New 911 Center Dedicated

Below is Brian’s speech from the Ground Breaking Ceremony on December 16, 2013:

Good Afternoon Everyone.
I hope everyone has made it through the weather events and are doing well.

Thank you for being here in this typical Johnson County, Indiana weather.

I am very happy to be to this point of the start of the new 911 Central PSAP and Dispatch Center. It has been a long and difficult process, but we have made it to this very important place in time with all moral and ethical integrity intact and non-diminished.

We have done this in the best way for all citizens and Public Service personnel and have done it with minimum interruption of time and money for all citizens of Johnson County.

May I slip this in at this point though………Shame on those who have put this into place but gave no way to truly accomplish the task through legislation or financial input or means. I will stop there.

There are many people to thank and I know I will probably forget someone on some organization, but I truly appreciate all those who aided in this coming about and accomplishing this very important task given to us, of whom some may not currently be involved.

I would first like to thank those involved in the beginning process of this accumulated accomplishment.
The 911 Board, which currently consists of:
White River Fire Department Chief – Jeremy Pell – Chairman
Sheriff Doug Cox
Greenwood Fire Department Chief –James Sipes
New Whiteland Police Department Chief – Ed Stephenson
New Whiteland Fire Department Chief – Brian Hedrick
Franklin City Police Department Chief – Tim O’Sullivan
EMA Director – Stephanie Sichting
County Council Representative – Pete Ketchum
County Commissioner Representative – Tom Kite
Mike Watkins – 911 Director

I thank you for the dedicated time and effort you gave to this starting not months ago, but years ago and since conception of this process.

I would also like to thank the Chiefs, Marshals, Elected Officials, Directors, Managers and Representatives from all other towns, cities, and Sheriff Cox, Colonel Werden, Barb Davis, Kathleen Hash, Mike Watkins, and the other county employees involved, for all of their help, valued opinions, and ultimately cooperation in helping this process work out in agreement in the end. I thank Mayor McGuinness and Mayor Myers and the staff of the City of Greenwood and City of Franklin for their work, input and cooperation with this project. I will say that through this I have gained a friend in Mayor McGuinness and that is priceless. I did not really know him prior to this endeavor, but I am glad we came to know each other. My friendship with Mayor Myers has been strengthened in this also.

I thank Commissioner Tom Kite who has been in this process for several years and has put in many hours of dedicated work and dealt with the stress and frustration over a long period of time. He has been a valuable asset to the people of this county.

I would like to thank Commissioner West for his steadfast and wise dedication and counsel during some really difficult times during the process and his ability to see forward and use his abilities to find the cutting edge financial arrangements to make this transition as smooth as possible for all involved.

I am positive that what we have accomplished and how we have accomplished it has been and will be applauded by many other counties as this process moves forward in other areas, paving the way for them as they watched and will watch us accomplish this task put before us.

We, as citizens and officials of Johnson County can hold our heads high, knowing that we accomplished a great and potentially divisive mandate and came through on this side unscathed, undaunted, and in unison, as a people…….and as representatives of the people……..united to do all possible to the best of our abilities for all 142,000 plus citizens of Johnson County.

I have learned much and am proud to serve with all those involved and look forward to our next adventure in the County of Johnson.

Thank you all, and most of all, thank God and may He Bless and protect those of us with true hearts and spirit of service for the people of this community.

Brian Baird
Chairman, Johnson County Board of Commissioners
December 16, 2013

November/December 2013 Newsletter

Hi, Good Citizens of Johnson County,

I hope you are all doing great as we move into another holiday season.

I wish you all a blessed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year.

I am still Chairman of the Board of Commissioners, which sometimes surprises me. I figured I would be re-called by now. We are moving forward but will never be able to please everyone. I am not thrilled about that, but I finally understand that not everyone will be satisfied or happy with change or progress: we are over 143,000 people now in Johnson County. My first thought is always the whole of the people and what will be best for all of us, now and in the future. I try really hard to keep our bi-monthly meetings light and somewhat humorous, but make sure we stay on task to accomplish the business of the people.

