Southport Matters » Conversations, Headline, News, Southport » Patching up Southport

Patching up Southport

Mike Alexander, Southside Times on 30MAY12 reports:  

Southport Mayor Jesse Testruth has been on the job for nearly six months, and he is working to patch up hostile differences within this community of 2,000 residents.

For the past four years under the administration of Dr. Rob Thoman, the community nestled east of Madison Avenue on Southport Road, has been in turmoil for lack of budgetary figures presented to city council members, and not having prayer at the start of a council meetings.

The 61-year-old Testruth, with his straightforward manner and sense of humor, has soothed over much of the grumbling about access to up-to-date city budget information and allowed prayer at the start of meetings.

He is working on bringing the community together with several community outings this year. But his highest priority is the safety of Southport residents.

Another priority is developing business on the city’s west side to Madison Avenue.

The police department is at full complement, although new police Chief Randy Ellison, a former U.S. marshal and has studied at Indiana Law Enforcement Academy, is nearing completion of certification. Assistant chief William Bick, a former police chief, has resigned, but also is working toward upgrading certification.

Testruth said he wants a chief who has a safety background.

“The police chief’s job is an administrative position,” he said. “The board of public works is to advise and assist, and not tell the chief what to do.”

Testruth is focusing on training and pay for the police. He praised Chief Ellison Monday night for cutting gasoline use $600 to $2,300 for the month of April. He said he wants the police department to be self-contained financially, like other city departments.

As for the squabble between the mayor and the board of public safety, Testruth must find replacements on the board for Kevin Bandy and Andrew Harrison, both of whom walked off the job.

Southport does not have a court to decide traffic, civil and ordinance matters. Testruth is working on setting up a working arrangement with the city Beech Grove for court action, a move that the previous administration wanted to do.
The redevelopment commission, sworn in by the mayor Monday night, is comprised of Roger Harris, Duane Langreck, James Keller, Jim Cooney and Russell McClure.

Members of the city council are: Jim Cooney, district 1; Nick Schmoll, district 2; Rose Harrison, district 3; Larry Tunget, district 4, and Thomas Quinn, at-large.

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22 comments on “Patching up Southport

  1. Patching Up Southport with Large Changes? Yeah sure!

    Mr. Alexander,

    I was at the same Southport Council meeting you attended on May 22nd and can’t figure out how our interpretations are so different. Your article confused me on many counts.

    You described that prayer has returned but at the March Council meeting Mayor Testruth announced that citizen complaints through the Indiana ACLU prevented continuing such rituals. These very same complaints prompted my decision to avoid such ceremonies (often seen as proselytizing by others) while serving as the presiding officer during our council meetings. March and April meetings enjoyed an appropriate moment of silence.

    Mayor Testruth is absolutely right to want a Chief of Police who has a public safety background. But, Mr. Ellison served as a quartermaster for the US Marshals’ Department and not in a law enforcement capacity – any more than a county court bailiff investigates or arrests alleged felons.

    I also agree with the Mayor that public safety training is critically important. But, Ellison confirmed in May (at the Safety Board meeting) that his last Indiana law enforcement education was in 1973! And, we also learned at this same May meeting that Ellison’s choice for Asst. Chief, “Wild Bill” Bick never completed the minimum required 40 hour pre-basic course either. Citizens are concerned about ramifications surrounding Bick’s arrests while inadequately trained or certified.

    During this Council meeting, we found that Ellison too remained unable to serve as police officer for lack of minimum requirements. In deference to Testruth’s understanding, the Southport Chief’s position is NOT merely administrative but certainly requires enforcement duties and responsibilities. When this topic was discussed, you surely heard but didn’t mention Ellison invoking his 6th Amendment rights directing all questions to the City attorney.

    Additionally, Testruth is mistaken in his interpretation of the duties and responsibilities of the Board of Public Safety (BPS) as you reported in your SST article of May 31st. Indiana statue [IC 36-8-3-2] explains this Board does have exclusive control over the City’s police department.

