County Council Meeting Notes Oct 17, 2022

Council Meeting Aqenda October 17, 2022

Admin Issues. Council reviewed needed changes to the salary ordinance and job descriptions. Job descriptions underwent a needed and thorough review.  Changes included a review and update to the Human Resource Director position and a reduction in a pay grade. Other agenda items were routine (and adverstised)  fund transfers between accounts.

Note: Job descriptions are linked to salaries and salaries to budget which is why the council is involved.

Budget: The next meeting to finalize the budget will be on Oct 24, 2022, 6:30 p.m at the Brown  County Fairgrounds, Exhibit Hall 802 Memorial Drive.  The 2022 projected year-end balances can be used to offset the estimated deficit for 2023. This along with other reductions expected to result in a budget that will be accepted by the State.  Per Councilman Dave Redding, the 2023 Budget has been one of the toughest to balance in recent memory. Given the economy and inflation, balancing budgets may be a recurring challenge.

Vote NO “This year” on the school referendum?

vote yes or no

Updated: Nov 18, 2022   

The justification for a new referendum as opposed to taxpayers receiving a tax cut when the old referendum expires is based on a one-sided closing argument without supporting analysis and evidence of need.

The rationale for the referendum is followed by a marketing campaign and advocacy by surrogates.   Attempting to justify the need after the decision has been made is not credible due to bias and compromises the integrity of the surrogates advocating for the new tax.

Nov 16, 2022. BCD. Superintendent offers thoughts after school referendum fails on ballot

    • The “Spin” –  justification based on “its not that much.” —  “If the Brown County School’s referendum would have passed, the median assessed value homeowner would have paid roughly $3 to  $6 more per month in property taxes.” ….”… the increase of 33% was not how much an individual would pay in property taxes, instead it was the increase in the tax rate.
    • The correct (No Spin) calculation on the increase in taxes.
    • Post of the Article at Brown County Mattes

History -Systemic Problem – Debt, budget shortfalls, declining enrollment, aging demographic

Nov 9, 2022. WTHR.  ‘It felt like a death’ | Brown County voters reject school referendum.  Brown County voters were asked to renew a referendum that they approved back in 2016, a $15.1 million referendum that expires next year.

    • “What’s next for the school district? Tracy said they will seek another referendum in 2023, before the current one expires.”  
Nov 8. 2022. Referendum. Unofficial Brown County results with 11 of 11 precincts reporting and WITH absentee votes: 3,027 No, 2,694 Yes

Nov 3, 2022. Act of Desperation?  The Facebook Post at Brown County Chatter by the superintendent. Also shared on Brown County Matters claims that amount of the tax increase is “misleading”.

    • MISLEADING??? The exact language required by the state: “The average property tax increase paid to the school corporation per year will increase by 33.91% for residences and 20.91% on business property.” What is misleading and disrespectful is Ms. Tracy’s comment published in the Democrat that:” For the average home value in Brown County, this is an additional $3.26 per month, which is less than a McDonald’s Extra Value Meal.”Basing a justification of need because “it’s not that much” is absurd. “Vote No” which may lead to the school leadership to make a credible case on need where the taxpayers can draw their own conclusions regarding “it’s not that much.”

Note also that the referendum will transfer over $15 million dollars from the taxpayers to the school over 8 years. – Not exactly a trivial amount.

Summary  

Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF)A “NO Vote This Year”  may lead the new school board leadership to re-assess the need and scope and develop community-wide support. This could be followed by a defendable argument free of fallacies, to justify the need for additional revenue.  (Ref: Critical thinking, arguments, fallacies, rhetoric).

A Recap. The first referendum was passed in 2016 and expires in 2023.  The decision to pursue another referendum will generate over $15 million dollars over 8 years. The decision for a new referendum was first “introduced” to the public in the three information sessions on May 31, June 7, and June 14. These meetings were followed by a unanimous vote by the school board (July 14 ) to place the referendum on the ballot. This was then followed several weeks later by a website and marketing campaign including support from a  political action committee (PAC).

Observations and Commentary

Lack of Analysis. There has been no comprehensive analysis documented in a published report that defends the decision for a new referendum. Such a report should include the justification of need as opposed to a “nice to have.”  Such a report might also include an independent and objective analysis of the results of the revenue from the first referendum. This referendum was also marketed as supporting a need to increase teacher pay.

