The Porter Park
Board hired its first director of parks Tuesday following a reorganization
approved was the selection of Brian Bugajski, who’s currently with the
Community Development Department of Lafayette where he’s been a project
manager/planner since 2008. Bugajski was not in attendance last night.
start date with Porter is in early February. That and his salary are being
negotiated. The latter carries a yearly range of $40,000 to $48,000 in the
adopted 2013 salary ordinance.
Rondi Wightman said after the meeting that the Park Board had developed a
job description and wish list for the ideal candidate they were seeking;
more than 30 applicants were considered and several interviewed over the
“Many of the
candidates had one or two of the identified qualifications. Brian not only
possessed all the skills on the ‘wish list’, but he has many years of
municipal experience, hands-on park maintenance experience, supervisory
experience, strong interpersonal and management skills, project
coordination, community outreach and computer literacy and software
competency,” Wightman explained.
his undergraduate degree, a Bachelor of Arts in History, from Saint Joseph’s
College in Rensselear, and his Master of Science in Historic Preservation
from Ball State University in Muncie.
24-year Porter park superintendent Jim Miller, who was named Tuesday to the
newly created position of trails/parks/facilities specialist with an annual
salary of $40,000 this year.
business, Wightman was pleased to announce that Porter Public Works
superintendent Brenda Brueckheimer and fire chief Lewis Craig Sr. supervised
installation of an ice skating rink in Hawthorne Park west of the community
building. “It was such a surprise; I so publicly want to thank everybody who
came out to do this today.”
week’s predicted cold snap actually materializing, skating will begin when
the rink water freezes. Last year it never froze long enough to allow
skating at Hawthorne as planned.
fire chief Jay Craig asked for and was granted Park Board permission for
himself and Porter police officer Scott Cornelison to periodically train
Harley and Kilo, their respective fire and police dogs, in the vacant lower
level of the community building while the search for a tenant goes on. Some
training equipment also will be stored there.
renewal of use of the community building twice a month by the Lakeshore
Drifters 4H Club except for July/August. Group members donate their time to
help with Park Department events and projects.
announced 2012 income from rental of Park Department facilities increased
over 2011 by about $3,000 to $33,015 last year.
Ackerman Drive in Hawthorne Park to allow construction of long-awaited
drainage upgrades that began recently. The work is preliminary to
construction, likely next year, of the Orchard Pedway hike/bike trail down
Waverly Road with a leg through Hawthorne.
a park master plan will be developed including a memorial garden area.
night were new Park Board members Ross LeBleu and Jeff Bailey. LeBleu, who
was elected vice-president during annual reorganization, is from a small
Louisiana community and said he finds Porter’s small-town feel and character
appealing after living here 3 1/2 years. Bailey, now a 30-year resident,
said, “My goal is to serve the town and the people of this town as
diligently as I can.”
The men, who
Wightman and holdover Park Board member Patty Raffin said were very helpful
after being thrown into the director’s hiring process at a hectic time,
replace outgoing board members Jessie Campaniello and Nikki Crist.
night commended Wightman and Raffin for the good job they do and offered to
help the new board members during their transition.
served one year only, was absent but by letter said it was a difficult
decision to resign and cited health issues as the reason. As for the Park
Department, “I know there are many more wonderful things to come.”
the women for their service as well as former Town Council park liaison Rob
Pomeroy, who is replaced this year by council member Jeannine Virtue. The
audience was invited to stay after the meeting and share a cake in honor of
Campaniello, Crist and Pomeroy.
remarks Bailly thanked former 20-year park administrator Stephanie Miller
for her service. Miller retired from the park position Dec. 31. The Town
Council conducted an open house for her last week.