Laura Shurr Blaney
Office sought: Porter County Commissioner, District 1
Political experience: Six total years on the Porter County Council. Two in the District 4 seat, Four in an at-large seat. Lifelong Porter County resident. Together with husband, Ken, owned and operated Kelsey's Steak House in Portage and Valparaiso. Taught at PNC.
What prompted your decision to run for this office?: I want Porter County to continue to grow and remain a place where future generations stay and are successful. As we grow, however, it's important not to lose sight of the things that made Porter County special in the first place. I think I can do that.
Top three goals:
- Job creation. I would like to see specific businesses and industry targeted and recruited. Make Porter County an attractive place for business to locate -- shovel-ready sites, good infrastructure, keeping taxes low, maintaining a high quality of life.
- Work with the other commissioners and the council to create a specific plan for the hospital proceeds and accrued interest. I'm not saying we should look for ways to spend it, but determine what circumstances would warrant spending it.
- Public safety. I want to secure a solution to the E911 funding problem. Every citizen in Porter County deserves to feel safe and secure.
Why should voters choose you?: My opponent doesn't have any government experience, whereas I've had six years on the council. I know how local government works. I'll be able to hit the ground running. This also will be a full-time job for me.
What would you do on your first day in office?: I would visit or set up meetings with as many department heads as possible. Then I would start listening. I want to see where things are working well and where they could be done better.
What else would you like to tell us?: I'm married to Ken Blaney (almost 18 years). We have four children, Maddie (14), Isabel (9), Roger (6), Claire (4).