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Commissioners deny election board request

The Harrison County Board of Commissioners Monday morning denied a $5,000 request from the election board, represented by Circuit Court Clerk Sherry Brown. The additional request was for legal counsel, if the election board should need it, after it deemed a complaint filed by Harrison County GOP chairman Scott Fluhr worthy of a formal investigation.
Brown said the money will most likely not be used, but she said she’s concerned about going forward without legal representation.
‘Whatever decision the election board makes, it can be contested by either party,’ she said.
Commissioner Terry Miller said he doesn’t see why Harrison County should be involved in the matter.
‘It’s something to keep on the front page by the county chairman, it looks like to me,’ Miller said.
‘When I was running, a person started a newspaper trashing me ‘ two years ago a newspaper was started that lasted two weeks after the election, nobody investigated that. There’s a blog that trashes everything we do, nobody says anything about that. To me, this is totally political.’
Commissioner James Goldman said if the board needs assistance down the road, it won’t be a problem.
‘I think you’re too early,’ he said.
Miller made the motion to deny the request and Commissioner Carl (Buck) Mathes seconded.
The complaint centered around a letter, signed by Lanesville Community School Corp. board of trustees president Donald J. Hussung, that was sent out with the school newsletter two weeks before the General Election. Hussung urged parents to consider the voting records of the candidates, specifically who had voted most often in favor of Lanesville schools. That candidate was then-Harrison County Councilman Mathes, a Democrat, who was running against then-Republican Councilwoman Rhonda J. Rhoads for the District 2 county commissioner’s seat. Both had voted several times on the issue of forgiving a Lanesville school loan; Mathes voted to forgive and Rhoads voted against.
The loan was originally given to Lanesville in 2004 for emergency gymnasium repairs, for which Rhoads voted.
The board rejected all bids for the Emergency Medical Services building from the Dec. 15 meeting. The board asked architect Jim Walker to create the specifics for re-bid, with the intent to keep the total project cost at $1 million.
To get the figure down to $1 million from the previous low bid of nearly $1.4 million, Walker said the size of the building will have to be reduced. The helicopter crew quarters area will be eliminated, as will garage space.