Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer enlightened the cadets about the city of Warsaw – population 13,559 – considered a Class 3 city. The population has almost doubled in 40 years.
The city’s recent strategic planning session resulted in several areas of focus including growth and management, business retention and expansion, business attraction, downtown Warsaw, improving communication and neighborhood revitalization.
There are several projects currently underway in the city including the urban trail systems, safety campaign for motorists and bicyclists, road and street projects, downtown revitalization and the downtown parking study. There are future plans for new comprehensive planning and growth management.
Thallemer stated, “The office of Mayor is everything I thought it would be and more.”
Representing county government, Kosciusko County Councilman Brad Tandy, now in his fifth term of office, explained the majority of the population in Kosciusko County resides within the county – not within the city.
The governmental structure of the county includes three commissioners – elected by geographical location – north, middle and south districts. The commissioners serve as the executive body determining the vision and making decisions.
The county council consists of seven councilmen – four representing districts and three at-large members. The county council serves as the funding mechanism for the county. This check and balance system requires the commissioners and council to work together. Tandy said Kosciusko County is solid financially, fiscally conservative and prudent.
State Representative Rebecca Kubacki serves on the House Ways and Means committee and the Commerce and Economic Development committee. Rep. Kubacki stressed the importance of prioritizing needs and allocating funding at the state level.
Kubacki talked of the S.T.E.M. approach to education as a benefit to the community and said it is needed to prepare students for jobs. According to her, 61 percent of the children in Indiana do not go to preschool. Education needs to start at an early age for children. Quality education and sound employment opportunities attract people to communities. Kosciusko County is striving to provide both on a local, county and state level.
The next KLA Session will be held Oct. 23 at the K-21 Health Services Pavilion where KLA members will learn about Human Services in Kosciusko County.