COMMISSIONERS & COUNTY COUNCIL
Wells County has two elected boards with governmental responsibilities and authority. The three-member Board of County Commissioners is an executive and legislative board. The seven-member Wells County Council is the fiscal arm of county government.
The three Wells County Commissioners are:
Blake Gerber (R), Commissioner president, District 2, which is the central third of the county from Ind. 218 to County Road 300N and includes Rockcreek Township. Home address: 0707S-Ind. 201, Bluffton; 824-1964.
Kevin Woodward (R), Commissioner vice-president, District 3, which is the northern third of the county, from County Road 300N to the north county line. Home address: 909 Heatherwood Lane, Ossian, phone 224-7570.
Tamara Robbins (R), District 1, which is the southern third of the county, from Ind. 218 to the south county line. Home address: 2825E-1100S, Montpelier-90; 820-1142.
All three of the commissioners are elected countywide but they must reside in the district they represent. They are elected for four-year terms. The District 1 commissioner is elected in even-numbered non-presidential election years. The District 2 and District 3 commissioners are elected in presidential election years.
The commissioners redistricted in December 2017 and the decision moved Rockcreek Township out of District 3 and into District 2.
The seven Wells County Council members include four who are elected from and by council districts and three who are elected countywide and serve at-large.
District 1 (includes Rock Creek, Liberty, Jackson, Chester and Nottingham townships, as well as Harrison Township excluding the city of Bluffton): Jim Oswalt (R), 2781S-200E, Bluffton; phone 824-8597.
District 2 (includes Lancaster Township and Jefferson Township east of the Ossian town limits): Steve Huggins (R), 1723E-350N; phone 437-8872.
District 3 (Union Township and Jefferson Township, including Ossian): Todd Mahnensmith (R), council president, P.O. Box 342, Ossian, phone 622-6188.
District 4 (the city of Bluffton south of the Lancaster Township line): Chuck King (D), 1025 S. Main St., Bluffton, phone 273-1742.
At-Large: Vicki Andrews (R), 8708S-600W, Warren-90, phone 375-3131.
At-Large: Michael Mossburg (R), council vice president, 2953W-500S, Bluffton, phone 341-3899.
At-Large: Seth Whicker (R), 1191 W. Hancock St., Uniondale, phone 403-6928.
All council members are elected for four-year terms. The four district council members are elected in even-numbered non-presidential election years. Only voters in their respective districts vote on the district council members. The three at-large members are elected in presidential election years, and they are elected countywide.
The county commissioners meet in regular session in the lower level meeting room of the Wells Carnegie Government Annex, 223 W. Washington St., Bluffton at 9 a.m. on the first and third Mondays of each month, except for county holidays. They also meet as the Wells County Drainage Board at 8:30 a.m. (unless otherwise noted) on those same days in the same location.
Wells County Council meets in regular session on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of each month at 7 p.m. in the lower level meeting room of the Wells Carnegie Government Annex, 223 W. Washington St., Bluffton. (The schedule changes on holidays and for election week situations.)
County Auditor Beth Davis is the secretary for both the commissioners and council. Information for either board can be sent to the Auditor’s Office in the Courthouse.
OTHER ELECTED COUNTY OFFICIALS
Lisa McCormick (R) County Auditor, Courthouse, Suite 205, Bluffton, phone 824-6470. Home: 1205 Kenwood Drive.
Beth Davis (R) County Clerk, Courthouse, Suite 201, Bluffton, phone 824-6479. Home: 11831S-500W, Montpelier-90. (Also County Election Board chairman and Passport Information office supervisor).
Kathy Peeper (R) County Treasurer, Courthouse, Suite 204, Bluffton, phone 824-6512. Home: 1748N-600E.
Carolyn Bertsch (R) County Recorder, Courthouse, Suite 203, Bluffton, phone 824-6507. Home: 812 Maxine Drive, Ossian.
Kelly Herman (R) County Assessor, Courthouse, Suite 202, Bluffton, phone 824-6476. Home: 10812N-100E, Ossian.
Jarrod Hahn (R) County Surveyor, Courthouse, Suite 102, Bluffton, phone 824-6414. Home: 1633E-1000S, Keystone.
Kenton Kiracofe (R) Wells Circuit Court judge, Courthouse, Suite 302, Bluffton, phone 824-6485.
Andrew Antrim (R) Wells Superior Court judge, Courthouse, Suite 303, phone 824-6508.
Andrew Carnall (D) prosecuting attorney, Courthouse, Suite 405, phone 824-4102.
Scott Holliday (R) County Sheriff, 1615 W. Western Ave. (Wells County Jail), phone 824-3426. Home: 717 Millside Court, Ossian.
Hilarie Gaskill (R) County Coroner, Carnegie Government Annex, 223 W. Washington St., Room 206, Bluffton. Phone 273-4013.
These county elected officials are chosen countywide for four-year terms, except the Circuit Court judge and the Superior Court judge are chosen for six-year terms. (Judge Kiracofe’s current term is through 2018. Judge Antrim’s term is through 2021.)
