Lake officials looking for new advisers to speed-dial E-911 merger

2013-02-11T19:03:00Z 2013-02-28T11:11:34Z Lake officials looking for new advisers to speed-dial E-911 mergerBy Bill Dolan bill.dolan@nwi.com, (219) 662-5328 nwitimes.com
February 11, 2013 7:03 pm  • 

CROWN POINT | Some chief advisers to Lake officials may be on the way out in an attempt to inject new life into the county's efforts to merge its multiple E-911 dispatch centers.

Lake County commissioners Gerry Scheub, D-Crown Point, and Mike Repay, D-Hammond, said Monday there is too much confusion among those supposed to be leading the E-911 project.

Scheub said, "After last month, there are still some people discussing what we need to move fast forward. We cannot afford any more delays. We are really under the gun."

Repay said, "I think the problem now is some of the expert advice has been contradictory."

The three-member Lake County Board of Commissioners, which employs ands pay a team of E-911 consultants, is seeking new engineers to design and equip the call center.

Although most municipal fire and police chiefs steering the E-911 merger recommended the county retain Jeffery Cicillian as E-911 director, the board of commissioners hasn't yet signed a contract for him this year.

Scheub said, "There is still discussion among the board itself as to what direction they're really taking.  I think that will be on hold, but I told Jeff, 'Do your job,' and he is still working every day."

"Some of the chiefs are kind of unsure of his role with the county government," Repay said. "Because of that uncertainty, they may need more explanation and that is what we hope to get them. Whether they will feel the same way after the explanation; that remains to be seen."

Neither Scheub nor Repay was critical of Merrillville lawyer John Bushemi, who has been leading efforts to have city and town councils sign an interlocal agreement giving up their control over E-911 dispatching and the tax revenues supporting it.

Scheub said a change this year in the way Bushemi's jobs as legal adviser to both the county sheriff and E-911 efforts, is funded puts him in conflict with a commissioners' rule that no one lawyer can represent more than one county department.

"I told Brian Taylor, the new E-911 chairman, the executive committee should name an attorney of their own choice," Scheub said.

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