Chesterton Tribune                                                                                   Adv.

Bush vs Pomeroy for GOP Ward 3 nomination in Porter

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By PAULENE POPARAD

Two Porter Cove residents are vying to win the Republican nomination in the May 3 primary for Porter Town Council Ward 3.

First-term GOP incumbent Dave Babcock has opted not to seek re-election. As of this time no Democrat has filed for Ward 3.

Both Republican candidates --- Ron Bush and Rob Pomeroy --- say they want to listen to their constituents and maintain the qualities that make Porter great. Below are their answers to a Chesterton Tribune questionnaire; some answers were condensed due to length.

 

Click here or scroll down for ROB POMEROY

 

RON BUSH

Age: 59

Occupation: Information Management

Years lived in Porter: 16

Why do you seek this office? I am concerned that our town is becoming polarized. Not Democrat vs. Republican but more past vs. future. Many good people believe Porter is a great place as a small town and that growth will change it and bring many of the social problems that growth brings to larger communities. Other good people believe growth is necessary to help our town deal with the many infrastructure issues, help keep taxes low and provide jobs. Good people should be allowed to voice that disagreement. But the backbiting, fighting and name calling that I read in the Chesterton Tribune and hear about in emails is inappropriate and just wrong in a small community where we are all neighbors. I was asked by a number of people to run, two of them currently serving on the council. I believe I can help bring consensus and tolerance to a town that has become too divided.

Why should primary voters elect you instead of your opponent? I believe in values of the past that have no timestamp like trust, loyalty, truth and fairness. I believe in getting the facts straight before making decisions and doing research before drawing an opinion. Town Council decisions need to be made to benefit all of Porter as a whole, not to benefit or penalize just a few. Before decisions are announced, every effort needs to be made to be sure everyone understands the data, the reasoning and benefits the decision will bring. Finally, we must be grounded in the values of the past but embrace and manage the future for our children and grandchildren. I am independent in that I am not part of a family or any other group that is part of any ďold boy or girl network". I am a businessman that is used to making decisions for the good of the company and all its employees.

Please list what would guide your decisions as a Porter Town Council member? The way I make all decisions is to research as thoroughly as possible, weigh the repercussions to all involved, communicate with all interested persons and gain wise counsel to the greatest extent possible. Finally, take responsibility for my decisions, continue to communicate the reasons and benefits and follow through appropriately.

What would be your priorities if elected? I would seek greater understanding and communication regarding the decisions your next three questions address. Porter enjoys an enviable geographic location, great residents, and the potential for the best place to live. But we have an aging infrastructure that must be dealt with like sewer and water lines. We have to keep up with existing needs yet prepare for future needs. When I served on the committee regarding the sewer issues last year I was amazed at Porterís lack of preparedness. Past councils left sewer needs for later councils to deal with, which shouldnít happen. We need a master strategic plan and a comprehensive understanding of the issues facing us and we must deal with them.

Do you support Porterís Gateway to the Indiana Dunes initiative? The Brickyard development? Why or why not? In a word, ďYes". I reread articles on both the Gateway and Brickyard and found the common theme to be jobs. There are some people who live in Porter and work in Porter but I canít believe itís a large percentage. And in fact, we are losing people at a time when Chesterton and Burns Harbor are growing. Yet our costs to live in Porter donít go down. When it comes to repairing and replacing Porterís infrastructure like sewers, water lines and streets, all of us want to pay as little as possible to do that. The more residents those costs are spread to, the less each of us has to pay. And the more likely newer and better technology will be employed in a timely manner. I donít want my town to be known as the part of Porter County that canít keep its streets open or water and sewer flowing.

Do you believe Park Department employees should be under the direct jurisdiction and supervision of the Town Council? I know only what Iíve read in the paper and I have several questions. It sounded like this was an administrative matter until it made the paper and politics entered. Are the Park Department employees the only Porter employees not as described above? If so, why are they separate? If not, why was the issue approached to begin with. As I read the Chesterton Tribune I found the articles tended to become more controversial and sensational as time went by. I would really need to research this by talking to the individuals involved, finding out how departments are supervised and what made this decision provocative.