    Regrettably, the SoPD is NOT at full complement as you described in your article. Before he was suspended for lack of required certifications, Ellison confirmed as much at the BPS meetings in April and May (recording available). The 30% decrease in fuel expenses are a result of fewer patrols by fewer officers and not by Ellison’s fiscal efforts.

    You are right that it was a common complaint that our Clerk-Treasurers (CT) financial reports were unavailable for consideration by the Council. Some suggested that the CT merely offered excuses while others allude to incompetency or dereliction. It’s been 5 months with the new CT but only 3 reports have been offered for Council’s or public. It’s strange that there are no complaints now about missing reports. My, Oh my; how quiet Councilor R. Harrison has become when it is on her watch that these same reports are missing.

    Lastly, and regarding your confusing article; you suggested that the squabble between the BPS and the mayor concluded because they “walked off the job”. Surely you were listening on Monday evening when Public Safety Director Kevin Bandy reported allegations of illegalities and improprieties associated with Bick and Ellison that Testruth failed to address. It was BPS members Bandy’s and A. Harrison’s sworn duty to uphold the US, Indiana and Southport laws that required that they leave the BPS meeting. They didn’t just walk out; they left before being implicated in an unfortunate cover-up.

    I know we attended the same meeting but we must not have listened with the same critical ear. A bit of research would have provided a clearer picture than the one you presented. You often searched for other points of view and verified statements consistently while I was mayor. In this regard, I hope your pick up your old habits.

    Former Southport Mayor, Robin Thoman

  2. While I have not attended Southport Council meetings, I have heard reports that things are not better under the new mayor, but worse. Hum! Another example of media trying to rule the roost??? When media folks express opinion rather than report a narration, citizens are short changed.

  3. Patching up Southport? With what? Fairy dust, staples, and old quilts? Can’t we just all get along and have a street festival with some hotdogs, kids games, and an endless supply of Kool Aid? That would Patch up Southport.

  4. It would be nice if everyone could just get along. EVERYONE acts like children!! Saw on the news that a former police office of Southport was arrested in Greenwood on suspicion of murder. Seems that officer was hired during the administration of the former mayor and chief. Also hear that they hired people with past felony convictions–any answer for that Rob?
    Ellison a quartermaster? Make very sure you have ALL of your facts clear. He worked in the white house during the administration of the first President Bush , worked Witness Protection, worked for OCDETF for the Marshal’s being the Senior Inspector for 12 states and numerous other postitions. And during all of your rantings you are failing to acknowledge that YOU yourself had also hired Ellison when Burgess left. Ellison resigned after 24 hours when he received information of things going on that HE chose not to be a part of. So apparantly his qualifications were good enough for YOU to hire at some point….as usual you put a spin on things for YOUR benefit.
    I have never heard that Ellison was SUSPENDED at any of the meetings that is your word. And Bandy kept saying he didn’t attend the Indiana Law Enforcement Acadamy which he did in 1973 when he was a Marion County Sheriff–you don’t have to keep attending it he had that requirment–and he had to have training that had to be completed WITHIN 6 months of him taking office. No reason he couldn’t hold the position he just had to have the training completed in the time period–if it isn’t or wasn’t done by the end of June then you have a real issue.
    While I’m on the subject SHAME ON YOU for making it sound like the murder of a much beloved minister in Southport was the fault of the police department. You implied it through out you article.
    Seems to me that Southport does not really matter to you. This is just your way to stroke your bruised ego.
    Southport needs to just get along and like Tina says “have a street festival with some hotdogs, kids games and an endless supply of kool-aid”.
    Please take your own advice and do some research on your part. I applaud the new administration for not “airing all of your dirty laundy” all the time and trying to move past it and change things. Do you really want the City to know everything that was “accomplished” during your administration that can in fact be PROVEN with documentation? Can you prove everything you are ranting about? Certainly hope so because if you can’t you could be facing more legal problems!!

    • Wow. I’m not sure where to begin. OK, first; let me express my appreciation loudly and clearly of Sharon(1)’s comment. That probably sounds crazy but I mean it! And, more input from alternate points of view is surely welcome. Sharon, thank you for your comment and points of view.

