(UPDATED AUG. 6) GOP caucus to choose Milo’s successor is Aug. 11

EDITOR’S NOTE: Two more people have filed to be considered at the caucus: Tom Obertein and Paul Stepanek Boardman. Below are portions of a statement Boardman submitted to WNLP. (Disclaimer: While he is a cousin of WNLP’s editor, Beth Boardman, she is not affiliated with his campaign in any way, shape or form.)

Paul Stepanek Boardman

Paul Stepanek Boardman has joined the list of candidates seeking to finish Blair Milo’s term as mayor.

“I am old school, but it works. I will deliver the difference,” he stated on his web page.  

“I was shocked to see the eligible (LaPorte County GOP Party) voters in the upcoming mayoral caucus Friday, Aug. 11. Among the now-26 eligible voters are four Milos and two Morrises. Amazing, the blatancy and arrogance. This is astounding. I left my position as a precinct captain in the event the mayoral seat became open to be able to drive an agenda good for LaPorte..LaPorteans deserve better. Aug. 2, I formally asked Governor Holcomb to appoint state-level representatives from the GOP and voter registration to oversee this election professionally.

“A clear, goal oriented agenda needs to be set and a strong team put in place to move LaPorte’s quality of life forward,” he said. “We cannot allow the remainder of outgoing Mayor Blair Milo’s term to be a coronation occupied by a placeholder missing incredible opportunities for our town.”

Boardman states as his priorities quality jobs and high educational standards. “If elected, our team will be working to garner $450 million in capital for the City of LaPorte’s projects.”

His biography on his web page (www.boardyformayor.com) states that he has coached youth baseball in LaPorte for the last five years, started Indiana Manufacturing Inc. in LaPorte in 2001, and has led several projects, including initiating “Light up the Fields,” “Save 1008 Michigan Avenue,” and “Game On,” an effort to build a northwest Indiana sports arena slated to bring hundreds of jobs.

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UPDATE AUG. 3: Former city councilman Geoff Sellers has also filed as a candidate.

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UPDATE: City Councilman Tim Stabosz released this letter he issued to the GOP committeemen Aug. 2:

“Fellow Precinct Committeemen:

Stabosz

“After much thought and deliberation, I have decided to enter my name as a candidate for mayor of the City of LaPorte in the upcoming caucus on August 11. Having the opportunity to serve in this way would be a culmination of my longstanding love affair with LaPorte.

“As you know, I currently serve on the city council, and have been one of its more active and engaged members.  My program is simple: LaPorte needs to be a ‘quality of life destination’ unlike any other in the Michiana area, and even the greater Chicago metroplex. It needs to fully leverage its strengths as the ‘City of lakes,’ with an incomparable park system and a historic charm that all bespeak warm and welcoming. LaPorte must market itself to bedroom community types, to tourists, to entrepreneurs, to the artistic and technological class — and to all manner of outside investors — in order to attract economic development. By putting our best foot forward and making the city as attractive, desirable and ‘livable’ as possible, LaPorte will be focusing on what it CAN and SHOULD do, in order to finally grow a city that has been stagnant at 22,000 in population for the last 50+ years.

“With a background in business, finance, financial management, accounting, and auditing, I have spent most of my adult life as a professional investor. I understand the concept of ‘return on investment’ very well, and I know that when the city looks at spending money, it must focus on projects that will generate a return that will be justified to the taxpayer. My success as an investor is founded not just in the rigorous analysis involved in seeking out high returns, but also in being thrifty and prudent, and looking to protect and preserve capital. These are qualities that are very important to have in a mayor … especially a mayor who will be overseeing a ‘centerpiece’ development like NewPorte Landing.

“I believe that my financial and business experience, combined with a deep-seated passion for city planning, zoning, beautification, and related aspects involving quality of life, are exactly the qualities LaPorte needs in a mayor. I am a good listener, and care what people think. I will look for the input and ideas of others so that we can truly make this a place for us all.

“We all wish Mayor Blair Milo the very best in her exciting next journey, serving in the governor’s cabinet. I am most proud of our work together to have the political courage to finally create a long-term plan that will bring our roads up to a level we can all be proud of, and that will no longer hinder our economic development.  There is further investment to be done, but it needs to be done wisely, with a steady and sober hand. I humbly ask you to put me at the helm of the city to oversee, guide, and direct that investment, as I honestly believe I am the best candidate for that job.

“With great respect,

Tim Stabosz, LaPorte City Councilman At Large”

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UPDATE AUG. 2: Press release from LaPorte County GOP:

“The LaPorte County Republican Party will hold a caucus of 20 eligible precinct committeemen on August 11 at 5:30 p.m. Central at LaPorte County Complex Meeting Room No. 3, 809 State St., LaPorte.

