VALPARAISO | A decision earlier this week by the Porter County Board of Commissioners to move a data department out of the auditor's office has triggered a dispute over who has control over those employees.
Porter County Commissioner President John Evans, R-North, said the move is taking place because geographic information system department is underused in its current location.
Evans said the plan is to move the GIS department upstairs to the Plan Commission along with the department head. The other employee works for the auditor and will remain at that office, he said.
Porter County Auditor Bob Wichlinski acknowledged the commissioners' power to move the desks, computers and other items to the Plan Commission, but believes both employees are under his direction.
Both employees are designated to the auditor's office through payroll and the budget, he said. The County Council would need to take action to change that status, he said.
Evans said, "The salary form 144 has already been approved at budget time and what dept it comes from will be dealt with by the council."
Wichlinski said the GIS department makes most sense remaining where it is considering the overlap with services in his office.
"You're going to create a nightmare in terms of serving the public," he said.
Wichlinski also voiced concern about moving the department to the Plan Commission, which was revealed recently to have lost the original building permits for the new Porter Regional Hospital and nearby medical office building.