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December 7, 2019

The Steuben County Republicans gathered for their December meeting with Attorney John Westercamp as their guest speaker. Vice Chair Mary Martin welcomed the group; Ken Shelton gave the opening prayer followed by the Pledge to our Flag led by Dennis Rider.

Following the buffet breakfast, Attorney Westercamp was introduced and addressed the group. He is a 2020 candidate for the Office of Attorney General for the State of Indiana. Currently, he is an Attorney with Bose, McKinney & Evans, LLP in Indianapolis. Westercamp was joined at the meeting by his wife of four weeks. He paid tribute to Pearl Harbor as we were marking the 78th Anniversary of that sad day in American history. He expressed dismay that there are still those in the world who want to attack our country. Westercamp shared experiences he learned from his grandfather who instilled in him the importance of American conservatism and that our country is so worth conserving. He had ancestors who fought to conserve American and his family genealogy shares constitutional responsibility. During his talk, he touched on the current national political climate and how the media provides no positive coverage for the Republican Party. He encouraged Republicans to “keep the faith”. Personally, Westercamp is 100% pro-life, a Christian; hopes to work on the reversal of Roe vs Wade; is fiscally responsibility and wants to work to help businesses succeed. During the Q & A portion of his presentation, he was asked about his beliefs on life beginning at conception to which he affirmed he does. He is also a supporter of the 2nd Amendment. Westercamp can be reached for further comment and information at (317) 850-1609 or at his office, 111 Monument Circle, Suite 2700, Indianapolis.

GOP Chair Rick Michael shared his desire to motivate our younger generation to become engaged in our party activities. Hopes to have some of our high school students to attend the State Convention in June to volunteer and to observe how our party works. The question was asked about involving the Home School Groups in our county and contact information is to be provided to us to engage that group as well.

Mayoral Candidate Joe Hysong and his wife, Libby were thanked for their great effort in the recent election. They ran a very positive and close campaign. Hysong addressed the group and stated that God asked him to run – not to win and he did that. He challenged all of us to watch our community over the next four years. Thank you, Joe and Libby, – you are a Class Act.

Holiday door prize drawings were held compliments of our elected officials. Our next meeting will be on January 4th and the speaker will be announced soon. Happy Holidays to all!!

Adjourned at 9:10am

Karen Shelton, Secretary

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November 2, 2019

Vice Chair Mary Martin called the meeting order followed by the prayer given by Ken Shelton and the Pledge of Allegiance led by State Representative Ben Smaltz. Mary mentioned the upcoming election and how important it is for those who are eligible to vote to do so. Following a buffet breakfast, she introduced the guest speaker for the day, Pete Seat, Vice President-Public Affairs for Bose International. Mr. Seat formerly was Executive Director of Strategic Communications and Talent Development for the Indiana Republican Party. The only child of immigrant parents, he has been very successful in the worlds of politics, media and the arts.

Mr. Seat opened by giving a hearty shout-out to Joe Hysong, candidate for the Angola Mayoral position commenting on Joe’s high-energy and positive attitude in his current campaign. He also thanked Mary and Greg Martin for their work in the party and for their friendship. While he has left the Indiana Republican Party officially, he noted he was pleased to be able to keep this prior commitment to speak in Angola for our breakfast meeting. He stated that Indiana is “on a roll” and that we are the envy of the country. Repeating Governor Holcomb’s slogan: Indiana is a great place to live – work – play & stay! Further, he stated that 89% of the County Commissioner’s in Indiana are Republican and that percentage holds true for county officer holders as well. Seat shared his experiences in being selected as part of the Atlantic Millennium Fellowship Council in 2018 and visiting countries such a Syria and Cuba where their motto is “Socialism or Death”. He stated that Americans should take note of the living conditions and issues in those socialist countries, because that is the direction the Democratic Party is heading. Republicans are focused on making our country better and we should all get behind our President, Congressmen, and other leaders to continue our successes.

Indiana State Representative Ben Smaltz briefly addressed the group stating it is a great time to be an American. The upcoming Legislative Session is looking positive and he is in hopes that our funds will be such as to return some monies to our residents. He encouraged folks to contact any of our State Representatives and Senators whenever they have questions, comments and suggestions.

Deputy Coroner Rodney Snyder commented on the recent media bias locally and he does not believe it has affected our local race. Our Central Committee is supporting Joe for Mayor. Everyone needs to get out and vote.

