Bright Area Business Association- Meeting Minutes from 9 September 2016
Recording Secretary: Lori Enright
Call to order: Jim Mansfield
Jim gave a recap of the Terrorist Attack on the United States on 9/11/2011 and a special recognition to and of our 1st Responders.
The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Jason Eckhoff
Programs: Celeste Calvitto
Celeste introduced our Featured Speaker: Jeff Raatz (Indiana State Senator) serving the townships of Harrison, Logan, Kelso and Jackson. Jeff gave information on his family, personal and professional background and discussed some of his key initiatives and his concerns at the state and local level.
– Mr. Raatz disussed ways to combat the ever-growing heroin problem in Southeast Indiana, noting that there is a fine-line between the law and giving people a “break” because of an addiction. Raatz noted that he did vote against the needle exchange program, though this was ultimately passed. He discussed the pressure that sits on the shoulders of local government, and the limited resources available to help combat the problem.
– Raatz also noted that he sits on the Education Committee; including both K-12 and Higher Education, noting on the issues associated with I-STEP testing and some of the projected changes coming to the (current) state testing/grading system(s).
Discussion was had over the lack of skilled laborers coming out of High School. Fewer students are looking into “trade/skilled” labor as the decision/pressure to attend a 2/4 year university continues to increase. Fewer students are entering into trades, with leaves local businesses with a much smaller pool of employees to choose from. Also noting that if this trend continues, eventually such services are going to become unaffordable, as the demand for such services will be higher than the supply of skilled laborers and businesses offering these same service (ex: plumbing, HVAC, construction, etc.)
Mr. Raatz ended his discussion with this statement: “Indiana is in a better position than many states. However, there is still a lot to do.”
Dearborn/Ohio Country Prosecutor Aaron Negangard attended the group today, and offered some contribution to the conversation, particularly the topic of the growing heroin/drug problem in our area, in recent light of the New York Times article featuring the justice system in Dearborn County. Negangard noted that the article was one-sided and that there was a lack of proper coverage/accurate details regarding the prisoners that were highlighted.
Regular Meeting Activity
Jim M.- Reminder to check and read minutes and like, comment and share BABA posts on Facebook.
Treasurer’s Report (Dan Cross Absent) (given by Jim. M):
A check for $12,500 was presented to the Bright VFD on Wed. 9/7/16.
– $3,600 was raised at the Festival Booth
– $8,900 from the Golf Outing
– $2,000 was donated to the N. Dearborn Food Pantry
A motion was made to approve the distribution of funds by Wayne Leslie; all voted “yay” in favor; motion was passed.
Membership Drive- Members are encouraged to always be “INVITING” others to meetings.
Dearborn County Chamber Member Appreciation night: Wed. 9/21 @ the Dearborn Country Club.
Voices of Indiana looking for new, young members.
:30 Group Intro’s/Members in attendance:
Coming Forward: What do you need? Please do not hesitate to reach out to Leadership for help, advice, etc.
Next Meeting: Friday October 14th. Program TBD.