Mayors may be the voiceNWI needs
March 19, 2011 4:04PM
THE FIRST AMENDMENT
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
It was heartwarming to see Lake County’s seven mayors meet for breakfast last week at Avalon Manor Banquet Center in Hobart.
The Lake County Circle breakfast was sponsored by the county Democratic Party, which is chaired by Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott.
Although some feel the Lake County Circle is simply McDermott’s effort to amass political clout, it serves a purpose that can benefit county residents from Lake Michigan to the Kankakee River.
The mayors talked the other morning about how they are coping with revenue shortfalls in the face of property tax caps and frozen levies.
They also talked about individual projects designed to improve the quality of life.
The breakfast was open to the public, which got a chance to interact with the mayors.
The gathering of seven mayors to discuss common and individual problems and pluses is something that has been lacking in Northwest Indiana. For that matter, planning in general hasn’t been the priority it should be.
We encourage McDermott to take the Lake County Circle a step further in terms of being a force for the future of not just Lake County, but all of Northwest Indiana.
Although each city has individual problems, their overall health is vital to the success of Northwest Indiana.
Among the issues with which the mayors could become involved:
† Whether to lobby the County Council for the adoption of a county income tax.
† Taking a stand for or against the expansion of commuter rail.
† Taking a position on advancing construction of the Illiana Expressway.
† Adopting an annual agenda for the Lake County delegation to the General Assembly.
† Working with County Commissioners as to whether to keep the satellite courthouses in Gary, Hammond and East Chicago.
† Helping to find a permanent funding source for bus service across the county.
† Becoming a combined voice for the expansion of the Gary/Chicago International Airport.
It is time for a unified county voice, and the mayors may be the best venue.