Last, but certainly not least, Mayoral Candidate Joe Hysong addressed the attendees. He noted that he is running a positive grassroots campaign. He noted that his financials have been submitted and that his funds raised were equal to the funds Mayor Hickman raised during the same period. His report was late due to a death in his family and their being out of state for a funeral. He has knocked on every door in the city and some of them twice.

Hysong invited everyone to join in the Election Night Celebration on Tuesday evening, November 5th beginning at 5:30pm at Sutton’s Deli.

Adjourned at 9:10am

Karen Shelton, Secretary

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October 5, 2019

GOP Vice Chair Mary Martin welcomed the group followed by the Prayer led by Ken Shelton and the Pledge of Allegiance led by Wendy Zent. Martin introduced State Republican Party Representative for Regions 1 & 2, Conner Ortman as our guest, as well as J.D. Ayers, from the Jim Banks Campaign.

Martin congratulated the Steuben County Council on Aging Board President Karen Shelton on the recent announcement regarding their relocation plans.

Our first Annual Reagan Rally Hog Roast is being planned for Sunday afternoon, October 27th at the Selman Timber Frame in Commons Park, Angola from 1-3pm. This event will be to promote our Mayoral Candidate, Joe Hysong and will feature speakers including Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson, Todd Rokita, former Congressman and Former Indiana Secretary of State, Mike Huckleby, Political Director, Holcomb for Indiana and Indiana State Party, Joe Elsner, Holcomb for Indiana, Indiana State Party and Cathie Humbarger, Executive Director, Allen County Right for Life. There will be food, fun for children and music. Tickets are $15 per person or $25 for a family. You may sign up online or by contacting any of the Central Committee to register.

Guest speaker for the day was Cathie Humbarger, Executive Director, Allen County Right to Life. Her presentation included discussion regarding horrific finding of 2,246 fetuses in the former home of Allen County Doctor/Abortionist Ulrich Klopfer. She explained how Planned Parenthood has been “selling the lie” for so many years. She discussed Dignity for Aborted Babies Act – the much-challenged law that will require respectful disposal of Aborted babies, either by burial or cremation. As soon as the act was introduced, the ACLU and Planned Parenthood filed lawsuits against it. Humbarger stressed that it is so very important for voters to know where candidates stand on this issue. Since 2013 there has been no abortion clinics in NE Indiana; none within a 100-mile radius of Allen County. Our area is referred to as the “Abortion Desert”. She asked anyone who was interested to join in the Praying for Unborn Lives Program. To participate, text to 77222 the message: pray5at5. There will be a reminder sent to you each Monday to remind you to pray. For more information you may contact: www.pray5at5.com

State Representative Denny Zent commented that we are waiting for the Supreme Court to act and that President Trump is the most pro-life President we have ever had. Regarding things going on in the State Legislature, he stated there is a Caucus on Tuesday and that he has been traveling to Indianapolis for committee meetings and other state business several times a week during the summer, as the next session will be a short session due to the election year.

Mayoral Candidate Joe Hysong addressed the group and reiterating his reasons for running for the Mayor’s position and reminding folks he will have more signs delivered this week if anyone wants one.

Reminder: Mayoral Debate will be held on Thursday, October 17 from 6-8pm at the Fabiani Theater at Trine. Anyone who has questions to submit may do so to Mike Marturello at the Herald Republican or bring to the debate.

Mike McClelland thanked the County Council for stepping up with substantial pay raises for the Sheriff’s Department this year. Councilman Ken Shelton expressed his appreciation for Sheriff R. J. Robinson and his staff for the excellent job they are doing.

November Speaker will be Pete Seat from GOP-Indianapolis

Adjourned at 9:10am

Karen Shelton, Secretary

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September 7, 2019

GOP Chairman Rick Michael welcomed the large group of Republicans to the September gathering. State Senator Sue Glick offered the prayer followed by State Representative Denny Zent leading in the Pledge of Allegiance to our flag. Chairman Michael acknowledged Deputy Coroner Rodney Snyder for his state award of EMT of the Year recently. He shared a front-page article that was printed in our local paper. Congratulations Rodney for your service to our community.

