Brown County Matters – Challenges

The Admins of Brown County Matters were recently thanked for the time and effort required for managing the site.   I replied that it is has been interesting and fun — most of the time.

But, “fun” is not the right word – Challenging may be the better descriptor.  The “intent” for the group is to share information on county “matters that matter” in the public and non-profit sector that in some cases, support an action. An action could include a response to a road or school issue or closure, an upcoming vote by elected or appointed officials, fundraisers for a non-profit, help in looking for a lost pet, notification of criminal activity … etc.

Rules of the group continue to be refined, deleted, or added. These have helped provide some guidelines on the do’s and the please-don’ts.  Deleted posts are the “exception” where more than 80% of the deletes are attributed to less than 20% of the posters.


The New Posts typically deleted have been the ones that reflect a national (political) or cultural issue. Many if not most of these are allowed in response to a post that has a specific county context.  For example, Covid related mandates in the county or the lack of mask wear at a local store opens up some floodgates.  Another category of the most commonly deleted posts have involved implied threats and bullying (rare) and attacks on the messenger vs. the message.  The term “attack” has different interpretations for many people and most of the posts that are reported to the Admins are deleted.

Perspectives regarding topics vary based on many variables:  Age (generation – x,y.z, m), gender, education, knowledge of civics – national, state, county, experience, political beliefs, maturity, culture, and respective personal “hot buttons and biases.”

On culture – the seniority thing (who has lived in the country the longest) has come up a few times, e.g., the born-heres vs. the came-heres.  And even within these two groups, distinctions are made as to the length of time and connections. For anyone that can trace back their ancestry to the native Indian settlers in this area, they might prefer that we (the live-heres) all leave.

The county is not immune from the divisiveness and polarity on issues that are evident at the national level.  The recent example of the Senate hearings on the 2020 elections reinforced a clear divide between the two political factions. On one side, there is a belief that this has been the most secure election in history” and the other side is working to make the case that the election is The Greatest Electoral Heist in History.   

Political orientation does influence respective positions.  The Brown County League of Women Voters has endorsed the belief that this has been “the most secure election ever” and has also endorsed a position that America is a nation founded on racism. In the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections, President Trump received over 63% of the vote in the county.

Critical Thinking

On respective arguments and positions, there are suggested criteria to consider in making a good argument in defense of a position.  Information on this topic can be found under the concept of “critical thinking.”  The following link provides some examples of fallacies and rhetorical devices:

Another option in support of analysis and decision-making is the development and improvement of a “decision-making” process.

What may be “New” for many is an awareness of “context and process” for incorporating all points of view with the intent of producing an outcome where everyone can benefit, or at least, not be any worse off in the long-term.

On any controversial issue, some will be adamantly for and against a position, most are somewhere in between and probably the majority of individuals are on the sidelines, e.g., not aware, don’t know, may not care, may have an interest but will not post or reply to a post. This situation is often reflected in the more controversial posts on Matters.

Canceling and Blocking

What has recently emerged in our culture is the prevalence of identity politics and a “cancel culture” – where individuals and groups that don’t accept a respective position are personally and professionally attacked.  This has happened a few times to the Admins on Matters when we refused to allow a post or posts.

The “Blocking” feature on Facebook is an effective tool.  I have been blocked and I have blocked others.  The criteria for me is when individuals project their biases or insecurities onto me and/or I assess further discussions are not likely to be productive.

Local and National

We may have little influence over what is happening nationally, but we do have a little more control over what happens locally.  The Brown County Leader Network has developed and identified methods and tools that may help in supporting decisions that may lead to more needs being met and less harm on people of needs not met. The commitment required for this approach requires a little more time than the drive-by posts made on Facebook.

Power (Control) – Who makes the decisions for all?

Ultimately,  the core issue politically is often a matter of power.  In developing the design of the U.S. system of government, the founders understood human nature and history.  They appreciated that individuals seek power and power always corrupts.  They designed a system of government (a Republic) with checks and balances on power that  enables We the People to work together to achieve “a more perfect Union.” Their expectation was that most of the power would be wielded at the local level.

An opposite perspective to self-government is more centralization of power.  The supporting belief is that decisions by the few will result in the best outcomes. Under this perspective, the Constitution should be interpreted to fit the times as opposed to aligning with the original intent of the Founders.

Centralization of power through socialism, marxism, communism, fascism,, never works out in the long run and leads to conflict and war.

