In a political flier mailed this week by the Committee to Elect (John) Evans
Commissioner, the committee refers to Evans’ primary election opponent Jim
Biggs as “A Tax and Spend Liberal Porter County Can’t Afford.”
The flier bullets four accusations and sources, two of them from articles
appearing in the Chesterton Tribune.
• The flier says “He (Biggs) even thought about creating a NEW ‘Public
Safety Tax’ in the middle of a recession.” The claim footnotes an article
appearing in the April 2, 2012, edition of the Chesterton Tribune.
Biggs has never made a motion to create a new public safety tax during a
public meeting. The article was written a day before the April 3 County
Council meeting. Biggs held a phone conversation with the a Tribune
reporter in which he never proposed adding a tax, but said he wanted to take
a part of county economic development income tax (CEDIT) that goes to fund
the Enhanced 911 system and rename it as a public safety tax to use the
money for what it’s intended to do.
Here is how the paragraph appeared in the article:
“County Councilman Jim Biggs, R-1st, told the Tribune he plans to
bring up discussion regarding the future of Enhanced 911. While a plan by
fellow council member Jeremy Rivas, D-2nd, proposes to use CEDIT money to
help the counties and municipalities to fund the center, Biggs said he
wishes to rescind the portion of the CEDIT moneys to fund E-911 and
establish a Public Safety Tax in its place [to] be used correctly for their
• Another claim on the flier says: “Now he (Biggs) wants taxpayers to
‘Double Pay’ for E911 Services.” It footnotes an article that was in the
April 5, 2012, edition of the Chesterton Tribune.
Biggs never on record has said he wants to double a tax on E-911. In that
article, Biggs was explaining that Chesterton and Porter maintain their own
dispatching and charge residents a separate fee from the county surcharge
which is assessed to all telephone devices. He says that all municipalities
should participate in discussions with county officials to form a countywide
plan for E-911 operations and how they would be funded.
The sentences regarding Biggs’ views on E-911 in that article are as
“As a few council members are leaning toward using CEDIT money to keep the
center afloat, Jeremy Rivas, D-2nd, and Jim Biggs, R-1st, believe the
municipalities of Valparaiso and Portage, which have consolidated with the
county system, and Chesterton and Porter which maintain their own
dispatching, should assist county officials in developing a plan.
Biggs said that although the chances are slim for cash-strapped cities and
towns to pitch in, all parties need to advise the county of their situation
in order for the council to know where it stands.”