Chesterton Tribune



Porter council considers park board and voting districts Tuesday

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The Porter Town Council could vote to disband the town’s Park Board when it meets Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the town hall.

Sept. 24 the council voted to have an ordinance prepared for consideration that would reorganize the Park Department with a park director in charge of operations who would coordinate with a council liaison and be answerable to the Town Council instead of an independent Park Board.

A citizen advisory board also could be created to develop suggestions and goals for town parks.

At the Sept. 24 Town Council meeting vote was 4-1 to have the dissolution ordinance drafted; member Greg Stinson, husband of current Park Board president Rondi Wightman, voted no saying while streamlining the Park Department to save money sounds good, he’s not convinced it outweighs the other risks involved.

Current and former Park Board members have questioned the wisdom of dumping the board, especially without a firm transition plan or fact finding study in place.

With Porter’s municipal budget facing challenges in 2014 and beyond, council president Elka Nelson said park reorganization will help consolidate town resources and manpower to save money. Councilman Rob Pomeroy said the Park Department has had cash flow problems for years that won’t go away until expenses are less than revenue.

The council could opt not to take action on the dissolution ordinance Tuesday, to adopt it on first reading only or to suspend the rules and have final adoption in one night.

Other agenda items are a new ordinance amending town voting districts, adoption of the proposed 2014 budget, a resolution approving employee incentives related to health-insurance coverage, and more discussion regarding meter size and back assessments incurred by some customers for sewer bills

Department heads will report and the public can comment on other matters as the meeting begins.


Posted 10/7/2013