      Now, with that out of the way; there seems to be three different issues that Sharon has brought forward. The first seems to be about Michael Richards who worked for the SoPD in 2009 followed by a question about past hires or appointment of convicted felons . The second issue seems to surround qualifications of Randy Ellison in his capacity as a SoPD police officer and my appontment of Ellison to serve as my chief of police, also in 2009. Lastly, Sharon seems to feel strongly that I have implied that the Iseminger murder was the fault of the SoPD. In doing so, she also suggests that Southport doesn’t really matter to me, that I’m stroking a bruised ego. In conclusion, Sharon suggest more hotdogs and Kool-aid, more research on my part and worries that airing laundry from my administration might add to my legal problems.

      Sharon has put a fair bit of thought to her comment as so few people ever do. Again, thank you.

      Michael Richards was hired to work at the SoPD upon recommendation by BPS member, Kevin Bandy when our department was decimated by the mass resignations of paid and reserve officers after Chief Duane Burgess resigned. In the first two weeks, we learned from different sources (previous police departments that Richards worked for) that we had hired the wrong person. Richards was immediately put on administrative leave until a resignation was received a few weeks later. Within a day or two, we learned Richards was involved in an altercation with his girlfriend and falsely stated that he was still a Southport officer. He had no arrests or convictions when he was hired, he was adequatly ILEA certified and available. He served with our department for three or four weeks and we were glad to be rid of him as quickly as we were able. He had the same alleged training as Ellison reported (th eMarion County Sheriff Department) and verified police department experience with University of Indianapolis, Marion College and the Town of Westfield. He falsley told Kevin that he as currently certified as an ILEA training officer. Richards had been but that certification had lapsed. Interim Chief Steve Davis learned otherwise and immediately placed Richards on administrative leave.

      As I know it to be true, during my watch in Southport, we (I) never hired a convicted felon to serve on the SoPD. If ANYBODY knows differently, I’d like to know and hope to see any facts that support that possibility. Did you hear this, know this personally or make it up?

      Now, on to Sharon’s second issue regarding Ellisons Indiana qualifications. As I understand it today, he REMAINS WITHOUT the necessary certifications to serve as a police officer in Indiana. There is no time frame where any citizen can use police powers in anticipation of eventually gaining certification. Nobody gets 6 months to use police powers while they take the classes or finally qualifies. A Chief of Police DOES have 6 months to complete the ILEA Chiefs School and we should assume that Ellison has done so. But that specific training doesn’t qualify him as a police officers. I do believe that he can serve as the Chief of Police but can’t carry ba badge, can’t enforce the laws of Indiana or stop or detain citizens. Shucks, Michael Richards was more qualified than Ellison to serve as a SoPD officer in 2009 – although Richards was a bit less mentally stable than Ellison.

      Did I offer a job on the SoPD to Ellison? Yes, I did. He was vetted just as much as Michael Richards when he was offered the job. Both inadequately. Remember though, Richards had the certifications from ILEA. Richards had worked in law enforcement in a variety of positions in Marion County including the Marion County Sheriffs department, just like Ellison had.

      I was in the same state of mind when each was considered and made a rash decision on both. Neither should have been offered any position on our department – but at the time, I was desperate to fill the empty shoes in our police team. Remember that Schmoll and Harrison were in their driveways telling FOX 59 news that Southport was in a state of anarchy and chaos. I’m glad that we (Steve Davis) got rid of Richards and I’m glad that Ellison resigned the day after first accepting the position. I admit, I made a mistake on both. No spin here.

      I do believe that Ellison (as Randy explained) attended an academy in 1973 for training as a Sheriff’s deputy. I don’t know if it was a full program and frankly Sharon, it doesn’t matter. What DOES matters is whether, Ellison completed the necessary refresher course if he was out of law enforcement more than 2 years and less than 6 years. OR, if Ellison was away from law enforcement more than 6 years, did he complete the required 40 hours course? Straight up Sharon, Yes or No?

