WARSAW — New appointments were filled and year-end transfers were made Thursday night, Dec. 12, by Kosciusko County Council.
2020 Office Appointments:
Alcohol Beverage Commission — Dan Woods
Area Plan Board — Jon Garber
Emergency Mgt. Advisory — Joni Truex
KC Economic Development Committee — Kimberly Cates
Kos. Economic Development Corporation — Kimberly Cates
Michiana Area Council of Governments — Ernie Wiggins
Property Tax Abatement Board of Appeals — Brock Ostrom
Redevelopment Commission — Jan Orbin and Joni Truex
Solid Waste Committee — Mike Long
Strategic Planning Committee — Jon Garber, Sue Ann Mitchell and Ernie Wiggins
Warsaw Economic Development — Kimberly Cates
Wage Committee — Jon Garber, Ernie Wiggins and Joni Truex
Warsaw Comm. Dev. — Joni Truex
Kos. County Convention, Recreation and Visitors Convention — Jo Paczkowski; Tammy Kratzer
Also at the meeting, Kosciusko Superior Court I Judge David Cates received approval to apply for a Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) grant in the amount of $88,759.
Cates provided several statistics from 2018 to 2019: Juvenile detention admissions are down 46 percent; the average length of stay of juveniles in detention is down 73 percent; and an average daily population of juveniles in detention is down 77 percent.
“I’m not sure how many total days that amounts to but each day saves the county about $140,” Cates said.
When asked about the types of crimes juveniles in the county are committing, Cates said, “Surprisingly, a lot of auto theft, a lot of drug issues, a lot of fights — primarily school fights, but for the major crimes, the felonies, for whatever reason auto theft is one of the highest.”
“The JDAI meetings have been very educational for me,” Council President Sue Ann Mitchell told council members. “There’s been great participation in those meetings and they have developed the criteria for what they want to do with kids, what they think is the best, and I think that is going to be a very successful program going forward.”
In other matters, Kosciusko Superior Court judges Joe Sutton and Torrey Bauer requested additional appropriations in the amount of $60,000. Both said that due to rising criminal filings and an increased workload after some of Judge Cates’ felony dockets were shifted to the other courts, they are short of money. This request was approved.
Two requests from County Assessor Susan Engelberth were approved. The first was to transfer $12,000 from computer equipment to legal services. The second was to transfer $9,000 from part-time to legal services.
A budget reduction ordinance presented by County Auditor Michelle Puckett was approved. This included Assessor-Reassessment $55,000 for multiple accounts; county general $503,000 for multiple accounts; health department $5,000 for meetings and travel; and highway department $500,000 for group insurance.
County Administrator Marsha McSherry received approval for a transfer of $34,451 for a vehicle to be used by the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office animal control officer.
Burket Fire Chief Kevin McSherry and Sidney-Jackson Township Fire Department Chief Kevin Wagner received approval for release of $7,851.34 in grant funds to the Sidney-Jackson Township Fire Department for a communications upgrade.
According to Mitchell, clerks in the state are supporting doing away with voting a straight ticket.
“This is because when you vote a straight ticket, those individuals who are running in a group where multiples can be elected, they do not get any votes – you have to go in there and specifically vote for those people,” Mitchell said. She pointed out a situation in one town where 101 people voted by party but did not select individual names.
“Someone ended up winning by 106 votes, so they could easily see that the margin might have been within six votes,” Mitchell said.
Councilmember Kimberly Cates announced that another opioid community call to action event will be held at 6 p.m. on Jan. 15, at the Center Lake Pavilion. This event is being held in cooperation with the Bowen Center.
- County Prosecutor Dan Hampton received approval for a salary ordinance for a part-time caseworker.
- Selection of officers will be done at the next meeting. Mitchell said she will not be president in 2020.
- Mitchell said it was announced at Wednesday’s Lakeland Regional Sewer District meeting that there are only 10 people left to connect to the sewer district. It originally started out at around 1,792 people, Mitchell said.
- The next regular meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Jan. 9.