Commissioners reorganize for 2013, welcome members


The Switzerland County Commissioners welcomed two new members at Monday’s meeting, and the new board went through the annual process of reorganization for 2013.

Newly elected Commissioners John Haskell and Steve Lyons joined the board along with current commissioner Mark Lohide. In the board’s first action or reorganization, Mark Lohide was elected as President of the Commissioners, with Steve Lyons being elected as the Vice President.

The Commissioners also made their regular appointments and hirings, but when it came to hiring an attorney, there was some disagreement.

The current attorney for the County Commissioners is Wil Goering of Madison, and Commissioner John Haskell made a motion to hire a local attorney instead. After some preliminary discussion, Commissioner Steve Lyons suggested that the commissioners discuss the matter in an executive session, so the matter was tabled until the next Commissioners meeting, which will be held on Tuesday, January 22nd, at 5 p.m. (The Commissioners meeting would normally be held on Monday, January 21st, but will be moved back a day in observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. national holiday).

Another change for the commissioners is the elimination of their morning meeting.

In the past, the commissioners have met twice a month, with one meeting being in the morning and the other in the evening. On Monday night the commissioners voted to meet on the first and third Mondays of the month, with both of those meetings starting at 5 p.m. in the meeting room in the basement of the courthouse.


Another matter presented to the commissioners on Monday night was the situation involving the bridge over Grant’s Creek. Switzerland County Highway Superintendent Chris Clerkin told the commissioners that the Army Corps of Engineers had shut the job down because 1,200-feet of creek bottom had been disturbed.

The Corps of Engineers told the county that there would be no fines involved if the matter was fixed to its direction.

The commissioners will discuss this matter in executive session prior to their next meeting.


In other matters addressed by the Commissioners:

– Anita Danner of Switzerland County Tourism presented the organization’s 2013 budget to the commissioners.

– Judy Kappes asked the commissioners for permission to hang a plaque in the courthouse honoring “Revolutionary War Patriots”. She requested no funding, just permission to hang the sign, which was given.

– The commissioners will meet with Highway Superintendent Chris Clerkin this Monday, January 14th, at the highway department.

– Commissioner Steve Lyons will serving on the Southeastern Indiana Solid Waste District board; George Vann will serve on the board of the East Enterprise Regional Sewer District; Mark Lohide, Pete Furnish, Ron Hocker, and Sarah Brichto will serve on the Southeastern Indiana Regional Planning Commission.

- The commissioners will meet with the County Council to discuss Consortium Group Insurance. Councilman Steve Crabtree suggested that the county look into the new insurance plan, and Commissioner Steve Lyons said that he would be interested in hearing a presentation on the plan from the company.

County Auditor Gayle Rayles will set up the meeting and presentation.

– Froggy 95.9 radio invited the Commissioners to stop by and use the station to broadcast any issues it would like to share with the public.

– Commissioner John Haskell recommended that the county run ads in the newspapers for all new hires when there are job openings.

– Rosemary Bovard,