Chesterton Tribune



Andy Bozak elected President of Porter County Council

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The Porter County Council held elections and made board and commission appointments for the new year at its meeting last week.

Mike Jessen, R-4th, stepped down as Council President. Council Member Jeremy Rivas, D-2nd, nominated Andy Bozak, R-1st, and Karen Conover, R-3rd, seconded the motion. There was no further discussion, and Bozak was elected on a 6-1 vote with Jeff Larson, R-at large, dissenting.

Rivas then nominated Dan Whitten, D-at large, for Council Vice-President. Whitten responded that Rivas should take the position instead. Rivas was elected unanimously.

Bozak took a moment to say he is very excited to help the county move forward as Council President and that his main goal is to improve communications between the Council, various departments, and the constituents to make sure the Council remains a force for positive change.


The Council also voted on citizen appointments to boards and commissions:

* Don Ensign, Redevelopment Commission.

* Thomas Swihart, Alcoholic Beverage Commission.

* Mitch Peters, Porter County Convention, Recreation, and Visitor Commission.

* George Armstrong, Park Board.

* Scott Williams, Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals.

* Lloyd Kittredge, Chesterton Economic Development Commission.

* Michael Sarver, Portage Economic Development Commission.

* Patrick McGinley, Valparaiso Economic Development Commission.

One appointment for the County Redevelopment Commission was tabled to be decided later.

The Council also made its self-appointments for 2018. Larson will continue to represent the Council at the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission. Jessen will continue on the Plan Commission, Conover will continue on Recycling and Waste Reduction, Larson and Sylvia Graham, D-at large, will continue on Emergency Management, Rivas will continue on Stormwater, and Bozak will continue on Juvenile Justice Services.


Contracts with Porter County Surveyor Kevin Breitzke and County Council Attorney Harold Harper were renewed with no changes. Breitzke was present for the renewal of his contract. Harper was unable to attend due to a prior business engagement, and gave notice of such in advance.

2018 Budget

County Auditor Vicki Urbanik reported that Porter County was one of the first 24 counties in the state to receive their preliminary budget notice. The state has tentatively approved all budgets, with one exclusion: the Cumulative Capital Development (CCD) fund.

Urbanik says she anticipates a cut of roughly $111,000 from the CCD, which was cut by over $1 million last year. Whitten asked how accurately the Auditorís Office was able to estimate the amount of the cut. Urbanik responded that she was conservative in her estimates and had expected the cut to be closer to $200,000.



Posted 1/9/2018





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