Chesterton Tribune                                                                                   Adv.

Porter Republicans to exclude public from election to replace Town Council member

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Unlike the last Republican caucus held in Porter in 2008, Friday’s GOP caucus to select a replacement for Porter Town Council member Micheal Genger will be closed to the general public.

Genger, in his first term as District 4 councilman, has resigned to move his family to South Korea to do missionary work. His successor will serve until Dec. 31, 2011. District 4 encompasses the west side of Wagner Road to past Tremont Road, and the north side of U.S. 20 to Porter Beach.

Henry Huyser, current president of the Porter Board of Zoning Appeals, has filed for Genger’s seat as has Trevin Fowler, a former member of the town’s Redevelopment Commission who resigned in June citing health reasons requiring extensive rehabilitation. The deadline to submit candidacy applications has passed.

Sundae Kubacki, Porter County GOP Voter Registration officer, said County Republican Chairperson Joyce Webster has appointed Porter’s Bruce Snyder as caucus chairman. Today, Snyder said, “That’s news to me.” He is chairman of the town’s Redevelopment Commission.

According to state law, the new councilman will be chosen by secret caucus ballot. Voting will be Genger, Precinct 5 committeeman; Snyder, Precinct 7; Levi Nagalski, Precinct 13; and Town Council president Michele Bollinger, Precinct 16.

Snyder described Huyser and Fowler as “good candidates we all know well.” Tomorrow’s caucus will take place at 10 a.m. in the Comfort Inn conference room, 1800 West U.S. 20 in Porter.

Aug. 27, 2008 a GOP caucus open to the public was held at the Porter town hall to replace then-councilman Bill Sexton, who resigned to move to Merrillville. An initial tie vote led to a second 3-2 ballot with the former GOP chairman breaking the deadlock and electing Todd Martin, who had lived in Porter for 45 days, over 15-year resident Ken Timm. Some attending the caucus were visibly upset over the outcome and voiced their displeasure including Republican Councilman Dave Babcock.

Snyder said that led to the decision to close Friday’s caucus. “That’s just the way we wanted it. We decided that at the end of the last caucus.”

Huyser and Fowler will have up to three minutes to address the caucus and each also may have one person speak on their behalf. Webster as county chairperson may vote in a second ballot if necessary if the caucus so chooses before the balloting begins.

In addition to Bollinger, Martin and Babcock, Republican Jon Granat is a Town Council member. They each are paid approximately $6,000 per year, and they and their dependents are eligible to participate in the town’s employee health-insurance plan.



Posted 9/9/2010




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