Chesterton Tribune

 
 

Porter department heads retained; Park Board being expanded to five

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By PAULENE POPARAD

The department heads will stay the same, but expect to see some new faces on Town of Porter boards and commissions this year.

After unanimously electing Elka Nelson president and Jeannine Virtue vice-president, council members named James Spanier chief of police, Brenda Brueckheimer superintendent of Public Works, and Lewis Craig Sr. fire chief.

Two vacant seats on the Park Board were filled. Member Nikki Crist had resigned, and member Jessie Campanielloís four-year term expired. They were replaced with Jeff Bailey, a Republican appointment, and Ross LeBleu as a Democratic member. Vote was 5-0.

Councilman Greg Stinsonís previous nomination of Charles Kaufman to the Park Board did not receive a second.

After the vote Park Board president Rondi Wightman questioned whether the seats are correct as to needed party affiliation. Nelson said the council will double-check but town attorney Gregg Sobkowski said the appointments are effective now.

Earlier this year the Town Council decided to expand the four-person Park Board to five members. State law requires the Duneland School Board make the appointment; Nelson said the council is awaiting that decision and will forward the remaining names of Porter residents who had applied for the park seats.

Joe Wagner was unanimously reappointed to the Metropolitan Police Commission, and Stinson to the Porter Stormwater Management Board and as Porterís representative to NIRPC. Nelson agreed to continue as representative to the Duneland Economic Development Company and she was elected to serve on the Porter Plan Commission.

Bill Stronks was Nelsonís presidential appointment to the Board of Zoning Appeals.

Stinson and Nelson were elected 5-0 to serve on the Redevelopment Commission, and Nelson named council member Jeannine Virtue and residents Erik Wagner and Joe Simanski to the commission. All but Wagner are returning members, and all serve for one year.

Tapped as council liaisons to various town departments were Stinson, Public Works; Virtue, Park Board; David Wodrich, Police; Rob Pomeroy, Fire; and Nelson, town hall.

After being elected president, Nelson thanked Stinson for his leadership in 2012, the first year of the councilís four-year term.

Town consultants will be chosen at the Jan. 22 meeting, and the Park Board hopes to fill the newly created position of park director Jan. 15.

In other business, the council voted 5-0 allowing clerk-treasurer Carol Pomeroy up to $12,000 from the CEDIT fund to purchase three new computers and a server. She said problems have been occuring and the town canít risk losing data or not being able to retrieve it.

The clerk announced Porter Beach parking permits will go on sale at the town hall March 1. She reminded that both a residentís vehicle registration and driverís license must list Porter as the place of residence.

Brueckheimer reported the Stormwater Board awarded a $64,272 contract to R.V. Sutton for planned drainage improvements along Waverly Road. She also noted periodic lane and road closures will occur in the downtown as construction on the Porter Avenue lift station and force main continues.

Wightman for the Park Board thanked Brueckheimer and Spanier for helping secure two new bicycles for needy children through the Duneland Seniors group; she also said the Park Department stands ready to flood an area for ice skating at Hawthorne Park should temperatures cooperate. Last winter it was too warm for the rink to stay frozen.

 

Posted 1/9/2013