WANTED: Three New Dubois County Park Board Members

Jasper (NNDC) – The Dubois County Park Board is looking for three new members after longtime members Al Milhajlovits, Gerald Terwiske and Jim Hubers announced earlier this week they are resigning.

The three are stepping down after the Dubois County Council appointed former Council member Shane Lindauer to the park board back in January and making him its president.  Lindauer replaced Jason Schmitt, who was the park board’s president for many years.

The vote to replace Schmitt was 4-1.  Becky Beckman, one of only two Democrats on the Council Council, voted to retain Schmitt.  The council’s other Democrat, Craig Gruelich, is a cousin of Lindauer’s, and did not vote.

The four who voted for Lindauer are all Republicans as is Lindauer.  Schmitt is a Democrat.  His father Bill, is former Jasper Mayor Bill Schmitt.

The three resigning park board members say the appointment of Lindauer appears to be political in nature.  Park board members are appointed… two by the County Council and both cannot be of the same political affiliation (party).  Two are appointed by the county’s circuit court judge (though in recent years, the council has allowed both the circuit court judge and the superior court judge to make those appointments) and they too cannot be of the same political party.  The fifth is appointed by the county commission.

In a published report, county council president Jerry Hunefeld says there is some confusion on how members of the local park board are appointed and over the state statue that is supposed to ensure its non-partisanship.

Despite the confusion, Lindauer was not only appointed to the Park Board on January 9th, but was also made its president; thus prompting the resignations of Milhajlovits, Terwiske, and Hubers that were made official during the park board’s meeting this past Tuesday.

Terwiske told NNDC he was the first to inform the County Council his intention to resign immediately following the January vote that replaced Schmitt with Lindauer.

Lindauer and Jane Betz are the two remaining members of the park board; both are Republicans.

Hunefeld says the council will seek legal advice before proceeding with making one of the three need park board replacements.

People wanting to be considered for the park board can contact Dubois Circuit Court Judge Nathan Verkamp’s office or Dubois County Auditor Kathy Hopf on behalf of the council commissioners.

The next meeting of the Dubois County Park Board is in July.

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