Indianapolis, Indiana — The Association of Indiana Counties (AIC) announced last week that Owen County Council Member Anton Karl Neff received the 2015 ‘Outstanding County Council Member’ award. This award recognizes his contributions made to county government throughout his years of public service.

 

The AIC presented the award during its annual conference, the state’s largest gathering of county officials. The four-day conference included an array of workshops and breakout sessions designed specifically for county officeholders. Officials met in LaPorte County along with representatives from public agencies and private entities. Conference topics addressed a variety of issues concerning local governments, including: public integrity and government ethics, the future of road funding, the impact of new public construction wage law, internal control systems, and much more. The AIC is a nonprofit organization established in 1957 for the betterment of county government. The various functions of the AIC include lobbying the Indiana General Assembly on behalf of counties, serving as liaison among counties, state and federal agencies as well as providing technical assistance and training to county officials and employees.

 

“This is a huge honor for me. I feel that this is an even greater honor for all of Owen County. The spotlight is truly on us--something positive for Owen County, both within and beyond our boundaries. That makes me proud.” Neff commented.

 

Neff is a 13-year member of the council, recently re-elected to serve a fourth term representing District Two. District Two includes all of Washington Township and the Town of Spencer. Some of the most notable Owen County Government projects of which he has had a major role include: The research, design, and development of a new comprehensive compensation structure for all county government employees; Creating and maintaining social media and Internet resources for sharing local government information; Development of a master road inventory and scoring matrix for the Highway Department to objectively prioritize projects and estimate costs; Assisting the Sheriff’s Department in a budget reorganization which added two additional deputy officers; The partnership with the Town of Spencer to have a unified county-town building and planning department; Twelve years of service as the Council’s appointment to the Owen County Plan Commission, three as President; Encouraging public input, education, and pursuit of additional highway department resources concerning adjustments to the Local Option Highway User Tax (LOHUT); The research, development, and support of Owen County’s Outdoor Emergency Warning System; and, The pursuit of a vehicle rotation for the Owen County Emergency Medical Service and Sheriff’s Department, which eliminated multiple lease-financing agreements and allowed the county to consolidate resources in order to purchase vehicles in full to avoid finance costs.

 

He said, “I have enjoyed working on these projects. Many of them took team work--cooperation among different officials and other entities--to be successful. I am thankful for my fellow elected officials, our staff, and partnering agencies for their hard work and service.”

 

Neff currently serves on the Owen County Council Wages & Salaries Committee, County Commissioners Basement & Storage Committee, and Community Corrections Advisory Board. He is also Council liaison to Highway Department, Circuit Court, Commissioner Court, Drug Court, Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Program, Public Defender Office, Community Corrections, and Probation.

 

He continued, “Although committee and project work keeps me tuned to many departments, nothing compares to the opportunities I have had to be side-by-side with many of our county employees. Whether it is shadowing in an office, riding with our Highway Department during snow removal, or observing with our Sheriff’s Department and Emergency Medical Service, those are all valuable learning experiences. It helps me understand their daily operations and helps me better connect our services with the public.”

 

Neff has made local government contributions beyond Owen County by being active with the Association of Indiana Counties. He has served on their Scholarship Committee and has moderated workshops at their annual conferences. He is currently serving a second annual term on their Legislative Committee. He joins fifteen other county officials on the committee from a variety of positions with a variety of backgrounds. The committee is charged with preparing and presenting the association's legislative platform to the board of directors each fall at their annual conference. Additionally, the committee considers all legislation affecting county government and makes recommendations for action to the board. Legislative issues concern subjects like E 9-1-1 funding, criminal justice reform, the budget review process, economic development, road funding, federal and state mandates, taxes, and assessments. Members will work closely with AIC staff and Indiana State Legislators during the general assembly session.

