Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Miller resigns from Burns Harbor Town Council; County Democrat chair names Eric Hull without public input

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By JEFF SCHULTZ

There was somebody sitting in Burns Harbor Councilman Greg Miller’s usual seat Thursday night who wasn’t Greg Miller.

That somebody was Eric Hull who apparently has replaced Miller on the Council. Hull attended his first Council meeting at town hall Thursday, the first workshop on the 2016 budgets for Burns Harbor.

As the Chesterton Tribune learned from Council President Jim McGee after the meeting, Miller wrote a letter of resignation to McGee on July 10, 2015, saying he is stepping down from the Council and all other town boards effective July 11.

Miller in his letter said his decision was based on “much change lately” in his life. He said he was not planning to run for reelection this year as he had plans to move to Valparaiso which happened “ahead of schedule” due to “unforeseen family circumstances.”

“As residency is required to sit on these bodies, I have concluded that the only legal and ethical course of action is to resign my position,” Miller’s letter stated. “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time serving the Town and its residents. There are many positive things going on in terms of growing the town. Burns Harbor has a bright future. It is my hope that when the dust settles, so-to-speak, my contribution will be remembered in a favorable light.”

One day before writing the letter, Miller had attended the Redevelopment Commission’s public presentation of LiveWorkLeanPlay’s vision for revitalization. He had spearheaded the RDC this year and supported its decision to hire LWLP as the Town’s master development advisor.

Miller’s letter said that he still owns property in town and, as a taxpayer and “stakeholder,” he wishes to continue to serve the Town “in a capacity that does not require residency.”

A phone call to Miller for additional comment was not returned by deadline Friday.

So how would someone replace Miller for the remainder of his elected term?

The Town of Burns Harbor only has one Democratic precinct committeeman which is not enough to hold a caucus. In situations like this, the County Party Chairman has the power to appoint someone of their choice, McGee said.

McGee said Democrat Party Chair Jeff Chidester asked Hull if he would be interested and Hull said he would. Evidently, the process transpired without vetting the general public, as the vacancy not made known to the Tribune or any other newspaper, and Miller had not announced his resignation in a public meeting.

Chidester could not be reached for comment this morning.

Hull had been a member of the Town’s Plan Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals this year but told the Tribune he has since abdicated those positions to make way for his new gig on the Council.

Hull is one of the Democrats who has filed to run for election to the Council this November, which is all for at-large seats. He had run previously in the 2011 town election for Ward 3 and lost to Republican Jeff Freeze.

The Democrats will need to hold a “town convention” in order to select five candidates for the ballot (see related story).

 

Posted 7/31/2015

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

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