Following a buffet breakfast, Vice Chair Mary Martin introduced our guest speaker for the day, State Republican Chairman Kyle Hupfer. Hupfer is also Campaign Manager for the Reelection of Governor Eric Holcomb. Hupfer gave brief background personal information stating that he was married and has three children; he ran the Department of Natural Resources prior to his current position; he is an attorney and has been a longtime friend of Governor Holcomb. He was very involved in the election campaigns of former Governor Mitch Daniels. He shared that in his position confidentiality is of upmost importance. He shared his vivid memories of the 2016 campaign for the Senate race for Eric Holcomb, which suddenly turned into a Holcomb for Governor Campaign when then Governor Mike Pence was tapped to run alongside Donald Trump for his Vice President seat. It was a whirlwind time for the candidates and for the State of Indiana – but exciting and fun. The Republicans are gearing up for 2020 and he is expecting to see some exciting and surprising races especially for many mayoral seats around the state. Poling for President Trump is at about 62% positive at the current time and the Indiana Campaign Challenge is to have a representative from each county. Republicans plan is to run a very positive campaign. He urged all Angola folks to get behind our candidate, Joe Hysong. Indiana is Trump-strong – so we probably won’t see much of him in 2020 as he will be concentrating on other states – Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, etc. Our state party is running full steam ahead and he thanked Senator Sue Glick and Representative Denny Zent for all their hard work in the Legislature. During the question/answer period the question was asked if there was anything to the rumor that Mike Pence would not be Trump’s VP for 2020. Hupfer stated he thought that was no more than a rumor started – fake news from MSN. Denny Zent expressed his appreciation to Governor Holcomb for visiting every county in the state and for his numerous visits to Steuben County.

Vice Chair Martin reminded everyone that the October speaker will be Cathie Humbarger with Indiana Right to Life group. The date is October 5, 2019. Please come out and support our GOP.

Chairman Michael thanked everyone for their participation in the summer parades. He thanked the Shelton’s for coordinating them and a special thank you to Bill McClanahan for the use of his trailer each year for GOPpy. He announced that the GOP has purchased this year’s trailer to use for future events.

Of importance to high school students in our area, there are Internship opportunities at our State House. There are also Academy Days where students are offered the opportunity to look over the military options available. Contact your local GOP or Legislators for more information.

Corn School will be held in LaGrange from October 1 to 5 in downtown LaGrange. Their parade is on Saturday, October 5th at 2pm. All are welcome to join in the fun.

Adjourned at 9:10am

Karen Shelton, Secretary

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August 3, 2019

Chairman Rick Michael welcomed everyone followed by the Pledge of Allegiance to our flag led by State Representative Denny Zent. The prayer was given by Ken Shelton. A buffet breakfast was enjoyed by those in attendance.

Our guest speaker for the day was Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill, who is running for reelection in 2020. Hill thanked Chairman Michael for extending an invitation to him to return to Steuben County. Hill, who is from Elkhart, gave a brief overview of his responsibilities in the Office of the Attorney General. During his talk, Hill spoke about issues with Obamacare and it being unconstitutional. The Department of Justice and nineteen other Attorneys General are in a lawsuit at the present time to confirm this. He further discussed the issues in Baltimore, which he declares is falling apart. Conversation needs to be had and our current president has started that conversation. This racial thing going on is going to destroy us if we don’t get it under control. He declared the biggest problems start at homes without fathers present. 72% of Black children grow up in homes without fathers present compared to 29% of white children. Our families are our models for success. We now have a businessman in the White House – not a politician and he is getting the job done. Hill discussed the Mueller Report and how the Democrats have their own agenda where they have forgotten presumption of innocence and rule of law. He also addressed the media and social media, border security and how Republicans are leading the way for protection of life.

During the question/answer segment, he was asked what he sees as the biggest issues for the next four years. His response was substance abuse, protection of life/human dignity. When asked if he felt at times like he was a “target”, he jokingly stated he is used to being a target; however, while his family does their own things, he has their support. Hill addressed President Trump’s “Go Back” comment. He was speaking the truth. We are all “Americana” – he wishes we could all just get to that understanding. He also fielded questions regarding the “Heartbeat Bill” and Sanctuary Cities.

Chairman Michael invited anyone who would like to join GOPpy at the Ashley-Hudson Parade today to join them at 11am. The last parade is August 10 in Pleasant Lake. He also reviewed the list of speakers for the coming months, which are posted on our website.

Next meeting is September 7th at 8am; Guest speaker is State Chairman of the Indiana Republican Party & State Chairman for the re-election of Holcomb for Indiana Kyle Hupfer.

