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County Board Special Meeting Spirals Once Again into Heated Exchanges

From the Housing Authority in White County to the operations of the County Treasurer’s Office, the County Board has provided a platform for some high blood pressure situations over the last 3 months.  In March, a special meeting to discuss the White County Housing Authority escalated into heated exchanges.  Most recently, County Treasurer Pam Armstrong has come under fire and a special meeting commenced Thursday evening.  Not surprisingly, a similar experience followed with a packed courtroom made up of mostly individuals turning out to defend the target of the meeting.  In both instances, there were individuals who took issue with how the office is operating, but they were far outnumbered.

Board Chair Ron McAnulty opened the meeting.

McAnulty would go on with his opening statement asserting that anyone who wanted would be given an opportunity to speak saying they would be given two minutes and would need to approach the board and state their name before giving their remarks.  Over the next hour, only one individual abided by that request and it was mostly a group conversation that resembled Great Britain’s parliamentary procedures with interruptions and occasional raised voices.

Treasurer Armstrong opened her unofficial defense saying she hadn’t been notified of the meeting.  Our review shows her office’s official email was sent the notice and agenda at the same time as media, other board members, and office holders.  Armstrong went on…

Furthermore, she would say that she understood the public perception was that she was responsible for the tax bills being mailed late the last 2 years.

From there, she says she attempted to, as a courtesy to tax payers, accept pre-payments through December 31st so tax payers could deduct those payments from their tax returns which she says created a nightmare.

Ultimately, Armstrong would go on to say that her attempt to assist taxpayers by offering those pre-payments blew up in her face.  Many of the complaints seem to surround Armstrong not being available at the office, allegedly not returning calls, and clerical errors.  More on that shortly.  Before that, the room dealt with some of the rumors that were swirling including board member Ken Usery saying the county had been threatened with law suits.  That turned into a melee of comments during which you can’t identify every individual speaking.

From there, the Supervisor of Assessments office took center stage.

County employee Sheila Headlee raised the question of security with Armstrong working remotely.

Former County Board Chair David Dosher weighed in.

Without any real resolving of that, Ken Davis who pays taxes in White and Vermillion County spoke.  He drove about 3 ½ hours to attend the meeting and address the public.  Michelle Winters, who works in the Treasurer’s office, admitted to being responsible for the mistake and responded saying the Davis’ should’ve called even more often to get results.  That preceded Bill Chapman to ask…and for Tim York to answer with another question…

Armstrong says as long as the Supervisor of Assessments office is on time, taxpayers can count on her office to have tax bills out on time.

The final discussion surrounded procedure and that calling these meetings isn’t fruitful.  That proved partially true as the board never entered into the executive session they’d listed on the agenda.  As loud as the meeting got, it ended with a whimper about an hour a 5 minutes after it began.

9 comments
  1. Tim "Rooster" York
    Tim "Rooster" York
    May 21, 2021 at 9:27 am

    I would like to add that one of the underlying themes of the night was how much COVID-19 effected the roll of the White County Treasurer and all parties involved surrounding the distribution of the 2019 Payable in 2020 property taxes. From the delays with the assessor to Pam never being in office and working from home, it was being referenced often. It’s no secret that a very large portion of the White County people have refused to believe it was real, refused to comply with CDC recommendations and refused to comply with state guidelines.

    The released agenda said masks are required and there were signs going into the courthouse saying to mask up. Then here we are, in a full courtroom, using COVID19 as one of our excuses… With only 3-4 people actually wearing masks.

    I have full sympathy for those who have suffered the effects of COVID19 and I mysef know people who suffered. I lost a family member to COVID19. I take it seriously. With that said…

    If you didn’t take it seriously last year and you certainly didn’t take it seriously at this board meeting, please spare me the excuses. I support your right to believe whatever you want to believe, but don’t cherry pick the pandemic as an excuse when convenient.

    Reply
  2. Steve Pascal
    Steve Pascal
    May 21, 2021 at 10:22 am

    How embarrassing! How so very unprofessional on all so called professionals. Just a disgrace for White County, plain & simple.

    Reply
  3. Watchdog
    Watchdog
    May 21, 2021 at 11:21 am

    At the same time that McAnulty was holding his weekly “ Bash someone session”. Gallatin Co Board was holding a special session on how to spend $990000 they applied for and received for the COVID relief bill. Did White Co get any of this money or was Ron too busy attacking people

    Reply
  4. R.J.York
    R.J.York
    May 21, 2021 at 12:00 pm

    I am embarrassed to even think about our county officials acting in such childish manners. I understand that tensions are high over certain issues but for God’s sake , conduct yourselves in a professional manner like your posistion requires you to.
    I as a taxpayer to 2 different properties in this county was aggravated over the late tax Bill’s but I also understand that there is alot of work that goes into this process of billing with minimal help. How about everyone STOP the bickering and work TOGETHER as a community. If other board members see another board member or elected office official struggling, why beat em down? Get up and offer your assistance. The people of this county have shown on many occasions that we all help each other in times of need, so why is it to good for the board members/ elected officials to do the same? U all were elected into these positions because our citizens believed in you! At some point in time the citizens are gonna day ” enough is enough”! Either do your jobs in a professional, respectful and prompt manner or resign your posistion. Our county doesn’t have time for bickering of adults, we need stuff taken care of in a prompt manner and you all are in a courtroom arguing like little kids. Grow up! Move on! Get over it! Get your jobs done!

    Reply
  5. OO Buckshot
    OO Buckshot
    May 21, 2021 at 2:47 pm

    The “hole” just keeps getting Deeper!
    White County is a laughing stock.
    Take care of the problem, you are our voice and I’m not hearing you! Sad

    Reply
    • Steve Pascal
      Steve Pascal
      May 21, 2021 at 8:37 pm

      A new county board chairman that knows how to lead would be first in order.

      Reply
      • CountryGal
        CountryGal
        May 23, 2021 at 9:49 am

        Fact: Tax Bills have been late for 2 years now.
        The only thing I heard getting done here is the voicing of accusations, excuses and threats. No resolution to the problem. Come on now. Get your $h!* together and do your jobs. Do what you were elected to do and put the personal stuff aside. If someone can’t or won’t do the job they were elected to do then replace them. I don’t care the position. Ridiculous. Embarrassing. DO YOUR DAMN JOB!

        Reply
        • Steve Pascal
          Steve Pascal
          May 23, 2021 at 11:40 am

          The problem is some of them don’t have any idea how to do their “damn jobs”.

          Reply
  6. Digger
    Digger
    May 22, 2021 at 7:10 am

    I prepaid my property taxes in December 2020 for 2019. There was a sign on courthouse door that stated “ mask is required”. I go in to pay the taxes and NO county employee is wearing a mask. I just don’t get it. A rule that the county doesn’t even follow and now we are picking out individuals to use as escapegoats. I think all county officials should be thrown out and start with a clean slate. Now the county head is also the head of Indian Creek Twp. I personally don’t think that should be legal to do since the townships money comes from the county. This county is as crooked as Bear Creek where it is in its original banks and hasn’t been rerouted. Furthermore, the great computer frenzy @Indian Creek Twp., it doesn’t surprise me at all. The people I would suspect doing that has always been like that but people just turn their head because of who they are in Norris City

    Reply
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