Tuesday, September 05, 2006


Attorney Greg Fifer does not see any problem with being the attorney for the Sewer Board while representing various developers in Floyd County. We here at Freedom of Speech happen to disagree.

Here are just a few of they reasons why:

The Thieneman Group (Don & Steve Thieneman) wanted to run a sewer pipe from the proposed Heritage Springs sewer treatment plant to Jersey Park Creek. This pipe would have run through several adjoining properties. The citizens settled with the Thieneman group after a three year battle. (source New Albany Tribune 3/10/06)

The Lafayette Landing Subdivision planned by developer Bob Lynn ran into problems with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission concerning drainage and erosion control plans as well as sewer related problems. The project was eventually tabled. (source New Albany Tribune 4/18/06)

The Daisy Lane Developers lost in their effort to build the Bridgewater Village condos. Many residents of the area had problems with this development. (source New Albany Tribune 5/19/06)

What do all of these developers have in common? They were all represented by Greg Fifer. How can he actually say that he does not see a conflict of interest?

There are several other projects that he may be involved with also.

Brookstone Subdivision, phase 3,4,5 104 homes - developer David Ruckman

Copperfield Subdivision, phase 3,4,5, 90 homes - developer Roger Harbison

Autumm Cove Subdivision, 59 homes - developer David Schuler

Rainelle Woods Subdivision, 52 homes - developer David Ruckman

Crimson Creek Subdivision, 25 homes - developer David Ruckman

Slate Creek Estates, 41 homes - developer Robert Lynn (subdivision tabled)

Lafayette Ridge, 227 homes - Developer Robert Lynn Co. (subdivision tabled)

With all of the sewer problems New Albany and Floyd County are having already, how can OUR Sewer Board Attorney represent the best interest of the citizens who sign his paycheck and represent the very developers we are fighting on many issues?

How many other "pies" does Mr. Fifer have his hands in?

Mr. Fifer was over heard saying that "I have to make a living". This was said to a private citizen when asked about the conflict of interest issue.

We have no problem with an individual making a living but we do have a problem with an attorney who represents both sides of an issue. Freedom of Speech questions the reasoning of the Sewer Board members when they hired this attorney.

It makes one want to ask, "Are you guys nuts?"

Our dear Mr. Fifer was in charge of placing liens on properties with uncollected sewer bills. This goes back to the Overton Administration. Yes, he was the Sewer Board Attorney then too.

There have been no sewer liens filed from November of 2005 until now. This was not even discovered until Ms. Valla Ann Bolovschak private citizen brought this up a year and half ago citing the lack of enforcement of the state statutes. Everyone should pay their fair share.

Mr. Fifer was very angry with members of the City Council who argued against raising the sewer bills for New Albany citizens. Why?

Of course he appears at most of the City Council meetings and speaks for several minutes per meeting. He is on a contractual contract, meaning he gets paid hourly. A guy has to make a living somehow.

Last but certainly not least is the Georgetown sewer treatment plant issue. There was a recent settlement of $800,000. Were we misled by articles in the New Albany Tribune that the New Albany taxpayers were owed $3,000,000 then $1,000,000?

After several discussions with the Georgetown City Operations Manager, and looking over the Georgetown Contract with New Albany, was Georgetown misled as well by Sewer Attorney Gref Fifer? Has it also cost the city by losing income from Georgetown? Also after reading several months' worth of Georgetown City Council meeting minutes, sewer board attorney Greg Fifer continued to state that Georgetown would receive sewer credits within the next few weeks.

Did he mislead them as well as us? Was he in this for financial gain? Again we ask, is this a conflict of interest? ABSOLUTELY!

Freedom of Speech would like to add that Mr. Fifer is not looking out for the best interest of the taxpayers of New Albany and the state of "crisis this city" finds itself in. We also agree with the statement that Ms. Bolovschak made at a recent City Council meeting. "It's what we don't know we need to worry about".

We think it is time for Mr. Fifer to resign.

The taxpayers of New Albany deserve a Sewer Board Attorney who is looking out for our best interest. And not his own best interest!

As it is written:

There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.

Inscription from Machiavelli's tomb