All posts by Tim J. Clark

Brown County Leaders Connecting Leaders (LoCaL)

LoCaL Leaders Connecting Leaders is an initiative that was created from Brown County’s Hometown Collaborative initiative (HCI).

Articles of Incorporatiion. LoCaL Articles of Incorporation 19_07_22

Support Services and Process 2019_07_10 LoCaL Guide

  • Stakeholder Community – Identification and Analysis
  • Program Assessment – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats (SWOT)
  • Strategic Planning
  • Project Planning
  • Annual Report
  • Success Story

Communication – Website (WIP) and Brown County Democrat -Non-Profit News

General Information

  • 2019 Goal – Develop 6-8 Projects – Publish Results
  • Meetings – 2nd and 4th Monday of the Month, Library, 6-8 pm

Timeline

 

 

2018 Staffing Study

County Council Staffing Pay Study – 1

County Council Staffing Pay Study – 2

Aug 23, 2018. BCM Facebook Post Budget Hearings – Staffing Study.

May 21, 2018. BCM Facebook Post

  • Tim J. Clark Salary Study. Also at last nights meeting, Keith Baker provided a summary of the results of the salary study that was supported by students from IU’s Kelley School of Business. There are 9 changes to positions with a total increase to the budget of $43K. They study was very thorough and refined with input from the council. Overall, salaries are competitive with other counties our size and we are more than competitive with benefits – health, longevity pay, life insurance, and paid holidays. This study with refinements is a good example of “due diligence.”
  • Sherrie Mitchell Keith Baker informed us that among the counties close to our size we are number 1 in salary pay. We pay our employees more than any other small county and we offer employee benefits not offered by other counties, placing us at number one for benefits. What we fail to talk about is that these employees are living off the backs of the poor. No one ever wants to talk about the 52% of our population living without health insurance and making less than $30,000. Discussion is always about the needs of the county, never the needs of the citizens.

 

Confronting Bigotry – Changing Minds

BigotryThe character or mode of thought of a bigot; obstinate and unreasonable attachment to a particular creed, opinion, practice, ritual, or party organization; excessive zeal or warmth in favor of a party, sect, or opinion; intolerance of the opinions of others.  American Heritage Dictionary

I grew up in the Westboro Baptist Church. Here’s why I left | Megan Phelps-Roper TED

  • 15 minutes, 4.5 million views, and a love story 🙂
  • Four suggestions supporting dialogue: (1) Don’t assume bad intent; (2) Ask Questions; (3) Stay Calm; (4) Make the argument.

Why I, as a black man, attend KKK rallies. | Daryl Davis | TEDxNaperville

Black man convinces 200 Ku Klux Klansmen to leave white supremacist group by befriending them … ” ‘I never set out to convert anyone in the Klan. I just set out to get an answer to my question: ‘How can you hate me when you don’t even know me?’’ says blues musician” – TEDx

Wanted: Tolerance, Understanding, Collaboration, Progress

For the Record.  Local community members alleged to be “white supremacists.”   This post includes background information and context on the issues.  Information provided also includes Facebook comments on Brown County Matters, dissemination of the allegations from local media and links to video of meetings held by the Farmers Market Advisory Committee and Bloomington Parks Commission.

Tolerance of a position IS NOT ACCEPTANCE of that position
or acceptance in a belief that any situation cannot be improved!

E Pluribus Unum (1795): out of many, one: it is the motto of the U.S., appearing on most U.S. currency and on the Great Seal of the United States.

Legal Issues: 

Comment:  It is often said that “perception is the reality.” Perceptions are derived from facts, observations, and opinions.   On facts, I tried to identify the direct source to include footnotes.  On perceptions, activists and media can use terms in allegations and articles that are inflammatory and not footnoted to explain how they arrived at their conclusion. On this topic, terms include neo-nazi, nazism, nazi brethren, fascism, fascist, white nationalist, white supremacy, racism, violence, hate, alt-right, et.al.

Terms and Definitions 2019_06_28  – includes the terms that are referenced relative to this issue.

