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Bicknell Bridge Fell Down

The bridge at West 3rd and Mary Street in Bicknell fell in at about about 8:00 PM Saturday night. Probably not a good route if you are traveling in Bicknell today.

Bicknell City Council Meeting 11-10-2014

Click attachment to read council minutes.

Bicknell Board of Works meeting dated 11/10/14

Click on attachment to read minutes.

10/20/2014 Bicknell City Council Meeting.

Click on attachments to see Council Minutes.

Contra dances resume Dec 5

Date: Sat, 15 Nov 2014 


 After about a 6 month break due to difficult communications we were referred to Billy Simmons, manager of OTP stage and we quickly worked out a schedule, Thanks Billy. Like before we will be in the basement area of OTP which gives us a large dance area and we will be on Friday nights and start at 7 pm, Vincennes time.
Dec 5 and 26: Jan 9 and 23; Feb 6 and 22nd; Mar 13 and 27: and April 3.

Why Change the Council Districts in Bicknell

Tue, 01/24/2006 The question that Mr. Junkins should have asked is why does Mr. Stanczak want to change the Bicknell Council Districts and then I would be able to answer; no town needs 5 council-persons-at-Large; each district should have their own council person so they can decide whether the council person who represents them should be in office or not, right now a single district cannot vote in a new council member or vote out an incumbent council member that they are not satisfied with.

It is simple; the closer a politician is to the voters in their district the more that they will be required to work for the voters.

This brings me to one other thing that would be different if I had control of the Bicknell City Council; the mayor through the Board of Works would not have the complete and the final say on all of Bicknell’s expenditures because I believe that the Bicknell City Council was elected by the people to do that job and appointees made by the mayor are not elected therefore do not represent the people but instead represent only the mayor and possibility some special interest.

In my opinion

John R. Stanczak

Combining the two chiefs, Police and Fire: 2006

To save money and to possibility assure a better run department financially, this is not to be misunderstood as insinuating that the chiefs or the assistant chiefs are not doing their jobs, but in my opinion there should be changes; combining the office of Police Chief and Fire Chief would assure that both the offices would always have a chief present within the Bicknell City limits and the job of assistant Fire Chief should also be filled by a police officer or a person who can be called on at all times. This will do a couple of things first it will save about $10,000.00 in unnecessary salary cost. Some will say that that is not much of an annual cost to maintain a fire department that protects the city against fires and I would agree but the fact is that when $10,000.00 is divided between two employees it does not give either party enough money to maintain a family on; therefore each person must get and hold another job and once they obtain another job they are at the whim of an employer whether or not they are allowed to answer a fire call during their working hours. This would not be a factor once the police and the fire chief’s jobs were combined because the Chief of Police is employed full time in the City of Bicknell as the fire chief should also be. The City Council will be able to assign the wages currently paid to the Fire Chief and Assistant Fire Chief to the new Police/Fire Chief and his assistant or assign it to training, equipment, or any combination that they believe would help Bicknell the most including cutting taxes. Just my opinion John R. Stanczak

Board of Works Vs The Bicknell City Council

Sat, 10/01/2005 Sewer Rates: Priority number one will of course be to cut back the excessive sewer rates; just as I had predicted years ago it has caused Bicknell to lose population and that in turn causes a loss of tax, sewage and water revenue. In the past the longer that the administration had that vast amount of newly found monies the Mayor kept spending monies designed to build and/or repair our sewer plant and water plant; what this will mean to the voters of Bicknell is that your sewer rates will be raised again just as water and trash (has). If the administration must go to the Bicknell City Council to get money then the Council will be able to participate in the spending decisions and that is something that the Mayor should do, I do not believe that the Board of Works should have any say on expenditures outside of suggestions to the Mayor and Council. The City Council’s job is not to attend City Council meetings once a month believing that their only job is to pass ordinances; I believe that this implies that the mayor does not believe that anyone should have any control over his excessive spending habits. To run a successful city all aspects of that government must be utilized; therefore both the administration and council must have a say in all aspects of the City of Bicknell’s operations. Just my opinion John R. Stanczak

