Common Council Meeting 09/12/2018 – Special Meeting

The Charlestown Common Council scheduled a special meeting for Wednesday, September 12, 2018 at 5:30 PM. Following is a summary and full audio (58:15) of this meeting:

  1. Call to Order/Pledge of Allegiance – led by Council Member Mike Vaughn
  2. Mayor Hall announced that the only item on the agenda is a discussion of the Unsafe Building Law and that this matter could have been addressed at the regularly scheduled meeting on Monday but that meeting has been cancelled due to scheduling conflicts.
  3. Determination of a Quorum and Roll Call – Members present were Ted Little, Brian Hester, Mike Vaughn, Tina Barnes, and J.T. Cox. Also in attendance were Clerk Treasurer Donna Coomer, Mayor Bob Hall, and City Attorney Michael Gillenwater
  4. Approval of Agenda – Not done
  5. Public Comment – None allowed
  6. New Business – Unsafe Building Law (UBL)  – A lawyer, Mark Crandley, from Barnes and Thornburg, appeared with City Attorney Michael Gillenwater to explain the Indiana Appeals Court decision regarding the preliminary injunction originally issued by Special Judge Jason Mount regarding the Pleasant Ridge Neighborhood.*
    • The attorneys provided a summary of the events that led to the initial preliminary injunction.
    • Michael Gillenwater noted that the city originally adopted the Unsafe Building Law in 2001 during Mayor Hall’s first term and then added the Property Maintenance Code in 2007. He said that the Property Maintenance Code is used more frequently than the Unsafe Building Law to address structures in need of attention. The Property Maintenance Code is more specific than the Unsafe Building Law.
    • Both attorneys said that the Judges in the Appellate decision given on Monday told the City that they cannot have both the Unsafe Building Law and the Property Maintenance Code.
    • City Attorney Michael Gillenwater recommended that the council vote to rescind the ordinance/s that adopted the Unsafe Building Law.
      • Council Member Ted Little made the motion to rescind the Unsafe Building Law ordinance
      • Council Member J.T. Cox seconded the motion
      • During discussion several council members asked questions for clarification. Brian Hester asked if the state encourages cities in a specific direction. Mr. Crandley said that the state allows the city to decide which it will use. Tina Barnes asked if they could have copies of both the Unsafe Building Law and the Property Maintenance Code for comparison. Mr. Gillenwater said that he can get them copies before the next meeting. Tina Barnes asked how many other ordinances are affected by the adoption of the Unsafe Building Law. Mr. Gillenwater said that it will not matter if they rescind the ordinance.*
      • Mayor Hall called for a vote to opt out of the Unsafe Building Law by rescinding the ordinances that adopted it. Motion passed unanimously. It will appear on the October schedule for more consideration.
  7. Following the discussion about the Unsafe Building Law Mayor Hall made a statement offering his opinion about the events involving the redevelopment of Pleasant Ridge that have occurred over the last four years. The entirety of this message comprises the final 22 minutes of the audio recording.* Following the Mayor’s statement Council Member J.T. Cox praised Mayor Hall for his integrity.
  8. Motion to adjourn
    • Motion made by J.T. Cox
    • Seconded by (not noted)
    • Passed unanimously

*Due to the lengthy duration of this meeting, this summary is abbreviated to focus on the main points. Please listen to the audio below for the full content.

Full audio (58:15)  available here: 


Author: Treva Hodges

Resident of Charlestown, Indiana. Advocate.

4 thoughts on “Common Council Meeting 09/12/2018 – Special Meeting”

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