June 25, 2019.  Meeting – Board of Bloomington Park Commissioners. Statement in support of the position of the Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department.  Statement BCM FM 20190625

Background Situation

A long-time community member, with a successful small business and young family – who to my knowledge, has no criminal record or been accused of a crime, has recently acknowledged that she was a member of Identity Evropa (IE). IE has been disbanded and a former IE leader created a new group called American Identity Movement (AIM) in March 2019 (Wikipedia).

  • Identity Evropa describes itself as “a generation of awakened Europeans who have discovered that we are part of the great peoples, history, and civilization that flowed from the European continent.”   (1) Ref: Newsweek. “Unite the Right Organizer disavowed by Family After Charlottesville Violence.”
  • Identify Evropa and AIM are identified as a white supremacist organization by the Anti-Defamation League and is designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group. (Wikipedia).

The community member and her husband allegedly met with 21-year-old Nolan Brewer. Brewer was sentenced on Monday, May 20, 2019 … ” to three years in prison for spray-painting anti-Semitic graffiti and lighting fires outside a Carmel synagogue on July 28, 2018,  that was described as an act of vandalism. (1)

  • U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler said 21-year-old Nolan Brewer of Eminence was sentenced Monday evening for conspiring to violate the civil rights of Congregation Shaarey 
  • Tefilla. Minkler announced Tuesday that Brewer pleaded guilty to a federal hate crime.
  • Nazi flags and iron crosses were found spray-painted July 28 on a brick shed outside the synagogue in Carmel, just north of Indianapolis.

(1).  May 22, 2019, The Indiana Lawyer.   “Carmel synagogue vandal who espoused Nazism gets 3 years for hate crime.” 

May 21, 2019.  Indy Star, Indianapolis.  Indiana man sentenced to federal prison for vandalism at Carmel synagogue   

FBI Interview.  During his FBI interview on August 15, 2018, Brewer stated he met a couple named Sarah and Douglas (after he committed the crime)  at a family restaurant in Martinsville.  He stated he met them through Identity Evropa and he identified Sarah as Volkmom in a Discord server (chat room).    

  • FBI Interview Nolan Brewer Aug 15, 2018  pages 42-58
  • The text messages obtained from Discord by Unicorn Riot included 435 messages (I did not confirm the count).  The discussions involved a variety of topics to include families, education, culture, politics, race, finance.
  • In his interview, Brewer stated the couple had no knowledge of his crime and did not associate them with any act of violence.  His statement included the following:
    • He stated that “they were extremely nice.”
    • He also stated that Identity Evropa instructed members not to attend the Unite the Right 2 rally held on August 12, 2018.
    • When asked about the violent tendencies of other Identity Evropa members that he knew about, he stated that “there ‘s always a couple of poisoned skittles to ruin the bowl …” and further remarked “my wife and I are trying to stick away from those now … “
    • He also stated his opinion on Identity Evropa’s (IE) belief system:
      • “It’s just to be proud that you’re European. it’s, it’s an identitarian movement, it’s nothing political.”
      • “It’s just your European, be proud of who you are, take care of your family.”
    • After being shown a crime scene photo, Brewer remarked that “IE would not consider that acceptable” and his membership would be revoked  (p.55)

May 27, 2019. Patrick Casey (Former IE leader, Statement on Nolan and Kiyomi BrewerMrs. Brewer joined Identity Evropa in early August 2018 – after the crime (vandalism at a Carmel synagogue that occurred in July 2018).  (Mr. Brewer was never a member; his claims to the contrary presumably stem from the incorrect assumption that his wife’s approved application conferred to him as well).

Volkmom has also published videos on Youtube on the topics that include herbs, the medicinal benefit of herbs, gardening, recipes, and nutrition.

  • In Episode 1 – Yarrow (herb), at the 2:10 mark,  in addition to the benefits of Yarrow, Volkmom defined Alt-right as “essentially being rooted in what is natural and biological.” She expressed pride in “my people, my folk, my blood, my ancestors” and expressed her belief that “race is sacred.
    • Note: The definitions in the online dictionaries for Alternative- Right (alt-right) generally describe individuals with extreme and violent views. Wikipedia describes it as “a loosely connected far-right, white nationalist movement. The term is ill-defined, having been used in different ways by various groups and individuals.”  
  • Pride in ethnicity is common throughout the world. Ethnicity defined as: of or relating to large groups of people classed according to common racial, national, tribal, religious, linguistic, or cultural origin or background (Merriam-webster).
  • Another term used in many of the videos is hail (not heil). Hail defined as
  • I found the videos of high quality and informative on the various herbs, recipes, nutrition, and respective healing attributes.

