CROWN POINT | Tears and smiles blended with kind words and shared memories as Commissioner Fran DuPey, D-Hammond, presided Wednesday over her final meeting of the Lake County Board of Commissioners at the government complex.
DuPey, 73, is retiring at year's end after a long career in Hammond and Lake County politics. Michael Repay, 37, was elected in November to replace DuPey.
Public officials, county staff members, friends and residents spoke about DuPey’s honesty and leadership. Just before the meeting ended, Lake County Attorney John Dull unveiled a plaque honoring DuPey that will be displayed in Hammond City Hall.
“This plaque commemorates (DuPey’s) historic tenure and service to the people of Lake County,” Dull said.
“Politics is a labor of love. I’ve loved every minute of it,” said DuPey, who is Lake County’s first female commissioner.
“I fell in love with politics, but mostly I fell in love with people,” she said.
In regular business, the three commissioners:
• Approved the interlocal agreement for a three-year renewal of police protection services between the town of Winfield and Lake County sheriff’s police. Quarterly payments to the Sheriff’s Department will be $30,000 in 2013 for a total not to exceed $120,000. For years two and three, that annual amount will increase by 3 percent each year, with quarterly payments increased by the same percentage. The Lake County Council approved the agreement Tuesday.
• Authorized a lease for the Center Township assessor’s office in a building owned by Frank Centofanti Sr. at an annual rate not to exceed $1,014.41 per month.
• Heard a report on the E-911 consolidation for Lake County.
• Approved using an E-signature for certified mailings. This technology saves $1 per certified letter sent out by county government.
• Approved four change orders for replacing Lake County Bridge 255 over Turkey Creek. Three of the four change orders resulted in savings to the county.
• Took under advisement bids for projects and equipment for the Lake County Highway Department, the Sheriff’s Department, the Lake County Juvenile Center and the Board of Commissioners.
The commissioners' next meeting begins at 10 a.m. Jan. 2.