Several minutes files for the County Council, County Commissioners, County Plan Commission, and County BZA have been posted--feel free to check those out using the "Meeting Minutes" link.

 

On January 12th, the Owen County Council conducted its first meeting of the year.  It is an honor and pleasure to continue representing District Two as your Council member. Enclosed is information you may find helpful when you have questions or need assistance throughout the coming year.  Being accessible is a responsibility as a public official that I take very seriously.

 


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

 

Anton Karl Neff
Owen County Councilman, District 2
306 North Park Avenue
Spencer, Indiana  47460

 

(812) 829-4254 Home
(812) 325-4029 Cell
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
http://www.antonkarlneff.com

 


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

 

Irma Jean Franklin, At-Large member
Mark Snapp, At-Large member
Mike Wood, At-Large member (President)
Nick Robertson, District 1 member
Anton Karl Neff, District 2 member
Kristin Szczerbik, District 3 member
Patty Steward, District 4 member (Vice-President)

 


WHAT IS THE COUNTY COUNCIL?

 

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

 


WHEN DOES THE COUNTY COUNCIL HOLD PUBLIC MEETINGS?

 

Regular meetings and budget hearings are open to the public.

 

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 morning prior to the meeting.  All agenda inquires can be directed to the Auditor at 829-5000.

 

Annual budget hearings are also held at the Courthouse and usually are conducted late August/early September.

 

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 budgets, compensation, funds, taxes, etc., as noted above.

 

If you have a question that is outside the realm of County Council's duties, I can still help point you in the right direction for assistance.  Owen County government also has an official website now and you may visit it at:

 

http://www.owencounty.in.gov/html/

 

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.  Before the holidays, an on-line local government survey became available.  I was very pleased with the responses received thus far.  If you have not had a chance to participate, please do so by visiting the following link:

 

http://www.antonkarlneff.com/surv1

 

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.


 

 

There are a lot of challenges facing local government and a lot of issues specific to Owen County that affect everyone.  Many folks do not know of a lot of these issues and thus have not had a chance to come up with an opinion on them.

 

A survey is now available for you to take which highlights some of the more common issues facing county government.  This gives you a chance to know what some of those issues are and for you to offer your opinion or ask questions about them.  This is my first attempt at offering a survey to constituents, so they will improve over time as future surveys are offered.  I attempted to highlight some of the more common issues that come up for discussion, however the survey also give you an opportunity to ask a question about any issue not addressed in the survey.  Please take the survey and offer your opinions and think about any other questions you may want me to address.

 

You may start the survey by clicking here:    Owen County Government Survey

 

Thank you in advance for taking the time to complete the survey.  Your comments are welcome!

 

As our District Two County Council member, I have information to share with you concerning the County's 2009 Budget Hearings. On August 20th, 21st, and possibly the 22nd, the Owen County Council will be conducting annual budget hearings at the Courthouse.

 

Here is a schedule for the first two days as the third day may not be used:

2009 County Budget Hearings Schedule - Days 1 & 2

Budget hearings are open to the public and are designed to provide an opportunity for you to voice concerns or questions you may have regarding county budgets. As your County Council member representing District Two, I invite you to be a part of the process. If you have any questions, or would like to learn more about the process, please ask.

 

Our County Auditor had provided budget data to me and I created an electronic copy in PDF format of the budget requests for you. Here is a link to view all of the requests:

2009 County Budget Requests

Many decisions for 2009 are going to be made at these hearings based on these requests and matching them with the short-term and long-term challenges we have to address. In addition, we have to review current budget appropriations and consider the state's financial projections/limitations for our county.  For 2009, in addition to addressing our on-going challenges, I hope to address issues such as the rising cost of gasoline and energy, vehicle rotations for the Sheriff and EMS Departments, courthouse security, wages/salaries structure, and the Local Option Income Tax.

 

Now that you have this information available to view, there are a couple of comments I want to make which may help put the process into perspective:

BUDGET REQUESTS

The 2009 budget requests are simply that--REQUESTS. By law, we have to advertise budget amounts in advance of the hearings. The advertised amounts are always much much higher than what winds up being approved because it gives us maximum flexibility in addressing the demand for our services and making adjustments. So, please do not be alarmed at things that may seem very high in dollar amount. As a Council member, my duty is to review each line item carefully, establish/justify needs, and match that up with priorities on any amounts before final approval.  In addition, we have to pass and operate under a balanced budget structure, so we can only pass an operating budget that we can pay for.

 

GOVERNMENT FUNDING

All county government services are funded from a variety of different revenue sources.

There is always a lot of discussion concerning property taxes. Depending on whether you live in the Town of Spencer or out in Washington Township, county government services pull between 14.9% and 18.3% of each property tax dollar you pay. This is a small portion of the overall amount of property tax. Here is a breakdown for 2008:

District Two Property Tax Breakdown per Dollar (2008-Current Year)

Some departments and budgets are not funded by property tax.  In addition to property tax, other county revenue sources include, but are not limited to, income tax, motor vehicle taxes, service fees, 911 surcharges, interest, and state-distributed money.

Thank you for your time today. Additional information about the County Council, myself, and local government can be found on this website. Please feel free to contact me with your questions/concerns.

As you have already noticed, I have rolled out a new design of the County Council District Two website thanks to the expertise and hard work of webmaster, Brian Hughes.  All of the same features and resources are available with a refined look and greater browsing ease.  Please browse the site and send me a message with your feedback

Paid for by Anton Karl Neff personally