“This caucus will be to elect the best candidate to fill the upcoming vacancy by the resignation of Mayor Blair Milo, who will share her

Galloway

talents with the rest of Indiana in service as Governor Eric Holcomb’s Secretary of Career Connections & Talent.

“While 20 precincts comprise the city limits of LaPorte, only those precinct committeemen properly credentiale

Krentz

d in attendance at the caucus or with an eligible Vice-Committeeman serving as a proxy are permitted to vote.

“Candidates must file their candidacy with the County Chairman at least 72 hours prior to the caucus. Additional procedures in Indiana Law and the rules of the Indiana Republican State Committee are the responsibility of the candidate to research and fulfill.

“On July 31 letters were mailed to eligible precinct committeemen and vice-committeemen notifying them of the call of the caucus.

“‘We are excited and proud for our party and our Mayor! Blair Milo will serve our state well and our LaPorte County Republican Party is stronger than ever before. We will caucus with serious consideration to select our next Mayor of LaPorte. The next Mayor should be ready to hit the ground running and carry on the progress Mayor Milo gave us to even greater heights in the years to come, and I am certain the person we select among our quality candidates stepping forward will offer that.’ – Chairman Nick Barbknecht

“Indiana’s first secretary of career connections and talent, Blair Milo, begins in her new role Aug. 14.”

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UPDATE: Mark Krentz and Roger Galloway have also thrown their names into the hat. Krentz is a member of the LaPorte Board of Public Works and Safety and Galloway is a LaPorte City Council member.  

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Below is a statement issued by former LaPorte Mayor Leigh Morris, who announced Monday, July 31, 2017, that he is seeking to replace Mayor Blair Milo. Milo announced last week that she’s leaving the post in August, partway through her 2nd term, to take a job in Gov. Eric Holcomb’s Cabinet. A GOP caucus, not yet scheduled, will be held to name Milo’s successor to fulfill the remainder of her term. Morris served as mayor from 2004-08.

I have decided to seek the opportunity to be selected as the next mayor.  Here’s the message I’ve shared with some of my political colleagues:

Leigh Morris

Under Mayor Milo’s leadership, the City of La Porte has been moving forward in many ways. As I look at the challenges before us when she leaves the position, I think it is particularly important that the person who replaces her as mayor is prepared to not only maintain the positive momentum, but pursue new opportunities as well.  There are several people who have indicated interest in the position, but I believe I am best equipped to do the job.  Here’s why:
1. Effectiveness. I’m  a high-energy, hard worker who has done the job before and would hit the ground running.
2. Experience.  I’m a recognized leader who has headed major organizations and knows how to get things done working with others.
3. Community Focus. I am 100% committed to this community and will do all I can to assure it reaches its potential as a great place to live, work and do business.
4. Relationships: I’ve held leadership positions in state government and key regional organizations and know how to advocate effectively for our community.
If I’m given the opportunity to serve,  I  will be attentive to all aspects of city government, but I will  focus major emphasis on four key priority areas:
Public Safety.  Making certain that our law enforcement and code enforcement are as effective as they can be and are addressing the issues that make LaPorte a safer, more attractive community.
Economic Development. Providing leadership to assure that LaPorte attracts new industrial, commercial and retail jobs.
NewPorte Landing. Working with the Redevelopment Commission and others to make certain that NewPorte Landing has the greatest positive impact on community vitality, not just a bunch of unrelated buildings.
Participation. Reaching out to the community, providing an open-door approach that invites participation by City Council and other components of city government in decision making, but also seeking citizen input and involvement. 
The caucus is not yet scheduled, but I expect it to be the end of next week.  In the meantime, I’d welcome questions or dialogue!
— Leigh Morris, LaPorte 

37 Responses to “(UPDATED AUG. 6) GOP caucus to choose Milo’s successor is Aug. 11”

  1. Brad

    Jul 31. 2017

    More of the same old same old. Will this city ever move forward?

    Reply to this comment
  2. SpeedRacer

    Jul 31. 2017

    Leigh Morris would be a fantastic person to fill Blair’s position. You can be sure he does what he says he is going to do.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Julie

    Jul 31. 2017

    I am thrilled to hear this! The city would be in excellent hands with Leigh Morris as our interim mayor. I’m guessing he would not want to seek re-election in 2019. Tom Dermody will be able to run in 2019 election and will most assuredly win. If this is the case it’s a great plan for the Republican party.

    Reply to this comment
  4. Kla

    Jul 31. 2017

    Uhhhhhh, No.

    Reply to this comment
  5. Laura

    Jul 31. 2017

    Great news. Our community is fortunate to have benefited from Mayor Milo’s visionary leadership, and “can do” approach. Leigh Morris has the skills, experience, and networking relationships expanding outside the greater LaPorte area to further those visions, and move ahead.