The auditor, clerk, assessor, prosecutor and sheriff are elected in even-numbered non-presidential election years. The treasurer, recorder, surveyor and coroner are elected in presidential election years.
OTHER COUNTY OFFICIALS
Roy Johnson, county attorney and Drainage Board Attorney, Edris, Brown, Johnson & Brown-Stohler, 824-0500.
Josh Cotton, Highway Department supervisor. 1600 W. Washington St., Bluffton, 824-6430.
Nate Rumschlag, county engineer. 1600 W. Washington St., Bluffton, 824-6430.
Deane Lee Holderman, Department of Child Services director, 221 W. Market St., Bluffton, 824-3530.
Karen Thompson, Wells County Jail commander, Wells County Jail, 1615 W. Western Ave., Bluffton, 824-3426.
Christopher Harvey, chief deputy prosecutor, Child Support IV-D, Courthouse, Suite 405, Bluffton, 824-4102.
Blake Poindexter, Wells County Community Corrections director, Courthouse, Suite 107, Bluffton, 824-6405.
Gregory Werich, chief probation officer, Courthouse, Suite 404, Bluffton, 824-6496.
Roger Sherer, Bill Horan, Molly Hoag, Linda Bushee and Jenni Hoover, Jane Hemmick, Cooperative Extension Service, 1240 4-H Park Road, Bluffton, 824-6412. Fax 824-4891. Home page: www.extension.purdue.edu/wells
Rick Velasquez, Emergency Management director, 223 W. Washington St., Carnegie Annex Suite 101, Bluffton. Phone: 824-6433. Fax: (260) 824-6420. Website: http://wellscounty.org/emergency.htm.
Bobbie Studebaker, Courthouse and Carnegie Annex custodian, Courthouse, Suite 101, Bluffton, 824-6401.
Michael Lautzenheiser Jr., Area Plan Commission director/GIS coordinator; Suzie Gentis, administrative assistant, Carnegie Annex, 223 W. Washington St., Room 211, Bluffton, 824-6407.
Claude McMillan, Veterans Service Officer, Carnegie Annex, 223 W. Washington St., Suite 102, Bluffton, 824-6403.
Wells County Election Board: Beth Davis, Wells County Clerk, secretary/member, 824-6479; Roy Johnson, Attorney, member, Republican representative, 824-0500; Larry Sell, member, Democratic representative, 824-2995.
WELLS COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT
The Wells County Sheriff’s Department provides police and law enforcement services throughout the county in cooperation with municipal departments, Indiana State Police and others. The sheriff also is responsible for operation of the Wells County Jail and for serving of papers for the courts.
The sheriff’s department and jail are located in the Wells County Jail building at 1615 Western Ave. on the west side of Bluffton. Phone 260-824-3426, fax 260-824-6424.
The sheriff is Scott Holliday (90-1). The chief deputy is Randy Steele (90-2). The jail commander is Karen Thompson. The detectives are: Det. Lt. Diane Betz (90-3) and Det. Jeremy Heckel (90-4).
Other deputy sheriffs are: Jeff McClish (90-5); Ryan Mounsey (90-6); School Resource Officer Chad Bradley (90-7); Sgt. Andrew Campbell (90-8); Kurtis Brooksher (90-9); Jake McKinley (90-10); Curt Hunt (90-11); School Resource Officer James Agler (90-12); Austin Springer (90-13); James Robbins (90-14); Maciej Zaklikiewicz (90-15); Quinton Greer (90-16).
Other dispatcher/jail officers are: Melissa Perez, Angie McClish, Transport Officer Andrew Dockter, Deb Garrett, Misty Haddix, Zach Hayden, Erin Pezo, James Warthman, Jairus Daggett, Amy Yates, Cheyenne Harris, Brandon Liechty, Tre Nusbaumer, Doug Miller, Ryan Arwood, Kirsten Brackin, Logan Penrod, Travis Smeltzer, Karissa Smith, Michaela Cook. Part-time jailer is Evan Holliday.
Office staff: Krista Markley, Matron; Bonnie Heckel, Clerk/Receptionist
Maintenance staff: George Addington
Kitchen staff: Amy Marshall, Chasity Hastings, cooks; Kim Clark, part-time cook.
COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT
The Wells County Health Department is located at 223 W. Washington St. in the Wells Carnegie Government Annex, phone 824-6489; fax 824-8803. The Health Department has a page on the county website, www.wellscounty.org
The office hours are 8 a.m. to noon; 1 to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Services include childhood immunizations, TB testing, birth certificates, death certificates, septic permits, septic installer registration, water testing available, housing and environmental complaint attention, food permits, and adult vaccines. The department also houses public preparedness division. Dr. Kay Johnson-Keys is the county health officer. Marlene Hoag is the deputy administrator. Lynn Blevins is the public health nurse. Brandi Schorey is the food environmental health specialist. An additional environmental health specialist position was vacant at the time of publication.
The Wells County Emergency Management office is at 223 W. Washington St., Suite 101. The phone number is 824-6433. Rick Velasquez is the director.