Chesterton Tribune                                                                                   Adv.

Retiring incumbent sparks one of three primary contests in Porter

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By PAULENE POPARAD

One thingís certain even before Tuesdayís primary election: there will be a new Porter Town Council that takes office Jan. 1.

Incumbent first-term Republicans Jon Granat in Ward 2 and Dave Babcock in Ward 3 did not seek re-election. Two candidates --- Ron Bush and Rob Pomeroy --- are vying to win the GOP nod to replace Babcock and represent Ward 3 in November.

Currently no council candidate has filed on the Democratic ticket for Ward 3; neither has one filed for Granatís Ward 2 district although Republican Jeanine Virtue, unopposed Tuesday, seeks that seat.

A second contested Republican primary race pits Ward 1 council incumbent Todd Martin against Ken Timm, the first time both men are placing their candidacy before voters. Martin was selected by a GOP caucus of precinct committeemen when he came to office in 2008.

Democrat William Cantrell will face the winner of the Martin/Timm race in November.

The Democrats have a primary contest of their own Tuesday. Greg Stinson faces William Suarez for the Ward 5 seat. The winner will be opposed by incumbent Republican first-term council member Michele Bollinger, who is seeking re-election.

Two additional candidates are unopposed in primary voting. Elka Nelson, a Democrat, seeks to represent Ward 4, and incumbent Republican councilman Trevin Fowler hopes to retain his Ward 4 seat. He was selected by a GOP caucus in 2010 to fill a vacancy.

Incumbent Porter clerk-treasurer Carol Pomeroy, a Republican, is seeking re-election for another term. No Democrat has filed in that race.

In the contested races, Martin cites his experience and knowledge of ongoing town projects and initiatives, and feels both the Gateway and Brickyard projects will boost jobs, assessed valuation and tax revenue; he believes the Park Department is a direct extension of the Town Council, and that the town canít survive on a tourism future alone so growth and development must be balanced.

Timm, in his seventh year on the town Plan Commission, says he is up to date on current town issues and will always vote for what is in the best interests of the taxpayers of the Town of Porter. He gives qualified support to both the Gateway and Brickyard projects, and does not believe Park Department employees should be under the Town Councilís direct supervision rather than the Park Boardís.

Bush emphasizes his belief in timeless values such as trust and fairness. He pledges to research thoroughly before making decisions, be proactive when it comes to maintaining Porterís infrastructure, be a consensus-builder in a town that has become too divided, and make a great town even better. Bush says he needs to research whether park employees should be under council control.

Absolutely not, says Pomeroy regarding the latter option. He stresses encouraging the businesses Porter already has, doing due diligence when it comes to the Gateway and Brickyard projects, and listening to the public who deserve transparent government. Pomeroy wants to steer Porter through coming changes with minimal impact to maintain its unique qualities and characteristics.

Stinson outlines his goals as leaving the Park Board to manage its own employees, restoring civility and professionalism to the Town Council, observing town code and state laws as required, finding ways to govern smarter so essential services continue to be provided, reviewing spending to divert resources where needed, and slowing the rush to fast-track the Gateway/Brickyard projects.

Suarez did not respond to a Chesterton Tribune questionnaire.

 

Posted 5/2/2011

 

 

 

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