Chesterton Tribune

 

 

County Treasurer Bucko retiring; Caucus to elect successor July 26

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By JEFF SCHULTZ

Porter County Treasurer Mike Bucko is bowing out of government before his term is up so he can begin enjoying his senior years.

At a press conference Monday, Bucko announced he had tendered his resignation to County Democrat Party Chairman Jeff Chidester and will be stepping down from office on Friday, July 25.

Bucko, who is in the middle of his second term as Treasurer, assured his health is well and that his decision is not because of political reasons. He plans to spend his retirement traveling and spending more time with family.

"As I approach 70 years of age, I feel it is time to step down and enjoy life to the fullest with my wife Carolyn, of 44 years, as we both have good health and are capable,” Bucko said.

Bucko said he’d thought about retiring for a few years and decided now would be a good time as the state is making changes to the Public Employee Retirement Fund, he said. According to Bucko, the changes would reduce his pension by 11 percent if he is not “off the books” by Sept. 1.

Bucko was first elected to Treasurer in 2008 and re-elected in 2012. Prior to that, he had served eight years on the County Council as an at-large member, from 1993 to 2000, and three years as the 4th District Council representative, from 2007 to 2009. Bucko also served on the Porter Twp. Advisory Board and as a NIRPC representative.

Caucus to meet July 26

Chidester said the Democratic Party will hold a caucus on Saturday, July 26, at 1 p.m., at Ironworkers Local 395, 6570 Ameriplex Drive, in Portage, to select a successor for Bucko.

Eligible candidates must have a Democratic voting record and must send a letter to the party’s secretary Debbie Cook-Kerr within 72 hours of the caucus and a form to seek candidacy must be filed with Democrat Voters Registration Director Kathy Kozuszek.

Chidester said contact information is available on the County Dems’ webpage, www.portercountydemocrats.org.

Accomplishments

Bucko said he has focused on improving functions in his office, making it more convenient for the taxpayer. “My hope was to rebuild your confidence in the office by providing technology and private sector common sense. Some new provisions were taxpayer web access, payments online, improved escrow payments, payment plans to help the taxpayer retain his home during the tax sale period, voluntary anytime payment of property taxes, improved escrow payment methods, over the counter credit card and on-line E-check payments,” said Bucko. He shares his credit with his staff who helped suggest the changes.

Chidester said he “deeply appreciates” Bucko’s service to the taxpayers and his help in investing the sale money from Porter Hospital and expects a smooth transition for whoever the caucus chooses as the next Treasurer.

 

 

Posted 7/15/2014