NIRPC will try again Monday to name director
By Carole Carlson firstname.lastname@example.org | 648-3154 October 27, 2012 6:36PM
Updated: November 29, 2012 6:34AM
PORTAGE — A second attempt to appoint a new leader for the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission will take place Monday, more than a week after the first vote fizzled.
The 11:30 a.m. meeting of NIRPC board members will follow executive sessions at 9:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. The commission meets at the NIRPC offices at 6100 Southport Road.
On Oct. 18, a NIRPC board vote was slated on the search committee’s recommendation of Tyson Warner, a former Will County, Ill., planner and executive director the Flint Hills Regional Council in Fort Riley, Kan.
Warner would replace John Swanson, who is retiring. Swanson has agreed to stay on for a few months to help his successor transition into the job.
The appointment was pulled off the agenda after some board members complained they felt left out of the process. Instead of putting forth a list of finalists, the search committee made one recommendation — Warner — for the position.
The NIRPC board consists of 53 members who primarily are mayors and elected officials from Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties.
The members weren’t notified of Warner’s recommendation until Oct. 17, the day before the vote. Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr. criticized the process saying he felt like a “rubber stamp.”
McDermott said he felt the two local candidates who applied would better understand Northwest Indiana, opposed to a newcomer.
NIRPC chairman Geof Benson, president of the Beverly Shores Town Council, said the postponement would allow members to become more familiar with Warner.
The salary for the director’s position on the Oct. 18 NIRPC agenda was listed at $130,000.