 

He added, “Many aspects of county government are greatly impacted by what our state legislature does. Work outside of our borders helps give Owen County a ‘seat at the table’ when it comes to providing first-hand examples to our legislators so that they can thoroughly understand how current, proposed, and in-process legislation impacts us. We benefit because I am able to share the latest information concerning these issues first-hand with fellow officials here.”

 

Neff is also currently pursing certification in the AIC’s ‘Institute for Excellence in County Government’, a voluntary continuing education program concerning local government. “Whether the subject is finances, ethics, legislative issues, or human resources, this greatly broadens my knowledge.” he added.

 

With respect to constituent service, Neff commented, “One of the things I enjoy is interaction with the public. I love questions and equally love helping people get answers. Sometimes the questions may not directly pertain to my role as a council member but, I am happy to help find an appropriate contact or resource for folks. I can be reached direct at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 812-829-4254. My website is www.antonkarlneff.com and the official Facebook Page for sharing local government information is www.facebook.com/OwenCountyCouncilmanAntonKarlNeff.”

 

“Receiving the honor of being named the AIC’s 2015 ‘Outstanding County Council Member’ is the biggest award I have received in my lifetime. I am truly humbled and very appreciative of this. My work in public service is something I simply enjoy doing.” Neff said.

 

 

 

Hello!  I'm Anton Neff and I am the District Two member of the Owen County Council.  Last night (January 12th), the Owen County Council conducted its first meeting of 2015.  Enclosed is information you may find helpful when you have questions about Owen County government or need assistance throughout the coming year.


WHAT IS THE OWEN COUNTY COUNCIL?

 

It is a seven member board consisting of four members elected from districts and three elected county wide.  The Council reviews and sets county operating budgets, sets certain tax rates, establishes compensation for county employees, appropriates public funds, and has the ability to secure financing for county government projects.  The Council also makes appointments to several local boards and committees.


WHO IS, AND HOW DO I REACH MY DISTRICT'S COUNCIL MEMBER?

 

Anton Karl Neff
Owen County Councilman, District 2
306 N Park Ave
Spencer, IN  47460

(812) 829-4254 Home
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


IS THERE A WEBSITE FOR DISTRICT TWO AND OWEN COUNTY GOVERNMENT?

 

Yes--there are official websites for both.

 

District Two:  http://www.antonkarlneff.com

 

On this website, you will find:

-A schedule of upcoming meetings
-Minutes to meetings for the County Council, County Commissioners, County Plan Commission & Board of Zoning Appeals, and the Owen Valley Fire Territory
-County office telephone numbers
-Links to Owen County businesses, churches, organizations, local utility companies, media, recreational facilities, and other governmental entities.
-Occasional surveys and information on certain issues
-Taxpayer resources and tax analysis

 

Owen County Government:  http://www.owencounty.in.gov/

 

On this website, you will find:

-County Departments' information
-Meeting minutes files
-Notices & alerts
-Forms and publications
-County staff contact information


IS THERE A DISTRICT TWO FACEBOOK PAGE?

 

Yes--please visit that page and "Like" it to stay connected with local information:

 

http://www.facebook.com/OwenCountyCouncilmanAntonKarlNeff


WHO ARE ALL OF THE MEMBERS OF THE OWEN COUNTY COUNCIL?

 

Jennifer Abrell, At-Large member
Irma Jean Franklin, At-Large member (Vice President)
Andy Wood, At-Large member
Nick Robertson, District 1 member
Anton Karl Neff, District 2 member
Chuck Hess, District 3 member
Patty Steward, District 4 member (President)


WHEN DOES THE COUNTY COUNCIL HOLD PUBLIC MEETINGS?

 

Regular meetings and budget hearings are open to the public and you are invited!

 

Regular monthly meetings are held at the Owen County Courthouse on the 2nd floor on the second Monday of each month at 7:00 PM.  The deadline to be a part of the meeting agenda regarding an issue relating to the County Council is the Monday prior to the meeting, at Noon.  Regular monthly work sessions (a new feature for this year) are scheduled for the fourth Monday of each month at 7:00PM and will be used as needed.  All agenda inquires can be directed to the Auditor at 829-5000.