      It sounds like you know Ellison’s credentials much better than I do. If his CV is available, I’ll put it on this site. The community never got the chance to vet Randy’s training or experience as was accomplished by the Southport search committee during my term. No other candidates were compared or interviewed.

      Regarding Sharon’s last issue, that I blame the SoPD for the death of my neighbor – that’s was not my intent and not what I am suggesting. I did ask and do think it important to know: Did the SoPD respond appropriately to the call on Friday night reporting this homeless woman sleeping on a picnic table at the Southport Putt-Putt? Was any officer dispatched? What was the result of that dispatch. Less than 12 hours later, this disturbed woman was alleged to have murdered my neighbor. Did she have the gun that night? Could it have been determined if she was she a danger to herself or others? Could a trained officer have learned if she needed assistance, a shelter or medical attention? I can’t apologize for asking these questions and don’t see anybody would think that they are inappropriate. I know well the protocol for homeless persons found in Southport during my watch and it wasn’t to blow off the concern of any such reports.

      Can somebody – anybody suggest why these questions are improper? What questions would you ask of your leaders, of your police department when a terrible event like this occurs? And, why would these questions suggest that I don’t care about Southport. I grew up here, I live here, my family has invested here and we have served and continue to serve our community in many capacities. Sharon, what credentials do you have to show in supporting your community? This question really isn’t a condemnation, merely to suggest that it should be obvious that I care about my neighborhoods.

      If there is dirty laundry to air out from earlier administrations, by all means let’s get it out. Let’s get it in writing and before an appropriate venue to consider. Is there really anything new to report by the naysayers that hasn’t been reported already? Prove it with documentation that you espouse. Prove it with publication and specifics. Put your name to your criticisms like I have with my accusations or innuendo’s. Lets see your cards! I call your accusation and raise you 2 more!

      • Please assist the department responsible for investigating the death of Michelle Andrews. I knew her as an adolescent and teenager, and she was a lovely person who did NOT deserve to be murdered… No one deserves to have their life taken by another. May God bless her family and may justice be served~ her murderer should never see freedom again. Michelle may be gone, but she will always be remembered as the talented, pretty, and nice friend that I was blessed to have. Please don’t forget that she was a victim. I thank all of you who seek justice for Michelle and her family.

        • JJ, your thoughts toward your friend Michelle add a touching memory to a tragic event. Thank you for adding some poignant commentary.

      • I want to go on record and say that I believe that 99.99% of all law enforcement is good. Unfortunately, as with every profession, some bad ones slip through the cracks. I point no fingers at anyone who hired bad cops~ I put the blame directly on the 1% of police officers who abuse their power, break the laws, and abuse their girl friends. I do, however, pray that every agency that employed Mr. Richards assists with finding out who took the life of Michelle Andrews. Mr. Richards may or may not be responsible, but someone surely IS! I hold no department responsible for the deception of Mr. Richards… he provided false information and he blew the opportunity to be a protector of society. Cops like him make the jobs of the men and women of every department much more dangerous, and that in itself is a crime. Thank you to the many, many brave men and women who protect us both at home and over seas.

          • Thank you, Rob. I am so thankful that Michelle’s voice was heard. Thanks to all who helped with the investigation that lead to charges against Richards. Michelle was worth the effort that was put into the investigation, and I hope it brings her family some comfort. Again, thanks to the brave men and women who serve to protect us~ he is accountable for his actions alone.

            She was a happy part of my youth, and it’s a pleasure to sing her praises. She was a great athlete, smart, and she was a pretty girl, to boot. Heaven has gained a beautiful angel. Thank you, Rob, for taking the time to imagine what a great person she was.