Analysis, Review, Scrutiny.  A comprehensive analysis to justify a need would include a trend of performance to State and local goals and objectives, a mission analysis that identifies what must be accomplished and what is optional, an analysis of alternatives, an analysis of staff pay and increases, a review of revenue and expense trends from all sources, enrollment trends, trends of student-teacher ratios by a school and by grade, the capacity of our existing schools, and the criteria to be considered in the need to close a school. Also helpful would be comparisons with other schools.

McDonald’s Extra Value Meal?   The justification by the superintendent has included a statement that the increase in taxes (4 cents) is only the equivalent of the additional cost of a McDonald’s extra-value meal.  The new referendum transfers over $15 million dollars over 8 years from taxpayers (over half of whom are in the low to moderate income level) to the school to cover pay and benefits, a new program, and some operating expenses.

    • The superintendent has also stated that closing a school is not a viable option.  Is this belief supported by the school board? What is the cost to the taxpayer of this decision? Is the cost acceptable to the taxpayers? Are taxpayers aware of the trade-offs?

Spin on taxes.  The tax rate on the expiring (2023)  referendum is 8 cents. The rate on the new referendum is  12 cents. The “spin” is the “increase” is “only” 4 cents. The state requires a factual statement on the language that only considers the proposed new rate of 12 cents. The fact: The average property tax increase paid to the school corporation per year will increase by 33.91% for residences and 20.91% on business property.”

  • Property taxes and increases in assessed values.  When property taxes are increased, are the schools receiving additional revenue?

State Funding Policy.  Regarding teacher pay, a premise is that State education policy inadequately funds teacher salaries for some districts. (The state has 291 school districts, and relatively few (14 in 2022) have opted for a referendum.  Since 2009, the number of operating referendums ranged from 5 to 20. (Source: Department Local Government Finance (DLGF).

Politics and State Policy.  The local teachers union, previous superintendent, and school board members signed a resolution in 2021 that challenged Indiana’s Education Choice Policy. Their position is in alignment with the controversial and political left-learning National Education Association which also has endorsed a policy opposing the increases in funding of vouchers that provide parents with a choice in their children’s education.  Despite the opposition by many groups throughout the state, the budget bill containing the school voucher language and Education Savings Accounts (ESA) passed the House 96-2 and the Senate 46-3.

    • Motivation. Since the school leadership is opposed to State funding policies, is their motivation for the referendum driven more by political considerations or financial ones?

Salary Study. On the pay issue regarding teacher salaries, in 2018, the county council with the support of the IU Kelly School of Business, developed a “comprehensive analysis and report” on staffing, pay, and benefits of county employees compared with other counties of our size. This led to some incremental changes.  A similar analysis and report regarding county teacher pay and benefits would help justify appropriate action.

    • In 2022, the Sheriff’s office with the support of the county council developed a study that demonstrated that with the required investment in officer training and turnover, higher salaries would result in more benefits than costs. The council approved the salary increases.

Declining Student Enrollment and State Funding. Further, student enrollment has been declining since 2009. Demographics and population projections indicate that this trend is unlikely to be reversed.  Are taxpayers being asked to support more staffing and schools that are or will be needed?  If so, this needs to be disclosed so taxpayers can factor this into their decision.

Decision-making Process – Court Case.  Critical thinking involves being able to make a good argument free of fallacies, and defend it by providing credible counter-arguments. The process is equivalent to a civil case. An argument is made by both sides (pro and con), facts and evidence are presented, experts and witnesses are questioned, and a jury (voter) is then asked to make a decision. In this case, citizens received only a one-sided argument and are asked to vote Yes or No.

Positions – School Board Candidates. For those candidates supporting the new tax, What is their analysis of the “specific” information that was used by the school board to justify their unanimous vote to put the referendum on the Nov ballot?   The information on the school website was posted about 2 months after the vote by the school board.

    • Voting YES. Supporting the Referendum (voted to approve as members of the school board): Carol Bowden (Dist 1), Vicki Harden (Dist 2). Stephanie Kritzer (running for commissioner (D).
      • Candidate Kathryn D. Lane (Dist. 2) and Kevin McCracken (Dist. 3), Jenise Bohbrink (Dist. 2 have identified their support for the referendum.
    • Voting NO for “This year” Kevin Patrick (Dist. 1)His statement on his FB Page
      • “I am a No. Given that we have 1 year of funding left with the current 2016 referendum. I believe that is enough time and funding for any new board members to become familiar with the schools operation so that an informed plan can be put in place and strike the right balance for successful education of the kids and the operation of the school. Should there be a need for additional funding, a new referendum can be placed on the 2024 ballot and more time can be taken to share what the need(s) are, along with more details on where/how the funding will be allocated and used.”
    • Position Unknown:  Edward Wojdyla (Dist. 3). Mark Smith (“I will not place a burde on the taxpayers of Brown County”)

The Brown County Democrat newspaper avoided asking the candidates their position on the referendum. Election Guide: School Board Q&A.

