All posts by Tim J. Clark

Brown County Governance – Govt and Non-Govt

Governance  – Government and Non-Government

There is only one incorporated town in the county and that is Nashville.

The Helmsburg Community Development Corporation (510c3) is a non-government citizen-led group created to help improve the quality of life within Helmsburg (village/hamlet).  Citizens created their own economic plan and economic development area.  A great example of what other unincorporated communities within the county can accomplish.    History and timeline.

List of Government Units with the authority to tax – / Governance
 Are taxes trending up or down?

Brown County Government  / Commissioners and County Council

Brown County Townships / Township Trustee and Board

  • Hamblen
  • Jackson
  • Van Buren
  • Washington

Nashville Civil Town / Town Council

Brown County School Corporation / School Board

Brown County Public Library / Library Board

Hamblen Township Fire Protection District – District Board

Brown County Solid Waste District – District Board

Cordry-Sweetwater Conservancy District – District Board

Lake Lemon Conservancy District – District Board

Reference: Department of Local Governments Finance (DLGF )

Government Entities that  can Charge for Costs of Services: 

  • Regional Sewer Districts (RSDs).  Can mandate sewer hooks and establish monthly rates.
    • Gnaw Bone
    • Helmsburg
    • Brown County
    • Nashville – not listed as an RSD but has the power to set rates and costs for services within the town.

Conservatory District – Cordry-Sweetwater

Oct 27, 2020. BCD:  Lakes board OK’s new assessment amount by Suzannah Couch CORDRY-SWEETWATER — Cordry-Sweetwater residents will notice an additional number on their tax bills next year after the conservancy district’s board of directors

Oct 6, 2020. BCD Lakes board reduces assessment amount: Residents sought to work on changes with county By Suzannah Couch .  CORDRY-SWEETWATER — The Cordry-Sweetwater Conservancy District Board of Directors has decided not to charge residents more than $900 a year for each lot …

Sep 23, 2020. BCD.  What’s it worth to live in the lakes area? Conservancy district board explores assessment…  Suzannah Couch.  CORDRY-SWEETWATER — More than 150 residents attended a conservancy district board meeting last week to express concerns about an assessment that could have …

Facebook Page: Cordry-Sweetwater Conservancy District 

Critical Thinking – Arguments, Fallacies, Rhetoric

“Critical thinking is the process of reaching a decision or judgment by analyzing, evaluating, and reasoning with facts and data presented.”

Book Excerpts:  T. Edward Damer. Attacking Faulty Reasoning: A Practical Guide to Fallacy-Free Arguments, 7th Edition”, Boston, MA

A system for building a “good argument.”

Five criteria of a good argument: These five categories deal with:

  1.  the structural demands of a well-formed argument,
  2.  the relevance of the argument’s premises,
  3.  the acceptability of the argument’s premises,
  4.  the sufficiency  of the relevant and acceptable premises to support the conclusion of the argument, and
  5. the effectiveness of the argument’s rebuttal to blunt the force of the strongest criticisms against the argument or the position it supports.


  • “A fallacy is broadly defined as an error in logic and also to a mistaken or false belief.”
  • ” A fallacy is a violation of one or more of the five criteria of a good argument.”

Fallacies are categorized by the criterion of a good argument that they violate.  The sixty named fallacies treated in the book are organized in Chapters 5 through 9 by the criterion violated, with one chapter devoted to each criterion. An extended discussion of each fallacy explains and illustrates exactly how the fallacy violates the criterion in question.

Common Critical Thinking Fallacies. Critical thinking is the process of reaching a decision or judgment by analyzing, evaluating, and reasoning with facts and data presented. However, nobody is thinking critically 100% of the time. Logical reasoning can be prone to fallacies. … A fallacy is an error in reasoning. When there is a fallacy in the reasoning, conclusions are less credible and can be deemed invalid.

Additional Information – Rhetoric – Dr. Mark Foreman. Rhetoric and rhetorical devices can subtly impede critical thinking.   “Keywords:”

  • Rhetoric – “the art of persuasive writing and speaking. The purpose is to persuade others to adopt a belief.”
  • Rhetorical Force. “The attempt to persuade someone to adopt a belief based on the psychological or emotive responses one has toward the idea.”
  • Common Rhetorical Devices – Euphisms and Dysphemisms, Weaselers, Downplayers, Stereotypes, Innuendo, Loaded Question, Ridicule/Sarcasm, Hyperbole,  Proof Surrogates,

2020 County Elections – Voting for a candidate (s)

I’m an independent that leans conservative and I am not involved with the local republican party.

I do regularly attend government meetings and post notes from the meetings on the Facebook Group Brown County  Matters and in opinion columns in the Brown County Democrat. I also share what I learn in posts at Independent Voters of Brown County IN.

I also volunteer with the Brown County Leader Network that supports a planning, fact, and process based approach for guiding improvement.

Status Quo?  In Brown County, my observations are that if you have an idea and know the right people, you can get government support and funding for your project.  A problem with this approach is that pushing a solution without making the case as to “the scope and extent of the problem” can result in pushback and lack of community support. But given the monopoly on political power within the county, this pushback can be ignored and supported by appointments to boards and commissions of people that will behave as expected – no surprises. This leads to the non-selection of people that question policy and fewer people volunteering to serve. This then contributes to the perception that things are controlled by the “Same Ten People” (STP).  The sad part is that individuals that volunteer and spend an inordinate amount of time on what they think is (and it might be) a good project, are applying processes and working within a system that might not produce the best results and receiving the positive recognition from the community that they deserve.

The Democratic Candidates for County Commissioner and Council have identified their 2020 platform. One of their  points  was calling for the dissoluton of the Brown County Regional Sewer District (BCRSD) Board and a counter-response.

The Republican candidates have not published their platofrm which may imply their support for the status quo as described above.

Given the political divisiveness within America at the national level, what effect might this have on COUNTY (local) elections? Will there be more straight-ticket voting or more scrutiny of the positions of individual candidates regardless of party affiliation? Higher or lower voter turnout? More non-votes (leave selection blank) for one or more candidates?

(I will be posting a comparison of 2020 election results results with past years).

College Free Speech Rankings

2020 College Free Speech Rankings Reveal Crisis on Campus By Nathan Harden
September 29, 2020

RealClearEducation developed the College Free Speech Rankings in partnership with the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), a leading advocacy group for free speech and academic freedom.

Still, even Chicago has plenty of room for improvement. It won the top spot with an overall score of only 64.19 out of a possible 100 on the scale developed for these rankings. That shows just how poorly most other schools are doing.