 

Annual budget hearings are also held at the Courthouse and are usually conducted in early September.

 

Special meetings, additional work sessions, executive sessions, and committee meetings can also occur as needed and may be advertised on a per case basis in the Spencer Evening World.


WHAT ISSUES MAY I CONTACT MY COUNCIL MEMBER ABOUT?

 

Any issue relating to finances, budgets, compensation, funds, taxes, etc., as noted above.  If you have a question that is outside the realm of the County Council's duties, I can still help point you in the right direction for assistance.  Communication is a two-way street and I often contact folks in the District to ask for their opinions and insight on issues as well.


WHAT IS YOUR POLICY ON CONFIDENTIALITY?

 

I encourage open communication and in order to do so, I simply ask that people identify themselves.  I do not respond to unsigned letters, anonymous calls, etc.  If a person specifically requests that I keep their name confidential when I work to address an issue, I will honor that.


Thank you very much for your time.  I look forward to working with you!

 

 

Your thoughts and opinion are needed on an important subject:  Owen County Roads

 

The Owen County Commissioners are responsible for the management, operations, equipment, staffing, and policies of the Owen County Highway Department; however, the Owen County Council handles the financing and budgeting of the department.  The council will soon conduct an important Public Hearing concerning our county's Local Option Highway User Tax (LOHUT), commonly referred to as the "Wheel Tax".  Everyone is invited to attend, to learn more about how local road funding works, some of the challenges we face concerning road maintenance and repair, and exchange ideas as to how to get the most out of the funding that is available to us and what additional funding can be secured.  Additional detail on road funding is provided toward the end of this e-mail.  Here are the details of the Public Hearing:

 

Owen County Local Option Highway User Tax Public Hearing
Monday, June 2nd, 2014, 7:00pm
Owen County Courthouse, 2nd Floor Meeting Room


Between now and the time of the hearing, I would like to hear from you on the following survey questions.  I had conducted a similar survey late 2012, but updated information would be helpful in preparing for the hearing.  Please forward your survey response to my e-mail address:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  As touched on above, some background information on current road/highway funding sources is further below if you wish to read that prior to answering the survey questions.

 

1a)   Do you reside on a County Road, Town Street, State Highway, or Private Road?

 

1b)   If you reside on a County Road, what is the name of the road?

 

1c)   If you reside on a County Road, what roads (if any) do you travel regularly to get to/from your home, or to visit friends and family?

 

1d)   If you reside on a Town Street, State Highway, or Private Road, what are 2 or 3 County Roads that you travel most often?

 

2)   How would you describe the type of surface and condition of each of the roads you mentioned above?

 

3)   How many registered vehicles (including motorcycles) do you own?  How many registered trailers do you own?  How many registered vehicles >11,000 pounds in weight do you own?

 

4a)   Would you be in favor or not in favor of an increase in Owen County’s LOHUT amounts for additional road material funding for resurfacing work, and why?

 

4b)   If you are in favor of increasing Owen County's LOHUT, should it be raised to the maximum allowable, or to an amount somewhere in between?  (*See below for current rates and maximums)

 

4c)   If you are not in favor of increasing Owen County's LOHUT, what actions or changes do you recommend be taken in order to fund road materials for resurfacing work?

 

5)   What questions do you have for me concerning roads, the Owen County Highway Department, budgets, etc.?


If you have not yet reported any trouble spots on County Roads you have traveled to the Owen County Highway Department, please contact them at 812-829-3335.  Please give them the date/time, road name, and approximate address of each trouble spot.

