St. John Indiana - Founded 1837
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October 25, 2012 Town Council Minutes

Michael Forbes, PresidentAttorney David Austgen
Mark Barenie, Vice-PresidentSherry Sury, Clerk-Treasurer
Larry BustamanteSteve Kil, Town Manager
Gregory Volk 
Ken Gembala 

CALL TO ORDER:
Mr. Forbes called to order the Town Council's regular meeting of October 25, 2012, at 7:10 p.m. Mr. Forbes introduced Girl Scout Troop 30457, who performed a flag ceremony. (The Pledge of Allegiance was said.)

ROLL CALL:
Ms. Sherry Sury, Clerk-Treasurer, took roll call with the following members present: Michael Forbes, Mark Barenie, Gregory Volk, Ken Gembala, and Larry Bustamante. Attorney David Austgen was present. Staff members present, Steve Kil. Police Chief, Fred Frego and Fire Chief, Fred Willman were present. Chip Sobek, Parks Superintendent, was absent. Recording Secretary, Susan E. Wright was also present.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
JULY 10, 2012 EXECUTIVE SESSION;
JULY 26, 2012, EXECUTIVE SESSION;
AUGUST 23, 2012, EXECUTIVE SESSION;
SEPTEMBER 13, 2012, EXECUTIVE SESSION;
SEPTEMBER 27, 2012, EXECUTIVE SESSION;
SEPTEMBER, 27, 2012, REGULAR MEETING;

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion on the minutes of the September 27, 2012, Town Council meeting, as generated by Recording Secretary, Susan E. Wright.

Mr. Barenie made a motion to approve the minutes of the September 27, 2012, meeting with one correction, that “Mr. Zender” be changed to “Mr. Cender” (page two). Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0).

Mr. Forbes deferred to Attorney Austgen regarding the St. John Town Council Executive Session meeting minutes for July 10, 2012. Attorney Austgen stated that he had reviewed the Executive Session meeting minutes of July 10, 2012, prepared by Clerk-Treasurer, Sherry Sury. He stated that he has prepared a Form of Verification which he recommended that the Council consider in their review of the minutes. Attorney Austgen read the verification into the record as follows:

“Verification for July 10, 2012, Town Council Executive Session meeting minutes. The undersigned Town Council members certify that they have not intentionally discussed instances that were not properly notified for this Executive Session in conformance with Indiana Code 5-14-1.5 et. seq. This verification is provided pertaining to the full contents of the above-referenced, dated Executive Session minutes and meeting including notation information added by the Town Clerk Treasurer regarding additional instances reportedly improperly discussed.

The Town Council hereby respectfully disagrees with the notation comments of the Clerk Treasurer added to the aforementioned Executive Session meeting minutes and make this verification action for clarification purposes consistent with applicable law and upon opinion of the Town's attorney.”

Attorney Austgen stated that if the Council wished to consider the Executive Session meeting minutes of July 10, 2012, as presented, he would recommend that the Council include the aforementioned verification and execute the same. Mr. Forbes noted that Mr. Barenie was absent at this meeting. Mr. Barenie concurred.

Mr. Forbes stated that he would entertain a motion to approve the Executive Session meeting minutes of July 10, 2012, with the inclusion of the verification as read into the record by Attorney Austgen and execution of the same. Mr. Volk made a motion to approve the Executive Session meeting minutes of July 10, 2012, with the inclusion of the verification and execution of the same. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. Mr. Barenie abstained. Mr. Gembala abstained. The motion was carried (3/0) with two abstentions.

Mr. Forbes presented the Executive Session meeting minutes of July 26, 2012. He noted that Mr. Bustamante was absent from this meeting. Mr. Bustamante concurred.

Attorney Austgen stated upon his review of the Executive Session meeting minutes of July 26, 2012, he had prepared an identical verification for these Executive Session meeting minutes. He recommended that the Council's action include the verification for purposes of the official record and the action taken. Attorney Austgen stated that this verification used the exact language as the July 10, 2012, verification.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to approve the Executive Session meeting minutes of July 26, 2012, with the inclusion of the verification provided by Attorney Austgen. Mr. Volk made a motion to approve the Executive Session meeting minutes of July 26, 2012 with the inclusion of the verification. The motion was seconded by Mr. Barenie. Mr. Bustamante abstained. The motion was carried (4/0) with one absention.

Mr. Forbes presented the August 23, 2012, Executive Session meeting minutes. Attorney Austgen informed the Council that he had not yet had the opportunity to review the Executive Session meeting minutes of August 23, 2012. He asked the Council's permission for time to review the minutes and recommended that they defer the same to the next meeting.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to defer the Executive Session meeting minutes of August 23, 2012. Mr. Barenie made a motion to defer the Executive Session meeting minutes of August 23, 2012. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0).

