Hamm to replace Repay on Lake County Council
By Michelle L. Quinn Post-Tribune correspondent December 8, 2012 11:22AM
Updated: January 10, 2013 6:35AM
HAMMOND — Former Hammond Fire Chief Dave Hamm has been chosen the new 1st District Lake County councilman.
Hamm, who bested opponent Phil Golden with a 35-23 vote at the Hammond Civic Center on Saturday morning, will finish out the remaining two years of newly elected Lake County Commissioner Mike Repay’s term.
A third candidate, Raymond Fletcher, also filed to run but did so after the 10 a.m. Dec. 5 deadline, Lake County Democratic Chairman Tom McDermott Jr. said.
Hamm, 56, who’s been involved with the inner workings of the city since 1976 when he became a police officer, said he’s overwhelmed and appreciative for the opportunity to serve on the County Council and hopes he’ll do as good a job as his predecessor.
He said he’s not opposed to a County Option Income Tax but wants to familiarize himself with the county budget before forming an opinion.
“I’m not signing a Grover Norquist pledge,” Hamm said. “I’ll need to talk to the council and Board of Commissioners.”
The 39 year-old Golden, who works in social services, said in his opening speech that he supported the county option tax, but with limits.
“I think there needs to be a cap on it so it doesn’t continue to escalate (as property taxes did),” Golden said, adding that the tax’s allocation would need to be regulated and that businesses would also need to share in its responsibility.
Golden said he was “extremely disappointed” in the vote’s outcome but that he wishes Hamm all the luck in the world.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to have been considered a viable candidate,” he said.
McDermott said he’s excited for his friend and that Hamm will be a great elected official.
“The citizens will learn to love him and see that he’s a stand-up guy,” McDermott said.
Hamm, Repay and all newly elected Lake County officials will be sworn in at 3:30 p.m. Dec. 28 in the Lake County Government Center auditorium, County Auditor Peggy Katona said.