Adjourned at 9:10am

Karen Shelton, Secretary

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June 1, 2019

Chairman Rick Michael welcomed everyone as well as led the pledge followed by a prayer given by Ken Shelton. He then introduced Graham Renbarger, Field Director for American for Prosperity.

Mr. Renbarger educated the group on the activities of his organization sharing that there are 136 Field Offices with 4 in Indiana. Their mission is economic freedom and to assist in breaking down barriers, especially working with young people. They are issue driven and were pleased to host a group of local young people recently at Trine and share with them some of the political issues that they will be facing in the future as they are in high school and then leaving their home base for college or the workforce. Some of the issues they work with are moral problems, capitalism and obesity problems. He was very pleased to know that the local GOP works diligently to include their youth in their activities and that a Young Republicans Group is being formed. While he can be reached through our local GOP Chair or Vice Chair, he can also be reached at 260-402-9358 or via email at grenbarger@afphq.org.

Following our buffet breakfast, the Chairman introduced Jerry McDermid, who is running for Joe Hysong’s seat on the Angola City Council. Mr. McDermid shared he has taught social studies at Angola High School for 36 years. He is getting ready to retire and wants to continue to serve his community. He plans to walk the city and meet folks encouraging them to vote for him in the fall.

Mayoral Candidate Joe Hysong addressed the group sharing that he attended a GOP Candidates Training Session in Indianapolis, which was very good. He is working with the RNC database and plans to focus on getting those who have not voted in a while to get out and vote and to vote early.

State Representative Denny Zent let the group know that he had spent some time with US Senator Mike Braun and Lt. Governor Suzanne Couch in our area recently. He complimented Mary Martin for her work as Braun’s Regional Director. The Zent’s are planning a party in late July and plans to invite several legislators to his home to let them see what Steuben County has to offer. More details to follow.

We are getting ready to kick off our 2019 parade season. The Shelton’s will be coordinating all the parades but would like representatives from each respective town to be facilitators for their parade. GOPpy is available for all parades and decorating supplies are available. Schedule is on our website.

Regional Director for US Senator Mike Braun, Mary Martin addressed the group regarding her responsibilities in our area. The Senator has mobile offices in Ft. Wayne and South Bend. Anyone who needs more information should get in touch with Mary.

Treasurer Ryan Herbert was unable to attend the meeting; however, he submitted a Financial Report showing our account balance at $18,358.94.

There will not be a meeting in July due to the Parade Schedule. Meetings will resume in August and Vice Chair Martin has a great lineup going through the end of the year.

HAVE A GREAT SUMMER!!!!

Adjourned at 9:10am

Karen Shelton, Secretary

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May 4, 2019

Republican Chairman Rick Michael welcomed the group, followed by the Pledge to our Flag and a prayer offered by County Councilman Ken Shelton. Everyone was invited to enjoy the optional buffet breakfast prepared by the fine Timber’s Staff.

Guest speaker for the morning was newly elected Sheriff R. J. (Rodney) Robinson. The Sheriff opened by stated that he has been in law enforcement for 24 years and is in his first term as Sheriff. He stated this has been a long-term commitment for him and that being Sheriff is a unique position as each county operates differently. One of his biggest concerns so far has been the per diem amount for his inmates, which has not been changed since the 80’s. The current amount is $35 per day. The Legislature did approve a small increase this year and will look at it annually. We have a great Community Corrections Department and the changes in Felony Levels have allowed Level 6 Felons to remain at home. The average for the census at the jail is 100 inmates. Currently, the Sheriff’s Department has 23-Road Troopers, 28-Jail Employees and 3 Cooks, who prepare approximately 300 meals a day. They responded to approximately 5,000 road calls last year. Service calls will increase as lake residents return to the lakes. The Sheriffs Department assists with lake patrols, but has less than six reserves dedicated to the lakes. Some additional statistics that he gave were: 70 Registered Sex Offenders reside in our county; Handgun Permits increased and 60% of those issues were to women; Jail Ministries are active at the jail and there is a noticeable calm among the inmates after attending these sessions. When asked about having armed teachers or officers in the schools, he stated that there is now a Sheriffs Deputy in the MSD schools in addition to the School Resource Officers and the schools pay for them to be present. He is not in favor of arming teachers; would rather let them teach our children and not be burdened with security. Compliments were given to Cardinal IG in Fremont for their efforts in providing protective glass for the school entrance windows. In the event of a major crisis, there is a back-up plan already in place. The protective glass will not keep intruders out but will buy time to allow teachers/administrators to put the plan in action. Thank you, Sheriff Robinson, for the great job you are doing already in Steuben County.

