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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

Obituaries
See Full List »

Ruth Elizabeth Sinders, 72, Ellettsville
  Mother of Cindy Wise (husband, Rich) of Nashville

Barbara Ann Rich, 80, Nashville
  Wife of Rodney Rich of Nashville

Betty (Zink) Bailey, 86, Morgantown
  

  • September 2
    Magic club
    5 p.m., 6:30 p.m. Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • September 2
    B.C. 4-H Council
    7 p.m. 802 Memorial Drive at the fairgrounds
  • September 2
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • September 2
    Chamber of Commerce
    8 a.m. Willow Manor, 72 Willow St.
  • September 2
    Nashville Redevelopment Commission CANCELED
    4:30 p.m. Town Hall, 200 Commercial St.
  • September 2
    CSCD Building Commission
    7 p.m. CSLOA Clubhouse, 8751 Nineveh Road
  • September 3
    Jeff Foster at Hobnob restaurant
    6 to 8 p.m. Hobnob, 17 W. Main St.
  • September 3
    Nashville Technical Review Committee
    1 p.m. Town Hall, 200 Commercial St.
  • September 3
    Hamblen Fire Protection District
    7 p.m. Hamblen Fire Station, 4650 Sweetwater Trail, Nineveh
  • September 3
    BC SWCD
    6:30 p.m. SWCD Office, 802 Memorial Drive at the fairgrounds
  • September 3
    Brown County Commissioners
    6 p.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • September 3
    Woodworkers club
    7 p.m. Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • September 4
    Go Club at the library
    3:30 to 5 p.m. Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • September 4
    Gospel jam session
    6:30 p.m. Country Gospel Music Church, 5181 State Road 46 East, Gnaw Bone5181 State Road 46 East, Gnaw Bone
  • September 4
    WRAPS meetings
    7 to 9 p.m. Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • September 4
    CSCD Ecology Commission
    7 p.m. CSLOA Clubhouse, 8751 Nineveh Road
  • September 4
    B.C. Election Board
    2:30 p.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • September 4
    Brown County Schools Board of Trustees
    5 p.m., 6:30 p.m. Van Buren Elementary School, 4045 State Road 135 South
  • September 5
    Bingo
    6 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • September 5
    Bean Blossom farmers market Friday
    4 to 7 p.m. St. David's Episcopal Church, State roads 135 North and 45, Bean Blossom
  • September 5
    Garden club plant sale at farmer's market
    4 to 7 p.m. St. David's Episcopal Church, State roads 135 North and 45, Bean Blossom
  • September 6
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • September 6
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Abe Martin Lodge, Brown County State Park
  • September 6
    'Into the Storm' movie at the Playhouse
    1 p.m. Brown County Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren
  • September 7
    Live fingerstyle at dance barn
    4:30 p.m., 6 p.m. Mike's Dance Barn, 2277 State Road 46 West
  • September 7
    'Into the Storm' movie at the Playhouse
    1 p.m., 4 p.m., 7 p.m. Brown County Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren
  • September 8
    BC Animal Control Board
    7 p.m. Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • September 8
    Paper craft club organizes first meeting as part of county extension homemakers association
    5:30 p.m. Wishful Thinking, 150 Old School Way
  • September 9
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive at the fairgrounds
  • September 9
    Friends of the Library: Author Perry to speak, sign books
    7 p.m. Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • September 9
    Chamber of Commerce
    8 a.m. Willow Manor, 72 Willow St.
  • September 10
    Jeff Foster at Hobnob restaurant
    6 to 8 p.m. Hobnob, 17 W. Main St.
  • September 11
    Gospel jam session
    6:30 p.m. Country Gospel Music Church, 5181 State Road 46 East, Gnaw Bone
  • September 11
    Go Club at the library Thursdays
    3:30 to 5 p.m. Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • September 11
    Nashville Arts & Entertainment Commission
    10 a.m. Town Hall, 200 Commercial St.
  • September 12
    Bingo
    6 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • September 12
    Bean Blossom farmers market Friday
    4 to 7 p.m. St. David's Episcopal Church, State roads 135 North and 45, Bean Blossom
  • September 13
    Hoosier Hops and Harvest at Story Inn
    1 to 7 p.m. Story Inn, 6404 State Road 135 South
  • September 13
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • September 13
    Second Saturday Village Art Walk
    5 to 8 p.m. Downtown Nashville
  • September 13
    Free community breakfast at Sprunica church
    8 to 10 a.m. Sprunica Baptist Church, 3902 Sprunica Road
  • September 13
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Abe Martin Lodge, Brown County State Park
  • September 13
    Raptor center fundraiser at Abe Martin Lodge
    5 to 9 p.m. Brown County State Park, 1810 State Road 46 East
  • September 15
    BC Commission on Public Records
    2 p.m. Town Hall, 200 Commercial St.
  • September 16
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • September 18
    Gospel jam session
    6:30 p.m. Country Gospel Music Church, 5181 State Road 46 East, Gnaw Bone5181 State Road 46 East, Gnaw Bone
  • September 18
    WRAPS meetings
    7 to 9 p.m. Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • September 19
    Bingo
    6 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • September 19
    Bean Blossom farmers market Friday
    4 to 7 p.m. St. David's Episcopal Church, State roads 135 North and 45, Bean Blossom
  • September 20
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • September 20
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Abe Martin Lodge, Brown County State Park
  • September 27
    Women’s Retreat Day
    8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Salvation Army, 168 S. Jefferson St.
  • October 2
    WRAPS meetings
    7 to 9 p.m. Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • October 11
    Free community breakfast at Sprunica church
    8 to 10 a.m. Sprunica Baptist Church, 3902 Sprunica Road
  • October 11
    Second Saturday Village Art Walk
    5 to 8 p.m. Downtown Nashville
  • October 25
    BCSP Halloween activities
    5 to 6 p.m., 8 to 10 p.m. Brown County State Park, 1810 State Road 46 East