Updated: April 6, 2014 6:17AM
GARY — Longtime Gary Sanitary Board of Commissioners President Richard Comer lost his title in a surprise vote.
The five-member commission elected a stunned Nelson Tinsley to the president’s job. Tinsley had served as vice president. Commissioner Sharon Mallory nominated Tinsley and the nominations closed before Comer could react. Comer and Commissioner Vance Kenney voted against Tinsley’s nomination. Mallory, Tinsley and Ola Morris supported Tinsley’s bid.
Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, who is special administrator for the Sanitary District under the terms of a federal consent decree, sat in the audience but did not comment on the election.
Tinsley also won the chairmanship of the Gary Storm Water Management District Board in a second meeting Monday.
In other business, the Sanitary board approved an agreement with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management for the testing of beach water during the summer.
IDEM will pay the district $29,000 to sample and test the water for E. coli and post results on a website.