EVANSVILLE – Vanderburgh County Assessor Jonathan Weaver released a statement July 13, 2010 saying he is “still seeking answers” about the payment of the Level II Certified Indiana Assessor appraiser stipends to four of his employees. In addition to being a misrepresentation of the facts, he falsely accuses the County Council of secretly making decisions regarding his office behind closed doors.

During 2010 budget hearings the majority on County Council funded the County Assessor’s budget request of $20.500.00 for Level II Appraiser stipends to be paid to his employees in 2010. This amount covered $1,000.00 for each of eight former township assessors and the County Assessor, plus $500.00 each for twenty three deputy assessors. As is the case for any county officeholder, if additional tax dollars are needed for a budget item, the officeholder submits an appropriation request for the County Council’s consideration and explains the need for the additional money. Mr. Weaver has not done that. He should understand after serving 3 ½ years in office that if he doesn’t have the funds in place in a budget line, he can’t pay any more.

If the County Council would consider and approve his request, the salary ordinance would be amended to allow payment of these funds. Without this approved request, the County Council and the County Auditor as payroll agent has no authority to pay additional compensation to a county employee.

The County Assessor’s claim that paperwork he received from the County Council indicated a decision was made on July 7 outside a public meeting is nonsense. The document his is referring to is a listing of current employees and former township assessors who are currently receiving the stipend. A footnote at the bottom states “AS OF 07/07/12010 – Council APPROVED ONLY 23 Level II (Mandatory).” The date indicates when the document was prepared, not when the action was taken.
“I’m disappointed Mr. Weaver would fire off an inflammatory news release with unfounded allegations against the County Council that are patently untrue. We council members work hard to stay in compliance with the Indiana open door law. He’s been an officeholder long enough to understand the process, he has to request an additional appropriation payment if he has Level II certified employees that are not receiving the stipend. That would then trigger the process for County Council to consider his request,” said County Council President Lloyd.

“Unfortunately, Mr. Weaver has a history of contentious dealings with the County Commissioners, County Council, County Auditor, County Surveyor and County Treasurer. Here we have an example of his latest rant, which makes it appear he doesn’t understand the process,” says Lloyd.