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GOP Breakfast Meeting Minutes Dates

Archived Meeting Minutes Archived Minutes - 2017

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May 5, 2018

Welcome and pledge given by Vice Chair Mary Martin; Ken Shelton offered the prayer. Following an optional buffet breakfast, Mary announced that we would have a breakfast on June 2nd and the guest speaker will be our Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch. Also, there will be a Victory Celebration at Sutton’s Deli in downtown Angola beginning after the polls close on Election Day, May 7th. Light refreshments will be available from 6-10pm. All are welcome to attend.

Guest speakers for the group of approximately 40 were Tangi Manahan, lst Deputy Clerk of the Steuben County Clerk of Courts and State Representative Ben Smaltz. Tangi was first on the program and shared that she has been in her present position for seven years. Prior to that she was in the banking/mortgage finance business. She is experienced in all phases of the clerk’s office, current on Indiana Election Process & State Guidelines; assisted in training staff with state e-filing system and mainstreaming the election process with poll pads and electronic voting machines; has a working knowledge of court procedures and serves the public with respect to all who enter the Courthouse. She is married and has 3 children; lives in Hamilton and is very active in our community. She humbly asked for votes from those in attendance.

State Representative Ben Smaltz currently represents District 52, which consists of parts of Steuben, DeKalb and Allen Counties. He is the owner of Taylor Rentals in Auburn, which is the family business he grew up in. He stated that one of his primary focuses at the legislature has been drug abuse and how it affects so many families, especially the children. He has worked tirelessly to find ways to curtail the making and distribution of meth. Meth labs are down considerably, and he feels much is due to making the ingredients harder to obtain. Laws that have been passed with the assistance of physicians writing fewer prescriptions and cross-checking with pharmacies has greatly reduced the availability of needed ingredients. He also strongly supports the 2nd Amendment. Indiana has law in place since 2013 allowing teachers to be armed. School boards decide if they will act on the law and develop proper protocol to be put in place in their respective schools. He touched on Economic Development and our 1.7% growth, as well as the need for the gas tax to provide the needed funds for our roads. Further, he feels his greatest service is to be available to answer the questions that his constitutes need answered.

State Representative Denny Zent complimented Smaltz’s service and shared that he received a standing ovation on the floor of the Indiana House for his work. Zent further discussed how the road tax will fund much needed road repair for many years to come. He also discussed his work with Smaltz on bills that concern veterans; State Senator Sue Glick was unable to attend; however, she carries their bills on to the Senate. Zent shared that 90% of Veterans benefits come from the Federal Government and Congressman Jim Banks is diligently working on getting bills passed in Washington. 88 Indiana counties have Veteran’s offices with services available locally to assist veterans.

Prior to adjournment, attendee Bill Hill suggested that other candidates in attendance be allowed to speak if they wish. Deb Arnett, also a candidate for Steuben County Clerk of the Courts echoed the comments made by Tangi as she previously served as Clerk of the Court for eight years and has worked in the field as a consultant for the Supreme Court since leaving that office. She stated she has been involved in training employees in other counties. Her closing statement was that she had never had a boring day in the Clerk’s office.

Adjourned at 9:00am

Karen Shelton, Secretary

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April 7, 2018

The meeting was called to order by Vice Chair Mary Martin at 8am with the prayer given by State Senator Sue Glick and the Pledge of Allegiance led by the guest speaker, Alex Dobson, Steuben Veteran’s Affairs Officer. Following a buffet breakfast, Angola City Councilman Dave Martin introduced Mr. Dobson as our speaker.

Mr. Martin described Dobson as a man with endless energy and enthusiasm. He is a Marine and served two tours in Iraq. Steuben County Councilman, Jim Getz thanked his fellow council members for approving the funding for the Veterans Affairs office located on the 3rd floor of the Steuben County Community Center. (Phone: 260-665-1000 ext. 1060)

