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December 11, 2012

Heavrin leaves big shoes to fill

Veteran Floyd County councilman’s last day in office is Dec. 31

(Continued)

NEW ALBANY — IN THE FUTURE

Heavrin said the new council “will have their hands full” with several challenges next year, including funding two murder trials and keeping the county financially solvent. He also said many residents have no idea how much it costs to operate the jail, which is busting at the seams.

“The county picks up the burden of the jail and the inmates’ medical. That all adds up,” Heavrin said. “We have to fund the trials and pay for jurors’ rooms and food. People really need to come to our meetings to know what is going on.”

The council is responsible for a yearly budget of about $14 million, and $5.6 million of that is taken up by the sheriff’s department.

“People think this is a part-time job. But it’s not a part-time job. You really need to be here to know what is going on,” Heavrin said of being on the council. “I will help support them [council] any way I can. Just because you lose doesn’t mean you give up on the community.”

Council Vice President John Schellenberger, a Republican, said Heavrin brought a lot of experience to the group.

“Ted has done a good job,” Schellenberger said. “Even though he is the police chief, when items concerning the police department came up he declined to vote. Both Ted and Larry McAllister [former council president] treated me fine and were very informative. They showed me how the council works and I am appreciative to both of them.”

Heavrin said he will continue to function as the Floyd County Police Chief as long as his health is good. He also said he may run again for an elected office — like the Floyd County Council.

Republican Lana Aebersold will take over as the senior member of the council having been elected to three terms. She said for the first time in her tenure, Republicans will have the majority on the council, and she is also excited about Schellenberger likely being the next president. However, like her peers, she said she is sad to see Heavrin leave.

“I will miss Ted. I think he has done a good job and he has been a good leader,” she said. “We [the council] have always worked together. My theory has always been to do what is best for Floyd County, and I think we have done that.”

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David Bennett, Jeffersonville, is pictured at Riverview Village in Clarksville where he is undergoing rehabilitation after losing his leg due to diabetic complications. Bennett is a 1981 New Albany High School graduate, and was on the 1980 basketball team that finished the season with a 27-1 record.

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