By Jack Molitor
The Herald Bulletin
---- — ANDERSON — The Madison County Council held its June meeting Tuesday evening and closed with a disagreement about whether department heads can hire and fire part-time employees.
Council president John Bostic, a Democrat, put forth a motion that government department leaders must first propose new hires and terminations to the county council. The motion was eventually tabled after it was met with opposition, most notably from Republicans David McCartney and Rick Gardner.
The two members argued that state law doesn't require department heads to come to the county council for approval. County Council attorney Tom Beeman suggested tabling the motion until he could study it further, but he said he's unsure of what state law dictates.
During a contentious argument between Bostic and the two Republicans, it became clear the disagreement was over a recent incident at the government center, but after the meeting Bostic said he wouldn't elaborate on the issue.
Amendment to Wheel Tax
The county council also passed a motion to slightly amend the recently reinstated Wheel Tax. The only change was an alteration to one sentence at the beginning of the ordinance which reads, "... trucks of less than 11,000 pounds will not be subject to the tax." The new sentence will read, "... trucks declared at a weight that does not exceed 11,000 pounds ..."
The change was called a clarifying amendment, but still drew "no" votes from McCartney and Gardner. The other five members voted in favor of the amendment.
The tax, which will take effect Jan. 1, is expected to provide the city and county with additional revenue for road paving and maintenance projects, something the council majority has said is sorely needed.
Public library to repair roof
The council agreed to appropriate $100,000 to the North Madison County Public Library in Elwood so the facility can replace loose shingles on the building's roof.
A spokeswoman from the library said the damage is noticeable from a distance and has likely been caused by insufficient attic ventilation, which has caused the sealant on the shingles to dissolve. The library has received a verbal estimate of between $75,000 and $95,000 for the repair work.
Council members expressed concern that the roofing, which was performed by Mays Roofing of Kokomo in 1996, might still be under some kind of warranty. Still, they unanimously passed the appropriation to repair the building.
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