American comedian George Carlin on the topic of pride in ethnicity remarked: “I could never understand national pride, I could never understand ethnic pride. Because to me, pride should be reserved for something you achieve or attain on your own, not something that happens by accident of birth.”  

The identifies of “Sarah” (Volkmom) and Douglas have not been confirmed.  A relative (aunt) did state on social media that Sarah was Volkmom and also acknowledged that they have been estranged from 2012 to the present.  Local media has reported Sarah Dye and Douglas Mackey were the individual referenced in the FBI Interview. They are owners of Schooner Creek Farm.

Sara Dye is no longer on the board of the Nashville Farmers Market (a non-profit organization) and is also not allowed to be a vendor reportedly due to safety concerns.

  • The Nashville Farmer’s Market is a nonprofit that is not required to provide the same first amendment protections that are required to be supported by the City of Bloomington’s Farmer’s Market.  The Nashville Farmer’s Market is responsible for providing a safe environment for everyone.

There is a petition to deny their participation in the Bloomington Famers Market – which is associated with the city government. The Parks and Recreation Department issued the following statement in a response to a petition :

“To our knowledge, this vendor has not shared these views at Market and has treated customers with respect,” said Marcia Veldman, program/facility coordinator for Bloomington’s Parks and Recreation Department, in an email response to Ang.

“The City is constitutionally prohibited from discriminating against someone because of their belief system, no matter how abhorrent those views may be. The City may only intercede if an individual’s actions violate the safety and human rights of others.”

Identity Evropa and American Identity Movement (AIM)

Identity Evropa’s founder, Nathan Damigo was convicted of a misdemeanor and charged with a $100.00 penalty for his actions at a rally in Charlottesville, VA where one person was killed and 19 were hurt.

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) (1) has reported that Identity Evropa (IE) leader Patrick Casey said on Twitter that the organization “has been retired.” “Casey says he is now launching a new organization, the America Identity Movement (AIM).  

  • March 12, 2019.  Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).  White Nationalist Group Identity Evropa Rebrands Following Private Chat Leaks, Launches ‘American Identity Movement’
  • On the evening of March 8th, 2019, Patrick Casey announced the formation of a new, nationalist organization. Our organization, American Identity Movement, is indeed a new non-profit institution engaged in peaceful activism and networking under the sole ownership of President Casey. Mr. Casey has retired from all activity unrelated to American Identity Movement.
  • AIm Website:
    • American Identity Movement is a non-profit activist and fraternal organization founded on March 8, 2019, by Patrick Casey.
    • Our worldview is best summarized by our five principles: nationalism, identitarianism, protectionism, non-interventionism, and populism.  AIM’s efforts are twofold: activism and fraternity. 

Patrick Casey, Statement on Nolan and Kiyomi Brewer.  Mr. Casey states that Mrs. Brewer joined Identity Evropa is early August 2018 – after the vandalism at a Carmel synagogue and that Mr. Brewer was never a member.

(1) The credibility of the SPLC has been questioned by many sources.  Another non-profit involved in this area is the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

The FBI- Hate Crime Unit is the source of hate crime information.  “Hate crimes are the highest priority of the FBI’s Civil Rights program due to the devastating impact they have on families and communities. The Bureau investigates hundreds of these cases every year and works to detect and deter further incidents through law enforcement training, public outreach, and partnerships with community groups.”

Given probable cause, the FBI does have access to digital and phone records and the appropriate technology, software,  and resources to assess the respective situation to include the development of an overall threat assessment which I assume they share with local law enforcement.

Facebook Group – Brown County Matters (BCM) – Timeline
Matters that “matter” to the citizens of Brown County

As of June 14, 2019, the local paper – The Brown County Democrat has not published a story on this topic.

  • WFHB – Volunteered Powered / Community Radio has chosen to publish the allegations as has the Herald-Tribune Online (HTO) and the Indiana Daily Student (IDS).