State Senator Sue Glick addressed the group with updates from the recent legislative session. She presented a handout (click to view/download document) that provided an overview of the budget, noting that 50% of the state budget is dedicated to education. 93.5%-public schools; 4%-charter schools; 2.5%-voucher schools. Indiana spends $10,000 per child in our school systems. School bus safety was a big issue this year. There was a one-day poll of bus violations which counted 3,080 violations. Other measures that are being taken include ride-a longs, equipping buses with cameras and officers writing tickets for violations. Distracted drivers (texting/phones) is a major cause of the violations. Funds were allocated for the Department of Children Services, which has enormous caseloads. The state is making strides in this area, which has struggled since the federal cutbacks on Medicaid. Our state does have a $2 billion surplus, which is our “rainy day fund”. A question was asked about the Hate Crime Bill. The Senator responded that the one that passed is not her original bill, but it provides that a judge can enhance the sentence for a crime committed on a person under 14 or over 65, pertaining to women, sex, religion, people of color and race. She reported that Representative Zent has authored several Veterans Bills that she supported and were passed. The focus is to get veterans to return to Indiana to live. Retired military pensions are tax-free, and the bills also support educational benefits, training opportunities and children benefits.

Mayoral Candidate Joe Hysong shared briefly about his candidacy and urged everyone who is eligible to vote in this election to get out and do so. Vice Chair Mary Martin also commented on this and stated that the other candidate Justin Kent has not been in contact with any of the party officials for support during this primary.

Chairman Rick Michael gave a brief financial overview stating that we have $18,749.99 in our account at this time, which includes $8,580 from Century Club memberships. There is still time to join the Century Club by visiting the GOP website (steubencountyingop.org). He also noted that there will be a Republican Breakfast on June 1 and the speaker will be from Americans for Prosperity Program. No meeting in July. Lincoln Day Dinner was very successful, and plans are in the works for a Fall Dinner/2020 Fundraiser with a prominent guest speaker.

Vice Chair Mary Martin mentioned Internships for students. If interested, see her regarding serving for US Senator Braun. State Internships are available as well by contacting Senator Glick and Representative Zent.

Dates to remember:
May 14th – Americans for Prosperity Program at Fabini Theater-Trine University from 5-8pm
May 16th – Candidate Training Program by Mitch Harper – details to be announced
May 26th - 90th Birthday Open House for Ruth Hill – 1-4pm – Sutton’s Event Center

Karen Shelton, Secretary

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April 6, 2019

GOP Chairman Rick Michael welcomed the large group of Republican’s followed by the Prayer given by Dennis Rider and the Pledge led by State Representative Denny Zent. Attendees enjoyed an optional buffet breakfast blended with conversation.

City Councilman Dave Martin, who is running for reelection, addressed the group beginning with his slogan “Hey, it’s me or nobody.” He gave an overview of why he is a Republican and desires to continue with his service on the City Council.

State Senator Sue Glick was next on the agenda sharing that the State Legislature is in the final couple of weeks of this session. Some of the bills this year were tough ones, such as the Late Term Abortion Bill and the School Bus Safety Bill. The last bill before them will be the Budget Bill.

State Representative Denny Zent stated he would refrain from remarks at that time and would have some remarks at the upcoming Lincoln Day Dinner on April 12th.

Guest speaker for the day was City Councilman and Mayoral Candidate Joe Hysong. Joe gave an overview of his background stating he was born in Philadelphia; went to school in Kentucky and ended up in West Palm Beach, Florida. He has always ben an avid fitness enthusiast and enjoys bike riding. He came to South Bend, Indiana in 2002 and was a Car Dealership Management Trainer. He then ventured to Angola to be a part owner of the Harold Chevrolet team and married Angola’s most eligible bachelorette, Libby. He literally fell in love with the Angola community and sought to find out what Angola needs and what can he do to fill that need. A visit to Brown County in their off-season made him wonder what “magic” they had to attract folks there in their non-leaf season. Hysong spoke of the need for affordable quality child care and the need for sidewalk from the railroad north on North Wayne street. He wondered why our humane shelter is nicer than our homeless shelter. Why do people move to Angola? A mission trip to Haiti helped him confirm his goal to make Angola a better place to live for “the least of these” – our children and our people. Hysong has made the decision to run for Mayor and had signs, door hangers, bumper stickers and other information available for the attendees.