I am honored to continue to serve the people of Johnson County. I am still in awe of the awesome responsibility that has been given to me and continue to work full-time to maintain my high level of expectation of myself.

I am still really busy working with the normal everyday care of the county along with projects that have deadlines that are quickly approaching. I have averaged well over 40 hours per week since taking office in January. Not bad for a part-time job. I have chosen to devote my time and effort to this cause and will continue to do so as long as I serve in this position. Every day is a new challenge and I greatly enjoy working with the staff in the Commissioner’s Office.

We have completed most of the scheduled repairs to the Courthouse Annex. The roof repairs are complete and we have basically finalized the west entrance of the Courthouse Annex and are now working on the main east side entrance. We are remodeling both entrances to comply with current ADA Standards.

The safer, much-improved Johnson County Shooting Range is nearly complete. I have had many positive comments on the shooting range. It should be complete in 2 weeks, except for grass seed in the interior. It looks really good and will be very functional, along with being much safer. The Sheriff’s Office should be able to start using the range in late June or early July depending on how well the grass grows.

The new 911 Center is now contracted out for a December 10, 2013 starting date and will be located behind the Johnson County Jail. We must have this structure complete and moved into by December 31, 2014. This was one of the projects mandated by the State and will combine all of the City and Town Emergency Dispatch Centers into one building.

We are close to finalizing contracts and starting the new Superior Court 4, which was also mandated to Johnson County by the State of Indiana. We have finalized plans and an estimate that confirms it is within our budget. We really had to get creative to make this work and fit, but I think we have a good plan in place and will make it by the December 31, 2014 deadline.

New health care coverage is in place and all seems to be working well. I am continuing to consider alternative fuel possibilities to help cut our fuel costs. I will devote more time to this and the proposed new Sheriff’s Office Training Facility in 2014. We currently do not have a training facility that will adequately contain the officers for our mandatory training. This facility will also be available for other jurisdictions to use to accomplish their required training. It will be a win-win situation for many people.

I will close with the following statement which has become my vision and my confidence. We are continuing to be unified as a board, and we will stay strong in our resolve and beliefs that together we can make a difference in Johnson County for the good of all the people. My faith is strong and my resolve is positive enough to say, “Get in line and follow us forward, or fall behind and be lost by the wayside.”

I count it an honor, blessing, and a privilege to serve you all.

Please come and sit in on one of our meetings. I think you will enjoy it. The only way to stay in touch with what your elected officials are doing is to be involved. Please come see me. My door is always open……..unless I am power-napping!

Thank you and God, please, bless us all.

In Your Service,

Christmas Open House at Zelner Home

Join us for our 25th anniversary open house

Help us celebrate our 25th year of sharing the Christmas  Spirit.

Trees in different themes, an entire room of miniature houses decked out for the season, lights,  lights and more lights .

Join us for punch, mulled wine, and snacks while you tour the house. Everyone of all ages will enjoy the visit.

Bring family & friends.

Open House the first three Sundays of December 
December 1st, 8th and 15th, 2013
Time: 5:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M.
Where: 2891 S. Emerson Ave,  Greenwood, IN 46143


  • From Greenwood  US 31 south to Worthville Rd (750 N – 84 Lumber is on the    NE corner)
  • Go East on Worthville Rd across the Railroad Tracks to Emerson Ave (100 E – Church on the SE corner)
  • Turn south on Emerson Ave to the  4th mailbox on the left (White House with Black Trim & Lights )

For more information, please contact Donna at 535-5830 or 445-5830.

Community Calendar through Daily Journal

September 2013 Newsletter

September 2013 Newsletter From Chairman Brian Baird

Hi Friends,

I hope you are all doing well.

I promised you and update after my “rabbit trail” in July, so here it is.

I am now Chairman of the Board of Commissioners. That basically means that I am the one working over 40 hours each week. I received the honor by default.
I first want to express that I was misled as to what it would take to do this full-time part-time job, but the upside is that I really enjoy the new challenge and I am honored to be able to serve the people of Johnson County.

