Commissioner Meeting Notes, Oct 5, 2022

Commissioner Meeting Notes, Oct 5, 2022.

Commissioner Meeting Agenda with Notes – Oct 5 2022

Suggestion. PRAYER. Commissioner Pittman leads off the meetings with a Chrisitan-based prayer. Suggest the prayer also ask for specific guidance to support and improve the decision-making process.  This would be supported by identifying all the stakeholders affected by the decision, their needs, expectations, and feedback required to validate that the change results in an improvement.

COMMISSIONER MEETING TIMES.  The meeting time for the second commissioner meeting of the month has been moved back to 2:00 p.m vice 6:00 pm for the rest of the year to accommodate Commissioner Biddle’s medical appointments and treatments.

(Before Covid, the first meeting was in the morning (9:00?) and the second in the evening (6:00) to accommodate the public). The morning meeting was “suppose to” just cover admin topics. The evening meeting was for issues that required a vote and allow for input and questions by the citizens.

INDIAN HILL ROAD CROSSING –  Allowing pedestrian traffic for accessing the Tecumseh Trail (see link below for more info). It has become more apparent that Commissioner Biddle with the support of the Railroad, was and is the county advocate for closing the railroad crossing at Indiana Hill Road and preventing pedestrian access to the trail. There is no documented analysis that justifies the decision. The other two commissioners typically just go along with her proposals without any discussion or debate. Their terms end in 2024.

Commissioners minutes 10-5-22 – prepared by the Auditor’s Office

AUDIO – Discussion Begins at the 40:40 mark

Commissioner Biddle has now identified another alternative for accessing the trail. At past meetings, Jerry Pittman expressed his support for allowing for a pedestrian crossing at Indian Hill Rd and is now supporting the new alternative with little justification for the change.  Commissioners were vague on the conditions that would make this alternative route not viable.

The alternate (detour) route was identified by the Hoosier Hiker Council. This group has never presented any information at a council meeting. This route does include a RR crossing at 45 that INDOT can ensure meets standards. In contrast, the information along with supporting and documented detail that was provided at several previous meetings by the Knobstone Hiking Trail Association (KHTA)  was ignored.  

Hoosier Hiker’s Council. – Tecumseh Trail Re-Route. Note that the reroute involves a one-mile walk on State Road 45 from West Lost Branch Road to the Sycamore Land Trust parking lot for Trevlac Bluffs. SR 45 is a busy highway with little to no shoulder, so walk at your own risk or get a shuttle.

Commissioner Biddle’s explanations for advocacy of the new route included inaccurate information not supported with any references, misstatements, and overstatements. After several years (6+) of attending commissioner meetings, I have learned not to take any statements made at these meetings at face value. The Democrat paper typically reports on “what was said” but not on the accuracy of the statements. Reporters also tend to avoid controversy.

Commissioner Biddle identified at the “beginning” of the meeting that “the commissioners chose a new path.” This decision did not arrive from a public meeting. I asked the commissioners to document the facts associated with this new decision and provide to the public. Jerry Pittman believed this was not necessary – that the audio of the meeting and minutes was sufficient.   Minutes have not typically been posted on the county website.

ROADS and BRIDGES.  Mike Magnor updated his plan that covers 2021-2026 and provided feedback on what has been accomplished. This will be available at their website.

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