Outside Funding Political  Action Committee (PAC). The Referendum campaign is receiving funding from the Brown County Educator’s Association (BCEA). “The Brown County Educators Association (BCEA) is a professional association organized to support the educators of Brown County Schools. The Indiana Political Action Committee for Education  (I-PACE) is the statewide political organization for ISTA. Acting on behalf of I-PACE, the members of BCEA and the L-PAC endorse candidates for local elections.”  (Ref: BC Democrat, Oct 26, 2022 advertisement).

The Indiana State Teachers Association (ISTA) is aligned with the National Education Association (NEA). NEA advocates for many policies associated with the ideology of Democrats including covid related policies, social justice, and the divisive and polarizing Critical Race Theory (CRT). NEA also opposes providing parents with school choices that can be funded with vouchers.

The BCEA (local union), the previous superintendent, and the School Board signed a resolution opposing education savings accounts and voucher expansion for private schools in Indiana in 2021. 

A delay of a year of a new tax increase should provide sufficient time to make a compelling case (if possible) in these economically challenging times. With the increase in inflation, gas, food, utilities, and overall cost of living, taxpayers should expect information that they can use to make a more informed decision which can lead to community buy-in and support.

Taxes. The new school operating referendum is projected to result in new property taxes that will generate over  $15 million dollars over an 8-year period.  The proposed tax “rate” is a 50% increase (from 8 to 12 cents) over the expiring referendum that was passed in 2016.  Documents approved by the Department of Local Government Finance (DLGF) identify that “The average property tax increase paid to the school corporation (when the new rate is applied) per year will increase by 33.91% for residences and 20.91% on business property.”

Birth to Five.  The Brown County Community Foundation (BCCF) along with the school, has been the advocate for this program.  They asked for $195,000 from the county (status unknown) to help fund this program and also identified the request for another $157,709 as part of referendum funding. This is likely just a start.

    • Responsibility? Typically, daycare and pre-k education costs are the responsibility of the parents and the private sector. Help can be provided by the non-profit sector (including Community Foundations and Churches), and individual donations.
    • Government Role?  The Birth to Five program touches on the political area supported by the “more government is better” contingent.  The Obama Administration introduced the  “Cradle-to-Grave” concept in the video – The Life of Julia. The concept was not well received at the time.

The Department of Local Government Finance (DLGF) has identified that relatively few (14 in 2022) of the 291 school districts in Indiana opt for an operating referendum.   Brown County Schools may be unique in that there has been a systemic decline in enrollments since 2009. This fact reduces available funding for staff and programs necessitating more budget reductions than may be desired.

Additional Information:

Facebook Post (shared this post)  on the topic at Brown County Matters. My reply to a comment where it was stated I was “over-thinking” the issue:

    • Disagree. A “NO Vote” by the community this year could result in more benefits than costs. Especially, if it was followed up with the desire and commitment to make a thorough and balanced argument (better process) that would lead a “jury” (the voters) to to make a more informed decision on the merits of the argument devoid of fallacies.
    • The superintendent’s statement that the tax increase is only the equivalent in the cost of an “extra value meal” is inaccurate, misleading, and disrespectful to the community. It is also a good indication of a very weak argument and reflects an inadequate decision-making process. A stronger argument may have led people to arrive at this conclusion on their own.
    • The decision-making process is more important than cost. Critical thinking is the process of making a good argument, addressing the counter-arguments, and avoiding fallacies. No overthinking is needed-  just some basic logic, reason, and common sense.
    • Appealing to emotion, relying on surrogates to support your case, “because we said so” or “others are doing it” are among the fallacies as is attacking the critics of the referendum (the messenger) as opposed to the message. An incomplete argument can lead to divisiveness and can be polarizing.

Sept 29, 2022. ELECTION GUIDE: School board Q&A – Candidates were not asked about their position on the referendum.