Mr. Forbes presented the September 13, 2012, Executive Session meeting minutes. Attorney Austgen informed the Council that he did not have a copy of these minutes and had not yet reviewed them. He asked the Council's permission for time to review these minutes and to defer the same.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to defer the Executive Session meeting minutes of September 27 [sic] 2012. Mr. Gembala made a motion to defer the Executive Session meeting minutes. Mr. Barenie seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0).

Mr. Forbes stated the Council had just received the minutes of the Executive Session of September 27, 2012. He stated, for that reason, he would entertain a motion to defer the Executive Session meeting minutes of September 27, 2012. Mr. Gembala made a motion to defer the meeting minutes. Mr. Barenie seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0).

NEW BUSINESS:
A. ORDINANCE NUMBER 1560 ‐ ORDINANCE ESTABLISHING 2013 MUNICIPAL BUDGET ‐ SECOND READING

Mr. Forbes stated that Ordinance Number 1560 was an ordinance establishing the 2013 municipal budget. He stated this was the second reading of Ordinance Number 1560. He asked the Council members if they had any questions. There were no questions or comments from the Council.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion on Ordinance Number 1560. Mr. Volk made a motion to adopt Ordinance Number 1560, the 2013 municipal budget. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (3/0).

(General discussion ensued.)

B. CONSIDERATION OF ORDINANCE NUMBER 1562 ‐ AN ORDINANCE REDIVIDING THE TOWN INTO DISTRICTS,WARDS FOR THE PURPOSE OF CONDUCTING ELECTIONS OF TOWN OFFICIALS ‐ SECOND READING

Mr. Forbes stated that Ordinance Number 1562 was an ordinance redividing the Town into districts and wards for the purpose of conducting elections for Town officials. Mr. Forbes noted that the Town was required to enact this ordinance as a result of the 2010 census. He stated this was the second reading of Ordinance Number 1562.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adopt Ordinance Number 1562 provided there was no discussion. He noted that there was previously discussion on the language in the “descriptions” portion of the ordinance. Attorney Austgen stated that it was his belief that this matter had been addressed, corrected and verified as accurate.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adopt Ordinance Number 1562. Mr. Barenie made a motion to adopt Ordinance Number 1562. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0).

REPORTS AND CORRESPONDENCE:
A. TOWN COUNCIL:

The Council had nothing to report.

CLERK-TREASURER:
Ms. Sury had nothing to report.

ATTORNEY'S REPORT
Attorney Austgen had nothing to report.

STAFF:
Mr. Kil updated the Council on construction of units for 2012, to date, at 135. He stated at this point in time in 2011, there were 68 units. Mr. Kil noted that this is an almost 100% increase over 2011. He stated he is pleased with these numbers.

Mr. Kil noted that there is one ongoing commercial construction project at the present time which is the Subway located at Route 231 and Parrish Avenue. He stated that this project is nearly completed.

Mr. Kil sought the Council's permission to hold a special Town Council meeting on November 1, 2012, one week from tonight. He stated a request was made by Lake Central School Corporation to discuss the permit fee schedule. He asked the Council members when they would be available.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes requested that the meeting be set at the regularly scheduled time of 7:00 p.m. The meeting was scheduled for Thursday, November 1, 2012, at 7:00 p.m.

Chief Frego delivered the Police Department's Activity Report for September 1, 2012 through September 30, 2012. Chief Frego advised the Council that the Police Department is in the preliminary stages of entering into an accreditation process with the Indiana Law Enforcement Accreditation. He stated that this program is endorsed by the Chiefs of Police and a national endorsement with CALEA.

Chief Frego stated that the process will take approximately one to one-and-one-half years to complete. He stated that the Police Department will become fully engaged in this process in January. He stated when the process is complete the Police Department will be accredited for three years. At the end of three years, an on-site evaluation is conducted in order to be re-certified. Chief Frego stated that there are not very many police departments in the area that are accredited. He stated this process is another step towards professionalizing the Police Department. Chief Frego stated it is a long process but his staff is up to the task.

Mr. Gembala commended the Police and Fire Department on the Open House. He stated that the event was a well-attended success due to the efforts of both Departments.

Chief Willman delivered the Fire Department's Activity Report for September 1, through September 30, 2012. On behalf of the Fire Department, Chief Willman thanked Alsip Home Nursery for allowing them the opportunity to conduct a boot drive/fund raiser for the benefit of the Tri-Town Safety Village in front of their store. He stated that six St. John firefighters participated in this event held on September 22, 2012. The event lasted for approximately three and half hours and collected over $300.

Mr. Forbes asked Chief Frego and Chief Willman to pass along his thanks to their respective Departments for all of the help they have provided at the Haunted House. Mr. Forbes stated he greatly appreciates all of the work both Departments do.

PAYMENT OF BILLS:
Mr. Forbes stated that he would entertain a motion on payment of the general APVs Nos. 8706 through 8941 in the amount of $1,212,214.81. Mr. Volk made a motion to approve general APVs Nos. 8706 through 8941 in the amount of $1,212,214.81. The motion was seconded by Mr. Bustamante. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0).

