, said it had been assumed
erroneously that he was accusing County Auditor Robert Wichlinski in his
statement on March 4 about using county employees for political gains.
Tuesday’s Board of Commissioners meeting clarified the statement saying he
meant to refer to a “minority of County Council members who have made some
outrageous and unfounded claims about our dedicated employees.”
It did not name any
members in particular.
The statement ended
with a call upon the leaders of the County Council to discuss the formation
of a Human Resources Department.
The topic of a
human resources report came up at the Feb. 27 Council meeting. Wichlinski
then said he would ask the Commissioners to extend his office hours from 8
a.m. to 5 p.m.
points, Evans said that human resources matters are the sole responsibility
of the Commissioners and that his board will not be considering policy
changes for a specific department or office. All changes will affect all
employees, he said.
deserve to be treated equally and fairly,” he said.
With that, Evans
said he recommends to Wichlinski, who was not at the meeting, to let the
Commissioners focus on their responsibilities and that he focus on his.
Evans said that
with nearly $1.6 million spent from the non-reverting fund for the Total
Quality Management program, he hopes that there will no longer be snafus on
Wichlinski’s part in uploading budget information to the state’s Gateway
system, payroll or getting information to contracted companies who write up
cost allocation plans so the County can receive state and federal grants.
received a letter from the Charles Malinkowski, president of Malcon
Malinowski Consulting, announcing the termination of an agreement to deliver
2012 and 2013-15 cost allocation plans (CAP) because of failed attempts to
contact the auditor’s office for financial and payroll data needed to
configure the 2012 CAP.
Evans read the
letter into the public record and asked Commissioners Laura Shurr Blaney,
D-South, and Commissioner Nancy Adams, R-Center, to join in voting to hire a
new consulting firm to perform that work in order to meet the deadline for
the plan so the reimbursements can be collected.
The board was
unanimous in approving a contract with Dorset Consulting to continue the
work at $9,000 annually over a three year period, the same rate as Malcon.
The money will be paid out of the auditor’s non-reverting fund, as was the
Betty Knight said she hopes to meet the April 1 deadline and has put in a
request to the Indiana Department of Children’s Services for an extension to
the end of April.
“This is a terrible
state of things if you ask me and there is really no excuse for it,” said
One grant in
particular that is contingent on the County providing a CAP is the IV-D
Court grant from the state, through the Federal Social Security Act, which
is diverted into the County’s General Fund. IV-D courts regulate child
support programs in the county.
auditor, information for the CAP is gathered from the County Clerk’s office
and the Prosecutor’s office, which had already turned in their information,
Specialist Vicki Urbanik thanked the Commissioners for moving on with a new
consultant and told them that the County had received $725,287 in
miscellaneous revenue from the IV-D Court grant, about $100,000 of which was
picked up because of the CAP.
Wichlinski told the Chesterton Tribune this morning that his office
had the information available and could have completed the CAP on its own
but gave Malinkowski the information last week because of the service
Malinkowski wanted to provide to the County.
Wichlinski, the communication problems were because phone calls were made to
an extension of an employee who no longer works in the Auditor’s office.
Wichlinski made is that he was the one who suggested Dorset Consulting and
that a representative from the firm is in his office today. He said the work
will be done by April 1 and he doesn’t understand why Evans criticized him
publicly in his statement Tuesday.
“Nobody had to make
those kinds of comments. This is a manufactured crisis,” Wichlinski said.
“This was only a matter of having a disgruntled contractor and we got him
the information he wanted.”
He also contends
that the Commissioners cannot spend money out of the auditor’s non-reverting
fund without his acquiescence.
GIS back in
In a related
action, Evans said he “truly believes” that the County’s Geographic
Information System (GIS) is “under-utilized” sitting where it is now in the
Auditor’s Office and proposed to move it back to the County Plan Commission
A motion to do so
was supported unanimously by the commissioners.
GIS provides a
mapping system, containing different hardware and software, to display
geographical information accurately. It can be used by residents and
organizations to find real estate parcels and look up data.
reorganized his office and made a space in which the public could access the
system. There is also a version of the GIS map online that can be accessed
from the County’s website.
Evans said the Plan
Commission office is equipped and ready to install the system.
Wichlinski told the
Tribune that the auditor has been fully funding the GIS budget. It
used to be paid partially from the Assessor’s Reassessment Fund which no
longer has enough funds, he said.
He questions how
the GIS system will operate in the Plan Commission office since the mapping
software is in his office.
Commissioners approved 3-0 to renew the contract with Pictometry for
$140,000 to provide up-to-date and detailed aerial imagery for the County
County Assessor Jon
Snyder requested the renewal saying the company is about to do a flyover for
a neighboring county, which knocks down start-up costs for Porter County. He
said now will be an ideal time for an aerial flyover before the trees begin
The costs will be
paid out of the auditor’s non-reverting fund, Snyder said.
Snyder has said the
images are so rich that his workers can use them to measure property
improvements without having to physically go out into the field, providing a
savings in his budget.