    • Post of the article at Brown County Matters
    • Current School Board Members on the ballot that approved the Referendum:  Carol Bowden (Dist 1), Vicki Harden (Dist 2). Stephanie Kritzer (running for commissioner (D).
    • Voting Yes. Jenise Bohbrink (Dist. 2): Kathryn D. Lane (Dist. 2), Kevin McCracken (Dist 3)
    • Voting No for this year – Kevin Patrick (Dist. 1)
    • Position Unknown:  Edward Wojdyla (Dist. 3

Sept 29, 2022. ELECTION GUIDE: What your school referendum vote means, Brown County Democrat. 

Aug 12, 2022. School Board – Opposing ESAs and Vouchers

Aug 11, 2022. 2022 School Referendum – Supporting Documentation

July 31, 2022.  Critical Race Theory (CRT), Diversity Equity Inclusion (DEI)/Equity Inclusion, and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG), are among the many controversial initiatives dividing the country.  CRT, DEI, EI, ESG

    • Context: The local Brown County teachers union is supported by the Indiana State Teachers Association (ISTA). ISTA is aligned with the National Education Association (NEA). The NEA has been an advocate of many controversial policies including vaccines, masks, critical race theory (CRT), parental involvement in curriculum, and opposing vouchers.  In some school districts in the country, CRT is being applied through DEI programs.   

America’s Founding Principles

Updated Oct 8, 2022

The Brown County League of Women Voters endorsed a policy that endorsed a belief  “that America is a nation founded on racism …”  

My response:

Humans are imperfect.  Racism as does other forms of bigotry has always existed to include at the time of our emergence as a country. Slavery has plagued human civilization, exists today, and has been perpetuated within races. The foundation of America’s system of government was influenced by Judeo-Christian principles – not “racism.”  Our founders created a system of government that could be “continually improved” in pursuit of “a more perfect union.”

The term “perfect” originates in the Bible – we are all God’s creation regardless of skin color, ethnicity, and gender. Thus the founding principles: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…”

The divisive actions from the elites (oligarchs) and those on the farther left are being influenced by Marxist philosophies. Marx credits Lucifer for his inspiration in strategies to divide people by race, age, ethnicity, gender, and economic class.

Our founders designed the first system in the history of the world that decentralized and balanced power and made “We the People” top management. The actions from the elites and far-left have been relentless in wanting to interpret the Constitution any way they see fit to align with their aims. These aims include the desire to shift power from the many to the few which has been a consistent pattern throughout history that never ends well and leads to a hell on earth – 100 million deaths in the 20th century.

The state of the union under this current administration is a case in point regarding the abuse of power and will most likely, only get worse. Higher inflation, unsecured (open) borders, energy prices (gas, electric), food prices, crime, threats of nuclear war, weaponization of the DOJ and FBI, election integrity, and framing your political opponents as enemies of the state to name a few.

    • Franklin Graham: Biden speech an attack on ‘freedom-loving Americans’ ‘This is just further dividing our nation’
    • The most effective response to the challenges is through non-violence: Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Pledge of Nonviolence: 1. Meditate daily on the teachings and life of Jesus. 
      2. Remember always that the non-violent movement seeks justice and reconciliation—not victory. 3. Walk and talk in the manner of love, for God is love. 4. Pray daily to be used by God in order that all men might be free. 5. Sacrifice personal wishes in order that all men might be free.6. Observe with both friend and foe the ordinary rules of courtesy. 
      7. Seek to perform regular service for others and for the world. 8. Refrain from the violence of fist, tongue, or heart. 9. Strive to be in good spiritual and bodily health. 
      10. Follow the directions of the movement and of the captain on a demonstration.

I got involved in the development of the Brown County Leader Network to help support a secular, non-secular, and “systemic” approach to improvements at the local level. The decision-making process is an example of an outline for identifying the scope and extent of a problem that supports a solution.

The context for my reply to the Leagues’ positions (which increase variation) is provided on my website and in my book. 

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.

National Security Threats?

ingodwetrust

Sept 23, 2022. Conservatives have become the enemy. Exclusive: Patrice Lewis warns left’s gaslighting, projection setting the stage for ‘something big’

    • The ‘MAGA Republican’ Smear Is About Turning Democrats’ Political Opponents Into The Government’s Enemy
    • History is replete with examples of what happens when one group loses its humanity and begins committing atrocities against others. The left’s constant and extreme examples of gaslighting and projection are setting the stage for something big. You’ve been warned.