PUBLIC COMMENT:
Mr. Forbes called for public comment.

Attorney Jeffrey Gunning, P.O. Box 3305, Munster, Indiana:
Attorney Gunning appeared before the Council. He provided the Council with a mailing address of P.O. Box 3305 in Munster, Indiana. Attorney Gunning stated he was present to speak to the Council on the same topic that he addressed at the last meeting when he was present.

Attorney Gunning stated that the Council is engaging in the act of having the duplication of meeting minutes produced by having two recording secretaries and production of “their -- your version of the minutes.” He referred to the two recording secretaries as “the contract attorney that you've apparently hired, and the Clerk Treasurer.”

Attorney Gunning noted that the meeting minutes generated by the contracted Recording Secretary have an inaccuracy with regard to his presentation. He stated that the street address contained in the minutes of September 27, 2012, indicated a street address or an address that is no longer his business address. Attorney Gunning stated that the P.O. Box that he provided on this date is the correct address.

Attorney Gunning pointed out a typographical error or a transcription error. Mr. Forbes informed Attorney Gunning that the Council did not need him to review the minutes. Attorney Gunning stated that the Council has a duty, under the law, to ensure that the minutes are accurate. Mr. Forbes stated it has been done.

Attorney Gunning stated “the word is bundle as opposed to bungle.”

Attorney Gunning directed the Council's attention to a letter that was dispatched to Mr. Forbes from the Director and State Archivist, the Commissioner of the Indiana Commission on Public Records. Attorney Gunning read in part, “he indicates that the Indiana Commission on Public Records has the oversight responsibility for government records in Indiana including statewide record management programs describing the standards and procedures for record making and record keeping.” Attorney Gunning further read “It has come to our attention that the Town of St. John has hired a private recording secretary to take minutes at the Town Council meetings. The duties are the legal responsibility and obligation of the elected Town Clerk-Treasurer.”

Attorney Gunning stated that the Commissioner also provided an Indiana Code and quotes it in the letter. He read a portion of the citation into the record. Attorney Gunning also read a portion of the letter into the record that stated that the Commission on Public Records is concerned about the legitimacy of the minutes of the Town Council meetings not being recorded by the Town Clerk Treasurer or their designee but by a contractor of the Town Council.

Attorney Gunning read an additional portion of the letter into the record that indicated that the Commission's position is that the official minutes of the Town Council should be taken by the Town's Clerk Treasurer and then amended, revised and adopted by the governing body. Attorney Gunning also read into the record a portion of the letter stating that recordings of meetings presented by a third party and adopted by the Town Council may put in question the official actions of the Town Council.

Attorney Gunning read an additional portion of the letter that indicated that that the Town Council has hired the private Recording Secretary using local tax funds and the State Board of Accounts might fault the individual members of the Town Council for paying for duplicate services and seek reimbursement from individual members to repay the town coffers.

Attorney Gunning stated he would not read the balance of the letter. He informed the Council that the letter which he cited was copied to Charlie Pride, Indiana State Board of Accounts; Joe Hoage, Indiana Public Access Counselor; the St. John Town attorney; and the Vice-President of the Council.

Attorney Gunning urged and requested, once again, that state statute provides that the Clerk-Treasurer, and the deputies of the Clerk-Treasurer who serve at the Clerk-Treasurer's pleasure, and those affairs of her office are under her control and not under the Council's control. Attorney Gunning respectfully asked that the Council end the practice that they have currently elected to follow in creating this duplicate set of records. Attorney Gunning requested that the Council review and, if necessary, amend, but consider and ultimately adopt the meeting minutes produced by the duly elected Clerk-Treasurer of the Town.

Mr. Forbes called for additional public comment.

Mr. Adrian Bugariu, 11747 West 90th Avenue
Mr. Bugariu stated he delivered a letter to a Town Council member on August 13. He stated that the letter concerns intimidation and threats to him by Frego and Fryzell. He stated he recently paid his water bill and was told three times to “Shut up,” by John Mainwaring. Mr. Bugariu requested that the letter that he submitted in August be addressed. He thanked the Council.

Henrietta Fishtorn, 9740 Olcott Avenue
Ms. Fishtorn thanked each and every one of the Council members for seeing that the Homestead Acres sign was returned. She stated that although the sign might not be the fanciest it means the most to her.

Steve Hastings, 8740 Patterson Street
Mr. Hastings thanked the Council and the municipal workers for the flower arrangement. He stated his family was very touched by this gesture and he appreciated it very much. Mr. Forbes called for additional public comment. There was no further public comment.

ADJOURNMENT:
Mr. Forbes called for a motion to adjourn. Mr. Volk made a motion to adjourn the meeting; Mr. Barenie seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously passed by voice vote (5/0).

Mr. Gembala thanked the Girl Scouts for the nice flag ceremony and for attending the entire meeting. (The meeting was adjourned at 8:43 p.m.)

A TRUE COPY

_______________________________________________Susan E. Wright
Recording Secretary St. John Town Council