KOUTS | The Town Council now has a double rarity. Not only does it have a new Democrat, an endangered species in Kouts, it also has a woman member for the first time in several years.
Nicole Markovich, 36, was the only person to file for the vacancy created when Orville Jefferson left his at-large council seat to become the town's building inspector a month ago. Only one of the town's three precinct committeemen appeared for Wednesday's caucus at Town Hall, but that was enough.
Porter County Democratic Chairman Jeffrey Chidester said the quorum rule was waived because there was no competition for the seat. That still meant at least one committeeman had to show up, and Chidester said he wasn't able to contact one to notify him of the caucus and the other had to work a second shift and couldn't come.
Markovich got the necessary vote and was immediately sworn into office by Chidester. Markovich, a single mother of two, said she has lived in town more than eight years and works as a nurse at St. Anthony hospital in Crown Point. She is continuing her nursing studies at Purdue North Central.
"I wanted to be involved in the community," she said. "There's more politics coming up with the health care issue, and I want to learn about the politics in my own community."
She said she's been involved in the community as a Girl Scout leader and with the school PETT organization. She also served as president of the Student Association of Nursing Development at PNC.
"My goals would be to make a positive change with the rest of the council," Markovich said. "I want to pursue grants to get more money for our community. I would also like to be part of the development in the community and anything to make the community grow."