Angie Scott was
appointed to fill the vacant seat on the Burns Harbor Town Council at a
Democratic caucus Friday.
passing of long-time Council member and former Burns Harbor Fire Chief Ray
Poparad last month created a Democrat vacancy on the Council. Poparad had
just been reelected to another term.
Democrat Party Chairman Jeff Chidester said he looked for someone who can do
the job on day one for such positions, and he picked Scott due to her past
and present involvement with the Town. Chidester said he thinks Scott will
work well on the Council due to her bipartisanship, familiarity with the
Council and its history, and past experience on Town boards and commissions.
Scott’s involvement also made her an ideal candidate. “She’s attended quite
a few Council meetings. I’ve always believed that people that are involved
should be rewarded.”
means the Burns Harbor Town Council is majority female (three women, two
men) for the first time in its history, according to Council President Nick
Chidester began the
caucus Friday by remembering Poparad and his dedication to Burns Harbor.
“It’s hard to find someone that dedicated to the community they live in. I
brag on Burns Harbor and Hebron all the time on how well and efficient these
Towns run. It’s due to guys like Ray and their fellow council members and
their bipartisanship in doing what’s right for the Town,” Chidester said. “I
always admired that in Ray. I’m going to miss him.”
Since Burns Harbor
has only one voting precinct, political vacancies are filled by a direct
appointment of the respective party chairman. Five residents applied for the
appointment: Scott, Keith Farrington, Howard Morgan, Bryan Kerkes, and
Chidester had each
applicant introduce him- or herself. Farrington, a 15-year resident, said he
was a cadet under Poparad at the BHFD in the 1990s. “I think I could do a
good job for the community and would like to get involved,” Farrington said.
Scott said she has
been a Burns Harbor resident for 11 years and has served on the Board of
Zoning Appeals and the Park Board. Scott also noted a connection to Poparad:
“Ray was my uncle. He is missed, and I would love a chance to fill the spot.
I think I could do some great things for the Council.”
McCormick noted his
previous service on the Council, Plan Commission, and BZA. Morgan and Kerkes
did not show for the introductions.
Chidester urged the
applicants not to give up on serving the Town, whether they are appointed or
not. “We’re always looking for new blood, new energy, and new thoughts that
would make our town, our county, our state, and our country better,”
Chidester said. “We always need to build our bench.”
urged leaders in Town to consider the applicants for open board and
Scott, 37, told the
Chesterton Tribune she’s honored to have been chosen to fill
Poparad’s seat and continue her family’s long history of public service.
Scott said she’ll carry some of Poparad’s teachings with her in the
“Ray taught me a
lot about loving the town you live in. He loved Burns Harbor and everything
about it. He was the person who encouraged me to get involved in the town to
begin with,” Scott said. “He taught me a lot about how the town works and
also to interact with the community and get input from others.”
Scott said she also
brings business acumen to the position, as the owner of Little Wonders Child
Care, and municipal experience from serving on the BZA, Plan Commission,
Park Board, and Scholarship Board. Scott expects her business experience
will be valuable for the budgeting process and in fostering collaboration.
“I own a business and feel that this allows me to bring skills such as
listening, management, and collaboration. I feel that our town works best
when both parties work together for the good of the community,” she said.
A key question the
Tribune asked of candidates for Burns Harbor Town Council ahead of
the 2019 general election was, “Though it has remained a small community
through the years, Burns Harbor has a history of evolving and planning for
growth. What is your specific vision for its future?”
Scott answered as
follows: “My vision for Burns Harbor is that it becomes something my three
children eventually want to move back to with their own families. I believe
in keeping the small town feel but also being able to expand the commercial
growth along Highway 20 and 149. With resident input and planning, I feel
that this is possible. Our smaller residential areas will help to keep the
small town feel, but the commercial growth will help to keep us connected to
the other surrounding communities.”