The Chairman mentioned that we have $5,480 in our Century Club account for 2019. He reminded everyone that the Lincoln Day Dinner is Friday evening, April 12 at Glendarin. Guest speakers will be Senator Todd Young. There are 145 signed up to date. We will again have two tables of high school students at the dinner thanks to the sponsorship of Senator Glick and Representative Zent. A reminder to all elected officials to bring their door prizes that evening.

The May Breakfast will be held on May 4th and the speaker will be Sheriff R. J. Robinson. We will then adjourn our breakfast meetings until end of summer.

Adjourned at 9:05am

Karen Shelton, Secretary

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March 2, 2019

The Steuben GOP met at Timbers Seafood & Steakhouse with Vice Chair Mary Martin presiding. The prayer was given by County Councilman Ken Shelton and the Pledge was led by State Senator Sue Glick. Special guest introduced was Steve Justus, representative for the Office of Congressman Jim Banks.

Guest speaker for the event was Steuben County Commissioner Lynne Liechty. After giving a brief overview of her younger years growing up visiting Bledsoe Beach with her parents and being 50% grounded in our area, she discussed how the Harris/Motorola communications project became one of her focal points in her first term as commissioner. She shared how she met with local interested parties, such as the late Ronnie Kane and former Communications Director Ken Lowden to gather information concerning the major project. Liechty traveled around the state doing her research on the changeover to the Motorola system that would enable all emergency personnel to communication with each other as needed. She praised the current Communications Director Gary LaTourneau for his vast knowledge and his untiring work on getting this project to completion. She was very appreciative to the County Council and everyone involved for their support.

She fielded questions regarding the Steuben County Courthouse project stating that the County Council has approved $7.5 million for the project. There is also a $500,000 American Disabilities grant available. Options include adding onto the current courthouse, purchasing an existing building, or building a new facility. Meetings are being held with area engineers to assist in deciding for the best path to pursue. Don Shively, who is a Mason, stated that they do not need money, but would be willing to talk if it works for both sides.

Bill Hill announced that a 90th birthday Open House is being planned for May 27th for Ruth Hill, who will be 90 on June 12th. Location and other plans will follow later.

April Breakfast will be on Saturday, April 6th with Mayoral Candidate Joe Hysong as guest speaker.

Adjourned at 8:55am

Karen Shelton, Secretary

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February 2, 2019

Meeting called to order by Vice Chair Mary Martin. Pledge to our Flag was led by State Senator Sue Glick and Councilman Ken Shelton gave the prayer. Approximately 40 people were in attendance. A buffet breakfast was enjoyed by all.

Guest speaker was Steuben County Deputy Coroner Rodney Snyder, who has announced his intentions to run for the Coroner position in 2020. Current Coroner Bill Harter’s two-term limit will be completed at that time. Snyder acknowledged Harter for his leadership and a former Coroner Frank Baade, who was in attendance. He stated that Harter is a great boss and that the office runs smoothly under his leadership. Currently, there are five on the Coroner’s staff, including four deputies and the Coroner. Snyder has served in the Coroner/Deputy Coroner position in Steuben County and neighboring counties for over twenty years and stated he is very passionate and committed to our great community. Snyder shared that one of the most important facets of the Coroner position is compassion in dealing with the families of the decreased during a very emotional time in their lives. Further, he stated that the office is governed by the Indiana Coroner’s Association and they provide the continual training that is needed for the position and to keep updated on new laws and changes. Following his presentation, there were several questions from the floor regarding the signing of death certificates, the Steuben Morgue and the increasing Opioid crisis, which he said has not been a Coroner problem in this county as of now. (Handout attached with additional Coroner information)

Chairman Rick Michael announced important dates to remember: 1) March 11-State Dinner in Indianapolis, which the Steuben GOP will probably have a reserved table; 2) April 12-Steuben County Lincoln Day Dinner with Congressman Todd Young as guest speaker. Details will be forthcoming; 3) Century Club invitations will be in the mail in the next couple of weeks and we need the financial support to carry out our various projects and programs. He noted that Friday at noon is the last date to file for county offices. To date, Joe Hysong has filed to run for Mayor and Gary Crum, Jerry McDermid, Dave Martin and Justin Kent have filed for positions. We are seeking candidates to run for the City Council positions currently held by Democrats Dave Olson and Kathy Armstrong, as well as the possibility of candidates for the Middle and South Commissioners positions.

