CROWN POINT | The contest for the 2nd District Lake County Board of Commissioners seat will feature candidates offering voters experiences of a different kind.
Republican candidate Jerry Tippy, 51, of Schererville, said he has amassed eight years in public service on the Schererville Town Council, the town's plan commission and utility board.
He said he also has 25 years experience as a project manager for a Lansing-based steel fabricating plant.
"So I bring the principles from the private sector, which I can use to help create efficiencies and lowered cost in county government," Tippy said
He said he would demand county government contracts be awarded only through an open bidding process and hiring done on professional qualification, not political pull. Tippy said he opposes a local income tax.
Incumbent Commissioner Jerry Scheub, 77, of Crown Point, is a career politician who won his first election — when Tippy was still a teenager — as St. John Township trustee, where he served from 1975 to 1994.
A county commissioner since 1996, Scheub is running for re-election on a platform that nobody, including his challenger, has his job experience or zest for doing it for four years.
"I'm in the office every day at 6 a.m. I love what I'm doing," Scheub said after a series of official meetings where he announced a plan to consolidate E-911 at a cost savings of millions of dollars. In another fine detail of government work, he announced he had found a beaver lodge damming up a county drainage ditch that he ordered the surveyor's office to remove.
Scheub said he has helped direct essential government services from snowplowing to sand bagging during floods. He said he has successfully urged other county officials into a leaner county government by emphasizing staff cuts and parking take-home cars. He helped veto a local income tax five years ago.
Scheub's re-election has been put in doubt by a mandatory remapping that stripped the 2nd District of reliable Democratic bastions in Lake Station, New Chicago and Hobart.
That leaves Tippy and Scheub to fight for votes in Merrill ville, Schererville, Winfield, Crown Point, Cedar Lake, most of St. John, Lowell, Schneider and 95 percent of the county's unincorporated townships.