Latest park board appointment to be removed

By CANDY NEAL
cneal@dcherald.com

The Dubois County Council will have to make a new appointment to the Dubois County Park Board.

In discussing the Dubois County Commissioners’ appointment to the board, County Attorney Art Nordhoff said that the County Council will have to remove its latest appointment, Shane Lindauer.

“It is not a valid appointment,” Nordhoff said.

Lindauer has the same political affiliation as the council’s other appointee, Jane Betz.

State statute says a county park board is to be comprised of five members. Two of those members are appointed by the county’s fiscal body, which is the county council. Two are appointed by the Circuit Court judge. One is appointed by the county’s executive, which is the county commissioners.

In the cases where two people are appointed by one body, those two people cannot be of the same political affiliation. A person’s political affiliation is determined by the ballot a person chooses in the last primary.

Council members were not aware that there were political affiliation stipulations when they made the appointment.

For more than 20 years, the park board had the same members. But in early January, the Dubois County Council decided to appoint Republican Shane Lindauer to the board instead of reappointing Democrat Jason Schmitt.

That upset the rest of the park board — Al Mihajlovits, Jim Hubers, Gerald Terwiske and Jane Betz. The board’s first quarterly meeting was held the next day. The incumbent board members then attended the council’s Jan. 30 meeting to ask why Schmitt was not reappointed and to express their disappointment.

Mihajlovits, Hubers and Terwiske said at the next park board meeting on April 11 that the matter wasn’t handled well and that they were resigning from the park board. Betz expressed the same sentiment, but decided to stay on the board to help with the transition. She is the council’s other Republican appointed to the board.

If the appointments are not made by the next park board meeting, which is in July, no matters can be decided because the board will not have a quorum.

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Previous coverage of the park board can be found below:

Park board appointments didn't follow state law

Longtime county park board members retire

County council defends park board appointment




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