The Common Council met in a regular meeting on February 12, 2018 in the Council Chambers, 301 East Clinton Street, Frankfort, Indiana at 7:10 PM after an Executive Meeting and the following action was taken:
Mayor Chris McBarnes called the meeting to order, and led the assembly in the Pledge of Allegiance. Mayor McBarnes then prayed. Upon roll call the following members were present: Jim Moyer, Eric Woods, Lewis Wheeler, Wanda Mitchell, Clarence Warthan, Steve Beardsley, and Joe Palmer. Also present: Les Bergum, City Attorney and Judith Sheets, Clerk-Treasurer.
MINUTES: The minutes for the January 22, 2018 regular meeting were presented. Lewis Wheeler made the motion to approve the minutes from the January 22, 2018 regular meeting. Clarence Warthan seconded the motion. Upon roll call vote seven “ayes” were recorded. Motion passed.
PUBLIC COMMENTS: There were no public comments.
ORDINANCE 18-01: AN ORDINANCE REGULATING PANHANDLING. Joe Palmer made a motion to amend Ordinance 18-01, Section E to read as follows: E. Any person, firm corporation, association, or organization who violates a provision of this ordinance shall be subject to a fine in the amount of $50,00 per each occurrence. Wanda Mitchell seconded the motion. Upon roll call vote six “ayes” – Eric Woods, Wanda Mitchell, Joe Palmer, Clarence Warthan, Steve Beardsley, Jim Moyer and one “nay” – Lewis Wheeler. Motion passed. Joe Palmer made a motion to pass Ordinance 18-01 as amended on second reading. Wanda Mitchell seconded the motion. Upon roll call vote six “ayes” – Eric Woods, Wanda Mitchell, Joe Palmer, Clarence Warthan, Steve Beardsley, Jim Moyer and one “nay” – Lewis Wheeler. Ordinance 18-01 passed as amended on second reading.
NEW BUSINESS: Chief Bacon presented a public safety update. Chief Bacon stated that they were in the middle of the hiring process and putting the salaries at a very competitive level was good for recruiting and retaining officers. Chief Bacon stated that they usually will have 30 to 40 applicants and that this year they had 92 applicants. Chief Bacon thanked the Council for all that they are doing.
Mayor McBarnes stated that the firefighters had fought a fire this week and thanked Greg Miller, who was present at the meeting, for his service.
Mayor McBarnes stated that he had been to the courthouse to visit the assessor, auditor, and clerk’s office to get information. Mayor McBarnes shared the information and stated that they had all been working together to put together facts, data, and numbers. Mayor McBarnes stated that on January 1, 2012 City General had $1,646,309 and the City General fund on January 1, 2018 had $2,113,157. Mayor McBarnes provided information on the downtown revitalization and the Prairie Creek Park. Travis Sheets, Parks Superintendent, provided information on quality of place and stated that the park is a component of the revitalization. Mayor McBarnes provided information on Project Home Run. Mayor McBarnes explained Tax Increment Financing.
Mayor McBarnes stated that he had invited Dr. John Crompton from Texas A&M to speak on March 7th at the Skanta Theater in the library. Mayor McBarnes stated that there will be a Special Council Meeting on March 8th and Dr. John Crompton will be attending to speak.
Mayor McBarnes suggest that we look at a timeline for the Prairie Creek Park.
NEW BUSINESS: Lewis Wheeler made the following motion: I, hereby make a motion that all charges against said employee be dismissed with prejudice being thoroughly unfounded, and that all investigation into said employee be brought to a complete and total end. Eric Woods seconded the motion. Upon roll call vote two “ayes” – Eric Woods, Lewis Wheeler and five “nays” – Wanda Mitchell, Joe Palmer, Clarence Warthan, Steve Beardsley, James Moyer. Motion did not pass.
Jim Moyer stated that since October 24, 2017 we have been investigating charges against an employee over whom the Council had responsibility, including at least four executive sessions.
Jim Moyer made the following motion: I hereby move to provide the employee with notice and opportunity to be heard concerning the allegations against him. His opportunity to be heard shall occur during the regular meeting of this Council occurring on February 26, 2018 at 6:00 PM. He will be provided up to 30 minutes to provide information he feels the Council needs to hear related to the allegations. Joe Palmer seconded the motion. Upon roll call vote five “ayes” – Wanda Mitchell, Joe Palmer, Clarence Warthan, Steve Beardsley, Jim Moyer and two “nays” – Eric Woods, Lewis Wheeler. Motion passed. Eric Woods stated that he doesn’t support this. Eric stated that this goes back to October and we have had five executive sessions and that the original allegations are not substantiated. Eric stated that a third party was hired to reduce the appearance of bias.
ADJOURNMENT: There being no further business to come before the Council, Jim Moyer made a motion to adjourn. Joe Palmer seconded the motion. Mayor McBarnes adjourned the meeting.