    Reply to this comment
  6. Oldeskule

    Jul 31. 2017

    if we are ever going to change this community-it will take NEW ideas, like Blair brought to the table. We do not need tired ideas from the past.

    there are some great YOUNG Republicans out there who have vision and drive. Even if they only serve as a interim mayor give them a chance.

    Reply to this comment
  7. Mary

    Jul 31. 2017

    Hard NO! This man has been an abject failure at every position he has ever held. He acted like Trump at the hospital… thought he was king and spent money on his every whim. He did the same as mayor of La Porte. Then Gov. Daniels appointed him liaison over the toll road. Anyone remember how well that went? The toll road people did exactly what they wanted with no oversight at all, eventually defaulting on their lease. If you give Morris the reins, he’ll have the city run completely into the ground by the next election. Just say no!

    Reply to this comment
    • Greg

      Aug 01. 2017

      The toll road is one of the nicest stretches of road in the state.

      Reply to this comment
    • HellnoMorris

      Aug 08. 2017

      Morris is not the choice, I agree 100%. As you stated and for the reason he was asked to leave the hospital. What he did would shock this town and place anyone else in jail!

      Reply to this comment
  8. Way back

    Jul 31. 2017

    You know who would be a better mayor than Morris? Anyone! How can people even seriously consider this? Is it someone’s idea of a joke? Nobody will write such nice things about him, so he writes them himself! That’s a clue, people!

    Reply to this comment
  9. Jamie

    Jul 31. 2017

    I am sure he will care more than our last mayor. I am sure he will be a better communicator.

    Reply to this comment
  10. WS

    Jul 31. 2017

    He is a poor choice. He was ineffective as mayor before. Need younger blood in that office.

    Reply to this comment
  11. Bob

    Jul 31. 2017

    Say good buy to the 1% property tax cap if he becomes mayor. That was on his agenda when he was mayor before. You think property taxes are high now just wait till he gets that removed.

    Reply to this comment
    • gobnaitx

      Aug 03. 2017

      With all due respect, the property tax cap is was written into the state’s constitution. Mr. Morris would be no more likely (or able) to get it removed than you or I would.

      Removing the tax cap amendment would be a matter for the legislature and then the voters of the entire state, not the whims of a small town mayor.

      Reply to this comment
  12. BETTY

    Jul 31. 2017

    Moving forward? Where are the factories, the businesses that employ more than 20 people, places of entertainment other than bars. There is absolutely nothing for young people to do in this town and unless you are a drinker there’s not much for older people. Why do you think everybody goes to Michigan City or Valpo to shop, because they want choices, more than Walmart. Wake up people, if you want our town to thrive you need to bring in jobs, create activities for the young and older people, or before you know it, the young people will move away and this town will be an empty shell of what it once was, it is very close to that now. At one time it was a great little town to grow up in.

    Reply to this comment
  13. wanaspk2

    Jul 31. 2017

    OH NO> apparently all those who are supporting Morris have never worked with him or for him This is not good news.

    Reply to this comment
  14. Pothole Padre

    Jul 31. 2017

    Okay. Industrial development–yes, we need it.
    New restaurants–yes, we need them.
    Newporte Landing–yes, it will develop, but what about things on the west end of La Porte? We lost K-mart, Al’s West, and a host of smaller stores, so the first thing you see upon entering La Porte from the west side of town is, well, ’emptiness.’ Nothing seems to be done that we know of to entice retailers and restaurants to come to this end of town.
    And potholes? 18th Street is a money pit as city crews constantly are called to fix them, and there’s other streets that need milling and resurfacing which haven’t been done in the 13 years I’ve lived here.
    How high a priority will city streets be placed in Mr. Morris is chosen? We’ll see, but I think we already know. More talk, but no action.

    Reply to this comment
  15. Kathy Richards

    Aug 01. 2017

    Very happy to hear Mr. Morris is looking to fill the Mayors term. He is a proven leader. Worked with him for many years at the hospital. He is a visionary, progressive, a tireless executative ,and always got things done. His past experience as Mayor should provide a smooth transition.

    Reply to this comment
  16. Mary

    Aug 01. 2017

    Remember the past…….Just say No No No. Wow it would be the movie Groundhog’s Day over & over & over again……

    Reply to this comment
  17. Kathy

    Aug 01. 2017

    I would like to know how many of the people that complain about nothing for old and young to do in La Porte actually go when La Porte does have events. Example: The Grand Prix Boat Races on Stone Lake, great for young and old. Not many people there at all this year. How about the Ski Show a couple weekends ago good for young and old, again not a lot of people there. I could go on but you get the idea.

