that, I’m back," she said.

"I know how to do it, and I think I know how to do it well."

Lutes welcomes feedback at (812) 340-1094.

— Written by Sara Clifford, with the assistance of Donna Kelp Lutes

MARI MILLER (R)

The past seven years of Mari Miller’s job as auditor have been, to say the least, challenging.

But, she’s seeking the job of Brown County assessor, in a continued effort to correct problems with property reassessment and delayed tax billings.

For the past seven years, Miller has worked with the assessor’s and treasurer’s offices to get the county caught up.

Having that experience, she says, is helpful in maintaining accuracy in property records.

As auditor, Miller can spend days tracking the owner history and tax status of a property.

"The big challenge is cleaning up all the exemptions, releasing mortgages, dropping homesteads …" Miller said. "Daily, people bring problems and errors to our attention."

As assessor, she’d be responsible for maintaining and updating those property records.

The process has also been improved since the auditor’s, assessor’s and treasurer’s office received new software that links their work on the same data – software with which she’s already familiar.

"The assessor also has more to do now because of sales disclosure data that the state started a couple of years ago," Miller said – data like sales price, that county assessors must enter into a state database.

Miller likes to be involved in running her office, and strives to be accessible to anyone who has questions.

If elected, she intends to sit in with current Assessor Steve Gore and learn what he’s done to help get the county back on track with its records and tax billing.

"I think Assessor Steve Gore has done an absolutely wonderful job," Miller said. "He’s put so much work into cleaning everything up and making the records accurate and keeping up with the appeals, that if he hadn’t have done that, I don’t think I’d want to run."

Miller, a Brown County resident for 18 years, comes from a long line of public servants. Her grandfather was a police officer and mayor of her hometown. Her mother worked in court offices. Her brother recently retired from a career in the Army.

Miller’s first job out of high school was as a police dispatcher.

Her personal interests include music (she once aspired to be an opera singer), reading, gardening and spending time with her family, which includes husband Mike and twin daughters.