  5. Thanks for not completely slamming my remarks. But now that you have answered as you have about the former SoPD officer would you also agree that when Ellison took over and was finding some issues with officers that were on staff (calls and documentation from other police departments) that he needed to act responibly and verify what was being said and getting rid of these officers? If your administration acted appropriately by doing this then he is entitled to do the same. From what I have been able to find out some of these problems were going on during your administration and were either ignored or not dealt with. They were allowed to either resign or be fired and most of them resigned. You can’t feel that by your administration getting rid of a “bad egg” is a good thing and that when Ellison is acting on the same types of information from other agencies he is “wrong”. The same things should apply to everyone. He is taking applications for other officers but they are being evaluated from what I am told as he doesn’t want to take people on the word of others without checking them out. Better to not hire a problem then having to get rid of one later.
    You also bring up another interesting point. Bandy recommended this person? You state in a previous comment that he does “run” the police department in that capacity so wouldn’t that make him a bad person to have in that position if he didn’t check him out first? Just a thought but you grabbed for someone to fill a spot–no matter how dire any situation is you still check things out first. ALWAYS!!!

    • You’re welcome. You may not lik the extended reply, but you’ll probably like this. Ellison CERTAINLY has the priveledge to fill or thin HIS department as HE see fit. No fault there from me. I may not agree with his accepting nilly-willy unconfirmed calls or allegations but that doesn’t matter. He has full autonomy AND authority to clean house as he sees fit. My friends may not agree with me but I appreciate Ellison’s perogative. And yes, better not to hire a problem than to have to get rid of one later.

      About Bandy, I don’t recall stating that Bandy runs the police department. I never really thought he did – although that is the typical responsibility of a public safety director. If you can cite the reference, I’ll go back and check my comment. Kevin’s not a bad person to believe that Richards wasn’t capable of serving. As I understand it (in hindsight) Richards had undergone considerable changes the two or three years before he came to the SoPD. Rumors (afterward) suggested steroids were involved. I don’t know that for sure but the few episodes that I did know suggest the same. Lastly, I learned a lesson about vetting police officers during my term and was grateful to have turned it over to subject matter experts.

      Our v. small department within a major metropolitan region presents a unique challenge to properly vet all who might seek employment. Certification is but one part of the equation.

  6. I also checked out Ellison’s qualifications today and he does have the qualifications to serve as a police officer in Indiana. He did complete Chief School in March as that was the first available class. Per ILEA he had to complete 120 hours of training to bridge the gap in the time he was not in law enforcement but was qualified to serve. If he did not complete the training by JUNE 30th then that is another story all together. He is compliant in doing everything that was required of him and it has been completed prior to the JUNE 30th deadline.
    Are you glad that Ellison resigned or are you just glad that you were able to keep the lid on your illegal traffic fine ordinace bureau? You and your former clerk signed the paperwork on it and it was never approved by the board which is part of the reason they all walked out. It wasn’t legal and when you were asked about it your comment was “If they complain about it we will give them their money back.”
    Enjoyed the budget meeting tonight. Found out a few more interesting things that I am going to research. Really going to dig into the remarks that were made about transferring money from other budgets. I want to see how legal all of that was. May find out it was but I love a challenge and I do research to have facts when I bring up issues.
    It was found that apparantly a budget was written but your administration did not file it with the appropriate authorities so that Southport did not get the much needed funds this year that they need to operate on. One question to you would be was this done on purpose so the incoming administration would have problems or an oversite on your part? IRS froze the money as of January 1st because of this and Mrs. Bossingham had to get things straightened out in order that they would release the money. But I forgot SOUTHPORT MATTERS to you. You were the Mayor and as such were responsible for the City.
    I personally hate politics. I find that people want to criticize everyone else for things that they did themselves. You have a lot of things in your past that have been less than stellar. Because of attitude people dug up these things which hurt your now life as a dentist. You throw stones and more things get dug up about you. Then you get mad and throw more stones and the cycle continues. It doesn’t take a lot of “smarts” as far as I am concerned to find these things. It does take a lot of effort and time. Southport is a very small town–it is not a big city like Chicago!! I personally am very ashamed of all of this behavior. I have never seen as much hatred for someone as I see from the people of Southport for you. You could have defused some of this in order to show that Southport does matter to you but the power of the position always seemed more important to you.
    I have set back quietly for several years and said nothing but I feel I want clarification on matters now if I am to make an educated decision on how I feel about issues…it’s the legal side of my nature. I like facts and the complete truth. I dislike half truths and lies by ommision. Lies always get found out eventually….