Mr. Dobson shared with the group of approximately 40 the responsibilities he has for the area Veterans. He works with them and their spouses for healthcare needs no matter what generation they are from. He also travels around the area to various American Legions and other Veteran facilities to make himself available to anyone who needs his services. He is pro-active and wants to assist any Veteran who needs services of any kind. He also works with spouses during illnesses or death of Veterans to assist them with paperwork and getting them to the proper location for help. He stressed that he does not work for the state or the federal government. He works directly for the Director of Veterans Affairs with the closest DAV office being in Corunna. When asked about transportation for Veterans, he responded that they have five vans available to transport Veterans free of charge to them or to taxpayers. A revised version of the Choice Program is in the works and should be available soon. About homeless Veterans, he works with Turning Point Homeless Shelter and provides food and clothing for anyone who comes to his office with a need. He accepts donations of food and then distributes to the American Legions. He discussed the current situation with getting Veterans on Medicaid in counting “body part loss compensation” as income. It is a state law that needs to be changed. He shared that he gets quick responses from both Congressman Jim Banks and Joe Donnelly offices. His office is officially open from 8-5pm and he makes himself available to Veterans 24/7. He also discussed Veteran’s suicide rates and passed out a flyer with information. Download Flyer Content Here. He received a standing ovation at the end of his presentation.

Steuben County 1st Deputy Clerk of the Court Tangi Manahan, gave an election update. She reminded everyone that early voting begins on Tuesday, April 10, 2018. This year a new benefit to make voting easier will be Satellite Voting Locations, which will be announced. These will be 1-day voting places in each Steuben County town. They are still in need of food preparation on election day for Clear Lake Catholic Church and the Steuben County Event Center, if anyone knows of a church or group who would like to take either of those. Chairman Michael advised that we will assist with spreading the word thru our media outlets.

Vice Chair Martin congratulated Mike McClellan on his son being Commissioned as Chief Petty Officer in the US Coast Guard recently in New York. She also introduced a Williams County, Ohio friend in attendance, Terry Rummel, who is a commissioner there.

Cheryl Johnson, Regional Field Officer of the Messer Campaign, spoke about Messer’s campaign and shared that he plans to conduct a Meet & Greet on Saturday, April 14th at Mad Anthony's Lakeview Ale House from 2:30-3:30pm. All are invited to come out and meet him.

Austin Fox from Jim Bank’s office was also in attendance and was introduced. Vice Chair Martin announced the May meeting speakers will be Tangi Manahan and Ben Smaltz. After the May meeting we will not meet until August due to summer parades, campaigns and other events.

Chairman Michael reflected on the recent Lincoln Day Dinner which was very successful. First year in many that we have had to turn down guests due to a capacity crowd. He was grateful to Senator Sue Glick and Representative Denny Zent for sponsoring two tables of Young Republicans, which is a group that is being revived and renamed. He discussed the July 4th parade and that we would be having a float in the event this year. Being able to provide these things is due to the generous giving to the Century Club this year. To date, we have received $8,400.

Adjourned at 9:20am

Karen Shelton, Secretary

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March 3, 2018

Steuben Republicans and guests gathered at Timbers Seafood & Steakhouse on March 3rd for their monthly breakfast meeting. Vice Chair Mary Martin welcomed the 75+ attendees and U.S. Senate Candidate, Mike Braun led the Pledge of Allegiance followed by a prayer led by Attorney Don Shively. A buffet breakfast was enjoyed.

Sheriff Tim Troyer addressed the crowd to talk about his concerns for school safety. As President of the Indiana Sheriffs’ Association, he will be traveling to Parkland, Florida next week to join a selected group of law enforcement, school officials and interested parties to discuss how to prevent these tragedies from occurring again. He shared with the group that Indiana has a model in the Shelbyville School System. He hopes to share that Indiana has available with the group. Hardening guidelines are already in place here, however more training is needed. We must become more proactive. Cost is a factor for many schools, as it may cost between $800,000 and $1 million to complete.

Vice Chair Martin introduced Indiana State Representative/US Senate Candidate Braun, 63 years old and from Jasper, Indiana. Graduated from high school in 1972 and went on the Wabash College. Founded Crystal Farms, a turkey farm and then went on to found Meyer Distributing in 1981. His company has grown from a dozen employees to over 800 in 38 states. He is married, and his wife has a gift shop in Jasper. Three of his four children work with him in his business. He believes in term limits/draining the swamp; full repeal of Obamacare; defunding “sanctuary cities” and 100% pro-life. He is fed up with “business as usual” and believe we need fresh ideas. Happy to be a part of the legislature that is providing a long-term fix for our road problems. During the Q&A segment of his presentation, he was asked about DACA. He believes we need to secure the borders first and stop those coming in and then deal with those that are already here. He agrees there is no simple fix. He stated that he is a believer and is pro-life and will fight for those beliefs. He was very appreciative to the Vice Chair who arranged for him to get out in the community and meet some of the area folks.