What would make Porter a better place to live/work? I would like to see Porter pull together to face the issues it must deal with. We are here to make a positive, healthy place for all of us to live and grow. Debate of the issues is natural and positive, but personal attacks and politics as usual just poisons the atmosphere and makes it impossible to resolve anything. Our leaders need to set the example of respectful leadership. We have enough examples of poor leadership on the national level. Here in Porter we have so much to be thankful for, let us approach our differences with the desire to be heard but the grace to accept the best for all.

ROB POMEROY

Age: 49

Occupation: I am a Hewlett Packard (hp) business systems analyst, currently working at Arcelormittal Burns Harbor.

Years lived in Porter: Rose, my wife of 26 years, and I have lived in Porter for the past 15 years. I have lived in the Duneland community most of my life. I left after high school to attend college and then worked outside the area for a number of years but when it was time to raise a family, we chose Porter as the community to move to.

Why do you seek this office? This is a very important time for Porter and I want to be involved in how Porter will look 10 years from now. I have a lot to bring to the table. My oldest daughter is attending college in Indianapolis and my youngest will transfer to Ball State this fall. As a new empty-nester, I now have the time to dedicate to my town. I firmly believe you should give back to your community whenever the opportunity arises. I have been involved in Rebuilding Together Duneland (formerly Christmas in April) for many years; I also was on the committee responsible for building the playground in Porter Cove subdivision. Serving the town is just an extension of my community service.

Why should primary voters elect you instead of your opponent? I think I am an excellent candidate for this office. Porter has unique qualities and characteristics that, I think, many residents want to maintain. They chose this town for these qualities. There are huge plans on the horizon and my main goal is to steer these changes with minimal impact, while also listening to what the majority of residents want for their town.

Please list what would guide your decisions as a Porter Town Council member? One of the things I think we can develop as a council is listening better to residents. I strongly believe in an open and transparent government. The council will make better decisions with quality input.

What would be your priorities if elected? To listen to my constituents. Can you always listen to everyone on each issue? Not really. But for the big things --- like the Brickyard development and the Gateway project --- the people affected will have their say. Beyond that, I want to keep the small town feel. People come to this town because they love the small town atmosphere and the qualities it has to offer. There are ways to balance growth while maintaining these qualities. I would hope someday when my daughters start their families they raise them here, as I did.

Do you support Porterís Gateway to the Indiana Dunes initiative? The Brickyard development? Why or why not? While I am not necessarily opposed to the Gateway, I have a number of questions that remain unanswered. Is the councilís job to be the developer for Porter properties or is it to make Porter an attractive place for developers to come in? I believe a less risky plan is to make Porter a place that businesses want to invest in. I just want to make sure people are really going to develop there. All we need to do is look a few miles south to see the Coffee Creek development as an example of big plans that fell short. As for the Brickyard development, I was greatly disappointed with the secrecy of this project, the lack of resident input and how this was pushed through so quickly. The residents absolutely should have a say on anything that costs $350,000.

Do you believe Park Department employees should be under the direct jurisdiction and supervision of the Town Council? Absolutely not. It is still not clear why the current council wanted control of the park department employees. They never gave a clear explanation and without any solid benefits to fixing what I believe is not broken. I will not support putting park employees under the councilís supervision. The Park Board members are doing an excellent job and they should continue supervising their employees.

What would make Porter a better place to live/work? Before we start developing new businesses and new plans to bring tourists to this town, we should encourage the businesses we already have. If we build a strong foundation, businesses and people will naturally be attracted to the town. Strong and viable businesses bring tax dollars to the town, allowing it to provide better services for the residents. Empty storefronts and vacant land hurts the tax base and the first step to making Porter a better place to live and work is to encourage our businesses.

 

 

 

Posted 4/25/2011

 

 

 

 

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