May 29 at 5:38 PM Tim.J.Clark to Brown County Matters,   Admins agreed to delete a post that was a personal attack on a non-government official in the county who then responded and denied the allegations. We were then accused of siding with the person being attacked and supporting what is considered to be an extremist position. The attack was then re-posted, the allegations were again denied, and the post deleted. The individual informed me that he was opting out of the site and was then removed, he re-joined, re-posted on the same topic and this post was deleted. … Matters is not the site to go on record of disagreeing with someone in the community that (if true) may have an opposing view regardless of how offensive.

May 29, 2019  at 5:38 PM  Anders Jorgensen to Brown County Matters Who’s taking the posts down? What is your justification for doing so? This is a relevant discussion that *matters* to Brown County. People should be able to look for themselves and decide what they are…

June 1, 2019.  Patricia Krahnke shared link – Brown County Democratic Party. . .  ICYMI Petition to remove suspected white supremacist from Nashville farmers market leadership until they can be cleared of association with Identity Evropa.

June 2, 2019 10:23 a.m. Tim.J.Clark to Brown County Matters  Excellent article that Sherrie Mitchell shared previously that distinguishes the difference between tolerance, acceptance, and understanding. Tolerance is a virtue that is a basis for First Amendment protections. Just because you have tolerance for a situation does not mean you accept it. Dialogue can lead to understanding and a higher probability of positive change. Ref:  Feb 25, 2014. Psychology Today, by Jefferson M Fish Ph.D.  Tolerance, Acceptance, Understanding

  • “The aim of the U.S. system of government is to enable “We the People” through the Bill of Rights to work together towards a more perfect Union (and county). Actions motivated by love leads to action that produces results where we all win or at least, are not any worse off in the long-term.”

June 3, at 10:40 AM  Paul Navarro to Brown County Matters Our Constitution guarantees “innocent until proven guilty”. In my personal opinion, one person’s ideas do not constitute a hate group.  While constructive ideas and concerns are always welcome and encouraged on this page, it is our policy not to allow personal defamation of individual members on this Facebook page.  Members who find it necessary to indulge in this can use their own Facebook pages to do so.

June 4, 2019, at 2:26 PM. Kevin Fleming to Brown County Matters .. …Martin Luther King when he said only acts of love can drive out hate.  “A Prominent American Hate Group Just Collapsed Because of an Affair”…

June 13, 2019.  Kyle Birkemeier shared a link .  “see.. i didnt make this up as ive been accused and its an actually community issue, effecting our town and its image beyond our borders. Is bc matters going to eat crow and admit this is an issue worth discussing or stick to their threats of law suits and accusations that were a pack of wild dogs out to get these innocent neonazis? like i said when i first posted this info, its valid and this story is going to be bigger. Responsible members of our community are concerned actually concerned about neo nazis organizing here. And it should be discussed.”  Ref: White supremacist allegations follow market farmers

June 20, 2019.

Local Media – Other References

June 3, 2019. WFHB Volunteered Powered / Community Radio,  South Central Indiana.  Petitions Allege White Supremacist Ties to Farmer’s Market Vendor.

The petition submitted by Abby Ang  (1) alleges the individuals are connected to the White supremacist movement, Identity Evropa, and encourages both the Bloomington Farmer’s Market and the Nashville Farmer’s Market to ban them.

  • Petition.
    • It’s been known for a long time in our community that the owners of Schooner Creek Farm are members of Identity Evropa…. “One of the owners …  has posted on Discord”  
  • Activity Allegations. Emily of State on Twitter.
    • Extracts from court documents obtained via Buzzfeed of the FBI interview with Nolan Brewer with comments from Emily of State.
    • Source of the Court Documents: BuzzFeed, Inc. —  an American Internet media company based in New York City,
      • Buzzfeed published a story that they later corrected – Buzzfeed Blames Ben Shapiro for Synagogue Attack, Rabbi Responds …  BuzzFeed News is under fire for publishing an outrageous article that claimed conservative political commentator Ben Shapiro – along with FOX News and Breitbart – radicalized a white nationalist who pleaded guilty to defacing a synagogue in Carmel, Indiana with Nazi symbolism.

