New council reorganizes, sets appointments
With three new faces, the Harrison County Council had to reorganize at its first meeting of the year Monday night.
Councilman Gary Davis was again elected as chairman, and Councilwoman Sherry Brown will take the reins as vice chair.
Davis will be joined on the financial planning committee ‘ a subcommittee of the council ‘ by Brown and Councilman Richard Gerdon.
The council also made appointments and re-appointments to various boards, with all being unanimous picks, except one, the 4-H Council seat.
Brown held the yearly-appointed 4-H seat in 2014.
Gerdon made a motion to nominate Councilman Kyle Nix, who defeated former Councilman Phil Smith for the District 1 seat.
‘It’d be a perfect spot for him; he’s got 4-H in his heart,’ Gerdon said. ‘He’d be an asset to 4-H, and he’d be an asset to the council to be on it.’
Councilman Sam Day then nominated Holli Baker Castetter for the position. Both Day and Castetter are new to the council.
Nix was narrowly voted into the position, 4-3. He was joined in the vote by Councilman Jim Heitkemper, Gerdon and Brown.
Later, Nix also was appointed to the Harrison County Lifelong Learning board.
Castetter was appointed to the Harrison County Alternative Education Center board, succeeding Smith.
Smith was appointed to the Harrison County Economic Development Corp. board. He had previously been on the board as a commissioner appointment but was replaced by Charlie Crawford.
Day was appointed to the River Hills board, in place of Heitkemper, who no longer wanted the position (Heitkemper filled out the term of the late Councilman Gordon Pendleton), and to the Harrison County Solid Waste District board (Smith held the position in 2014).
Don Cooper was appointed to the Harrison County Board of Zoning Appeals at the recommendation of Commissioner George Ethridge.
The following people were re-appointed to the boards listed: Harry L. Smith, Alcohol Beverage; Gerdon, Chamber of Commerce of Harrison County; Davis, Harrison County Economic Development Corp.; Michael Smith, Harrison County Emergency Management Agency; Heitkemper, Family and Children and Harrison County Advisory Plan Commission; and Teresa Sutton, Harrison County Parks.
In other business, Superior Court Judge Joseph (Joe) Claypool introduced Vicki Carmichael, who has been appointed special judge for the two Harrison County death-penalty cases, to discuss the needed funding for the cases.
Two men, Kevin (Drew) Schuler and Austin Scott, are accused of murdering a Greenville couple in August 2013.
The council made a motion to set aside $500,000 of riverboat gaming funds for the death-penalty cases. The first of the two cases is schedule to go to trial in October.
‘I don’t know if that’s going to happen, but we’re going to make every effort to do so,’ Carmichael said.
At the council’s next meeting, on Monday, Jan. 26, at 7 p.m. at the Government Center in south Corydon, it will vote on an additional appropriation of $728,300 for the salt dome on the new Harrison County Highway Dept. property and $500,000 for the Elizabeth Volunteer Fire Dept.’s new downtown firehouse.
Harrison County Engineer Kevin Russel said he plans to update the council about the highway garage property progress at its first meeting in February (Feb. 9).