    • Thanks for returning to the website Sharon(1) and for adding more of your concerns and interest. I’m glad to hear that you, ahh, I mean Ellison explains that he has completed the necessary requirements. I had no idea of a need for 120 hours. Also, I can’t speak (or write) to any June 30th deadline. Can you offer more insight?

      The Ordinance Viloations Bureau was established by the Southport Council, not the mayor. Once established, Southport (my administration) used the Bureau to collect fines for local infractions. Although there are different opinions on how to use such a Bureau, our research (via Barnes and Thornburg) found more than a handful of cities or towns in Indiana using the same approach as we used with impunity. We sure didn’t ask Jack Sandlin for legal advice.

      Yes, last night, CT Bossingham provided a well thought-out program on municipal budget basics. I sure wish earlier CT’s had the insight and foresight to provide such helpful programs. Kudo’s to Diane! In almost every case her information was spot-on.

      I’m unsure of your reference to a “board walking out” and any attribution to the Ordinance Violations Bureau. Do you mean the Southport Council walk-out in June of 2008 or the Board of Public Safety walk-out in disgust last month? Again on the proper or improper collections of local fines (and I assume that is the issue you’re now concerned about) where is the proof – in writing – or any complaint filed with an appropriate venue? Greg Dant’s or Jack Sandlins dining room doesn’t count. As in an ealier reply to your concerns, put your name to the accusations, present your case to the correct jurisdiction. Until then, any allegations of illegality are – well, they are just gossip – aren’t they?

      Sharon(1), your awareness (or lack of awareness) of a budget written by my administration really reveals your ignorance on municipal finance matters. As Rose Harrison will clearly tell you “The councilors writes the budget, not the mayor”. In the case of this 2012 budget, the Council actually constructed the entire budget of appropriations. I was in the room and watched their actions while the CT documented their deliberations. It may well be that the CT didn’t file the necessary paperwork – but she wasn’t a part of my administration any more than Rose Harrison was part of my administration. Board appointments, city inspectors, engineers or employees, police chief appointments, selection of attorneys and accountants – those were all part of my administration. But not the council and not the CT; they were elected by our neighbors.

      Although some will disagree with me, I feel that executives of third-class cities and towns like Southport should be able to manage the majority of the financial compliance obligations of our municipality. That’s not the way it is now in Indiana. Yes, the Council should still approve a budget of appropriations but compliance should be relegated the the City executive. Contrary to those who don’t know better, Clerk-Treasurers don’t report to the mayors and don’t do the mayors bidding. Theirs (the CT) is an entirely different administration. Remember, Mayor-Executive; Clerk-Treasurer-Financial and Council-Legislative. As it now stands, Mayors don’t do financial stuff but can only suggest to Councils and Clerk-Treasurers. I didn’t write any checks, sign any checks, accept any funds or collect any revenue. I’m gald that I didn’t.

      On the matter of transfers, Diane is quite correct. Only the legislative body can approve any transfers between funds. Only the legislative body can increase (set) appropriations. On a side note though, appropriations from some funds can be used for services typically supported by another fund. The best example is that of MVH (motor vehicle and highway) funds be used to support public safety – up to 15% of the fund. That’s a lot of cash to spend on the police department and it doesn’t require council approval. It does require adequate appropriations though.

      I have no idea of any frozen IRS money. I didn’t know the IRS had money to freeze. I’ve been successful in business for over 30 years and have had a fair bit of interaction with the IRS as most any business owner would. You’ve cited some issues that don’t make sense to me. Perhaps with a little more research or a little more explanation, I might be able to offer a full response. As explained above, only the CT has the responsibility for financial oversight with appropriations or employment matters.

      You’re correct in suggesting that my life has not always been “stellar”. I’ve made mistakes years ago and made mistakes just last week. I’ll bet I makes some mistakes next week too. Some have been terribly costly, painful and embrassing and others provided a wonderful learning experience. I can’t think of anything that hasn’t been dug up yet. The micoscope of politics sees many things but has very little lateral vision. But there has been a fair bit of misinformation regarding my “less than stellar past” that isn’t true and hasn’t been substantiated. Anonymous accusations don’t count. I dislike half truths and lies by omission too Sharon(1). Rather than hiding behind pseudomyms, put the facts out with your name on them and see if they stack up. Come on Sharon(1), go All-In.