Bicknell can save money

Fri, 09/02/2005 john I believe that Indiana law (2003 IN 1339—LS 7401/DI 75+) allows a town to change its scheduled election day from odd years to even years as long as the city council follows procedure. One obvious example that a town would gain if they elected their officials on the same day as Federal and State elections is that the cost of the election would be less for the town because it would not be required to pay for the entire thing by itself. “The odd-year election cost to the City is $4.50 for each registered voter. That cost drops to $1.30 for an even-year election. San Ramon is currently wasting $80,000 to hold each odd-year election. Since the San Ramon is growing in population with the annexation of Dougherty Valley, the estimated cost per election by 2010 is $202,500 in odd years vs. $58,500 in even years.” (Contra Costa County, CA.)(League of Women Voters of California Education Fund) Another advantage would be that more people vote during Federal and State elections therefore the city would have a higher voter turnout for its election of city officials and the more the better. “According to a "Public Policy Institute of California" Research Brief, the difference in voter turnout among California cities can be explained by election timing--odd-year elections represent about 30% of the voters and even-year elections over 50%.” (Contra Costa County, CA.)(League of Women Voters of California Education Fund) How a town would go about doing such a thing would be for the City Council to reset the terms of office for the elected officials for example; The term of the Bicknell Mayor, City council, and all other elected officials would be changed to a three year term beginning at the next normal off year election in order to line up with the next federal and state election. On the next election following the three year term election all terms on elected offices would again revert back to four year terms. Opposition to this kind of change appears to be that the local candidates will have a harder time making political contact with the voters because bigger offices will also be on the ballot at the same time such as governor or president; personally I do not see a problem with local candidates competing with county, state, and federal candidates because once in office they will be required to compete with them anyway so the experience will make them stronger. I also believe that it would be of some benefit to Bicknell if the City Council members were not all elected or re-elected on the same day of the same year. I believe that the city council terms should be set up so that every two years one or two of them is up for re-election. By changing the council’s re-election times the city would never be in the position of being required to train a new mayor and an entire city council again. At this time we as a city are seeing our council members begin to understand their jobs, but we have also seen two years of ‘yes people’ who took the advice of outsiders such as the city attorney, engineers, and the representatives of the state rather than the people in Bicknell or thinking and researching problems and/or ideas for themselves. At this time, nearly two years into their terms in office we finally see a council who has decided to question the ‘bull’ being fed to them by our city attorney and other outside forces; an example of this is that they are now questioning the timing and necessity of raising the Bicknell sewer rates five years early and are asking questions about the city budget. Just my opinion John R. Stanczak


Went to the special meeting of the council last night and they voted to continue the downtown Main St renovation grant that I thought was already a done deal. The lady representing INDOT really wanted us to get the grant and in spite of her bosses telling her to forget it she took it on herself to make a plea for Bicknell to proceed instead of dropping it; which would have meant that we would still have to pay back $100,000.00 in engineering fees and costs that have already been spent and get nothing or vote to proceed and spend only $22,000.00 and get Main St fixed up. Why is our city so dysfunctional??? There was a lot of finger pointing and as I left one of the "council people" asked me if I would consider running again; he said it would be pretty much an entirely new slate of officials. There might still be some old issues to address such as redistricting to match districts with precincts so people would vote for their own representative instead of all at large, changing election dates to match federal election dates to save election expenses, an active city website, possible annexation now that we have the larger sewage facility that can handle the increased volume, and more. Fix up and tear down grants are good and I applaud the city for these efforts already. I'm told the Senior Citizens will rebuild and the city should rebuild also. (and maybe use Larry Knights property for a parking lot?) If not by purchase by lease? Does anybody know if the lots between Jeanettes and Piepers sold during the recent tax sale? I think one of them has a $31,000 city lien on it for demolition. Hopefully it won't go to a sale where the lien is wiped off and the city loses. Ron Ackman
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