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Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014

Committee recommends establishing archive office

Thursday, August 29, 2013

(Photo)
Commissioner Rusty Grills studies old county records as Commissioner Steve Moore looks on. Members of the budget committee toured several areas where the county records are stored in order to determine whether an archive office is needed.
After much debate over whether to approve a resolution to establish an archiving office and a subsequent archiving fee, the Dyer County Budget Committee decided to go in a slightly different direction on Tuesday morning, unanimously approving to establish an archiving office and using proceeds from the driving school fund for startup costs. The decision came after nearly an hour of discussion on the resolution that was drafted by county attorney Michael Gauldin and first presented at the archive committee meeting in July. After sending the resolution to the full county legislative body at the end of July, which then tabled the resolution, the archive committee reconvened in August to further discuss the resolution and forwarded it with changes to the budget committee for their recommendation to the CLB.

"The archive committee is hoping to generate $18 to $20,000 to get started with an archiving office," said Commissioner William Mallard, chairman of the budget committee. "If we're going to comply with the law we have to get started."

The budget committee began with a tour of several county offices, which contain stored archive files in basement areas. Clerk and Master Steve Walker, chairman of the archive committee, led the tour, explaining where files were located and the importance to remove them from their current locations and bring them under one central location.

"The most important thing to remember is that the two things that destroy these documents is water and heat," said Walker, as the budget committee and several other commissioners toured the damp and stuffy basement in the Dyer County Clerk's Office.

The budget committee also toured the basement of the Election Commission Office where Walker has suggested that Marilyn Holmes, secretary for the Dyer County Historical Society, can set up an archiving office and begin working so that it can begin to apply for grants and raise funding in order to preserve the county's documents.

(Photo)
Clerk and Master Steve Walker guides several members of the budget committee and other county commissioners through a tour of the various offices where county records are stored.
After reconvening in the lower-level conference room of the Dyer County Courthouse, committee members began asking questions about the proposed resolution, which would allow a $5 archiving and management fee to be assessed per public record filed for the purpose of initiating a legal proceeding. Commissioner Jim Horner noted that he had read through several email exchanges where it was suggested that auditors should be consulted about the fee. Horner asked if this had been done. Walker responded that the primary concern was if different courts would be charged a different fee, and in speaking with Gauldin, Gauldin commented that he could see where the statute was unclear. However, it was concluded that a fee can be charged on cases initiating a court process.

"So you have not contacted the auditors?" Horner asked, repeating the question.

"No," said Walker.

"Are there copies of resolutions from other counties that we can look at?" asked Horner.

"The resolution was drafted with the help of CTAS, which has drafted similar resolutions across the state," responded Walker.

Horner then asked who would decide how the money received would be spent. Walker responded that the statute was very clear that it could only be spent for archiving purposes. He added that the committee would draft a budget that would have to be presented and approved by the budget committee through the regular budget process. Horner summarized that the resolution would charge the people that are using the court system, who do not want to be using the court system, to pay an extra $5 to cover the archiving costs for the whole county.

"I'm just trying to get this office started," said Walker.

(Photo)
Clerk and Master Steve Walker has suggested establishing an archiving office in the basement of the Election Commission office, which is one of many locations for county documents. The budget committee unanimously approved the suggestion on Tuesday morning after a lengthy discussion.
Mallard asked Mayor Richard Hill where the archiving office would fall under in the county's organizational structure if it were established. Hill responded that it would likely be an administrative office under the mayor's office.

Hill added that he was concerned that county residents may not understand what is trying to be accomplished with this archiving fee and perhaps the $5 rate was too much and should be lowered.

"We do care about folks and putting the hurt on them," said Hill. "This is taxation and that needs to be considered."

"You look at the economy, the empty houses," said Horner. "I won't vote to add any fee, tax, whatever you want to call it."

Hill suggested that the county could appropriate money from the driving school fund to the archiving office rather than placing an additional fee on residents. The budget committee was in agreement with the suggestion and Hill moved that the county establish an archiving office and appropriate $15,000 from the driving school fund for startup costs. Horner seconded the motion, which was approved without opposition by Hill, Horner, Mallard, Commissioner Steve Moore, Commissioner Bill Cloar and Commissioner Benny Spain.

In other business:

* The committee unanimously approved several budget transfers on a motion by Hill and a second by Horner.

* The committee reviewed a draft letter that will be sent to all charitable organizations that receive funding from the county. The letter specifically discusses the possibility that funding may not be available in future years. Horner moved that the committee approve the letter with Spain adding a second. The letter was unanimously approved.


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jim horner. i thought you were one true conservative and your questions to walker and statement to hill were right on. however, why did you second a motion to fund MORE government using a new 'driving school fund' wording. it all is in 'our' (the taxpaying citizens)pocket isn't it? what is the driving school fund? is that the one i went to for speeding? and spent 2 hours a few years ago about drinking and driving and paying $45 or $50 to attend? (it has probably gone up on price since then) if it is, how much money is in that driving school fund? there was not a word concerning defensive driving in that "driving school" that i heard. the guy that held it just told us how many beers equals how many shots of the stronger stuff. seemed like a racket to give somebody a job to give alcohol lessons.

is this just another employee to give to walker to supervise in order to get a raise? or more duties so he can claim he deserves more money?

-- Posted by closerlook on Thu, Aug 29, 2013, at 2:16 PM


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