VALPARAISO | Porter County Democrats who were elected to office in last month’s election were sworn in to office with family beside them on Saturday morning at the Porter County Courthouse in Judge David Chidester’s Superior Courtroom.
Jeff Chidester, chairman of the Porter County Democratic Party, began the ceremony in front of the packed house by stating that it was a “good day for Democrats.”
Judge Chidester began by swearing in Bill Alexa for superior court two. Alexa stood next to his wife, Joyce, donning his robe after taking the oath.
Both Alexa and Chidester exchanged turns in swearing in Porter County Commissioner Laura Shurr Blaney, Porter County Councilmember At-Large Bob Poparad, Treasurer Mike Bucko, County Councilmember At-Large Sylvia Graham, County Councilmember At-Large Dan Whitten, and County Surveyor Kevin Breitzke.
State Sen. Karen Tallian and state Rep. Chuck Moseley were in attendance and met with the group of officials after the ceremony.
Outgoing Porter County Commissioner Carole Knoblock, who did not seek re-election this year after eight years of service in the post, was honored at the ceremony. Jeff Chidester said her work to the county was invaluable.
“Public service is a thankless job, but there are people who do it because they care deeply about their neighbors, the community and this county," Chidester said. "We only felt it was appropriate to recognize Carole Knoblock for all she has done for Porter County. This county has been blessed to have a lot of good officials, and Porter County is a better place because of Carole Knoblock.”
After the ceremony, Whitten said he looked forward to working across the aisle next year.
“We have a lot of challenges with the budget in Porter County, but if we can get our heads together we can make it work,” Whitten said.
Poparad agreed that camaraderie is key, saying, “I look forward to working with everybody for the betterment of Porter County.”
Speaking specifically, Graham said she looked forward to tackling certain issues in the county.
“I’m looking forward to serving the people of Porter County and hearing the plan the commissioners have for the sheriff’s department. That’s a red-hot issue. I look forward to continuing our $30 million drainage project and the economic growth in our county. The area around the hospital will explode and grow and that’s a good thing,” she said.
Blaney said the day was a way to celebrate the end of the election.
“It’s really exciting to be here. It was a long road to get here, but our county is now in a great position to do some wonderful things,” Blaney said.