Oct 2, 2022. Memo to Christians: Here’s what’s REALLY at stake in midterm elections David Kupelian de-codes Joe Biden’s bizarre rants, warnings, lies and threats.

    • Of course, the key to de-coding Biden’s dire warnings about the “greatest threats to America” is to understand that he was engaging in a mirror-perfect case of political projection: Every single evil that Biden ascribed to “MAGA Republicans” – the Left’s new name for America’s vast center-right middle class, literally the nation’s backbone – is actually true of today’s Democratic Party and its unhinged supporters.

Chronology

March 17, 2021  “Unclassified Summary of Assessment on Domestic Violent Extremism (DVE)” UnclassSummaryofDVEAssessment-17MAR21

    • Enduring DVE motivations pertaining to biases against minority populations and
      perceived government overreach will almost certainly continue to drive DVE radicalization and mobilization to violence. Newer sociopolitical developments—such as narratives of fraud in the recent general election, the emboldening impact of the violent breach of the US Capitol, conditions related to the COVID-19 pandemic,
      and conspiracy theories promoting violence—will almost certainly spur some DVEs to try to engage in violence this year

June 17, 2021. The First U.S. National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism .  On June 15, 2021, the Biden administration released the United States’ first-ever National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism, which culminated the 100-day review of U.S. government efforts to respond to domestic extremism that President Biden ordered in January.

Sep 9, 2021. RealClearInvestigations’ Jan. 6-BLM Riots Comparison

    • RealClearInvestigations has developed the comparison database below allowing readers to draw their own conclusions — including the all-but-forgotten riot in Washington on Inauguration Day 2017, as protesters challenged Trump’s election and legitimacy.
    • The summer 2020 riots resulted in some 15 times more injured police officers, 19 times as many arrests, and estimated damages in dollar terms up to 740 times more costly than those of the Capitol riot.

Oct 31, 2021The January 6 Insurrection Hoax By Roger Kimball

    •  Notwithstanding all the hysterical rhetoric surrounding the events of January 6, 2021, two critical things stand out. The first is that what happened was much more hoax than insurrection. In fact, in my judgment, it wasn’t an insurrection at all.
    • An “insurrection,” as the dictionary will tell you, is a violent uprising against a government or other established authority. Unlike the violent riots that swept the country in the summer of 2020—riots that caused some $2 billion in property damage and claimed more than 20 lives—the January 6 protest at the Capitol lasted a few hours, caused minimal damage, and the only person directly killed was an unarmed female Trump supporter who was shot by a Capitol Hill Police officer. It was, as Tucker Carlson said shortly after the event, a political protest that “got out of hand.”  

Helmsburg Regional Sewer District (HRSD) Expansion

Updated Sept 24, 2022

Sep 22, 2022. ‘Moving really fast’: Helmsburg sewer officials seeking input ahead of grant application By  Abigail Youmans.  The board is considering applying for a grant from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs to help fund a sewer project which would cost $1 million or more, HRSD Vice President Kyle Myers said.

    • Will the county be asked to provide matching funds?  if so, how much?  And, should county taxpayers be expected to help defray the cost of sewer service for Helmbsug customers?
      • Note that about half of a sewer bill is for maintenance. In a stable to declining customer base, costs for service will continue to increase.
    • The HRSD has an existing customer base.   They are also expected to provide service to new customers that range from Lake Lemon to Bean Blossom to Woodland Lake.  These new customers are in the boundaries of the Brown County Regional Sewer District (BCRSD).  The BCRSD failed to acquire land for a new sewer plant in Bean Blossom and needs service from Helmsburg.
    • Why shouldn’t the HRSD Board be expanded and the Brown County Regional Sewer District (BCRSD) board be transitioned to a county advisory committee? This would result in “one” RSD serving a regional area.

Update: County response to the coronovirus

Sep 20, 2022.  BCD. New booster available at health department, targets more contagious strains of coronavirus By  Abigail Youmans

    • Have the vaccines been as safe and effective as advertised? Discovering the Truth requires an analysis of the data and debate on the arguments. In a trial, both sides are represented, the evidence is presented, challenged, and debated, and witnesses are cross-examined. In the case of the vaccine, only one side of the argument was presented while the other side was canceled and ignored. Reports from throughout the world are documenting the problems arising from a policy based on one-sided arguments. Steve Kirsch – “Evidence of Harm” was among the analysts that challenged the narrative and made million-dollar offers to anyone that could disprove his findings. No one took him up on his bets. The consequences of not discovering and confronting the Truths lead to failure in providing needed services.
    • Naomi Wolf at Daily Clout has organized thousands of volunteers to analyze the documents submitted to the FDA by Pfizer and publishes reports on the findings.

