march on Friday from the Chesterton Police station to Thomas Centennial Park
was a resounding success, Police Chief Dave Cincoski reported at the Town
Council’s meeting Monday night.
“It went very
well,” Cincoski told members. The marchers were peaceful, all of them wore
masks, and social-distancing was practiced.
expressed his gratitude to the Fire and Street departments for their
logistical assistance and to officers from the Porter, Burns Harbor, Ogden
Dunes, and Portage PDs for their polite and tactful presence along the march
Cincoski thanked Ogden Dunes Town Marshal Jim Reeder and Burns Harbor Town
Marshal Mike Heckman for personally running calls in the Town of Chesterton
while CPD officers were tasked to the march.
Member Jim Ton,
R-1st, for his part took a moment at the end of the meeting to read a
prepared statement on his impressions of the march: “I believe the major
goal of the march in Downtown Chesterton on June 19 was to protest
institutional racism and unjust treatment of black citizens in America.
“I also believe
that the goal of law enforcement was to provide for the free exercise of the
right to do so in a safe and secure environment.
“Both of those
goals were successfully met last Friday afternoon. Chesterton should be
proud of that. I know I was.”
In other business,
President Sharon Darnell, D-4th, appointed Dane Lafata to the vacant seat on
the Advisory Plan Commission created by the retirement of long-time planner
George Stone. She did so with the blessings of her colleagues.
Lafata is a former
Town Council member who lost a challenge from fellow Democrat and 3rd
District resident Bob Allison in the 2019 municipal primary election.
Manager Bernie Doyle reported that the new owners of Namaste, the Indian
restaurant on Plaza Drive, have approached him about the possibility of
receiving a Riverfront District designation, which would allow them to apply
for an alcohol permit exempt from the usual quotas.
Doyle noted that,
at his special request, Fire Chief John Jarka and Building Commissioner Mark
O’Dell paid the restaurant a visit and found it “much improved.”
Members agreed by
consensus that they have no objection to granting a Riverfront District
Darnell took a
moment herself at the end of the meeting to note that Chesterton residents
currently have the second best response rate in Porter County to the 2020
Census: 75.3 percent, just one tenth of a point behind the 75.4 percent rate
of Kouts residents.
“Way to go,
Chesterton,” Darnell said. “Keep it up.”