MERRILLVILLE | Support from some town councilmen and other Merrillville officials couldn't keep Bud Crist on Merrillville's Stormwater Management Board on Tuesday night.
Crist's term on the board expired at the end of 2012.
Crist and Leonard White were nominated to fill the spot, and the council voted 4-3 Tuesday to appoint White to the position.
Council members Richard Hardaway, Chrissy Barron and Ron Widing voted for Crist to retain his position.
White said he is employed at the Lake County Solid Waste Management District and has experience handling environmental issues.
Crist has served on the Stormwater Management Board since it was formed about nine years ago.
Hardaway said the success of the town's Stormwater Utility couldn't have happened without Crist.
Barron said Crist was instrumental in advancing the Taft Street drainage project, which is expected to alleviate flooding in the Independence Hill subdivision and areas of Taft Street.
She wants Crist to remain on the board to finish that project. If the drainage work doesn't proceed as planned, Barron is concerned drainage issues could remain in Independence Hill.
Matt Lake, executive director of Merrillville's Stormwater Utility, called Crist a "most valued asset and a pillar of the community."
After selecting White for the board, the council unanimously approved a motion instructing Town Attorney John Bushemi to draft an ordinance to expand the Stormwater Management Board from three to five members.
Councilman Shawn Pettit said he would support appointing Crist to fill one of those positions.
Although Crist had applied to retain his seat on the board, he said after the meeting that he wasn't certain if he would apply for potential future positions on the board.
"We'll see what happens," Crist said.