(1)  “Abby Ang, a Ph.D. student in the Department of English. A native of Rhode Island and first-generation Chinese American, Ang co-founded the IU English Grad Solidarity Coalition. The coalition is the first in the department to advocate for the needs of underrepresented students, including students of color, international students and the LGBTQ+ community, and the promotion of solidarity in and across the department.”  (Reference Jan 15, 2018, IU Bloomington faculty, staff and students recognized for commitment to service and leadership.

Other

May 14, 2018.  IDS, Blotter: Fight at Bloomington Community Farmers’ Market by Cameron Drummond.  “Police said a group of four to five people, including Cast, started harassing a vendor at the market.  … Police arrested 30-year-old Joseph A. Cast for disorderly conduct, criminal mischief, robbery, theft and battery as a result of the incident.

March 6, 2019.  Neo-Nazi Hipsters Identity Evropa Exposed In Discord Chat Leak Unicorn Riot is releasing more than 770,000 messages from chat servers associated with Identity Evropa. This is the first report in a series about this large US-based neo-Nazi organization. 

DISCORD.

  • The Discord chat server used to coordinate Identity Evropa’s activities is called ‘Nice Respectable People Group’.

ANTIFA (Anti-Fascists) – with help from Hoosier Anti-Racist Movement (HARM)

Fascism: A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, a capitalist economy subject to stringent governmental controls, violent suppression of the opposition, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism. … A political philosophy or movement based on or advocating such a system of government. American Heritage Dictionary

June 12, 2019. Indiana Daily Student, Letter alleges white supremacists sell at farmers’ market .  Some claim local farmers Sarah Dye and Douglas Mackey are members of the hate group Identity Evropa. Extracts:

  • “To our knowledge, this vendor has not shared these views at Market and has treated customers with respect,” said Marcia Veldman, program/facility coordinator for Bloomington’s Parks and Recreation Department, in an email response to Ang. “The City is constitutionally prohibited from discriminating against someone because of their belief system, no matter how abhorrent those views may be. The City may only intercede if an individual’s actions violate the safety and human rights of others.

June 12, 2019. HTO, Bloomington, In. White supremacist allegations follow market farmers By Kurt Christian The Herald-Times.  The owners of Schooner Creek Farm are facing renewed allegations of white supremacist beliefs a week after being forced out of the Nashville farmers market. A petition outlining why the Bloomington Community Farmers’ Market should also cut ties is gaining traction.

Bloomington resident Abby Ang sent a letter to the city’s market advisory council June 4 alleging that Nashville-based Schooner Creek Farm owners Sarah Dye and Doug Mackey are members of a neo-Nazi and white supremacist hate group.

June 17, 2019, The Bloomingtonian, Jeremy Hogan. Anti-fascism urged at farmers’ market advisory committee meeting

June 18, 2019.  Bloomington Unlikely To Boot Alleged White Supremacist From Farmer’s Market . The uproar began several weeks ago when transcripts from an FBI interview with Nolan Brewer were published.  ….   Brewer, a self-described white supremacist, pleaded guilty to vandalizing a synagogue in Carmel last year.  He told agents he communicated with Sarah Dye, a Brown County woman who has a booth at the Bloomington market. … Dye’s name has also been linked to a white supremacist website.

June 25, 2019.  Meeting – Bloomington Board of Park Commissioners.  The board modified their agenda to allow for comments (2-3 minutes) regarding the issues with the Farmers Market.  The board chair outlined the protocol and guidance for providing comments and reinforced the rules that with minor exceptions, were honored by the audience.

They stated that they did review the video from the advisory committee meeting on June 17.  New allegations were made that the vendor did promote their beliefs at the market and demonstrated actions that made individuals feel unwelcome.  The individuals acknowledged that they did not file a formal complaint with the market.

A statement by the Commissioners is expected by July 23, 2019. The Commissioners are also supporting a Community Forum on the issues – date TBD. The Forum to be facilitated by the  Community and Family Resources Department.

June 25, 2019.  Indiana Public Media WTIU, WFIU. City Faces More Backlash On Farmer’s Market Vendor

  • WFIU – Facebook Post Members of the Bloomington Community and Family Resources office say they’ll host a forum sometime over the next few weeks after several vendors said they didn’t feel safe at the downtown farmers market.