 

If your response from the department is not satisfactory, feel free to contact any of our County Commissioners:

 

Commissioner Donnie Minnick, District 1
Harrison, Jackson, Jennings, Montgomery, Taylor, Wayne Townships
812-879-4926
812-828-1343

 

Commissioner Tony Voelker, District 2
Clay, Franklin, Washington Townships
812-325-0570

 

Commissioner Marc Ruble, District 3
Jefferson, Lafayette, Marion, Morgan Townships
812-828-0544


HOW ROAD FUNDING WORKS

 

Local units of government like Owen County receive the bulk of their money for roads from the State of Indiana.  Money from Fuel Taxes when you pay at the pump and Motor Vehicle Excise Taxes when you pay for your registration/plates is collected by the state.  The State Legislature determines what types of vehicles' excise taxes go to certain state funds, any direct funding of state agencies from those funds, and the types and structure of the distribution formulas used to determine how much we get here locally.  Road mileage and population are taken into account.  Both the Towns of Spencer and Gosport receive part of this revenue.  For the county, this revenue is deposited into, and funds our General Highway Fund.

 

A Local Option Highway User Tax (LOHUT) is adoptable per decision of each individual county.  Owen County had adopted this in 1997.  It actually refers to both the "County Motor Vehicle Excise Sur Tax" IC 3-6.5-4 and the "County Wheel Tax" IC 3-6.5-5, depending on the type of vehicle registration one has, and it is collected by the state when you pay for of your registration/plates.  There are maximum limits to this tax, per those sections of Indiana Code.  For us, the current surtax is $12.50/year ($25/year is the state limit) for each auto, truck <11,000 pounds, and motorcycle registered in our county.  The current wheel tax is $20/year ($40/year is the state limit) for a variety of large trucks, commercial vehicles, buses, semis, etc. registered in our county.  There is one exception where only $5/year ($40/year is the maximum) is assessed for vehicle trailers.  In order for new rates and additional revenue to take effect by January 1, 2015, the County Council would have to adopt a revised LOHUT ordinance before July 1, 2014.  Indiana Code also specifically states that this revenue can only be spent on road materials, i.e. stone, chip & seal, asphalt, and other aggregate.  This money cannot be used to pay for employees, raises, equipment, trucks, insurance, utilities, gasoline, etc.  There is a small population factor taken into account so that both the Towns of Spencer and Gosport receive a part of this revenue.  For the county, the revenue is deposited into, and funds our Local Road & Street Fund.

 

We currently budget and/or appropriate all of the money both distributed to us by the state and collected through our LOHUT, for our roads.  All 2014 approved budgets are available for viewing in the "Meeting Minutes/Taxpayer Resources" section of the Owen County Council District Two website via the following link:

 

http://www.antonkarlneff.com/meeting-minutes/cat_view/39-taxpayer-resources-a-information


As mentioned, I encourage you to take the time to share your answers to the survey questions above and share your opinion with me by either sending an email reply to:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or, by calling me direct at:  812-829-4254.

 

 

The Auditor's office has released the 2013-payable-2014 property tax rates. An official copy of the rate sheet is available in that office on the second floor of the courthouse. The Auditor's office can be reached at 812-829-5000.  I would like to put a good word in for the hard work and diligence of our local officials in getting all components in place for the approval and release of these rates.  No one likes taxes but, the speedy efforts of our local officials gives taxpayers extra time to prepare well in advance of the due date.  Here is a link to the taxpayer resources section of this website with the rates:

 

2014 Owen County Property Tax Rates

 

In addition to the rate sheet, I have also taken the rate information for our District and created a resource that you may also find valuable. It splits out each property tax dollar you pay by each taxing unit.  You'll be able to know to the nearest 1/1000th of a cent how much of each dollar you pay goes to each taxing unit.  All of this information is also available on this website using the following link to the taxpayer resources section:

 

2014 District Two Property Tax Dollar Analysis & Charts

 

Your total net tax amount due is dependent on any applicable deductions, credits, exepmtions, and tax caps that apply to each property you own.  The Treasurer's office had mailed all tax statements on March 28th and the first installment is due May 12th.  All questions concerning the tax statements can be directed to the Treasurer's office at 812-829-5011.

 

As always, if I can be of assistance to you, feel free to contact me.

