Chesterton Tribune                                                                                   Adv.

Stevenson to seek reelection to County Council

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Porter County Council member Rita Stevenson announced Wednesday that she will seek re-election as a Democrat representing the council’s second district.

“I believe the main issue in this campaign will be whether or not Porter County should stay in the Regional Development Authority,” Stevenson said in her campaign announcement.

Stevenson was among the four council members who voted to pull Porter County out of the RDA last year. She said in her statement that when the RDA was first proposed, the thought was that “raising a small tax to support it would be all that was needed to fulfill its stated purposes.”

She added, however, that it soon became apparent to her that the amount of the tax raised for the RDA was not enough to support all of its projects -- namely, the South Shore extension, the Gary Airport expansion, regional buses and the Marquette Plan. She also said she felt the RDA “was straying from its original purpose and other than short-term jobs, no jobs were going to be created.”

Stevenson is opposed in the Democrat primary by Jeremy Rivas. Only the voters in the second district will vote in the race; the second district encompasses much of Portage Township.

Stevenson noted that the county council is currently in a lawsuit with the state over whether to stay in the RDA. Stevenson said the litigation “helps us say to the state that we’re simply not going to be run and forced into a partnership with Lake County by state legislation.”

Stevenson also said that Rivas is being supported in the primary by RDA backers, including Lake County tourism chief Speros Batistatos and labor unions.

“If one of the four people on the council that opposed the RDA is not there, the new council may well vote to drop the lawsuit and to continue our involvement (in the RDA),” Stevenson said. “You can rest assured if they do that it will result in tax after tax in the future.”

Stevenson also noted that she is the only council member who voted to withdraw from the RDA who is up for election this year.

Stevenson’s statement also said that she feels her votes on the county council have been frugal and that “Porter County is an outstanding example of a county in Indiana where the tax dollar is spent wisely.”

 

 

Posted 2/19/2010

 

 

 

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