— Written by Sara Clifford, with the assistance of Mari Miller

  • September 23
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive at the fairgrounds
  • September 23
    Ornithologist's field bag at BCSP Nature Center
    2 p.m. Brown County State Park, 1810 State Road 46 East
  • September 23
    BC Area Plan Commission
    6 p.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • September 23
    New 12-step meetings open in Van Buren area
    7 to 8 p.m. Harmony Baptist Church, 3999 Mt. Liberty Road, New Bellesville
  • September 24
    Jeff Foster at Hobnob restaurant
    6 to 8 p.m. Hobnob, 17 W. Main St.
  • September 24
    CSCD Board of Directors
    7 p.m. CSLOA Clubhouse, 8751 Nineveh Road
  • September 24
    BC Board of Zoning Appeals
    6 p.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • September 24
    BC Parks & Rec. Board
    5:15 p.m. BC Parks & Rec. Office, 1001 Deer Run Lane
  • September 24
    Taste of fall at BCSP Nature Center
    2 p.m. Brown County State Park, 1810 State Road 46 East
  • September 24
    Bluegrass festival at music park
    Bill Monroe Music Park, 5163 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • September 25
    Go Club at the library
    3:30 to 5 p.m. Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • September 25
    Gospel jam session
    6:30 p.m. Country Gospel Music Church, 5181 State Road 46 East, Gnaw Bone
  • September 25
    Bluegrass festival at music park
    Bill Monroe Music Park, 5163 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • September 25
    Brown County/ Purdue Extension Board
    7 p.m. 802 Memorial Drive at the fairgrounds
  • September 25
    Thursday at BCSP
    10 a.m., 2 p.m. Brown County State Park, 1810 State Road 46 East
  • September 26
    Bingo
    6 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • September 26
    Bean Blossom farmers market Friday
    4 to 7 p.m. St. David's Episcopal Church, State roads 135 North and 45, Bean Blossom
  • September 26
    Comedy country music revue at the Playhouse
    7:30 p.m. Brown County Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren
  • September 26
    Bluegrass festival at music park
    Bill Monroe Music Park, 5163 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • September 26
    Friday at BCSP
    2 p.m., 7 p.m. Brown County State Park, 1810 State Road 46 East
  • September 27
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • September 27
    Bluegrass festival at music park
    Bill Monroe Music Park, 5163 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • September 27
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Abe Martin Lodge, Brown County State Park
  • September 27
    Fall family farm day at theraputic horse farm
    10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Hope for Hearts Farm Inc, 1005 W. State Road 45
  • September 27
    Women’s Retreat Day
    8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Salvation Army, 168 S. Jefferson St.
  • September 27
    Saturday at BCSP Nature Center
    9 a.m., 10 a.m., 2 p.m. Brown County State Park, 1810 State Road 46 East
  • September 27
    Parks and recreation plans ladies tea
    10 a.m. Sweetea's Tea Shop, 225 S. Van Buren St. in Coachlight Square
  • September 27
    Betty Begonia sale slated for September
    9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Artist's Retreat Cottage, 1641 Oak Grove Road
  • September 28
    Pinecone craft at BCSP Nature Center
    2 p.m. Brown County State Park, 1810 State Road 46 East
  • September 28
    Therapy dogs to listen to readers
    2 to 3:30 p.m. Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • September 29
    Monday at BCSP
    10 a.m., 8 p.m. Brown County State Park, 1810 State Road 46 East
  • September 30
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • September 30
    Nashville Development Review Commission
    6 p.m. Town Hall, 200 Commercial St.
  • September 30
    Fall flowers at BCSP Nature Center
    2 p.m. Brown County State Park, 1810 State Road 46 East
  • October 1
    Local Emergency Planning Committee
    9 a.m. Ambulance Base, 53 State Road 46 East
  • October 1
    Jeff Foster at Hobnob restaurant
    6 to 8 p.m. Hobnob, 17 W. Main St.
  • October 1
    Brown County Commissioners
    6 p.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • October 1
    BC SWCD
    6:30 p.m. SWCD Office, 802 Memorial Drive at the fairgrounds
  • October 2
    Gospel jam session
    6:30 p.m. Country Gospel Music Church, 5181 State Road 46 East, Gnaw Bone5181 State Road 46 East, Gnaw Bone
  • October 2
    Go Club at the library Thursdays
    3:30 to 5 p.m. Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • October 2
    WRAPS meetings
    7 to 9 p.m. Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • October 3
    Bingo
    6 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • October 4
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive at the fairgrounds
  • October 4
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Abe Martin Lodge, Brown County State Park
  • October 4
    Chili supper, music and mystery auction at Hickory Ridge
    5 p.m. Hickory Ridge Center, 2314 Hickory Ridge Lane
  • October 5
    Herb barn hosts antique market
    10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Flower & Herb Barn, 5171 Bean Blossom Road, Nineveh
  • October 5
    Elkinsville community reunion near Browning Mountain
    11 a.m. Bill Miller's farm, Elkinsville
  • October 7
    Magic club
    5 p.m., 6:30 p.m. Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • October 7
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • October 8
    Jeff Foster at Hobnob restaurant
    6 to 8 p.m. Hobnob, 17 W. Main St.
  • October 9
    Gospel jam session
    6:30 p.m. Country Gospel Music Church, 5181 State Road 46 East, Gnaw Bone
  • October 9
    Go Club at the library Thursdays
    3:30 to 5 p.m. Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • October 10
    Bingo
    6 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • October 11
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • October 11
    Free community breakfast at Sprunica church
    8 to 10 a.m. Sprunica Baptist Church, 3902 Sprunica Road
  • October 11
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Abe Martin Lodge, Brown County State Park
  • October 11
    Second Saturday Village Art Walk
    5 to 8 p.m. Downtown Nashville
  • October 14
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • October 15
    Jeff Foster at Hobnob restaurant
    6 to 8 p.m. Hobnob, 17 W. Main St.
  • October 25
    BCSP Halloween activities
    5 to 6 p.m., 8 to 10 p.m. Brown County State Park, 1810 State Road 46 East
  • November 8
    Second Saturday Village Art Walk
    5 to 8 p.m. Downtown Nashville
  • November 8
    Free community breakfast at Sprunica church
    8 to 10 a.m. Sprunica Baptist Church, 3902 Sprunica Road