Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Porter County Commissioner Laura Blaney announces reelection bid

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Porter County Commissioner Laura Blaney (D-South) announced in a press release that she will seek another term on the Porter County Board of Commissioners.

The text of Blaney’s press release:

“I have worked diligently with my colleagues to make County government work for our residents while keeping our tax rate flat, as well as improve engagement, transparency and accountability with our taxpayers,” said Blaney. “This work has resulted in major accomplishments over a relatively short period of time.”

"During the past four years, Commissioner Blaney has worked with her fellow Commissioners to direct and oversee over $30 million of capital improvement projects to address long deferred maintenance on County buildings including building a new animal shelter, renovating and updating the Valparaiso Courthouse, Porter County Expo Center, Administration Plaza, North County Government Complex, along with the acquisition and renovation of the 157 Franklin St. building in Valparaiso. “Our establishment and management of the Porter County Government Non-Profit Foundation has given us the unique ability to fund these major projects without any tax increases,” said Blaney.

"Commissioner Blaney joined with local State Representatives and Senators to pass legislation that gives Porter County the ability to establish and fund the Foundation with the $150 million received from the sale of the old hospital and invest the money in a broader range of investment options than previously allowed. Under the law, annual investment returns of up to 5 percent be used for any government use with the remainder to be kept in the Foundation. “Not only have we funded all of these capital improvement projects because of the Foundation, we have added tens of millions of dollars in investment proceeds back to the original $150 million,” added Blaney, who also serves at the President of the Foundation Board. “Our prudent approach with the Foundation has made Porter County government the most fiscally solvent municipal government in the state of Indiana.”

"Commissioner Blaney has also worked to reinvent County government. By reducing reliance on costly third party contractors and increasing use of internal resources and manpower, the Porter County Highway Department has completed an all-time record of over 200 miles of road preservation work in the past two years, which is about 25% of the county road system, as well as repairs on numerous bridges and culverts. Through the establishment of a Storm Water Management Board and recruiting a management team led by professional engineers, the Storm Water program initiated hundreds of projects across every township in unincorporated Porter County in the past two years, including the long- deferred storm water improvements in South Haven.

"Additional improvements in government include a review of all health, workmen’s comp, property, casualty and liability insurance programs, which resulted in improved coverages at less cost; established an internal Facilities Management Department to maintain county owned properties and reducing the reliance on costly third party contractors; installing professional management teams at Memorial Opera House, the Porter County Expo, and Animal Shelter; centralized purchasing and renegotiated contracts to achieve savings.

"Commissioner Blaney has sought to increase collaboration with our cities and towns to improve constituent services at less cost. The efforts include a cost sharing program with municipal public safety departments on the purchase of new 800 MHz radios; a data driven cost sharing arrangement with municipalities for animal control and shelter services; agreements with municipalities on shared road maintenance and improvements, and a cost sharing arrangement with the Portage Township Trustee and Portage Township Food Pantry for the construction and shared use of a new government building at the north County Complex in Portage.

"Commissioner Blaney has also been a strong advocate of improved communications and transparency with Porter County citizens, which has resulted in streamlined and clear budgets, a new mobile responsive website, increased use of social media platforms and a robust system of communications between the Highway Department, school superintendents, internal public safety departments and the public at-large during winter weather events," her press release said.

 

Posted 1/2/2020

 
 
 
 

 

 

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