We have been really busy working with the normal everyday care of the county along with projects that have deadlines that are quickly approaching.

We have made several repairs to the Courthouse Annex and have 2 more scheduled to stop the leaks in the roof that have been an issue for many years. I hope it is successful and protects the Annex for many years. We have also replaced the Courthouse west entrance. If you haven’t seen it, please go by and take a look. I am very pleased with that. We decided to get this done while Franklin was totally interfering with our lives. I want to thank Mayor Joe McGuinness and his staff for a job well done, by the way, we have received many compliments on the new look.

The safer much improved Johnson County Shooting Range is ready to be let for Contract and that will be completed at the September 23rd meeting. Hopefully the construction will start by the first week in October and be completed by January……weather permitting.

The new 911 Center has been a long and trying project, but it is now on the way to being started. We have about 30 to 45 days and we will hopefully start construction which will extend through October or November of 2014. We must have this complete and finalized by December 31, 2014. I want to thank all the people who have worked feverishly to get this moving forward and especially Commissioner Kite for his leadership on this at the preliminary stage and Commissioner West for his hard work and ability to put together the means to finance this endeavor by utilizing ground breaking means to do so in the process. We have shown that Johnson County is a leader and not interested in following, which I think is a great positive for the county. I want to thank both Mayor Myers of Greenwood, and Mayor McGuinness of Franklin, for their concern and foresight in helping us make this bad situation into a unified project that will be accomplished in spite of the negative that was put in our laps. We have shown wise and good leadership in this potentially bad situation.

We are working very hard to get the new revised plans and cost for the Johnson County Offices and the new Superior Court system. Unfortunately, the original plan is much more expensive than we can afford and we need to get this worked out and finalized by December 31, 2014. I am confident that we will make this deadline, if we can move this forward without utilizing the government snail pace. In fact, from what I have encountered since January, the snail needs a little Geratol! We will get these things done in spite of ourselves. I have said and will continue to state that I am not a politician and only desire to do my job in the most efficient way possible for the people of Johnson County.

We are looking at new health care coverage that I think will be better and more efficient for the employees and taxpayers of Johnson County. I again want to thank Commissioner West for bringing this forward and working toward that end.

I am also looking into alternative fuel possibilities to help cut our fuel costs, which is a big budget line item. I will look at this until it makes sense or I exhaust all options on it.

In between these items I am tasked with many issues regarding downtown revitalization, entrances that will comply with ADA standards, roof leaks, parking lot issues, repairs, maintenance, and remodel of many things along with the everyday issues that come up many times a day.

Next big task………the new Johnson County Sheriff’s Office Training Facility………much needed. I will start on this as soon as the New Court System and Offices have started construction. I am living the dream!

I would like to take this moment to say that the 2nd Amendment Preservation Ordinance that we put into place in Johnson County was not only a respected decision in Indiana, but also showing our will to lead and not follow as we move our county forward. I will continue to do the best job I can and always look for Godly counsel to protect and serve the people.

Coming from the private business sector and being frustrated with the pace and barrage of red tape that comes from a dysfunctional government, I have found a couple of positives. First, I am blessed to be able to work with a group of fine people who care about the citizens in this county and I consider it an honor to be working beside many good, moral, ethical people who give their best for the people of this county. I am proud to work with them here and would be proud to work with them in the private sector as well.

The Second positive………oops….and forgiveness. That is all I have to say about that.

Not only are we unified as a Board, we are strong in our resolve and beliefs that together we can make a difference in Johnson County for the good of all the people. My Faith is strong and my resolve is positive enough to say “get in line and follow us forward or fall behind and be lost by the wayside”.

Thank you and God please, Bless us all.

In Your Service

July 4th Newsletter

May, June, July Newsletter From Brian
– July 4, 2013
Hello, Fellow Citizens,

I have been procrastinating in my writing of a May Newsletter and trying to settle in my mind, first why I would write again and then what to write about. I realized this is exactly how government works. Things that should be done in May are still being considered in July. It sounds absurd and somewhat comical, but seriously true. I have fallen into this trap………but only on the writing of my Newsletter!

