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By KEVIN KOELLING
TELL CITY –Perry County Commissioner Tom Hauser became president of the county’s legislative body in its first meeting of the new year Monday.
In nominating Hauser for the role, incoming Commissioner Randy Kleaving said he feels it’s important for commissioners to get the leadership experience. He also said Commissioner Bill Amos, who held the position last year, “has done a great job.”
Hauser nominated and Amos accepted the role of vice president of the three-member commission.
The commissioners will continue to meet at 6 p.m. the first Monday of each month in the county courthouse, but changed the day for their second meeting each month. They will meet at 8 a.m. the third Tuesday of each month in the same location.
When holidays conflict with meeting dates, the commissioners will meet at the same time the following day. The only conflict County Auditor Connie Berger foresees for 2013 is Labor Day, she said.
The commissioners made appointments to a number of county positions, beginning by assigning former County Councilman Merle Doogs to the alcoholic-beverage control board. Al Faulkner had said he no longer wished to serve on the board, and Doogs was the only one who expressed interest in the one-year term, according to County Administrator Teresa Kanneberg.
Similarly, incumbent Don Sherry was the only applicant for a one-year term on the county’s common construction wage board and was appointed.
Dan Adams and Tim Wilson expressed interest and received the commissioners’ approval to continue serving on the county’s convention and visitors bureau. Cindy Emmons said she wasn’t interested in reappointment and letters of interest had been submitted by Tara Damin, Jennifer Kunkler and former Tell City Mayor Gayle Strassell. Hauser said he’d received favorable recommendations for the incumbents and Strassell, and the commissioners voted to appoint them.
Two appointments to four-year terms on the county health board needed to be made, Kanneberg told the commissioners.
“One of the appointments must be a licensed physician,” she explained, “and as you may recall, that position has been vacant since Dr. Robert Ward’s resignation the first of July. The term actually would have expired at the end of 2012.”
As has been the case since the vacancy was announced, no physicians have submitted letters of interest, the administrator said.
The other appointee must be someone “knowledgeable about public health,” she said, and incumbent Dr. James Black wished to remain on the board. He had the support of the board, which approved his continued service in May, Kanneberg said. The commissioners also approved.
The county hospital association usually has few duties but has become more active since the construction of a new medical facility is in progress. Dave Huber expressed interest in reappointment and Kanneberg said Damin also requested appointment. The commissioners reappointed Huber.
Pete Franzman didn’t care to continue serving on the Indiana 15 Regional Planning Commission, Kanneberg said, for which the commissioners needed to make three appointments. One must be a commissioner or their designee, and Hauser said he was interested in retaining that position.
“The other two … are at-large appointments,” Kanneberg said, “one of which could also be another commissioner or (other) county resident. Keep in mind that Indiana 15 requires that two-thirds of their board as a whole be made up of elected officials.”
The at-large roles were held by Brad Franzman, who didn’t seek reappointment, and then-Commissioner Jody Fortwendel, who did. Damin and Calvin Cash also submitted letters of interest.
Saying he was interested “in getting some new blood in there ever so often,” Amos recommended Cash and Damin. The commissioners appointed them and Hauser.
The Perry County Development Corp. seeks delegates for its annual meetings. Hauser was last year’s delegate, but offered a motion to give Kleaving that role, which the commissioners approved.
They also reappointed Margaret Evrard, Louis Heitkemper and Pam Krygielka to the Perry County Redevelopment Authority. They, too, normally have little responsibility but are now meeting monthly as construction of a new county jail progresses, according to county attorney Chris Goffinet.
Damin expressed interest and all three incumbents requested reappointment, according to Kanneberg.
“They’ve been doing this for a few years,” Goffinet told the commissioners before they reappointed Evrard, Heitkemper and Krygielka. “They do a really nice job and they’re very familiar with things.”
The commissioners’ three appointments to the Perry County Plan Commission must include one of them, a Democrat and a Republican, Kanneberg said.
The politically affiliated appointees serve four-year terms, and incumbents Pat Tempel, a Democrat, and Republican David Lynch desired reappointment.
Fortwendel was the commissioner serving on the plan commission and expressed interest in continued service. Damin also applied for a role.
Hauser, Lynch and Tempel will serve on that commission.
Incumbent Paul Malone wished to be reappointed to another three-year term on the county’s public-defender board and had been endorsed by Perry Circuit Judge Lucy Goffinet, Kanneberg said. No one else sought the position, so the commissioners approved his request.
They also approved Lynch’s continued service on the county’s zoning-appeals board, in a position that must also be held by a member of the plan commission. It’s a four-year term.
Another position that has remained vacant, this one for all of last year, is open on the Tell City Plan Commission. It must be filled by a Democrat living or owning property within the city or a two-mile extension of the Tell City city limits Kanneberg said. No one has expressed interest, she added.
The commissioners postponed appointments to the county’s nine-member emergency management advisory board because the county council needs to make a recommendation. Likewise, they held off on making an appointment to the Perry County Redevelopment Commission until the Tell City-Troy Township School Corp. recommends a nonvoting member.
The commissioners have to make three appointments in addition to that one, and incumbents Malone, Bernard Hermann, and Marvin Rogier are seeking reappointment.
“I want to thank all of the people that have stepped up and offered to be on these committees and commissions,” Hauser said. “It looks to me like we’re starting to get a little more involvement in the county and I think that’s a move forward.”
He invited anyone else interested in becoming involved to do so.
The commissioners will next meet at 8 a.m. Tuesday in the courthouse.