Charlestown City Council Meeting 01/22/2018

The following is a summary of the City Council meeting from January 22, 2018. This is the first council meeting of the 2018 year:

I. Call to Order – Pledge of Allegiance led by Tony Jackson

II. Invocation – led by L.C. McCauley of the Charlestown Church of God

III. Determination of a Quorum and Roll Call – All members of the council present.

IV. Approval of Agenda – There was no motion called to approve the agenda at this meeting.

V.-VII. Approval of Minutes from December 4, 2017 Meeting, Claims and the Payroll Allowance Docket from 12/31/2017 to 01/22/2018 were encapsulated into one motion.

  • Motion Made by Brian Hester
  • Motion Seconded by Ted Little
  • No discussion on all three issues
  • All three issues passed unanimously

VIII – Public Comment – none scheduled

IX. Ordinances and Resolutions –

  • Ordinance 2018-OR-1 Petition to Vacate Public Way – This was the second and final reading of this ordinance carried over from the last council meeting.
    • Motion to approve made by Eric Vaughn
    • Seconded by Mike Vaughn
    • During discussion Mayor Hall clarified that the city is not required to provide a survey of the property being vacated as it is the owner’s responsibility to mark boundaries.
    • Motion received unanimous approval.
  • Ordinance 2018-OR-5 Ordinance Amending and Clarifying the Unsafe Structures Ordinance of the City of Charlestown (Ordinance 2007-OR-01).
  • Ordinance 2018-OR-6 Ordinance Amending and Clarifying the Property Maintenance Code for the City of Charlestown, Indiana (Ordinance 2008-OR-01)
    • City Attorney Michael Gillenwater spoke on these combined ordinances. He noted that in 2007 the Common Council adopted the Unsafe Structure Ordinance (2007-OR-1) as a means of adopting Indiana’s Unsafe Building Law for the City. This is a general ordinance that allows agents of the city to identify unsafe, dangerous, and nuisance properties and structures in town. The ordinance granted the city the right to issue fines and even to condemn properties when situations determined that that to be the best course of action. This ordinance did not include specific and clear language to say what classifies as unsafe and unhealthy. In 2008 the City adopted the Property Maintenance Code (2008-OR-01) to provide very specific descriptions for maintaining all properties in town. This ordinance applies to residential and non-residential properties as well as owner occupied and rental properties. The Ordinance gives land and property owners specific rules for compliance. Remedies to enforce the code include fines, liens on the property, or demolition where necessary. The revisions to these ordinances proposed at this meeting clarify the language of the codes. In response to the recent litigation between residents of Pleasant Ridge and the City, the revised languages clarifies and removes ambiguity on the enforcement of these ordinances. No technical requirements are changed in this revision. The revised language clarifies that the two ordinances can overlap but work independently of one another. The revisions remove outdated information such as references to Charlestown City Court, which is no longer in existence. The ordinances clarify the penalties associated with non-compliance and grant the city the right to issue fines immediately with no grace period allowed for an owner to come into compliance. The revisions also clarify the process the City must use to notify owners of non-compliance and the appeal process. It was noted that the Property Maintenance Code takes precedence over the Unsafe Building Ordinance.
    • These ordinances will require public hearing which will be published in the News and Tribune.
    • Motion to approve first reading of 2018-OR-5 made by Ted Little, seconded by Eric Vaughn, no discussion followed. Vote in favor from Ted Little, Brian Hester, Mike Vaughn, and Eric Vaughn. Vote against by Tina Barnes.
    • Motion to approve first reading of 2018-OR-6 made by Eric Vaughn, seconded by Mike Vaughn, and no discussion followed. Vote in favor from Ted Little, Brian Hester, Mike Vaughn, and Eric Vaughn. Vote against by Tina Barnes.

