Porter Park Board members said Tuesday they are awaiting a formal proposal
from the town’s Redevelopment Commision asking park employees to maintain
Porter’s expanding hike/bike trail network.
The RDC meets Oct. 23 and president Elka Nelson said the terms of that
agreement and what the RDC will pay the park to provide trail maintenance
will be discussed.
Taking on that responsibility would require the Park Department to
reorganize its employee responsibilities, and it was confirmed last night
that current park superintendent Jim Miller tentatively has agreed in
principle to fill the new position of full-time maintenance specialist.
After the meeting Miller said, “We’ll see what the job description is and if
everything pans out. I have to see the terms.”
After 24 years with Porter Parks, earlier this year Miller resigned
effective Dec. 31 but later rescinded it. The Park Board hadn’t indicated
whether he would be allowed to continue his employment beyond year’s end
although several residents have voiced support for Miller at public
Reading from a prepared statement Tuesday, president Rondi Wightman said
after receipt of the RDC proposal the Park Board plans to call a public
meeting to finalize the new job descriptions as well as a 2013 park salary
schedule. The second of two full-time positions would be a park director to
handle administration of the parks including reservations, programs,
community outreach and fundraising.
Additional seasonal employees would be hired.
Stephanie Miller currently serves as park administrator and performs some of
the proposed director’s responsibilities. She also has announced her
intention to resign effective Dec. 31 and still plans to do so.
During board comments member Patty Raffin said she had no plans to seek the
park administrator’s or any other town position despite rumors to the
In other business, Wightman was the lone dissenting vote on a motion to
spend not more than $400 on the Oct. 28 Boo Bash children’s Halloween party.
She later told the Chesterton Tribune that amount is way too much for
the 150 to 200 children estimated to attend.
The board was unanimous in allowing Jim Miller to continue to employ a
part-time seasonal maintenance worker through December. Miller also was
given permission to attend a turf seminar at a cost not to exceed $600.
It was reported that the recent Porter’s Perfect Pint specialty brewfest
attracted 600 people at Hawthorne Park, and income from a silent auction
held to benefit the Park and Fire departments equally still is being
Park Board member Nikki Crist inquired about the rutted condition of some
Hawthorne grounds following several recent events there. Miller said after a
good rain and time the depressions usually fill in, but if they do not he
will restore the damaged areas.
Alice Foote Cloonan of the Duneland Seniors group that meets Wednesdays from
11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Hawthorne community building outlined upcoming
activities, invited seniors to attend, and thanked the Millers for their
help as well as the anonymous persons who donate postage and bingo door
Zathoe Sexton of the Bud’s Buddies friends of the parks group reported on
upcoming plans and invited park supporters to join Buddies members the third
Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. at the community building. Membership is