Village Voice 09 2020: September




The Village Voice


President's Letter:

Dear Neighbors –

I hope you are all doing well! It is nice to see everyone out and about as we walk to and from school. Hopefully the cooler weather holds for a while so we can all spend more time outside.

As you have seen in the recent weekly newsletters, Mayor Emily Styron and the Town have begun the process of pulling together development ideas for the entrance to the Village. (More information can be found at http://www.zionsville-in.gov/567/Gateway-Redevelopment-Plan) The VRA has expressed interest in being involved in the process given that the development area will impact most, if not all, residents on a daily basis. This is a huge opportunity for us to pass along our ideas to the Mayor and Town at the beginning of the process. The input meetings are set to begin at some point in the fall but the VRA has a survey out now to gather ideas from our members (https://forms.gle/xprWfLgDDDgvJdi19). Please consider filling it out if you haven’t yet.

I hope everyone has a great September!  

Best,

Julia

president@zvra.com


Town Council:

Greetings

As many of you know, Town Council meets twice a month. This wasn’t always the case, it used to be a single meeting a month, however in the spirit of ensuring issues didn’t have to wait so long, the bi-month schedule was adopted a few years ago. There is one evening meeting (7 PM) and one morning meeting (7:30 AM), and they typically occur on the first and third Monday of the month. They are more accessible than ever, especially in COVID times as the Councilors themselves are participating via Zoom. The public is welcome to attend/participate over Zoom, and all meetings are live-streamed and archived on YouTube.

I will admit they are not always action-movie caliber entertainment, but they generally include several issues that can have local impact. I would highly encourage you to attend a public meeting, whether it’s Town Council, Planning Commission, BZA, or even some of the lighter attended meetings like Safety Board or Parks Board. You will certainly learn something about how your Town government is being run.

I looked over our meetings for August, here are all the things discussed in those two meetings:

  • Approving of previous meeting memorandums (X2) – Each meeting we approve the previous meeting memorandum. This is done by Amy Lacy, the Town’s Municipal Relations Coordinator. Each memo states how each issue was voted, and who voted on it, to ensure that action items, public speakers, and votes are properly documented for the record.

  • Purchase card approval ordinance – Our new CFO, Tammy Havard, has asked that all purchasing be done on Town-owned P-Cards instead of personal cards for reimbursement. It both centralizes purchasing on a common platform and makes it much more transparent in terms of who is spending what within the Town. This was on both agendas because the ordinance requires two votes to enact.


  • A resolution on designating an area as in need of economic revitalization and property tax abatement – It sounds funny having to do this for a Town as prosperous as Zionsville, however this is something we have to do for certain economic development opportunities. In this case it was for a new Prologis distribution facility planned along I-65 in Zionsville. I spoke about these in the last update, and the economic power/engine they can provide for our Town revenue, and was thrilled to see this passed unanimously.

  • A salary ordinance for the wastewater department – One of our plant technicians, Danny Stogsdill, passed his level 3 certification for running a wastewater treatment plant. Not only was this a big achievement, but also allows us to promote him and fill an open position. This was a position that was budgeted for, but because it was open, we had to amend the salary ordinance to show what he would make. That’s unusual, typically we have budgeted positions in the salary ordinance but this one wasn’t included for an unknown reason. The good news is we fixed the glitch and have a more senior person in the wastewater department to make sure what is flushed doesn’t return!

    One other note on this, because it was an ordinance we would typically need two meetings to pass. Because of the immediate needs, we did what’s called a three-step process, which allows us to vote, vote to suspend the rules, and vote again. We try to avoid this type of procedure, but have done it in the past for salaries that may be needed for candidates that are available today, both so we don’t lose them and pay them appropriately.

  • Approval of claims – All money spent by the Town is sent through claims and is available for the Council to review and approve. It is also a public document and available for the public to review as well (aided now with the p-cards). Since the Council approves the budget, it’s an important step to ensure that what is budgeted is spent appropriately.

  • Adjournment (X2) – Sometimes my favorite agenda item, it’s the “class dismissed” item of the meeting.

This wasn’t a particularly busy month but does have a good representation of what can come across our Council meetings.

Have a good rest of the Summer, Fall is right around the corner.





















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