Council to choose leaders, discuss salaries

Jan 4, 2016 382

Columbus City Council will hold a special organizational meeting tonight to elect a new president of the council and make its appointments to board and commissions. The council will also consider changes to the salary and job descriptions of the city engineer and community development director positions. New Mayor Jim Lienhoop has said that he plans to expand both of those positions, putting returning City Engineer Dave Hayward in charge of the city public works department and making Mary Ferdon head of the city’s finance and administration as well as community development director. The council will consider increasing the bottom of both pay scales by $5,863 for city engineer and $6,314 for the community development director and the top ends by around $8,500. The previous engineer pay scale topped out at $83,624, while the community development director topped out at $73,580. Under the new plan, the director of public works (formerly the city engineer) could be paid up to $92,000 a year, while the director of administration and community development could be paid up to $82,600.... ...

Bill Cosby – the “What’s Next for Him?” File.

Jan 4, 2016 501

With all the stories swirling around Bill Cosby, whose next court appearance is on January 14th, not much regarding what could really happen with him if he’s found guilty has been said. This article goes a long way towards explaining what is most likely to actually play out, and the reasoning why.  Take a look here. – Todd Berryman Middays on WIN 104.9 Unable To Watch Fat Albert Anymore Without Wincing  ...

Campbell looks back at his time as North Vernon Mayor

Jan 1, 2016 351

Longtime North Vernon Mayor Harold “Soup” Campbell has stepped down. Campbell was a fixture in both city and county government in Jennings County. The former Sheriff and city councilman explains that it was the city’s water issues that initially influenced him to run for Mayor… Campbell said that infrastructure isn’t a popular issue…until something goes wrong with it… Campbell added that the neglected infrastructure issues led to some difficult decisions in his early years as Mayor… Campbell added that he was proud of all of the infrastructure improvements that were accomplished under his administration. However, he added that the work is not finished and that future city leaders need to make sure that they’re not tempted to forego maintenance for other, seemingly more popular, projects that will garner them more attention.   ...

Ferdon returns to former post in City Hall

Jan 1, 2016 417

Columbus has a new Mayor with the swearing-in of Jim Lienhoop. Lienhoop says that minimizing turnover at City Hall, especially after the last few years, was important to him. One of the changes he did make was placing former Community Development Director Mary Ferdon back in that position. Ferdon talked what she hoped to accomplish in that capacity… Ferdon talks about potential efforts to create low-income housing for some city residents… Ferdon, who was part of former Mayor Kristen Brown’s original leadership team, talked what made her want to come back to City Hall… Ferdon previously served as Community Development Director in the first year on former Mayor Kristen Brown’s Administration before resigning. She is also serving as Mayor Lienhoop’s Director of Administration. Ferdon was a part of the few changes made, personnel wise, by Mayor Lienhoop. Other areas seeing leadership change include the City Attorney’s Office and Fire Chief. ...

Mayor Lienhoop says foreign trips will be key to Columbus’ economic growth

Jan 1, 2016 354

A new year means a new Mayor for the city of Columbus. One of the areas of contention between Mayor Jim Lienhoop and former Mayor Kristen Brown was the value of overseas trips to drum up business for the city. Lienhoop explains that people understand the importance of these trips… The Mayor points out that foreign-owned companies in Columbus account for approximately 8,500 people… Lienhoop says the investment made in these trips pay for themselves through the growth of Columbus’ economy… Mayor Lienhoop added that it is important for him to not only seek out manufacturing jobs for Columbus, but other, high-tech options as well. He says that there are indications of a global economic “headwind” and that it is his goal to diversify the city’s job and economic base as much as possible. ...

North Vernon Police arrest four people after traffic stop

Jan 1, 2016 368

A traffic stop in North Vernon led to the arrest of four people on drug charges Thursday night. North Vernon Police say that officers stopped a vehicle being driven by Michael Wagaman, of North Vernon, for speeding in the area of South State Street at 11:30 p.m. Officials say that Wagaman, Dustin Decker, Kiesha Philpot and Joseph Dean were all arrested on charges of Possession of Methamphetamine. Officers add that Dean was also wanted on an outstanding warrant from another county. ...