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Miller’s accusation catches task force off guard

Questions about secrecy by a former Harrison County commissioner had the Farm, Forest and Open Space Preservation Task Force on the defensive last week.
‘You’re not keeping the public aware,’ claimed Terry Miller, the former Third District commissioner who was attending his second FFOSPTF meeting on June 28. The task force is chaired by Jim Heitkemper of Elizabeth, who defeated Miller for commissioner in 2002.
‘You can’t just drop something on them and say, ‘Here it is,’ ‘ Miller said.
Task force members appeared to have been surprised by the accusation.
Jim Klinstiver, a member of the task force, reminded everyone there that one of their goals is to build consensus.
‘Agriculture is going overseas like everything else,’ said task force member Fred Uhl. ‘We have to have the public’s support if we want to fund it.’
The Farm, Forest and Open Space group hosted a meeting in mid-April to help educate the public on what it is trying to do. Last week, other means of getting the word out was suggested. That included posting information on a Web page at the site county government is sponsoring, additional forums to better educate the public and distribute information at the Harrison County Fair, which begins July 31.
Upcoming task force meetings are also announced in this newspaper.
Heitkemper reminded everyone that Karen Dearlove, an ex-officio task force member who had served as secretary, was no longer available to help. The former coordinator of the Lincoln Hills RC&D has accepted a similar position in Alaska.
‘I think she’s helped get us through a lot,’ Heitkemper said.
Dearlove was unable to attend last week’s meeting but had come to Corydon last Tuesday evening to have supper with task force members who were available.
Because there was no quorum at the regular meeting, no official action was taken. (There was not a quorum at the May meeting either.) C.J. Louden agreed to chair the public education and outreach committee. Heitkemper encouraged committees to meet prior to the group’s next meeting, which will be Tuesday, July 26, at 7 p.m. at the county annex building.