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Saulman honored with Sagamore award

Public Defender Commission likely to take over parks dept. office space
Saulman honored with Sagamore award
Saulman honored with Sagamore award
State Rep. Karen Engleman presents Harrison County Commissioner Kenny Saulman with the Sagamore of the Wabash to honor and thank him for his long-term public service to the residents of the community. Looking on is county attorney Chris Byrd. Photo by Kaitlyn Clay
Kaitlyn Clay, Staff Writer, [email protected]

Harrison County Commissioner Kenny Saulman was honored Monday morning prior to the Board of Commissioners’ meeting by State Rep. Karen Engleman, who presented him with the Sagamore of the Wabash.

This is an honorary award created in Indiana during the term of Gov. Ralph F. Gates, who served from 1945 to 1949. The term “sagamore” was used by the American Indian tribes of the northeastern United States to describe a lesser chief or a great man among the tribe to whom the true chief would look for wisdom and advice. It is a personal tribute usually given to those who have rendered a distinguished service to the state or to the governor.

After Saulman’s decades of service to Harrison County, Engleman said it came with much excitement for her to present Saulman with the award.

“I am so appreciative of everyone that is here,” Saulman said to his family, friends and community leaders in attendance at the meeting. “I hope I was able to make a difference as a public servant in this county, and I thank you all so much.”

Once the meeting officially began, a little past 9 a.m., the Public Defender Commission came before the board to present updates on its ongoing search for office space. The Commission seemed to have found a solution, thanks to the Harrison County Parks Dept.

Commission board chair Joe Kellum explained to the commissioners that office space in the government center, where the parks department office is, would be available.

Larry Shickles, superintendent of the parks department, said he plans to move his department’s offices to the Ethel Wright Interpretive Center. The parks department has been leasing space in this building, which is owned by the Friends of Corydon Capitol, for the past four years, he said.

Shickles told the commissioners that his staff is usually out in the parks and doesn’t need the space in the government center when the parks department could utilize the Wright center instead, opening up the space for the Public Defender Commission.

David Layson, a member of the Public Defender Commission, explained that with two full-time attorneys and two-part time attorneys serving about 700 clients each year, along with two other staff members, that the space the parks department offered would be perfect for the type of office the Commission is needing.

Because this move would be to the government center, Superior Judge Joseph Claypool said this would greatly benefit the Commission’s budget and it would save the county money on rent and utilities, furniture and any construction that would have needed to be done at a different location.

Commissioner Charlie Crawford made the motion for the Public Defender Commission to proceed with establishing the current parks department’s office space as its office. The motion passed 3-0.

Also at Monday morning’s meeting, Teresa Sutton, the Posey Township trustee, approached the commissioners regarding her concern with receiving aid from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. She said she has used a lot more of her township funds aiding the people in her community due to the COVID-19 pandemic and wanted to make the commissioners aware that this could become a struggle for more trustees throughout the county.

Sutton said she hopes to get in contact with the other 11 trustees to see if they are being affected this way as well.

Crawford said he would give Sutton the contact information of a consultant who would be able to assist her with seeing if CARES money could help her.

Also, Crawford made a motion for Sutton to approach the county council to discuss the possibility of receiving more aid from the county as well. This motion passed 3-0.

In other business, the commissioners unanimously voted for Kathy Shireman to complete Nancy Zimmerman’s term on the Harrison County Hospital Board of Trustees. Zimmerman died Nov. 21; she was the board chair at the time of her death.

The next commissioners’ meeting is scheduled for Monday, Dec. 21, at 7 p.m. at the government center in Corydon.