The Porter County
Council held elections and made board and commission appointments for the
new year at its meeting last week.
Mike Jessen, R-4th,
stepped down as Council President. Council Member Jeremy Rivas, D-2nd,
nominated Andy Bozak, R-1st, and Karen Conover, R-3rd, seconded the motion.
There was no further discussion, and Bozak was elected on a 6-1 vote with
Jeff Larson, R-at large, dissenting.
nominated Dan Whitten, D-at large, for Council Vice-President. Whitten
responded that Rivas should take the position instead. Rivas was elected
Bozak took a moment
to say he is very excited to help the county move forward as Council
President and that his main goal is to improve communications between the
Council, various departments, and the constituents to make sure the Council
remains a force for positive change.
The Council also
voted on citizen appointments to boards and commissions:
* Don Ensign,
* Thomas Swihart,
Alcoholic Beverage Commission.
* Mitch Peters,
Porter County Convention, Recreation, and Visitor Commission.
* George Armstrong,
* Scott Williams,
Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals.
* Lloyd Kittredge,
Chesterton Economic Development Commission.
* Michael Sarver,
Portage Economic Development Commission.
* Patrick McGinley,
Valparaiso Economic Development Commission.
One appointment for
the County Redevelopment Commission was tabled to be decided later.
The Council also
made its self-appointments for 2018. Larson will continue to represent the
Council at the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission. Jessen
will continue on the Plan Commission, Conover will continue on Recycling and
Waste Reduction, Larson and Sylvia Graham, D-at large, will continue on
Emergency Management, Rivas will continue on Stormwater, and Bozak will
continue on Juvenile Justice Services.
Porter County Surveyor Kevin Breitzke and County Council Attorney Harold
Harper were renewed with no changes. Breitzke was present for the renewal of
his contract. Harper was unable to attend due to a prior business
engagement, and gave notice of such in advance.
Vicki Urbanik reported that Porter County was one of the first 24 counties
in the state to receive their preliminary budget notice. The state has
tentatively approved all budgets, with one exclusion: the Cumulative Capital
Development (CCD) fund.
Urbanik says she
anticipates a cut of roughly $111,000 from the CCD, which was cut by over $1
million last year. Whitten asked how accurately the Auditorís Office was
able to estimate the amount of the cut. Urbanik responded that she was
conservative in her estimates and had expected the cut to be closer to