The Chairman also announced that Vice Chair Mary Martin is now the Regional Director for Senator Mike Braun.

State Representative Denny Zent gave a brief overview of what is happening in the Legislature. Bills include: Curtailing substance abuse tracking of prescriptions for not only medical doctors, but now veteranians; Teacher salary increases; Legalizing marijuana and the cost of treatment and counseling that overshadows the revenue.

State Senator Sue Glick discussed the Hemp Bill and the discussions that are going on with those issues. She stated that her recent district survey regarding the marijuana issue was in favor of passing the legalization of it. She also discussed teacher’s salaries and the positive support that is coming from the Governor’s office. Overall feeling is that there should be more salary decisions coming from the local school boards than from the legislature. She stated they are two weeks out before the end of the term and many bills to be dealt with.

Chairman Michael announced that currently we are in good financial position with approximately $10,000 in our account.

March speaker will the County Commissioner Lynne Liechty. The date is Saturday, March 2nd.

Adjourned at 9:15am

Karen Shelton, Secretary

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January 5, 2019

Meeting was called to order by Vice-Chair, Mary Martin who welcomed the group of approximately 50 people to the first meeting of the year. State Senator Sue Glick led in the Pledge of Allegiance to our flag and County Councilman Ken Shelton gave the invocation. 

Following an enjoyable buffet breakfast, our speaker of the day was Steuben County Council President Rick Shipe. In providing a little historical information, Mr. Shipe shared that he had been on the council since 2011, when he was caucused in to fill the spot of John Hughes, who has passed away. He stated that he relies heavily on the county auditors and gave kudos to past Auditor Pam Coleman and current Auditor Kim Myers. He serves on the county with six other unique people who have been elected to serve for the betterment of the county. To be financially responsible is their primary job. He has been President of the Council for four years.

To explain the duties of the Steuben County Council, he provided all attendees with an informative brochure (available at the Auditor’s Office): “There When You Need Us – County Government”. Shipe reviewed the operating budget, which is approximately $23 million this year. In discussing this year’s goals, he stated they hope to streamline the workforce and was pleased to report that the number of employees hasn’t changed. The Council wants to find ways to get county wages up without having to raise taxes. They also have some big projects on the horizon. The Courthouse renovation project which will encompass a new Judicial Building is a major project. The council has given the Commissioner’s financial guidelines to work with. The possibility of a casino locating in Steuben County was mentioned and that will have to be investigated. Shipe stated that will bring in revenue to our county but also a different class of people. He was asked about the Event Center and how it is working. He looks at it as an amenity for the county. Some area very pleased with it and some are not. Rural Broadband was mentioned, and he stated there are no plans at this time until the commissioners bring it to the council. State Senator Glick made comments regarding this and stated there are going to be some funds available she believes, and it will come through the Lt. Governor’s office. Glick will be attending a briefing on the Aquafer situation. The Legislature is just now seeing bills and will be working on the budget items including water/natural resources, child services (2018 budget was spent by March; had to ask for additional funds three times); education and pay raises. Biggest issue will be how to fund all the many needs.

State Representative Denny Zent took the floor to add that there is a lot of media coverage going on to help keep people aware of the what is going on in Indianapolis. As the bills are presented, legislators will look over, study and get feedback. Broadband to rural areas is really needed. Economic development is always a priority. Northeastern corner is a favorite destination for our Governor and Lt. Governor, which is very good for our area.

Vice Chair Martin introduced and thanked Kraig & Mary Whiting for their volunteering at the headquarters during the Fall Election period. She also asked everyone to remember Bob Grygienc, another of our faithful volunteers, as he is recovering from open heart surgery.

2019 Century Club letters will be forthcoming, and we encourage everyone to become a member and support our local Republican Party. 

At the end of the meeting, all newly elected/re-elected officials were asked to come to the front of the room to be introduced and thanked.

LaGrange County Lincoln Day Dinner will be held on May 9th and the Governor will be their guest speaker. The Steuben County Lincoln Day Dinner details will be announced as soon as speaker details are confirmed.

See you all on February 2nd!!!

Karen Shelton, Secretary

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