HIGHLAND | Highland Democrats will caucus Nov. 26 to name a successor to Councilman Brian Novak, D-4th, who resigned last week to focus on his career.
Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr., the Lake County Democratic chairman, called Councilman Bernie Zemen and told him of the caucus, planned for 6 p.m. at the Wicker Park clubhouse.
Zemen, D-1st, who was the council vice president, moved into the top spot by a council vote Monday night. Novak was the president.
Councilman Konnie Kuiper, D-2nd, replaces Zemen as vice president.
Novak's replacement must be a Democrat from the 4th Ward, Clerk-Treasurer Michael Griffin said.
McDermott will give at least 72 hours notice for qualified candidates to submit their applications, Griffin said.
In other business, the council told a handful of neighbors there is no legal way to stop a local church from removing part of the original hill at the southwest corner of Ridge Road and Grace Street.
Faith Church, 8910 Grace St., owns the undeveloped property, which is part of the geographic hillside of the original sand ridge for which Ridge Road is named.
After cutting down numerous older trees atop the hill, the church has been removing the hillside, including the sand, to make a parking lot at street level.
The council said the site is zoned for business, which includes parking lots.
As a result, the church needed no special permission or public hearings to carry out the project.
The council also offered condolences to the family of Larry Vassar, a longtime Highland political leader, who died last week. He currently was serving on the School Board.