Commissioner Meeting Notes, Sep 7, 2022

Commissioner Meeting Notes Sep 7. 2022

Facebook Post.

Agenda updated with the audio time for each agenda itemAudio of the meeting

    • Agenda includes approval of minutes; Sheriff’s Department report on ordinance to establish the Sheriff’s Sale Program and service fee (second reading); Highway Superintendent report on miscellaneous updates; Purdue Extension/Town of Nashville/Brown County government report on bike/pedestrian trail RFQ; Community Corrections – Brenda Rodgers presenting the new Director of Community Corrections; VSO Proclamation presentation by Chris Snell; CumCap Fund update; ARPA resolution on premium pay; Commissioners discussion on ARPA funds and capital loan funds; Fall Salmon Room meeting location update and commissioner reschedule for the Sept. 21 meeting; Indian Hill proposal discussion; and Lake Monroe water management presentation by Maggie Sullivan.

Indian Hill Road RR Crossing  (40:00) – Opening to Pedestrian Traffic – legal aspects in discussion between the county attorneys, the Railroad and Tony Abbott, President, of Knobstone Hiking Trail Association (KHTA), 

 “Cum Cap Rate Increase. (27:49) Commissioners’ decision to raise the tax rate for the cumulative capital fund was approved by the State. A remonstrance was filed by citizens and the process was reviewed. It was concluded that all the required steps were followed.

    • Commissioners plan to reestablish cumulative capital property tax   0

      • The Brown County Commissioners are set to vote this week on reestablishing the cumulative capital development fund to the maximum rate of 0.0333 on each $100 of assessed value for 2022. Moving to the max would put about $56,000 more into the cumulative capital development fund, which pays for mostly county buildings and grounds upkeep, maintenance and IT services.The current rate is 0.0294, which means the increase will be less than a penny, said Caitlin Cheek, a manager with the county’s financial adviser Baker Tilly.

o. American Rescue Plan Funding (ARPA).  Commissioners reviewed the spending plan. This will be shared with the council at next week’s budget hearings.

Nashville Town Hall RoundTable Discussion – Sep 1, 2022 – Analysis and Decision-Making

Nashville Town Hall Roundtable, September 1, 2022 
Decision-Making Processes – Critical Thinking – Notes
 Presented by Tim J. Clark

Updated: Sep 5 , 2022

Facebook post at Brown County Matters. Sep 1, 2022. Tim J. Clark. Nashville Roundtable Discussion. Anna Hofstetter asked me to provide an overview of the assessment and decision-making processes that were incorporated in support of the Brown County Leader Network. I also supplemented with a context for “critical thinking” and the “Scientific Method.” Anna was the Town Council Rep present and there were three other members of the community including Commissioner candidate and school board member Stephanie Porter Kritzer Good discussions and ideas. These include how checklists can be used to support policies for approving decisions.

Outline and Notes

Purpose: Provide an overview and context for analysis and decision-making

Suggestion: Take a new or existing initiative and test out the methods and tools

Guiding Principle – Federalism. Citizens (We the People) and government at all levels working together toward “a more perfect Union.”

  • The quality profession has validated that the closer a product or service (including government services), gets to the ideal or target, the higher the quality (better results) and the lower the cost to the individual and society. Ref: Taguchi Loss Function

 1.  Identifying Problems and Solutions 

  • Avoid developing solutions without a clear identification of the problem. With a “Solution First” approach, bias enters into the identification of the problem in order to justify the need for the solution. 