Plans for the 2018 Lincoln Day Dinner were announced. Deb Twitchell is handling arrangements and invitations are in the mail. The date is April 4th at Glendarin Golf Club with Caruso’s catering the event. Guest speaker is Indiana State Republican Chairman Kyle Hupfer. Deadline for reservations is March 27th. A reminder that all elected officials are requested to provide some type of door prize for the event. They can be delivered on the evening of the event.

Chairman Rick Michael shared that two tables will be sponsored by State Representative Denny Zent and State Senator Sue Glick for Young Republicans. He also discussed a new program being offered “Republicans Hands On”. The program includes the basics of conservativism and Robert’s Rules of Order.

State Senator Sue Glick advised the group that the Legislature has 10 days left in this session. All bills are in conference committee. Gun legislation is not going through this year. She appreciated having our Sheriff Troyer and Kendallville Chief of Police Rob Wiley provide information to them this year. It was very informative. School safety is a high priority; Indiana has been proactive for years. Funds are available to schools to apply for through grants with a match from the school. There is a School Safety Committee Study, and everyone wants to know what it is going to cost. Shelbyville School System is on of the safest in the country.

State Representative Denny Zent complimented our sheriff as being very well-known across our state. Some may have seen our Attorney General Curtis Hill sitting beside President Trump in their discussions regarding mental health issues. It is well known that some individuals should not be allowed to purchase or possess guns. Law enforcement can confiscate firearms if they feel mental illness is a factor; they have two weeks to prove to the courts that they are correct in their assessment. We need to cultivate some new people; the legislative job take time.

Vice Chair Martin reiterated that our focus in the fall is to Beat Joe Donnelly – Joe Must Go!!! She announced the Century Club was going well and that we are still accepting donations for that. April’s meeting will be on the 7th and the guest speaker will be our Veterans Representative Alex Dobson.

Prior to adjournment, Sheriff Troyer asked everyone to keep Boone County folks in their prayers following the tragic loss of their Deputy Pickett on Friday.

Adjourned at 9:25am.

Notes typed by:Karen Shelton, Secretary

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February 3, 2018

Steuben Republicans gathered at Timbers Seafood and Steakhouse on Saturday, February 3, 2018 for their monthly breakfast meeting. Vice Chair Mary Martin called the meeting to order followed by a prayer led by State Representative Dennis Zent. State Senator Sue Glick let the group in the Pledge of Allegiance. A bountiful buffet breakfast was enjoyed by those who cared to indulge.

The Vice Chair reminded the attendees of the Century Club drive which is now in progress. Flyers were placed on each table in case anyone did not receive one in the mail or wished to sign up at the meeting. Funds from the Century Club are used to cover headquarters expenses, as well as to assist local candidates during their campaigns. She also reminded everyone to save the date of April 4th for the 2018 Lincoln Day Dinner. The event will be at Glendarin Golf & Country Club and guest speaker will be Indiana State GOP Chairman Kyle Hupfer. Also, various state candidates, including US Senate candidates, are expected to join us for the event. Invitations will be in the mail within the next few weeks.

Guest speaker for the morning was Angola Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jeff Rhoades. Mr. Rhoades took the position in 2017 after spending 30 years as a Corporate Executive with Hewlett-Packard. While he is a Minnesota native, his wife is originally from the Angola area and they wanted to raise their two daughters here near their extended family. In sharing about the local Chamber, Rhoades stated they are governed by a 15-member board of directors. A couple of attendees, Gene Burd (treasurer) and Don Marquardt (past president) are officers of the organization now. While the first “Chamber” was in the State of New York before the Revolutionary War, there are currently Chamber in almost every community. Their primary focus is to promote economic development and to be a business advocate for the area.