I have been directly involved in and frustrated by the ability of our current governmental system to maintain its capabilities to defer, to delay, and to deter any form of expedient business to be accomplished. I have been bewildered and amazed at the lack of accomplishment that has been instilled and implemented in the system we attempt to live within. I have said that I have been inserted into the position that I chose to be elected into for the sole reason of comic relief. Unfortunately, if it were not for my sense of humor and commitment to accomplish something of value in my term as Commissioner, I would be plummeted into the life of what I fondly have nicknamed “the perpetual spin of government and politics.”

I know this sounds depressing, and that is because it is depressing. I keep making the statement to my closest friends……..friend……..which is my canine Ruger, (because Beth tells me to quit complaining and do something about it, so I try not to say much around her). Anyway, I was telling Ruger that government is broken and needs to be fixed. He concurred and told me to quit crying and do something about it.

Before I write of the things that are being worked on or accomplished, the latter of which being the least, I wanted to tell you a true story.

I am supposed to be at one of my brothers’ homes right now waiting for his fireworks display to start, but I chose to come home and relax for a few hours prior to going to bed early at 10 or so. I then decided to watch a DVD I bought for 5 bucks at a discount store not to be named here, but it has four B-movies on it. I moved toward the television to install the DVD into the player and found out that I had no clue how to use it. It is a DVD/Playstation type player. I do not even have a clue about where the remote is, let alone how to use it. This allowed my little pea-brain a moment of clear, precise meditation…….which in more common terms means…….I was dizzy with blurred eyesight from the rise in blood pressure from the inability to watch one of my four B- movies, so I decided to sit down and write this Newsletter with the newly found revelation of my above mentioned meditation.

I thought to myself, what happened to my old DVD player that I knew, understood, and was able to operate? Then I thought, what happened to the country that was so clearly directed not so many years ago in 1776 on this day? As I had lost touch with my old DVD player, how would Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, perceive the current condition and operation of our country and government? Would he recognize or comprehend the condition of our state today compared to when he penned the Declaration? Would it be like my old DVD player compared to this new way of watching my DVD? Would he be able to understand and function in the mechanics of today and what has been done?

Change is not always improvement. Have we lost those things that were so important to our Forefathers who were willing to sacrifice their lives to accomplish and maintain this independence? Have we fallen prey to the idea that an individual is more important than the whole of the people? Are we so inclined to ourselves that everything we say and think starts with I, me, my, mine, instead of Us and Ours? Do we not understand that the things that were written in 1776 were for the good and safety of all people of God’s creation?
“IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.”

Would these words still ring true in the spirit of which it was written? Once you have read the above portion of the Declaration, you will have to draw your own conclusion as I have.

If you have not read the Declaration of Independence, please do. If you have not read the Constitution of the United States, please do.

I am afraid that we have fallen away from the very principles that this great nation of free people, who are endowed by our Creator, was envisioned upon. We have convoluted and confused those precious words that were written not so long ago. Have we abandoned those ideas and passions of those people who have gone before us, who were willing to die for our freedom and safety? Those that said within their hearts that we and us…..were more important than I, me, my, mine, and myself, and then went to fight here and abroad in that spirit of belief and faith that these words were inspired by our Creator and Forefathers. And that belief and faith was worth dying for if necessary to keep and hold for their children, grandchildren, and all those who were to be created after them.

If nothing else, I hope this newsletter that evolved from the desire to watch a B- movie on DVD will inspire you to read and understand those things that were written for our preservation of freedom and way of life……not so long ago, and to meditate upon and ponder where you are in this and what you believe to be the way of life we were desired to have……..not so long ago. And if there is something that you might be able to provide to bring the things that you hold of value for the good of all the people to fruition before they are lost forever.

Is it time for you to “quit complaining or crying and do something”? Is there something you can do to make life better for someone else, for the good and safety of all people?

I can only hope these words of hope and direction will challenge hearts of passionate and faithful people to stand up and be counted among those who have and are willing to sacrifice for the good of all and consider those words that were written and presented to us……not so long ago……..on July 4, 1776.