X. Mayor entertained motion to adjourn. Motion made by Eric Vaughn and seconded by Ted Little. All approved.

An audio link to the full meeting can be found here (Duration 16:30): 

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Charlestown City Council Meeting 01/02/2018

Following are notes from the Charlestown City Council Meeting from Tuesday, January 2, 2018:

Charlestown City Council Meeting – January 2, 2018 – 6:30 PM

  1. Call to Order/Pledge of Allegiance: led by Charlestown High School Cross Country Coach Jerry Doyle – Recently named by the News and Tribune as Coach of the Year
  2. Invocation: led by David Flucke of the Otisco Community Church
  3. Determination of a Quorum and Roll Call:
    • Eric Vaughn – Present
    • Ted Little – Present
    • Brian Hester – Present
    • Tina Barnes – Present
    • Mike Vaughn – Absent
  4. Approval of Agenda
    • Motion made by Eric Vaughn
    • Seconded by Ted Little
    • No Discussion
    • Approved unanimously
  5. Approval of Minutes from meeting on 12/04/2017
    • Motion made by Ted Little
    • Seconded by Brian Hester
    • No Discussion
    • Approved unanimously
  6.  Claims
    • Motion made by Eric Vaughn
    • Seconded by Brian Hester
    • No Discussion
    • Approved unanimously
  7. Payroll allowance docket: 12/03/2017 – 12/30/2017
    • Motion made by Ted Little
    • Seconded by Brian Hester
    • No Discussion
    • Approved unanimously
  8. Public comment – none
  9. Ordinances and Resolutions
    • Ordinance 2017-OR-16 – Elected officials salary (No changes from last year)
      • First Reading
        • Motion made by Eric Vaughn
        • Seconded by Brian Hester
        • No Discussion
        • Approved Unanimously
      • Second Reading (Final)
        • Motion made by Brian Hester
        • Seconded by Eric Vaughn
        • No Discussion
        • Approved unanimously
      • NOTE: At approximately 29:50 in the meeting Mayor Hall noticed that he had not called for a suspension of the rules to allow for the second and final reading so the council corrected the procedural error.
        • Motion to suspend rules made by Eric Vaughn
        • Motion seconded by Brian Hester
        • No Discussion
        • Approved Unanimously
      • Actual Second and Final reading
        • Motion made by Ted Little
        • Seconded by Brian Hester
        • No Discussion
        • Approved unanimously
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      Highlighted strip shows area in question.

      Ordinance 2018-OR-1 – Petition to Vacate Public Way

      • Attorney Rachele L. Cummins (209 E. Chestnut Street Jeffersonville) appeared on behalf of Martha Dollar and Shirley Hooker to request that the public road access that would have extended Reynolds Street off of High Street be vacated. The City has not maintained the 200×50 ft lane in years. Should the City vacate the property the land would be split and evenly divided between all property owners with adjoining property. The other land owners affected by this are Robert and Kathy Stepp.
      • Robert and Kathy Stepp (100 High Street) appeared and objected to the motion. Concerns over the division of the property were noted. Following a discussion between Council members, Mr. and Ms. Stepp, and Attorney Rachele Cummins on behalf of Ms. Dolalr and Ms. Hooker, the council voted on the first reading of this ordinance.
      • Motion to vacate made by Eric Vaughn
      • Seconded by Ted Little
      • No Discussion
      • In favor: Tina Barnes, Ted Little, Eric Vaughn
      • Opposed: Brian Hester
      • Second and final reading will occur at the next Council meeting
    • Ordinance 2018-OR-2 – Charlestown Police Department K9 Funding
      • CPD asked for a special appropriation to fund the search for and acquisition of a new K9. The current K9 has been diagnosed with hip dysplasia and the department hopes to make a transition to another fully trained and certified dog that will allow them to retire the current K9. Donna Coomer noted that such an appropriation is allowable under Indiana Code.
        • Motion to approve first reading made by Brian Hester
        • Motion seconded by Eric Vaughn
        • No Discussion
        • Approved Unanimously
      • Motion introduced to suspend rules and call for final reading made by Mayor Hall
        • Motion made by Eric Vaughn
        • Motion seconded by Ted Little
        • No Discussion
        • Approved unanimously
      • Motion introduced to perform final reading
        • Motion made by Eric Vaughn
        • Motion seconded by Brian Hester
        • No Discussion
        • Approved unanimously
  10. New Business: Election of Council President
    • Mayor Hall called for nominations for Council President. Eric Vaughn nominated Brian Hester and Brian Hester nominated Eric Vaughn. Brian Hester withdrew from consideration. Vote on Eric Vaughn called.
    • Brian Hester made motion to elect Eric Vaughn president
    • motion seconded made by Ted Little
    • No Discussion
    • Approved unanimously
  11.  Adjournment
    • Motion made by Eric Vaughn
    • Seconded by Ted Little
    • Approved unanimously

Full audio of the meeting can be heard here: 

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