    Reply to this comment
  18. Richard Ricardo

    Aug 01. 2017

    I think Mr. Morris will do fine to finish out this term. Until Tom Dermody runs next year, there isn’t much to screw up. Leigh will do just fine. He has experience, and will do well to work with the council members. Except Tim S. In my opinion, he is horrible. I’ve never met a more self serving individual. Hopefully the electorate will take him down next year.

    Reply to this comment
  19. support galloway

    Aug 01. 2017

    For positive change in our community look to Mr. Galloway. Straight forward, dedicated, community focused.

    Reply to this comment
    • oldeskule

      Aug 05. 2017

      I have known Roger Galloway for nearly 60 years now. He is a hard nosed man who says what he means and means what he says. Would I be comfortable with him in the mayor’s office? sure. Would I be comfortable with Mr. Morris, Mr. Stabocz or the others? Nope. La Porte has had the reputation for years and years of being this Mayberry type community where everyone lives here and works out side of the community. Industry is the key. Which ever candidate can convince industry that this is a good place to do business is the candidate we need.

      Reply to this comment
  20. Ralph Vogel

    Aug 02. 2017

    I have no argument with Mr. Morris’s credentials. He is an experienced leader/politician. But why does he feel it necessary to “toot his horn” in the media; especially when this is NOT a general election. His pitch should be to the precinct committee members who will appoint the interim mayor. I’m also a little surprised that “What’s New La Porte” would consider his statement as news for public consumption. Have the other candidates been given the opportunity to toot their horns?

    Reply to this comment
    • Staff

      Aug 02. 2017

      All candidates are welcome to submit press releases/statements to WNLP, as is indicated by our posting of Mr. Morris’s release.

      Reply to this comment
  21. John

    Aug 02. 2017

    Stabosz, I’ll be hanged if I’ll vote for you. A lot of voters haven’t forgotten the trouble you got yourself into when you ran from the cops that one night. Mayor Milo wanted you to resign from your city position, but you stubbornly refused. Why don’t you just go away and stay away?

    Reply to this comment
  22. ILUVLP

    Aug 03. 2017

    I would like to see Bob Cutler run for mayor. His family goes way back in LP. Great guy too.
    I think he would be a great choice.

    Reply to this comment
    • Staff

      Aug 03. 2017

      Mr. Cutler is currently LaPorte County coroner, also an elected position. He would be required to step down from that position if he were a candidate and chosen as mayor.

      Reply to this comment
  23. Sharon

    Aug 03. 2017

    Someone posted about the Grand Prix, the Ski Show, etc. (“etc.” being downtown movies, Taste of LaPorte, Fitness Friday…) Where were all the people to support these things? There are two people in the City of LP offices whose entire job is to secure, execute, and encourage events in LaPorte. Everything is FREE and much work goes into organizing these events yet where are the people? It would appear they’re at home on their computers, posting complaints about how there’s nothing to do in LP. Come on, folks…It’s now about electing others, it’s about YOU getting behind your town and making things happen!!

    Reply to this comment
  24. Rich

    Aug 03. 2017

    Stabosz and Morris? Does anyone remember LaPorte Major Moves when these two bureaucrats tried to force sidewalk repair burdens down the throats of the home owner?Pull your head out of the sand wake up. we need new blood. Give Roger Galloway a chance- Lets make LaPorte Great Again

    Reply to this comment
  25. Quizmaster

    Aug 04. 2017

    Isn’t it interesting that we’re going to go from a woman in her 30’s to basically men in their 50s and older. Is that what the Republican party is going back to??? Or will this just be a stop-gap solution until more viable candidates have time to organize?

    Reply to this comment
  26. lawman

    Aug 05. 2017

    quizmaster-so men over 50 are useless in your mind?

    Reply to this comment
    • Quizmaster

      Aug 08. 2017

      Lawman — well, since I am a man over 50, I will say no. I just find it interesting that there are no females in the running apparently.

      Reply to this comment
      • curious

        Aug 09. 2017

        Quizmaster – La Porte’s Mayor has accepted a new position. La Porte soon is without a Mayor. Action is being taken to fill the position, and that by a peaceful procedure. No leftist marches or destruction of property and disruption of the peace. A vote or votes on Friday. Gender,if you recognize gender is not in and of itself a qualification for Mayor.

        Reply to this comment
  27. Concerns

    Aug 05. 2017

    Stabosz has done nothing but cause trouble and cry on council, me thinks he should run for nursery school student would fit in well

    Reply to this comment
  28. James Jones

    Aug 08. 2017

    More than a manager, LaPorte needs fresh vision and a new set of eyes to see the possibilities for economic development and new enterprise. Although I left ten years ago I still own property in LaPorte, and have a stake in its future. I am putting my support behind Paul Boardman, who I know, who has the vision this community for the future.

    Reply to this comment

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