July 2, 2019. WTIU/WFIU Committee Considering Next Steps In Schooner Creek Farm Controversy By Barbara Brosher .  …    the market advisory board plans to have a formal response to citizen feedback by its July meeting. McCallister – says the city is also planning a July 11 forum in response to the controversy. 

July 2, 2019. Facebook Post – Sarah Dye, Schooner Creek Farm.   The Nashville Farmer’s Market, which I helped found in 2017, removed me as Board President and also removed our farm as a vendor in early June. If you have any opinions about the 3 board members’ decision to do so, please feel free to let them know by emailing nashvillefarmersmarket@gmail.com …. Sarah Dye They have yet to respond with a grounds for removal request by an attorney.

July 8, 2019. WTIU/WFIU.  Schooner Creek Owner Requests Restraining Order Against Activist

  • Facebook Post.  Sarah Dye told Judge Frank Nardi that Thomas Westgard is engaged in an “ongoing, routine effort of harassment” against her.
  • Facebook Post -Judge Denies Schooner Creek Owner’s Request For Restraining Order

July 8, 2019. WTIU/WFIU. Bloomington To Host Farmers’ Market Forum In Response To Controversy The panel discussion will be from 6 to 7:30 p.m. (Thursday, July 11) in the City Hall council chambers. Panelists will include community organizer Abby Ang, Indiana University Maurer School of Law Professor Jeannine Bell, IU Maurer School of Law Professor Emeritus Dan Conkle and ACLU of Indiana Executive Director Jane Heneger. 

July 11, 2019Press Release: City to Host Farmers’ Market Panel Discussion Thursday

July 15. 2019.  Indiana Student Daily (IDS) Legal scholars, activist discuss farmers’ market legal issues, inclusivity.   Bell, Conkle and Henegar agreed the city could not legally remove a vendor for its beliefs or affiliation with hate groups. Henegar said if a municipality tried to remove vendors for their beliefs, it could face a lawsuit from the ACLU. 

July 20, 2019.

  • The slogan (supported by the Bloomington Mayor in a photo op) by those opposing Schooner Creek Farm’s (SCF) participation at the market is “No Space for Hate.“ Masked and black-clad individuals  (alleged to be associated with antifa and/or black bloc members) formed in proximity to the SCF booth.
  • The city police adequately respond to the situation.
  • Where are the stories from local media (WFIU/WTIU, IDS, Bloomingtonian, Herald-Tribune Online) unmasking the individual members of these groups, their respective places of work and their alleged supporters, affiliations, and advocacy for violence?

 National Trends 

June 30, 2019. Quilette. Antifa’s Brutal Assault on Andy Ngo Is a Wake-Up Call—for Authorities and Journalists Alike

  • Richard Grenell, currently serving the Trump administration as ambassador to Germany, expressed outrage at the attack against the Quillette writer and is calling on the Justice Department to investigate the incident, possibly as an act of domestic terrorism — and especially after reports that, as usual, Portland Police stood down and did nothing to intervene.

June 30, 2019. Human Events. AntiFa, Terror Faction. AntiFa has been lionized by politicians, the media, and celebrities. But the latest violence in Portland proves law enforcement officials correct: AntiFa is a domestic terror group.

June 30, 2019. USA Today. Oberlin College’s complicity in false racism charge against bakery reeks of McCarthyism.

 

 

Memorial Day 2019 Leadership and Cooperation

Memorial Day was established as a federal holiday to recognize those who died while serving in the country’s armed forces. It should also lead to a reflection on the causes that inspired their sacrifice and reinforce the responsibility on the living in taking action that will lead to “a more perfect Union.”

Perhaps Lincoln at Gettysburg expressed it best when describing the motivations of those that give their life to the greater cause: “ …  that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Our challenge? The U.S. system of government was designed to be continuously improved.  “We the People” own the system and are enabled through the Bill of Rights to work together towards “a more perfect”  (better) Union and county.

Under federalism, it was expected that change would be driven by the people through the local level of government.  A change should result in outcomes where everyone gains, or at least, are not any worse off.  This requires that you identify how “everyone”  defines better along with the feedback they need to assess progress.