During the question and answer period, an attendee asked about their promotion and advertising offerings. Rhoades advised that the Chamber provides a newsletter that is available online to stay in touch with members and with the community, as well as various sponsored activities, such as the Business After Hours event. They work together with the Tourist Bureau, as well as with various other organizations to assist area businesses as much as possible. The February Business After Hours is February 22 at 5th Third Bank and in April, the Annual Ebby Awards are given at a special event. Ebby Awards honor local citizens and businesses and are selected by the vote of Chamber members. In July, the Annual Chamber Golf Outing is always a fun event.

In the Legislative Update portion of the meeting, State Representative Zent discussed the importance of developing friendships across the state which will bring high profile visitors to our area. We need to promote our corner of the state wherever we go. We are getting attention now as those who visit are eager to return. Currently, there are approximately 500 bills that will need to be dealt with prior to the March 14 midnight deadline. State Senator Glick advised the group that the Township Bill was defeated in the Senate. One of the Governor’s priority bills is the Workforce Development Bill, which will target levels of skills to youth who may not be college bound. There is great demand for such facilities as the Impact Institute in Kendallville. Currently, there are 75 waiting for training and only 25 machines available.

Next meeting will be March 3 at 8am. Guest speaker will be US Senate Candidate Mike Braun.

Notes taken by: Ken Shelton

Notes typed by:Karen Shelton, Secretary

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January 4, 2018

Steuben County Republicans gathered on Saturday, January 4, 2018 for their first meeting of the New Year.   Chairman Rick Michael welcomed the large group; the prayer was given by Councilman Ken Shelton and the Pledge of Allegiance to our flag was led by Wendy Zent.  

Following a bountiful buffet breakfast, Vice Chairwomen Mary Martin introduced our guest speaker, Congressman Todd Rokita, who is a candidate for the US Senate seat currently held by Democrat Joe Donnelly.  Rokita shared his background in service as Indiana’s Secretary of State, noting one of his most noted accomplishments was implementing Indiana’s photo ID law to help combat voter fraud.  Now some 30 states have followed Indiana’s ruling and adopted photo ID laws.  He is pro-life, a supporter of the second amendment and values parental involvement in their children’s education.  He and his wife are the parents of two sons.   He also has written legislation to replace No Child Left Behind to end Common Core and return federal control of education back to the parents, teachers and local schools.  He was adamant that we must return Joe Donnelly to Indiana and replace him with a strong Republican and defeat the “elite-ism” of the past.   He is for “term-limits” and is presenting a bill to Congress that states “no budget – no pay” for Congress. 

Following a lively question and answer session, Rokita introduced his local representative Steve Justus, who attends many area functions and is always available to meet with or to relay messages to Rokita.

Representative Denny Zent gave a brief overview of what he expects from this short Legislative Session, including:  Sunday liquor sales, the Opioid problem, medical marijuana, and road work.   He announced that he is running again and that our NE corner of the state is being noticed with recent visits by the Governor, Lieutenant Governor and others from the State House.   In his support of Rokita, Rep. Zent noted that Rokita is a man of his word and recalled a Lincoln Day Dinner of years past when the Governor was to speak and had a scheduling conflict and Rokita stepped in the last moment as a fill in.  

Paul Lagemann of Congressman Jim Banks office was in attendance and shared that Banks is very busy; currently he is working on a Veteran’s Crisis Line and headstones for veterans.  He is serving on the Armed Services Committee as well.   Banks hopes to be back in Indiana soon for a Town Hall meeting in Steuben County. 

County Commission Chair Ron Smith thanked those responsible for the Road Infrastructure funds that our county is going to receive.  Alex Dobson of the Veterans Affairs Office was recognized for his outstanding work with area veterans.  Third District Chairman Mitch Harper was in attendance and was recognized and it was noted that Angola City Councilman Joe Hysong ran with Harper in an 11-mile challenge the week before at Chain of Lakes State Park.   Both are avid runners.

Century Club letters will be in the mail within the week.   Please join and help us provide funds for upcoming events and for our GOP Headquarters during upcoming campaigns. 

February meeting will be on the 4th and guest speaker will be Jeff Rhoades, Executive Director of the Angola Area Chamber of Commerce.

Karen Shelton, Secretary

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