New mayor, council get insight at Statehouse


Rising Sun Mayor Brent Bascom and other city officials spent last week at the Indiana Statehouse in Indianapolis.

Bascom (who attended a new mayor’s conference earlier) said it was an opportunity to do networking and interaction with new officials, as well as returning elected officials.

Also attending the event from Rising Sun were clerk treasurer Rae Gipson, deputy clerks Tammy Johns and Heather Whitham, councilmen Bill Marksberry, John Rumsey, Dennis Williams, police chief David Hewitt and street superintendent Paul Bovard. A total of 800 people were on hand to take part in numerous meetings including panels on a variety of issues.

“It was really, really helpful in building a network of support. We got a lot of great information,” reported Bascom. “It made me realize how many lobbyists there are at the statehouse, It showed how much state policy dictates local government.”

It was very informative getting to hear from other mayors on what has worked in their first year. It gave him time to meet with mayors from Dearborn and Ripley county. He talked with Greendale Mayor Alan Weiss about drugs in local communities and how to tackle the problem. He talked with LAwrenceburg Mayor Kelly Mollaun about common concerns including dealing with the casino.

“My first month has gone very, very well,” he noted. “It’s been like being with your feet spread on the side of a treadmill. Once you put your feet on you have to run as fast as you can to keep pace or you’re going to get hurt. Most of the work has been learning where everything is and the different roles of the boards.

The first big meeting will be the riverboat sharing meeting on February 18 where tough choices will have to be made.

“Then we’ll work on identifying and keep addressing the concerns of our residents,” said Bascom, who is looking forward to looking into the comprehensive plan.

“We (city officials) have tightened the belt but there has been some wear and tear that will need to be addressed,” he added.

Former councilman Gary Kinnett and the redevelopment commission have been working with the Blight Elimination Program and have some buildings torn down. The next phase will be to contract somebody to determine how to develop a design to attract new people and interests.