  7. I plan to “go all in” but I will as soon as I have true facts from all sides. I did feel if I posted all in as you want now you would delete from here immediately—but I will set your mind at ease—not sure if you were implying I am the Chief or just that the Chief informed me on some things. I am not the Chief and I did not get the fact that his training was complete from him. I can only get on here every few days or so due to my schedule but just know I am accumulating papers–so you can have your “proof” in something that is not hearsay.

    • Sharon,
      Once again, thanks for contributing. No need for you to go “ALL IN”. I accept that you’re not Chief Ellison and that you are accumulating papers from all sides. Any insight you can offer toward alternate points of view are truly welcome.

      If you do have a copy of a CV or resume showing Chief Ellisons qualifications or experience, it would be great to add them to this website to alleviate any fears or misconceptions of his credentials. Although I do accept Ellison’s word that he has completed his certification, others are obviously not so inclined.

      The comments from David K. and Wendy reveal some troublesome curiosity towards Ellison. Like you, I don’t know who they are nor where their information comes from. It seems like it may be a current SoPD officer unhappy with the leadership. I really don’t know. Some of their questions are slightly inflammatory but I suspect some people think some of my comments are inflammatory.

      Please continue with your investigations and if you feel comfortable, offer the results here for all to see. Do you have any answers to any of David K.’s questions? Any of them?

  8. It sounds like Sharon has already made up her mind in objectivity and is not interested in answering any questions Rob has asked. Answer me then.

    • Is Ellison responsible for picking Bill Bick and giving him an Assistant Chief position?
    • Does Bill Bick have 6 months to also get his training completed?
    • Did Ellison authorize [Bick] to drive around in a marked police car? For [Bick] to pull over a moped driver, yank him off and throw him to the ground and place handcuffs on him? To put him in custody for over an hour, only to release him and not charge him with anything?
    • Does Ellison believe this is acceptable treatment of citizens?
    • Did Ellison know about Bill Bick and his stellar short career as a former Chief of Southport?
    • Did Ellison think it was wise to hire him and put him in such an important role on his administration?
    • Did Ellison think that his choice of an assistant was better than the assistant he had with the turnover of administrations?
    • Why did Ellison wait until after the Board of Public Safety brought up issues of certification, to actually start his certification? Why Sharon?
    • Why did Ellison accept the job when offered originally by Rob?
    • Why did he really resign?
    • Was it because he saw he had Mike Richards as an officer and no one else? Was it because the department had no money?
    • Was it simply that he could not build a department by himself?
    • Was it just easier to let Steve Davis do the work, build the department to full complement, and then Ellison work his magic on the success of others?
    • Does Ellison have anything close to shifts being filled? Is Southport better off now?

    I don’t expect any of these questions answered since you are knee deep in going through what you can on anything and everything associated with Rob, and nothing on Ellison. That is not “all in” Sharon. Do you really care about Southport Sharon? Does Ellison? My guess is no you both don’t!!!!!!!

  9. Sharon stated that Ellison worked IN the White House under Goerge Bush Sr, (as witness protection)? Since when does the White House hold witnesses inside, and protect them? Are you sure of this? It sounds all very suspect to me. I thought that was the job of the Secret Service to deal with the President of the United States? Was Ellison Secret Service also? If Chief Ellison told you all this, it must be true. If his resume states it, it must also be true. With such a past work history Southport Chief of Police must be the easiest job he has ever had. We are lucky to have his experience! Well, after he gets done with his training that is. Do some digging around on that Sharon.
    Sharon also stated that Ellison worked as a senior inspector for 12 states, and numerous other positions. Inspector of what? Equipment? What were the other “numerous” positions? Has Sharon really verified any of this or are the citizens of Southport expected to be impressed and accept it all as fact? Does Sharon know any facts?
    David brought up some good questions. I hope Sharon is accumulating paperwork–so we can have some “proof” in something that is not hearsay. Sharon should get some cheese to go with her whine.

