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Sat, Nov 01, 2014 10:02 AM
Issue of October 29, 2014
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DLGF provides no answers about Spencer Twp.

November 26, 2013 | 09:29 AM

One of the largest crowds the commissioner/council room of the Government Center has seen gathered Thursday morning for an Indiana Dept. of Local Government Finance public hearing focusing on Spencer Township.

Only one person from the state office attended the meeting, and he, Joe Lukowski, couldn't answer any questions from the residents.

Lukowski works in the assessment division, and the residents wanted answers about the township budget.

Lukowski said the budget office was too busy finishing up budget work before the end of the year to attend the meeting, but he would report back with all of their questions. The meeting was also recorded, and he said he would provide the proper people with a copy of the meeting.

"You will get an answer," he said. "It's not like you're falling on deaf ears."

Spencer Township residents want an answer from the DLGF about their trustee, Donald Satterfield, and the proposed 2014 budget.

In September, Satterfield sent a letter to LifeSpan Resources terminating an agreement to provide senior meals at the Frenchtown Community Center, where seniors used to gather daily to eat and socialize.

The agreement had been in place since Jan. 1, 2010.

In the termination letter to LifeSpan, Satterfield wrote, "Spencer Township can no longer continue to provide utilities including gas, electricity, water and telephone at no cost to LifeSpan as these expenses far exceed the donation of $100 per month paid by LifeSpan."

Rebecca Rennirt, daughter of Leota and Fred Rennirt who attended senior gatherings at the community center, acted as the spokesperson at Thursday's hearing.

She first questioned the salary of the trustee and clerk.

The proposed trustee salary for Spencer Township is $18,440. The average of the other 11 trustees is $8,765. The proposed clerk salary for Spencer Township is $8,550. The average of the other 11 is $2,011.

Rennirt asked that the trustee be required to re-submit "a fair" budget for 2014.

"The only recourse we have is to elect a different trustee, which we plan to do, but it means the seniors lose their program," Rennirt said.

Rennirt said four responsible candidates for the position have already been established that will guarantee the funding of the senior program at the community center.

Rennirt reported that residents have had trouble requesting information from the trustee as well.

She said other trustees help taxpayers with access to parks or with other programs, but not Spencer Township.

"The taxpayers are receiving very little," she said. "The one good thing that was happening is now closed."

She questioned the line items of other services and charges in the proposed budget.

"How's the taxpayer to know (what the line is for) and why is the township budget padded to this extent?" she asked.

Rennirt concluded by saying the goal is to have the senior program in the 2014 budget.

Neither Donald nor Kathy Satterfield was at the hearing.

Lukowski said he'd give the information from the meeting to his superiors.

"When they make a decision, they'll notify you," he said.

He estimated it would be about two weeks before DLGF officials supplied an answer to the report.

Twitter: @rossschulz

  1. print email
    November 29, 2013 | 07:24 AM

    Neither Donald nor Kathy Satterfield was at the hearing.

    Wow! I could have swore I saw Mrs. Satterfield there. Even the FB group commented she was there. Anyone bother checking the register? My concern is this; isn't it the responsibility of every news organization to report the FACTS instead of tying to sway public opinion? Just saying creditability tops my list of important attributes.

  2. print email
    December 01, 2013 | 07:48 PM

    Personally I would love for the Corydon Democrat to sit down and interview Don Satterfield by himself without anyone there to coach him and speak for him. But I'm afraid that would never be allowed. Also wish they would interview the advisory board one on one. Yes the clerk was present at the meeting and chose not to speak but then the clerk has no power or so they claim.

  3. print email
    December 07, 2013 | 01:53 PM

    It will all be OK when they elect a new trustee. If youread all the stories and comments. If they get the people they want in the office. They will use the money for the poor to keep the senior program going. Or whatever it takes.

  4. print email
    December 09, 2013 | 09:55 AM

    "If" is the optional word. However, the people will speak at election time. This small group, whom a lot of them don't even reside in Spencer Township, think they have the say on who will be elected.
    If they believe that the seniors should have money set aside then they would have to set it aside for every age group. You can not, in an elected position, favor one group of people.
    I don't think they have the support they think they have.

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Corydon Democrat, 301 N. Capitol Ave., Corydon, IN 47112 • 1-812-738-2211 • email