I have written way too many words for this one writing and need to stop for now, but I will make a point to bring you all up to date of those things that I am working on and trying to accomplish, and have accomplished since taking office in January of this 2013.

I will only add that my best friend and buddy, (besides Beth, Renae, Ryan, and Kelly), Ruger, has been diagnosed with lymphosarcoma (cancer). We are praying for healing, but are not ignorant and unaware of the seriousness of this diagnosis. I have grown to love my canine partner as one of my closest family members and will miss him dearly when the day comes that I lose my best buddy. Please do not hesitate to say a little prayer for him and me as we go through this trial of life. God is good all the time, not because He is good, but because He is God!

I hope and pray you all have a wonderful summer and that God will keep you safe.

God Bless.
P.S. Just for informational value……it is now 10:29 p.m.

A Note About 2012 Property Taxes

Although the Assessor does not have the staff or budget to quickly resolve these appeals, I will say, they are working very hard to address all concerns in a timely manner.

I spoke with Mark Alexander, the elected Assessor, and he said rule of thumb would be to pay the May (A) installment of the taxes in full, and they are hoping to have all appeals considered and responded to by the due date of the November (B) Installment.  The postmarked due date on the May (A) installment is midnight May 10, 2013.  There will be penalties that will apply if the May (A) Installment is not paid by that day and time.  The penalty varies as follows:  Any unpaid May (A) Installment postmarked after midnight May 10, 2013 until midnight June 9, 2013 will be 5% of the unpaid installment.  Any payment postmarked after midnight June 9, 2013 will be 10% of the unpaid May (A) Installment.  If anyone has any questions, they may call the Assessor’s Office, but please be patient as they are really swamped right now. The Assessment process is very specific and honestly my eyes crossed for a moment as Mark explained it to me.  It is not what I thought the process entailed and I will not attempt to try to explain it, as that is definitely not my area.  I will allow those who do it and know it to explain that to anyone who desires to learn of it.

Please have patience in working with them as they are working diligently to resolve all questions and concerns. 

Smoking Ban Opinions?

Let’s start a conversation about the proposed smoking ban.   I would like to have  input from individual residents as well as business owners.

Possible Fireworks Ordinance?


The State of Indiana has the following ordinance regarding the times and dates individuals may discharge fireworks:

On Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, Labor Day, and New Year’s Eve, fireworks may be discharged from 9am to 12am.  Any other day, fireworks may be discharged from 9am to 11pm.

Do you think Johnson County should have more restrictive requirements? 




Second Amendment Preservation Ordinance







            WHEREAS, the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America reads as follows:

 A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state,

the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.


WHEREAS, the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America emphasizes the limited nature of the powers delegated to the federal government, and .reads as follows:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or

to the people.



WHEREAS, Article 1, Section 32 of the Constitution of the State of Indiana reads as follows:

The people shall have the right to bear arms, for the defense of themselves

                        and the State.


WHEREAS, recent events suggest the possibility of federal legislation restricting citizens from obtaining and possessing firearms, and that such legislation arguably would be in violation of the United States Constitution; and


WHEREAS, the Johnson County Board of Commissioners desires to make a statement to state and federal legislators and to the citizens of Johnson County, that legislation resulting in  deprivation of Constitutional rights will not be enforced in Johnson County, Indiana.


NOW THEREFORE Johnson County Code 35-2-3 shall be enacted as follows:




               KEEP AND BEAR ARMS.


(A)  Any federal act, law, order, rule, or regulation – past, present, or future – in violation of the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States is not authorized by the Constitution of the United States and violates the true meaning and intent as given by the Founders and Ratifiers, and are invalid in Johnson County, Indiana, shall not be recognized by Johnson County, Indiana, and shall be considered null and void and of no effect in Johnson County, Indiana.


(B)  The Board of Commissioners anticipates that members of Johnson County law enforcement will uphold the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Indiana, as they are sworn to do, and will not separate law abiding citizens from their Second Amendment rights without due process.


             This ordinance shall take effect immediately upon passage by the Board of Commissioners of Johnson County, Indiana.

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