Chesterton Tribune



On the ballot Tuesday: Auditor, Coroner, Clerk and Recorder

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In the general election on Tuesday, Nov. 6, Porter County Auditor and Democrat Vicki Urbanik will be seeking her second term against a challenge from Republican Karen Martin.

Martin is currently in the last year of her second and--under Indiana Code--final term as Porter County Clerk.

Urbanik, 55, told the Chesterton Tribune that she counts among her achievements in office the savings of $1 million in contractual costs and the generation of nearly $500,000 in new revenue by “assuming more projects in-house despite a smaller staff size.” In addition, Urbanik said, “We upgraded our financial systems and implemented the county’s first time-keeping system, achieving greater accountability and transparency.”

Martin, 63, for her part cites her experience as Clerk. “As the Clerk, we collect approximately $20 million and distribute it accordingly. We must balance our accounts and prepare budgets to reflect multiple areas of compliance. We collect money for the Sheriff, Prosecutor, Probation, programs, county, and state. We process multiple checks on a daily basis. With implementation of new software, we have given the public more access.”


Also on Tuesday, Republican Cyndi Dykes and Democrat Randy Wilkening are vying for the open seat of Porter County Coroner.

Dykes, 57, is a histology technician employed at Porter Regional Hospital. Wilkening, 53, is a Portage firefighter and paramedic. Neither is currently a state-certified death investigator but both pledge to obtain certification at the earliest opportunity.

“My job experiences in the medical field and funeral home have given me unique qualities that I can bring to the Coroner’s Office,” Dykes told the Tribune.

“I have an advantage over my opponent because I’ve been one of the first to arrive on many death scenes, having to determine when and if the Coroner needs to be called,” Wilkening said.


Vying for the open seat of Porter County Clerk are Republican Jon Miller and Democrat Jessica Bailey.

Miller is in his second and--under Indiana Code--final term as Porter County Recorder.

Miller, 61, said that serving “as County Recorder for two terms has provided me with the experience to lead and manage a county office. Like the Recorder, the Clerk maintains some of the county’s most vital information, those being court and administrative records.”

Bailey, 37, is director for marketing and community development at the Great Portage Chamber of Commerce and holds a master’s degree in Public Administration and Nonprofit Management. “I believe in hands-on leadership and have experience collaborating with local government,” she said.


And vying for the open seat of Porter County Recorder are Republican Chuck Harris and Democrat Lily Schaefer.

Harris is in his second and--under Indiana Code--final term as Porter County Coroner.

Harris, 49, points to his experience “as an elected office holder for eight years, balancing budgets in accordance with the County Council, and a sincere desire to improve the quality of my community.”

Schaefer, 65, has been a practicing attorney since 1979--as a solo practitioner and as an associate and partner at Burke, Costanza & Carberry--in which capacities, she said, “I have had ample experience in personnel and financial aspects of office management.”



Posted 11/5/2018




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