Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Angie Scott fills Poparad's place on Burns Harbor Town Council

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By LILY REX

Angie Scott was appointed to fill the vacant seat on the Burns Harbor Town Council at a Democratic caucus Friday.

The untimely 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.

Porter County 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.

Chidester said 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.”

Scott’s appointment 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 Loving.

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 Gordon McCormick.

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.”

Chidester also urged leaders in Town to consider the applicants for open board and commission seats.

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 position.

“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.”

 

Posted 1/13/2020

 
 
 
 

 

 

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