All open seats on Town of Chesterton municipal boards have been filled by
At a special meeting Monday evening, the Town Council and President Nick
Walding, R-3rd, re-appointed all of the incumbents whose terms will expire
on Dec. 31.
•On the Plan Commission: George Stone and Fred Owens. Terms expire Dec. 31,
•On the Park Board: Vince Emanuele. Term expires Dec. 31, 2016.
•On the Utility Service Board: John Schnadenberg and Scot McCord. The
former’s term expires Dec. 31, 2015; the latter’s, Dec. 31, 2014.
•On the Police Commission: Craig Stafford. Term expires Dec. 31, 2015.
•On the Stormwater Management Board: Thomas Kopko. Term expires Dec. 31,
•On the Tree Board: Pat Carlisle. Term expires Dec. 31, 2015.
•On the Tax Abatement Advisory Committee: Rick Hokanson, Dave Adkins, Dane
Lafata, Phoebe Jane House, and Clerk-Treasurer Gayle Polakowski. Terms
expire Dec. 31, 2013.
•On the Redevelopment Commission: Paul Tharp, Edward Schoenfelt, and Council
members Jeff Trout, R-2nd, Sharon Darnell, D-4th, Jim Ton, R-1st. Terms
expire Dec. 31, 2013.
The council also reinvigorated the town’s Economic Development
Commission—defunct for something like 30 years—by appointing Trout and
Walding to the body. The council also nominated Darnell, whose appointment
to the commission is in the hands of the Porter County Commissioners.
After the special meeting, Town Attorney Chuck Lukmann told the
Chesterton Tribune that economic development commissions—provided for
under state law—were very popular in the 1970s and into the 1980s, then
faded from the scene.
Now they’re making a municipal comeback, Lukmann said. What they are
empowered to do is this: authorize tax-exempt financing status to
businesses, which in turn allows banks to loan those businesses money at a
couple of points below the regular market interest rate.
Lukmann emphasized that the municipalities themselves are in no way on the
hook for the loans. “Economic development commissions are very viable and
valuable economic development tools,” he said.
Meanwhile, members unanimously voted Member Emerson DeLaney, R-5th, to the
2013 presidency and Darnell to the vice-presidency.
Liaisons for 2013: Street Department, Walding; Police and Fire, DeLaney;
Parks and Utility, Darnell; Stormwater, Building, and Engineering, Trout;
the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission, Ton.