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Monday, May 2, 2016

County Council bids farewell to trio of members at final meeting of the year

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

William 'Butch' Brown.
(By Nick Schneider)
Rae Della Cravens.
(By Nick Schneider)
The Greene County Council bid farewell Monday to members William "Butch" Brown, Rae Della Cravens, and Ed Michael.

Council president Ed Cullison read a resignation letter from Michael, who will take a seat on the Greene County Board of Commissioners effective Jan. 1, 2013.

Michael, who lives in Highland Township, served on the county council from 2004-08 as an at-large member.

He lost a re-election bid in the 2008 primary.

However, he returned to the county council ballot in 2011 and was elected to a four-year term. He has two years remaining on his term.

His council replacement has not been made yet by Republican Party officials.

In his resignation letter, Michael noted, "It's been a privilege and honor to serve the taxpayers of Greene County as a member of the Greene County Council. It's also been an honor to serve with all of the council members past and present. I look forward to continue a working relationship and we have a friendship as I strive to serve the residents of Greene County as a commissioner in (the) 1st District."

Michael now moves to the executive arm of county government after serving on the council which is the fiscal agent in charge of budgeting.

Michael commented, "It's going to be different."

Brown, a retired Indiana State Police trooper who also serves as Greene County Courthouse Security Supervisor, is in his 16th year on the council and opted not to seek re-election to a fifth term.

"He's the old member on this (council) as far as seniority. I've been on here for 10 years and have worked with him for 10 years and it's been a pleasure. I appreciate your dedication and input. I'm going to miss your comments. Community service is something that is appreciated and I definitely appreciate you and Rae Della's service to the county," Cullison said.

Brown was hired as the supervisor of courthouse security in 2006.

Brown has more than 40 years of public service -- including 28 1/2 with the Indiana State Police and three-and-a-half as Bloomfield Town Marshal.

In addition, he serves on the Greene County Solid Waste Management District Board of Directors.

Brown is a graduate of L&M High School, Vincennes University, and Indiana State University.

Outgoing Greene County Councilman Ed Michael, at right, chats with Council President Ed Cullison before Monday afternoon's meeting.(By Nick Schneider) [Order this photo]
Cravens, of rural Bloomfield, has never lost an election in five tries and she bows out with a perfect election record.

Cravens, like Brown, opted not to seek re-election to a second term on the council. She will continue her employment as the first deputy in the county clerk's office where her duties involve both civil and criminal cases handled through Superior Court.

Cullison said it's been a pleasure working with Cravens.

"I appreciate your dedication and have enjoyed working with you," he stated.

Cravens commented, "It's been a pleasure working with all of you and I hate to leave but I've got to take care of some family concerns."

She is also a member of the Greene County General Hospital Board of Trustees.

In 2008, Cravens, a Democrat, claimed victory in her closest race yet and ended the longest local election cycle in Greene County history.

By a 2-1 vote the Greene County Commissioners selected Cravens over Republican incumbent Ken Gremore after a recount ended with the vote tally tied.

The commissioners were given the opportunity by state election law to cast the tie-breaking vote following the Nov. 4, 2008 General Election vote that showed Cravens a one-vote victor; then a two-day recount deadlocked the vote at 6,370 apiece.

Cravens is no stranger to elected political office -- having served a total of 20 years -- eight as Clerk of the Circuit Court and eight years as Greene County Recorder and four years on the county council.

She has been employed in county government for 27 years.

She was elected Clerk of the Circuit Court in 1990 and 1994 and served in the Southern District Clerk's Association as secretary/treasurer and then president. She also served as second and first vice president and then president of the Indiana State Clerk's Association and was on the Board of Directors of the Association of Indiana Counties.

Cravens was elected to the office of County Recorder in 1998 and 2002 and served for eight years as Recorder ending Dec. 31, 2006. She was elected as treasurer of the Indiana State Recorder's Association in 2005.

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