Chesterton Tribune



Porter Election: Lopez a voice for residents, touts budget experience

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Porter Election: Pomeroy hopes for better roads and parks in 2nd term


Editor's Note: Rob Pomeroy and William Lopez are running for a seat on the Porter Town Council in the November municipal election. See below for a profile of Democrat William "Bill" Lopez. Click above for a profile of Republican Rob Pomeroy.



Porter Cove resident and Democrat William “Bill” Lopez will admit he does not have the benefit of currently holding the seat for Ward 3 on the Porter Town Council as his Republican opponent Rob Pomeroy has for the last four years, but he says he has the right qualifications to effectively run the town.

A fiscal background

Lopez, 57, will be a newcomer to the five-member Town Council if elected on Nov. 3. What he intends to bring with him is his expertise in budgeting for large projects with the skills he’s gained as a past member and president of the Boilermakers Union Local 374.

Lopez said he served on the Union’s executive board for nine years, starting in 2003 to 2011, and acted as Union president for three of those years. With the Union, Lopez said he gained experience in budgeting, preparing bids and contracts and seeing those projects through completion working within set costs.

“It all falls along with running a town,” he said in an interview with the Chesterton Tribune. “Most roles I’ve been in have depended on me to be fiscally responsible. I look at the funds as if they were my own and I strive to make the correct decisions.”

In addition, Lopez has two years’ experience as treasurer of the Porter Cove Property Owners Association and has attended every one of its annual meetings since becoming a resident 11 years ago. He’s also been a precinct committeeman for Westchester precinct 5 for seven years.

Meanwhile, he’s also owned a small business which he ran successfully for five years and later sold.

Currently, Lopez works for the Town of Chesterton’s Utility Department and said he now has time to get into town government.


One of the main priorities on the Council would be the budget for Lopez. Although the shortfall isn’t as dire as it was some years ago, Lopez said he would want to make sure that the Town has been diligent and that “everything that can be done is being done.”

The 3 percent raises the Council approved for town employees for 2016 is something Lopez said he would agree with, believing that the raises motivate employees to provide good service.

Lopez added that “it’s always a priority for a town to take care of its residents,” whether it comes to safety or in development planning. When it comes to drainage matters, that falls under the auspices of the Town’s Storm Water Board, but the Council has a responsibility to find funding, he said. If drainage problems occur, the Council can ask planners and developers if there is anything they can do to fix problems before the town decides to use its own revenues to fix the issues, he said.

“We should first exhaust all the other options before we consider using the Town’s money. It must first be justified,” Lopez said.

U.S. 20/Porter Beach

On safety, Lopez said he hopes more roads can be repaired in town. He also hopes to see traffic improvements on U.S. 20. This past year has been dangerous because of the construction on I-94 and routing of motorists onto U.S. 20. If the Town can come up with a way to make travel safer, Lopez said he would support it.

Regarding quality of life matters, Lopez said he agrees with the Council’s decision to keep the ban on dogs and pets on the east side of State St. at Porter Beach. That part of the beach gets pretty crowded in parts of the summer and, Lopez said, he personally likes going to the beach with his family as one of the pleasures of living here.

Economic development

Looking toward the town’s future, Lopez said he would advocate just about any economic development as long as it didn’t negatively impact residents in any way. He feels the best kind of development would be light industrial or hotels that would get people visiting the Dunes area to stay here and spend some money in town.

Commercial businesses or shops would appeal to him if it’s something residents want.

A voice to the people

As a candidate for Council Lopez said his goal, if he were to join the Council, would be “to bring a voice to the people.” He wants to hear what is on residents’ minds and address any issue, major or minor.

“Let’s look at the problems together and see what the solution is,” he said.

Campaigning over the past several weeks, Lopez said he’s gathered from most residents he’s talked to that they are happy with the services in town and their concerns are mostly confined to their own neighborhoods.

One issue he’s heard about in his own neighborhood is the need for new playground equipment at Kids Cove, which he agrees with and hopes will happen in the not-too-distant future.

Lopez said he wishes to make the Council more open with residents and try to make town government more transparent.

“People want to see what’s going on,” Lopez said.


Town residents who are registered to vote can make their choice between Rob Pomeroy and William “Bill” Lopez on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3. Early voting is going on now from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Chesterton Town Hall, the Porter County Administration Building, and the North County Complex in Portage.





Posted 10/14/2015




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