 


Hello!  I'm Anton Neff and I am your representative for District Two on the Owen County Council.  Last night, the Owen County Council conducted its first meeting of 2014.  Enclosed is information you may find helpful when you have questions about Owen County government or need assistance throughout the coming year.


WHAT IS THE OWEN COUNTY COUNCIL?

It is a seven member board consisting of four members elected from districts and three elected county wide.  The Council reviews and sets county operating budgets, sets certain tax rates, establishes compensation for county employees, appropriates public funds, and has the ability to secure financing for county government projects.  The Council also makes appointments to several local boards and committees.


WHO IS, AND HOW DO I REACH MY DISTRICT'S COUNCIL MEMBER?

Anton Karl Neff
Owen County Councilman, District 2
306 N Park Ave
Spencer, IN  47460

(812) 829-4254 Home
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">


IS THERE A WEBSITE FOR DISTRICT TWO AND OWEN COUNTY GOVERNMENT?

Yes--there are official websites for both District Two and Owen County government.

District Two:  http://www.antonkarlneff.com

On this website, you will find:

-A schedule of upcoming meetings
-Minutes to meetings for the County Council, County Commissioners, County Plan Commission & Board of Zoning Appeals, Owen Valley Fire Territory, and the Town of Spencer
-County office telephone numbers
-Links to Owen County businesses, churches, organizations, local utility companies, media, recreational facilities, and other governmental entities.
-Occasional surveys and information on certain issues
-Taxpayer resources and tax analysis

Owen County Government:  http://www.owencounty.in.gov/

On this website, you will find:

-County Departments' information
-Meeting minutes files
-Notices & alerts
-Forms and publications
-County staff contact information


IS THERE A DISTRICT TWO FACEBOOK PAGE?

Yes--there is an official facebook page for District 2.  Please visit that page and "Like" it to stay connected with local information:

http://www.facebook.com/OwenCountyCouncilmanAntonKarlNeff


WHO ARE ALL OF THE MEMBERS OF THE OWEN COUNTY COUNCIL?

Jennifer Abrell, At-Large member
Irma Jean Franklin, At-Large member
Angie Lawson, At-Large member (Vice-President)
Nick Robertson, District 1 member
Anton Karl Neff, District 2 member
Chuck Hess, District 3 member
Patty Steward, District 4 member (President)


WHEN DOES THE COUNTY COUNCIL HOLD PUBLIC MEETINGS?

Regular meetings and budget hearings are open to the public and you are invited!

Regular monthly meetings are held at the Owen County Courthouse in the 2nd floor meeting room on the second Monday of each month at 7:00 PM.  The deadline to be a part of the meeting agenda regarding an issue relating to the County Council is the Monday prior to the meeting at Noon.  All agenda inquires can be
directed to the Auditor at 829-5000.

Annual budget hearings are also held at the Courthouse and are usually conducted in late August.

Special meetings, work sessions, and committee meetings can also occur as needed and may be advertised on a per case basis in the Spencer Evening World.


WHAT ISSUES MAY I CONTACT MY COUNCIL MEMBER ABOUT?

Any issue relating to finances, budgets, compensation, funds, taxes, etc., as noted above.

If you have a question that is outside the realm of the County Council's duties, I can still help point you in the right direction for assistance.

Communication is a two-way street and I also often contact folks in the District to ask for their opinions and insight on issues as well.  You can also specifically contact me regarding County Plan Commission issues as I serve as the Council's appointment to that board.


WHAT IS YOUR POLICY ON CONFIDENTIALITY?

I encourage open communication and in order to do so, I simply ask that people identify themselves.  I do not respond to unsigned letters, anonymous calls, etc.  If a person specifically requests that I keep their name confidential when I work to address an issue, I will honor that.


Please let me know if you have an alternate email address you would like me to make note of.  Thank you very much for your time.  I look forward to working with you!
 
#OCINGov  #IndianaCounties
 
 
 
 

Paid for by Anton Karl Neff personally