News From Terre Haute, Indiana

January 26, 2013

Vigo Council taking its show on the road

Meeting Monday at Farm Bureau may be first of several outreach sessions

Howard Greninger
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — In an attempt to form community outreach gatherings, the Vigo County Council will host an informal, round table public discussion at 6 p.m. Monday at the Farm Bureau, 4803 S. Seventh St.

Pizza, chips, & soft drinks will be provided at 6 p.m., with the discussion expected to begin at 6:30 p.m., according to Ryan Oilar, council administrator

The forum is anticipated to have about 20 farmers who would like to discuss current and upcoming issues. The group is also interested in how the County Council is proactive.

“The meeting Monday was set up to try to reach out and see what some of the concerns are of some of the citizens and make sure we are hearing their problems and questions,” said Bill Thomas, president of the County Council.

“We are going to try to have a question-and-answer type session,” Thomas said. “There will be some questions, I am sure, that do not pertain to the council. We have invited the commissioners, but are not sure who will show up,” Thomas said.

Councilman Rick Burger helped spearhead the round table discussion, something Burger said he said he would do while campaigning in the fall for his first term in office.

“Farmers pay a lot of taxes. I just wanted an opportunity to sit down with different groups,” Burger said. “It is nothing different that what the [Terre Haute] mayor [Duke Bennett] does with his neighborhood meetings. Maybe another thing we will do as a County Council is reach out to the county industrial park, go down and meet with those leaders of businesses.

“We might go out to the smaller communities; I think we need to do that,” Burger said. “Those are the approaches I want to take. I call them round tables,” he added.

Burger said Monday’s meeting was spurred by Marty Evans, a farmer near Blackhawk.

“What we will share with them is how we spend the budget, here is a breakdown, a pie of the budget,” Burger said. “We will give facts and figures of road miles and levees and other things.

“It is something to try different, thinking outside the box. How can we be more accessible to the county?” Burger said.

The public forum allows the council to meet with at least four members present, a majority of the council, under the Indiana Open Door law.

Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached at 812-231-4204 or