2. Background Information – Hometown Collaborative Initiative (HCI) and Brown County Leader Network (BCLN)

  • HCI – State Program – Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA). Trainers from Ball State and Purdue

  • Three Categories of Projects – Placemaking (Quality of Life), Economic, or Leadership.
    • Brown County was the first community to select Leadership

  • Funding – 5K from the State; 5K from Brown County Redevelopment Commission (RDC)

  • May 2017. Application accepted – 30 Volunteers – numbers varied throughout the training and projects. Core Team – 4 members – Sandy Higgins, Darren Byrd, Brandon Harris, Tim Clark 
  • Capstone Project:
    • Initial – Placemaking – Local Foods
    • Revised, Approved, and Accepted – Brown County Leader Network, Support Guide and Website – Fact and process-based decision-making in support of continuous improvement
  • Self-Help Guide and Facilitation support 

3. BCLN-Support Guide

  • SWOT Assessment – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats (Challenges)
  • Community Decision-Making Process
    • Problem or Opportunity
      • Context – Description of the situation, History, Background Information
      • Facts, Data, Assumptions, Constraints
      • Be Aware of: Speculation, Conjecture, Opinion, Anecdotes, Allegations, Hope, Context and people just making things up.
    • Ideal/Desired End State
    • Decision Criteria for Selecting the Best Option
    • Three Options or Alternatives (Solution)– Pros, Cons, Risk, Risk Mitigation
      • Analysis of Alternatives (AoA)
      • Risk – assess the level of certainty (1-10) and the harm that will be caused (High, Medium, Low).
    • Selection of the best option
      • Ranking against the decision criteria
    • Project Management – A project has a beginning and an end. Processes, Tasks, Schedule, Milestones
    • Strategic Planning – Systemic Approach – Stakeholder Identification and Assessment. (See SWOT). 
  • Stakeholder Identification
    • Direct – Receive the product/service
    • Internal – provide the product/service
    • Indirect – everyone else that is needed or affected in the near, mid, and long-term: Example: Suppliers, private, non-profit groups, other government entities, families, etc.
    • Stakeholder Assessment
      • Identify and Document: Needs, Product/Service Provided (Output), Expectations (Outcome) and Feedback Measures or Indicators
        • The Five Whys. To get to the need, identify the product/service and ask the Why Question; repeat the cycle.
    • Vision (See stakeholder expectations), Mission (See Products/Services), Goals, and Objectives (SMART), Feedback Metrics
    • Plan of Action and Milestones (POAM) – Includes a Follow-up plan

4. Scientific Method – PDSA – Integral part of BCLN

  • Hypothesis – Testable statement of a relationship derived from a theory. “If this, Then this.
  • Continuous Improvement and Learning Cycle: PDSA – – PLAN a change or test, DO: Carry it out – preferably on a small scale; STUDY the results; ACT on the results.

5. Critical Thinking and Fallacies. A system for building a “good argument. to support solutions and identification of a problem. Five criteria of a good argument: These five categories deal with:

  • 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
  • Fallacy. “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.”
    • Example: Ad Hominin – attack the messenger (name-calling) and not the message
  • 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– “Euphemisms and Dysphemisms, Weaselers, Downplayers, Stereotypes, Innuendo, Loaded Question, Ridicule/Sarcasm, Hyperbole, Proof Surrogates.”

6. Illustration of Critical Thinking – Criminal / Civil Case  

Sep 2, 2022. Update. The relationship to the “scientific method” in this case is that the aim of the justice system is to get as close to the same outcome based on facts and evidence despite “where” the trial may be conducted.

  • Problem/solution – compared an actual situation to the desired situation and identify a deviation (problem) – A basis for “The Argument”
    • Examples: County / Town Government – Proposed Solutions: New or Revised Ordinance, Project, Initiative, Expenditure, etc.
  • Roles (Stakeholders):
    • Community/Society – Benefits and Harms
    • Prosecutor – makes the case for the argument
    • Defense – makes the case against the argument
    • Judge – determines if the information presented is admissible – rules of evidence
    • Jury – evaluates all the evidence and makes a decision

Additional Information and References

 Brown  County Leader Network.com – Working towards a more perfect community, county and Union.

HCI -BCLN –  About

Independent Voters of Brown County. This site was used for posts until the HCI website was developed.

Capstone Project – BCLN

History HCI – Hometown Collaborative Initiative

Critical Thinking and Fallacies. 

 Other/ Misc – Various County and Town projects and issues

2020 County Election Data – For the Record

  Updated Oct 1,  2022

Brown County Paper – Election Integrity: Local and National. 

The Court denied the petition.

Sep 8, 2022Petition filed against county clerk, election board By Abigail Youmans

    • According to a notice from Judge Mary Wertz dated Aug. 25, the filing does not comply with Indiana State Rules of Trial Procedure. … The court further notified the petitioner it would not take action on said petition until requirements were met.
Aug 25, 2022.Petition.Injunction.082522 final Petition to Enjoin Clerk of Court and County Board of Elections from Destroying Election Data

electionCaseSummaryBCPetition

You Count Indiana (YCI) Focus on Election integrity and Education for Hoosiers.

