St. John Indiana - Founded 1837
Return to Menu

March 12, 2015 Town Council Minutes

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

CALL TO ORDER:
Mr. Forbes called the March 12, 2015, regular meeting of the St. John Town Council to order at 7:12 p.m. Mr. Forbes asked for a moment of silence to honor of the memory of Senator Sue Landske after the Pledge of Allegiance

(The Pledge of Allegiance was said.)

A moment of silence was observed.

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

NEW BUSINESS:
A. LAKE CENTRAL DRIVE BID OPENING.

Mr. Forbes noted the Lake Central Drive bid opening was the first item under New Business. He stated this is a project for the intersection near Lake Central.

Mr. Forbes directed Attorney Austgen to open the bids.

Attorney Austgen opened the first bid received from Rieth-Riley Construction, Gary, Indiana.

Attorney Austgen noted the bid from Rieth-Riley, Items 1 through 87 was in the amount of $434,549.82. The bid bond was present in the amount of ten percent of the amount bid. Form 96 was present and fully executed including oath affirmation and non-collusion affidavit. E-verify Agreement and the Affidavit were attached. The Certificate of Denial of engagement and investment in Iran were attached.

Attorney Austgen opened the second bid received from Walsh & Kelly, Griffith, Indiana.

Attorney Austgen noted the bid had the E-verify Agreement and Affidavit executed and notarized attached. The Certificate of Denial of engagement and investment in Iran were attached. The amount bid by Walsh & Kelly for Items 1 through 87 was in the amount of $332,046.62. Attorney Austgen noted the Form 96 was present and fully executed including oath affirmation and non-collusion affidavit. The bid bond was present in the amount of ten percent of the amount bid.

The bid opening was concluded.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to take the bids under advisement for review by staff. “So moved,” by Mr. Volk. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

B. CONSIDER ORDINANCE NO. 1602, AMENDING 2015 SALARY ORDINANCE.

Mr. Forbes noted the next item on the agenda for the Council’s consideration was Ordinance Number 1602, an ordinance amending the 2015 salary ordinance. Mr. Forbes asked the councilmen if they had any questions. There were no questions from the councilmen.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to consider Ordinance Number 1602 on first reading. Mr. Volk made a motion to consider Ordinance Number 1602 on first reading. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (3/1). Ayes --- three. Nays --- one. Mr. Gembala voted no.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adopt Ordinance Number 1602. Attorney Austgen noted the motion to adopt Ordinance Number 1602 could be entertained at the next meeting.

REPORTS AND CORRESPONDENCE:
TOWN COUNCIL:

Mr. Gembala had no reports.

Mr. Volk had no reports.

Mr. Bustamante had no reports.

CLERK-TREASURER:
Chief Deputy Clerk Beverly Gawrys was absent.

ATTORNEY’S REPORT:
Attorney Austgen had nothing to report.

TOWN MANAGER:
Mr. Kil had nothing to report.

* * * * *

Chief Frego reported to the Council that at the last Police Commission meeting the Board approved the hire of a certified police officer off of the current eligibility list. He stated the candidate has accepted the offer and gave his current employer two weeks’ notice.

Mr. Forbes stated he would authorize the emergency hiring of a police officer for the Town of St. John. “So moved,” by Mr. Gembala. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

PUBLIC COMMENT:
Mr. Forbes opened the floor to public comment. He said he had a statement to read. Mr. Forbes read as follows:

“St. John acknowledges receipt of a separate EEOC Notice of Charges of Discrimination last week by two civilian employees of the Town Police Department, including a former employee.

The EEOC filings were followed the next day by a federal court lawsuit concerning the same. These legal filings followed the prior report and investigation of accusations of sexual harassment and abuse of the Claimants in the Town Police Department several days earlier by the employees.

The police officer alleged to have engaged in the circumstances has resigned. All of the circumstances have occurred within the last week. As a consequence of the report, the Town administrative staff immediately addressed the same by investigation, interviews and action. That investigation continues.

The Town of St. John does not now, never has and never will condone any inappropriate work place environment or conditions or improper actions. Sexual harassment and abuse anywhere much less the in the work place will not be tolerated. The Town continues the investigation of the present circumstances while assessing conditions and appropriate actions for the work place going forward.

The Town Police Department and Public Safety functions have a proud and long history of excellent service to the citizen taxpayers of the Town. This mission will continue.

As a consequence of the commencement of legal claims and lawsuits, and since personnel are involved, no further public comment or communication can occur pending disposition of the same. We respectfully request your consideration of knowing that there are multiple facets to these matters and that the public comment dialogue will only serve to confuse and distort what is a serious and difficult situation.

The Town of St. John is committed to addressing these matters for the benefit of all of the employees and citizens of the Town thoroughly, appropriately and lawfully.”

Mr. Forbes opened the floor to public comment. He called for public comment. There was no public comment. Mr. Forbes closed the floor to public comment.

ADJOURNMENT:
Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adjourn. “So moved,” by Mr. Volk. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none. (The meeting was adjourned at 7:25 p.m.)

A TRUE COPY

_______________________________________________
Susan E. Wright
Recording Secretary St. John Town Council