  10. Sharon (1):

    I strongly resent your implying that I knowingly did something illegal. For the record, I spoke with our (then) legal counsel concerning the acceptance of local ordinance violations. Since I do not hold a JP degree, I thought it best to seek their opinion prior to accepting payments for L.O.V.s. Barnes & Thornburg’s legal opinion was verified and validated this procedure was not illegal. As Rob stated, other cities and towns are doing the same as revenues declined.

    Since my family continues to live on Southport Rd., I for one, was estatic when traffic slowed down and people were mindful of the 25 mph speed limit on my street. Since the police have stopped patrolling Southport Rd, the average speed has returned to 40 mph. If you lived in the City, you might understand and appreciate this effort better and be more appreciative of ANY effort to stop people from speeding through Southport neighborhoods.

    Secondly, I did not hold a position that allowed me to vote, sign, or make anything into law. I was responsible for the finances and employees HR procedures. For you to say I signed my name approving any type of law or ordinance for Southport, is erroneous and misleading, not to mention unfounded.

    Finally, while I accepted the appointment to the CT position, I lacked the knowledge and experience that the position entailed. I hold an accounting degree, but municipal accounting was much more than just debit and credits, payables and receivables, and payroll. I had to learn a lot on the job, taking every class and making acquaintances with other CTs in the State in order to learn what I needed to know. I did ask former Mayor Thoman for his opinions, as he had attended CT school and is knowledeable in this area, but ultimately, I relied on what the State Board of Accounts opinions and city legal. I am unsure of what these transfers are that you referred to, as I’m positive I made none during my term. What I did do was run the city finances as though they were departmentalized, to see how much each part costs because there was no indication of that from the previous administration when I came into office. I shouldn’t have done that and once the SBoA made it clear, I made the adjustments to the Funds-where the expenses should have been paid from the start. This does not require approval from the city council.

    If I did anything illegal, as you have implied, the State Attorney General, the SBoA, and the local police would have arrested me by now, as they have reviewed every transaction for Southport in the annual audits. If you wish to slander me more, I’d think twice before doing so. I won’t hide behind a pseudonym.

  11. Hey! Cathy. You sound a bit ruffled – and should be. Your comments are what I’d expect. You took more than your fair share of criticism doing a thankless job. CT Bossingham too is finding out that municipal accounting is a different animal than business bookkeeping and simple payables. She doing a good job though in spite of the challenge to provide timely CT Reports. Both of us know well the difficulties that Diane faces today and both of us are able to give her the leeway she deserves in learning her new role and new responsibilities.

    Hmmm. Didn’t you receive rancid criticisms from Councilor Harrison when you didn’t have the CT Reports at the monthly meetings for her reivew? Where are Harrison’s criticisms now?

  12. I did, in fact, receive hateful and bitter comments from Councilor Harrison if reports were not provided monthly. She too, implied [that] you and I were stealing money from the City on more than one occasion. But considering that Mrs. Harrison did not understand accounting, municpal or otherwise, let alone the duties and responsibilities of the Clerk-Treasurer’s office (as well as her own, for that matter) as provided by State and Local Ordinances, I never put much weight into her allegations and took them with a grain of salt. I’m sure she is still slandering you and I to the public at large. Hate loves to hate.

    I’m sure Diane is being cut [some] slack because she wasn’t part of ‘your crew’ and not deemed automatically to be in your pocket. Rob, I’m sure no one ever knew of the times you and I had our differences. Mostly because we handled them in an adult manner, rather than throw temper tantrums [in front of] the 15 or so naysayers who attended the monthly meetings. WE know how to agree to disagree and move on the next issue.

    Some people have a hard time letting go when they are not correct. Dr. Phil calls them ‘right fighters’- people who will go to any length to be right and win a fight, rather than accept being wrong [or just of different opinions]. Those same people who still hold City Council positions are now justified in accepting the very same ideas you put forth. I can’t stand hypocrites.