57% of counties in Indiana do not have a paper back-up to confirm your vote.” (Ref: Video “You Count Indiana is all about you,” Total length 4:09, quote at 1:14 mark https://youcountindiana.com/

Video at Rumble:  (1:13:22) Did your vote count? Expose on Indiana’s Elections
https://rumble.com/vy3n3n-expose-on-indianas-elections.html

    • 3:18 Current Voting  Equipment – 62% of the state uses Direct Recording Electronic (DRE)  Devices  – no paper ballot trail or ability to audit the vote.
    • “Bottom Line Upfront 6:12 mark: “Get rid of those machines, they are not safe and secure, go back to paper ballots, a physical record of the vote is the ultimate check on the integrity of the election.”
    • At 12:44 “We must remove all machines from the election process…”
    • At 13:23 “Over 950 FOIA Requests; Less than 20 provided.”

At 15:31.  Using Johnson County data, election results for 25 other counties were nearly perfectly calculated.

election johnson county

Registration Key

    • Red Line – Number of Registered voters in each individual age group from ages 18 to 100
    • Blue line – Total Number of ballots cast in each of those same age groups
    • If you take the total number of ballots cast divided by the number of registered voters in that age group, you would get a turnout percentage for all 83 age groups, This allows you to create a key that if you could apply to all other counties in the state, would allow you to model the results in every other county down to each age group. 

Brown County 2020 Election sgraph

First look at the light and dark blue lines that are one on top of the other.  The light blue line is a calculation using Johnson County results by age and registered Brown County voters (red line) by age.  This calculation almost perfectly matches the election results shown in dark blue.  R= 0.996 is a calculation that shows how perfectly the two blue lines match.  1.0 would be perfect.  Human behavior is typically in the 0.6 range.  Take away: THESE RESULTS DO NOT REFLECT HUMAN BEHAVIOR.

The above video shows this same graph for 25 Indiana counties that have been closely looked at to date.  The Indiana First Action co-lead volunteer in charge of these calculations is a retired mechanical engineer and a six sigma black belt.

Dr. Frank of Ohio is the mathematician behind this original analysis. Here is a 3:30 minute video Dr Frank produced called “A Simple Metaphor” to help simplify the concept of the registration key which appears to be programmed into election software nationwide.

In conclusion..machines run on software programs that are hackable…an expert programmer explained recently in an interview that the entire country can be stolen with just 2 or 3 people hacking the software programs that run our elections.

IFA Assessment

 Indiana First Action (IFA) – MISSION:  INDIANA FIRST IS A GRASS ROOTS CITIZEN-DRIVEN TEAM WHICH BANDED TOGETHER IN JULY, 2021 WITH A MISSION TO ENSURE THAT INDIANA’S ELECTIONS WERE GOING TO REPRESENT THE WILL OF HOOSIERS. WE HAVE SEVEN MAIN SUBGROUPS ALL FOCUSED ON EVIDENTIARY ANALYSIS TO DISCOVER THE TRUTH ABOUT OUR ELECTIONS. WE HAVE ONE NON-NEGOTIABLE, WHICH IS EVERY SINGLE LEGAL VOTE COUNTS, WHETHER IT BE LEFT, RIGHT, UP, DOWN OR OTHERWISE AND NOTHING IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE FAITH WE SHOULD ALL SHARE IN OUR ELECTIONS PROCESSES AND THE TRUST WE HAVE IN THE RESULTS.

 Check out your county’s information under the “County Resources” tab.  Brown County Information

election You counti ndiana browncounty

Additional Infomation 

Selection Code Movie – Case Study – Mesa County CO includes background information on the security of voting machines and how votes can be manipulated.   Indicates systemic corruption.

    • Election fraud in America: the evidence, Guest Post by Steve Kirsch.

      Once you open your eyes to the possibility that the systems you trust aren’t as trustable as you were led to believe, you start to see things that you could never before consider possible.

SEPTEMBER 07, 2022•PRESIDENTIAL ACTIONS

Aug 22, 2022. Lindell’s Election Summit: Citizens Report on the State of the States. Indiana First Action (IFA) was represented.

Indiana First Action Cast Vote Record (CVR) Transparency