Here are a few tidbits to consider:
ON THE HORIZON – Ready for another election? Brace yourself. The next one is a biggie and will get underway in about a month. Candidate filing begins on Jan. 8 for the 2020 elections. The last day of filing will be Feb. 7. The local ballot will include choices for president, Congress, state lawmakers, numerous state positions, including governor, and a slew of county races. For a look at election information, the Kosciusko County website is a great starting point.
PERSONNEL MATTERS – Businesswoman Paula Bowman will continue next year as the downtown event organizer for Warsaw’s First Friday and other special events. The city’s Board of Works and Safety approved plans to continue her current rate of pay, which is $8,000 for the year. Bowman owns and operates Latte Lounge in downtown Warsaw.
In another matter, the board approved a contract that will provide city attorney Scott Reust with a bump in pay.
Reust, who replaced the retiring Michael Valentine a year ago, had already taken on more hours. His pay rate will now rise to $220 per hour, which Mayor Joe Thallamer said is the prevailing rate and is the same that city council is considering as it seeks to hire its own legal counsel. Reust is set to make about $79,000 in 2020 with the city.
Thallemer admitted Valentine was underpaid and probably worked more hours than he accounted for.
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DRILLING DOWN – The former state director for former Democratic U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly and a regional director for U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh is jumping into a local race for St. Joseph County. Commissioner. Hodge Patel announced Wednesday his plans to run for the District 3 seat. Before his time working for Bayh and then Donnelly, Patel was also a field representative for U.S. Rep. Tim Roemer.
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CHANGES AT T-U – Possibly the biggest local news of the week hasn’t been formally announced and comes from my former employer, The Times-Union. General Manager and Editor Gary Gerard told staffers he is stepping down next month after some 31 years at the helm. Longtime reporter David Slone and Circulation Director David Hays will be stepping into new roles. Slone will become editor while Hayes will serve as the general manager.
I first heard about the changes Tuesday and had three people from the newspaper approach me Friday night in downtown Warsaw and confirm it, so it’s not exactly a well-kept secret.
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OFF THE CUFF – Random thoughts:
- Is anyone else disappointed with the US 30 patch job between Etna Green east to Pierceton? INDOT has spent months replacing troubled sections with new asphalt, but there are certainly a lot of rough spots in the seams between old and new.
- Market Street reconstruction is impressive. While the reduction in on-street parking was a worry, it seems like neighbors along Phase 2 (Bronson to Hickory) have adjusted. Concerns about a possible parking crisis on Saturdays for Little Tiger football season at Fribley Field – predicted by some before construction began – did not materialize.
- Wouldn’t it be nice if East Winona Avenue, from South Detroit to Argonne Road, was reconstructed as well?
Dan Spalding is the editor at InkFreeNews.com.
He covers city government and politics and always welcomes your input.
He can be reached at [email protected] or at (574) 855-7612.