North voted as Corydon’s next ‘mayor’
The town of Corydon had the same unofficial ‘mayor’ for 40 years, and, now, in less than a year, has its third since Fred Cammack resigned Jan. 26 of last year.
Cammack, Corydon’s town manager and long-time president of the Corydon Town Council, resigned Jan. 26 of last year after first being elected to the town council in 1975, was succeeded a month later by John D. Kintner, who represents Ward 3.
On Monday, the town council had its first meeting of 2016, with the first big order of business to elect its president.
Eva Bates North, who succeeds Cammack as the Ward 1 representative on the council, nominated herself and then read a statement as to why she believed she would be the best person for the job, saying she was dedicated to doing what’s best for the community, was fiscally responsible and had a track record of working with large groups. The Purdue University graduate said she was committed to helping Corydon grow and noted that she’s been on multiple committees dedicated to the matter.
After North concluded, Roger (Buck) McGraw, representing Ward 2, seconded the nomination.
Kintner then asked for any other nominations, with Ward 4 Representative Mark Parks nominating Kintner as president, saying he wanted to give Kintner another year and, at some point in 2016, start the process to hire a town manager.
‘It’s what the town really needs. I’m talking about a $40,000-a-year manager and not a $60,000 to $80,000 a year. That’s not right,’ Parks said.
Kintner then seconded Parks’ nomination, which was followed by a 2-2 tie vote.
The Town of Corydon’s attorney, Chris Byrd, noted that there had to be at least three votes (the council’s fifth member, Chris Mattingly, Ward 5, was not present due to a family medical matter).
A member of the audience, Barbara Best, told Byrd that she believed all ties could be broken by the clerk-treasurer. After a brief adjournment so he could look up Indiana Code on a nearby computer, Byrd confirmed Best’s statement, giving the deciding vote to Treggie King.
‘Lucky you,’ Byrd told King.
Indiana Code 36-5-2-8 says that the town clerk-treasurer is the clerk of the legislative body, and that the clerk-treasurer is an ex-officio member for the purpose of casting the deciding vote to break a tie.
King looked toward the ceiling and took a deep breath.
She said Kintner had done an outstanding job following in Cammack’s footsteps and that she and Kintner had agreed to disagree on the issue of having a town manager. She went on to say that her vote wasn’t because she didn’t think Kintner could change, but because North had ‘a lot of experience with big organizations.’
‘I think we’re going to see change like the town has never seen before,’ King said before casting the deciding vote for North.
The vote for vice president was far less dramatic, with Parks nominating McGraw and North seconding. The vote for McGraw was 3-0-1, with Kintner abstaining.
In another matter, the council entered into an agreement to apply for a Master Plan grant that would fund planning for a pedestrian and bicycle path strategy.
Corydon resident Nathan Broom gave a brief presentation and said that the grant would require a 1:1 match, up to $20,000, that would only have to be paid if the grant is awarded to the town.
The maximum $40,000 could only be used for planning the pedestrian and bicycle proposal, which was identified as one of the ‘immediate’ action items for 2016 in the newly adopted Comprehensive Plan, Broom said, adding that less money could be set aside for the match; however, the grant board in the past has favored pledges of the maximum $20,000.
Kintner said he believed the town had a number of costly ventures going on at the moment ‘ including entering into an $50,000 endowment with the Harrison County Community Foundation and $300,000 to help fund the Bicentennial Park project ‘ and that $40,000 for only a plan seemed a bit costly at the moment.
North asked for a motion multiple times before McGraw made one for the full $20,000. Parks seconded. The vote for the proposed match was unanimous.
The board also approved an employee handbook and appointed Parks to the Harrison County Solid Waste District.
The council’s next meeting will be Monday, Jan. 25, at 7:30 p.m. at the town hall.