Tuesday night’s Enchanted Hills board of directors meeting saw no changes made in the plans to build a new building in partnership with Bowen Center, but that doesn’t mean the meeting lacked controversy. In a heated discussion bordering on chaos, members of both the board and the community accused others of everything from fraud to corruption.
Several board members got up and left unannounced at various points during the meeting, visibly angered by other board members, and at one point board member George Weimer unexpectedly made a motion to remove President Jim Sherman from the board. The motion was seconded by Steve Dixon. Before the vote was cast, Sherman got up and left the Enchanted Hill’s Clubhouse as well.
Several individuals present broke out into shouting at one another before Indiana State Police officer Chad Larsh stood up and demanded order. The divide in the room was due to the disagreement within the community on whether or not to move forward with the construction of a new community center in partnership with the Bowen Center.
The proposed building would provide a storm shelter, thrift store and a food bank. Homeowners in the area say that this addition would only benefit those who are renters in the area, for they do not have to pay for the building yet get to use it. Some see it as an added benefit to living in the community, while others view it as a detractor. Board member Pam Reed stated that the current community center had been good for the community’s anti-drug efforts, giving kids a place to go. The claim was upsetting to community member Dave French, who responded, “Don’t sit there and talk that crap, this place is a dump. It’s going down hill.”
After more lively discussion, Sherman eventually returned to the building and stated that he had “just needed to get some air.” He proposed that the board table the vote on his removal until the next meeting. The proposal was denied. Dixon pointed to the fact that Sherman had taken a petition around the neighborhood and contacted the attorney general on behalf of the board without consulting the board.
At that point a neighborhood resident in attendance said that Dixon should not have a say because he has not paid his community dues, a requirement of all voting members. Dixon replied that he had paid his dues, and stated that Sherman and his wife, Joyce, a fellow board member, were the ones who had not paid their dues.
This incited several shouting matches throughout the room between opposing board members and community residents alike, leading one community member to launch a profanity-laden tirade against Dixon. Once order was restored again, the members of the board voted 6-5 in favor of removing Sherman. At that point, several more board members left, visibly frustrated.
After the meeting, exasperated board member Rev. Mark Mignery stated, “I have never seen such total disrespect in one area. I had to continue to pray silently.” Talks of whether to move forward with the new building were tabled until the next meeting in December.