The Starke County Council members meet tonight to discuss Kankakee River flood prevention, a county mental health appropriation, and a credit card request from Prosecutor Leslie Baker.Continue reading
The lawsuit filed by Tom DeCola against the Starke County Council continues to move through the legal system.Continue reading
The new location of Starke County’s recycling facility finds mixed reviews among residents.Continue reading
The Starke County Council members and the Starke County Commissioners are planning to meet with office holders and department heads for a budget planning workshop in June before full negotiations start this fall.Continue reading
Starke County recently received a portion of reimbursement funds from last year’s flooding event.Continue reading
The Starke County Council members will meet tonight where they will consider an appropriation for FEMA reimbursement from last year’s flooding event. Surveyor Bill Crase will update the board on the amount the county is expected to receive.Continue reading
Tom DeCola filed papers in the Starke County Clerk’s Office on April 2 formally suing the Starke County Council.Continue reading
The Starke County Commissioners approved a request by Assessor Michelle Snowdon for new computers, but where the funding will come from will be up to the county council members.Continue reading
The Starke County Council members considered an appropriation into the Fostering a Recovery Mindset (F.A.R.M.) fund.Continue reading
Members of the Starke County Firefighters Association met this week to review radio communications between departments.Continue reading
The Starke County Council members considered an additional appropriation request made by the Starke County Commissioners for funds to cover some bills for radio communications and building maintenance.Continue reading
The Starke County Council members took action Monday night to reaffirm the expulsion of Tom DeCola who formerly held the District 4 seat on the Starke County CouncilContinue reading
The Starke County Council members will discuss a notice of claim submitted by former Starke County Councilman Tom DeCola regarding his reasons to be reinstated to the council. DeCola claims that he was not given the full 30 days to respond to allegations of disorderly conduct and public intoxication during a “social event hosted by the Indiana Association of Counties” in Indianapolis. DeCola also claims the Starke County Council wrongfully expelled him for allegations that were outside his term. He took office on Jan. 1, 2019 and the allegations occurred on Dec. 12, 2018. He said he wasn’t acting under any type of official duty and has not been criminally charged. He also claims the witnesses who gave statements were unreliable.Continue reading
The Starke County Park Board welcomed two new members Tuesday. Attorney Richard Ballard was appointed to the board by Starke Circuit Court Judge Kim Hall, following the resignation of Roger Chaffins. Starke County Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler had been appointed by the county council back in January, replacing Debbie Mix. Ballard and Ritzler both took their seats on the park board for the first time Tuesday, during the board’s first official meeting since last September.Continue reading
The Starke County Park Board will meet tonight for the first time in more than six months. All of the meetings since September had been canceled. Board members had planned to resume meeting last month, but severe weather and road conditions kept them from meeting.Continue reading
The Starke County Council members recently received a Notice of Claim from Tom DeCola who was expelled from his seat on the Starke County Council on Feb. 18.
DeCola claims that he was not given the full 30 days to respond to allegations of disorderly conduct and public intoxication during a “social event hosted by the Indiana Association of Counties” in Indianapolis. He stated that the deadline was technically Feb. 21 and he was asked to provide an explanation during the council’s meeting on Feb. 18. During that meeting DeCola had this comment, “After reviewing the paperwork that was handed to me, I read it and decided that it was my in persona civil cause of action and that it wasn’t an authoritative official cause of action. So, I decided it’s not even worthy to respond to it.”
DeCola also claims the Starke County Council wrongfully expelled him for allegations that were outside his term. He took office on Jan. 1, 2019 and the allegations occurred on Dec. 12, 2018. He said he wasn’t acting under any type of official duty and has not been criminally charged. He also claims the witnesses who gave statements were unreliable.
DeCola’s oath of office was filed on Dec. 7. Witnesses at the conference in Indianapolis stated he introduced himself as a Starke County Councilman.
Starke County Attorney Marty Lucas said the claim is currently under review.
In a press release, Starke County Council President Dave Pearman said the fiscal body may, by state statute, “(1) expel any member for violation of an official duty; (2) declare the seat of any member vacant if the member is unable or fails to perform the duties of the member’s office; and (3) adopt its own rules to govern proceedings under this section, but a two-thirds ( 2/3 ) vote is required to expel a member or vacate a member’s seat.”
Pearman stated that DeCola’s Notice of Claim will be discussed during the council’s next meeting on Monday, March 18 at 5:30 p.m. CT in the meeting room in the Starke County Annex Building No. 1 at 53 E. Mound Street in Knox.
Starke County Sheriff Bill Dulin asked the county council members last week to create new line items in the sheriff’s budget to ensure money is being deposited into separate accounts for different aspects at the sheriff’s department.Continue reading
The Starke County Fire Association members are currently reviewing the First Responder program operations.Continue reading
The Starke County Council members approved Rainy Day Funds to clear up a fund in the red and for equipment for a transfer unit at Starke Hospital.Continue reading
The Starke County Council members approved the appropriation of CEDIT funds for highway infrastructure improvements.Continue reading