Within the next 6-12 months, local citizens who have been working for the past two years to develop a better system for collaboration and improvement through the Hometown Collaborative Initiative (HCI) will be testing a new approach (and assessing demand)  to build cooperation among citizens who are and want to make one or more aspects of the county more perfect or better.

The history and the background on the initiative are available through the link below.  If you are interested in helping us validate the approach through the application to a personal initiative and/or to a group or organization that you are involved with, let U.S. know.  We plan on providing updates on the program throughout the year and to include a  yearly summary on Memorial Day 2020.

“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection
we
can catch excellence”. — Vince Lombardi

More Info:  HCI Capstone Project Proposal – Leadership Cooperative

 

Information to consider before buying/selling a home in Brown County?

In  2018, over 90% or 7,700 residences in the county are on septic systems.  The majority of homes (approximately 80%) are older than 25 years.

The useful life of a septic system?

County POLICY – Limited Useful Life.  The Brown County Regional Sewer District (BCRSD) board members identified a “useful life” of a maintained septic system as lasting an average of 25 years, and about 25 years for a drain field.  If you have a functioning septic system, a system may qualify for a waiver.

  • It is up to the respective RSD as to whether or not they will grant waivers.  Details provided in Indiana Code Title 36. Local Government § 36-9-23-30.1.
    • Interpretation? If your system is less than 10 years old, you may qualify for two five year waivers. The waiver would not exceed a total of 20 years.

Indefinite Useful Life.

  • The Environmental Protection Agency references a study that identifies that “conventional septic systems are designed to operate indefinitely if properly maintained. However, because most household systems are not well maintained, the functioning life of septic systems is typically 20 years or less.”  
  • Presby Environmental Systems (among the recommended systems in the State and County) states: “If the system is designed, installed and maintained properly, there is no limit to the life expectancy of Enviro-Septic® Technology. In the event that the System malfunctions due to abuse, AES or Enviro-Septic® may be rejuvenated in as little as 72 hours, eliminating the need for a replacement.

Regional Sewer District (RSD)

If you are buying a home in Brown County and are within 300 feet of a system of a Regional Sewer District (RSD), you can be forced to hook on to the system despite the fact that you may have a functional septic system.

Map of Indiana Regional Water and Sewer Districts. RSDs include Gnaw Bone, Helmsburg and Brown County.  Brown County RSD is proposing a new wastewater treatment plant in the Bean Blossom area.

  • Currently, monthly fees range from $50.00 (Gnaw Bone) to $92.00 (Helmsburg). The proposed system for Bean Blossom is estimated to range from $65.00 to $85.00
  • In addition to the monthly rates, each RSD have their own hook-up fees

The town of Nashville has its own wastewater treatment plant. Nashville has identified that new areas requesting service may have to agree to annexation.

Questions when considering a purchase of a property with a septic system

  • Best case:  Has the system been properly designed, installed and maintained? If so, it could have an indefinite life.
  • Is the residence within the boundary of an RSD?  (If so, you may be required to hook-up to their system).
  • What are the recommended best practices for septic system inspections?
  • How old is the septic system?
  • Has the system been maintained? Any records available?
  • Does the health department have a record of the system?
  • Have you reviewed the current county requirements for installing a septic system?  Depending on the age of the system, it may not meet current codes that were first introduced in 1977 (?)
  • Does the property have enough space for a new system?
  • If space for a drain field is not available, the field can be replaced but it is very expensive. What is the cost of a drain field replacement?  (replacing the old soils with new).
  • What are the options and costs for a new septic system?
  • Are there costs associated with dealing with the old system such as sealing or removing the old storage tank?

Age of Residences in Brown County – Census Data

State of the Child Report – Brown County 2019

Why the state of the child?

To Understand top challenges facing youth; Access critical data and solutions; Advocate, empower and inspire action; and Work together and be responsive.

April 23, 2019 Presentation – Community Foundation  SOTC_2019_April 23 Presentation_Brown County

FYI Definition – Data Quality

About:  Indiana Youth Institute exists to improve the lives of all Indiana children. We provide critical data, capacity-building resources and innovative training for people and organizations that impact the healthy development of Indiana’s children and youth. We facilitate collaboration and promote problem-solving and collective advocacy on a statewide scale.