The X Option.   There are generally four strategies that can be taken by various groups with respect to change and expected outcomes:

(1) A strategy where everyone benefits (win/win). This is the strategy supported by the Brown County Leader Network.

(2) A zero-sum approach — ” I win you lose” or (3) ” I lose you win.”  The zero-sum approach can result in a never-ending cycle where the losers are motivated to take the action needed to win and when they do win, the cycle is repeated when the losers mobilize in taking the action needed for them to “win.”

And some (adversaries), encourage and support a zero-sum approach that will result in a situation where we all lose – the 4th and worst approach.













2020 Election Investigation

Dec 31, 2020.  Lies, Damned Lies, And Insane Statistics, American Conservative by Daniel Oliver

“Following election night, The Epoch Times’ investigative team quickly went to work. In an attempt to uncover the issues behind the election, investigative reporter Joshua Phillip traveled across the country to swing states to interview whistleblowers, big data experts, and election experts.” 

Full Video: Senate Holds 1st Federal Hearing on Election ‘Irregularities’ BY EPOCH VIDEO December 16, 2020 

The recent example of the Senate hearings on the 2020 elections reinforced a clear divide between the two political factions. On one side, there is a belief that this has been the most secure election in history” and the other side is working to make the case that the election is The Greatest Electoral Heist in History.   

Theft By A Thousand Cuts’ Report Conclusive On Election Fraud, Slams Media Cover Up DECEMBER 17, 2020 RAHEEM KASSAM AND NATALIE WINTERS

  • Peter Navarro, also a White House Trade Adviser, outlines a “coordinated strategy to effectively stack the election deck against the Trump-Pence ticket” occurring in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

Navarro Report 488495896-Navarro-Report – Immaculate Deception

Septic System Info

EPA – Septic Smart. Encouraging homeowners, wastewater professionals, and state,  tribal, and local officials to design and maintain effective systems to protect public health, preserve valuable water resources, and sustain economic vitality in their communities.

ISDH – Onsite Sewage Systems Program

Indiana County Health Department Contacts and Phone Numbers

Brown County:

Other Counties

Jennings County – Septic Regulations & Permits

Jackson Septic Info (no mention of a septic ordinance – Online Info and links to state code. Tel: (812) 522-6474

Shelby County.  No info on an ordinance. (317) 392-6470

  • Septic: We issue permits for all residential and commercial sewage disposal systems that are not connected to a regulated sewage facility. All repairs and new construction must be inspected and signed off by our inspectors. We investigate all sewage complaints. Our records extend back to 1955. Septic permits are $25. Septic installer registration fee $20.

DaviessSeptic System Information

Morgan – Septic Division

Counties similar in size to Brown


  • Septic Ordinance 2001 … On Insurance – The application shall be
    accompanied by a certificate of liability issued by a company
    registered in Indiana. The liability policy shall be sufficient to
    compensate the property owner in the event of insufficient or faulty
    work performed by the contractor.


Perry – Septic System – No Ordinance listed. Online Info provided: Phone: 812-547-2746 X 2


  • Septic System Maintenance Procedures (Homeowners Septic System Guide
  • The Pike County Health Department environmental health division handles:
    • inspection and permitting of food establishments
    • inspection and permitting of onsite sewage disposal (septic) systems
    • inspecting public or semi-public swimming pools
    • inspecting and permitting tattoo/piercing/permanent make-up establishments
Howald, Amanda Environmental Health Specialist Health Department 812-354-8797

Switzerland .  Purchasing A New Dwelling? posted on 2017-09-13 by Donna Faber.  If you are planning to purchase an existing home outside city limits, be sure to call the Health Dept to make sure the septic is up to code first! 812-427-3220






Helmsburg RSD and Lake Lemon Environmental Cooperative


Nov 25, 2020. Sewer district board wants to work together. Bean Blossom, Helmsburg, Lake Lemon could end up with sewer service. by Suzannah Couch.

Sep 15, 2020. BCD, Lake Lemon homeowners seek help from sewer district By 

  • Resident Tim Clark also attended the virtual meeting on Sept. 8. He asked the regional sewer board if they had a percentage of people who supported bringing a sewer system to the Bean Blossom area, like members had suggested to the Lake Lemon cooperative.
  • “The letters of interest for the Bean Blossom project were from 1998. Has there been any effort to update those to see what current residents think?” he asked.
  • Project engineer Gary Ladd said the letters had not been updated.

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