Porter County voters have three choices for the Republican nomination for county commissioner — incumbent Nancy Adams, Jeff Good and William LaFever.
Adams and Good joined The Times Editorial Board for an interview. LaFever declined.
In many ways, Adams and Good are similar. They both have a long background in the hospitality industry, they both focus on collaboration outside the partisan confines, they both agree the county should hire someone to help with revenue and capital needs forecasts, and both have the business background that can help government run more efficiently.
Good said his business background — his company operates 25 hotels — could put the county back on a sound financial footing. The county currently faces a multimillion-dollar budget deficit.
One of the biggest expenses, of course, is personnel.
"They can go somewhere else and make a lot more money," Adams said, but the benefits help attract and keep employees.
Good wants to look at the county's generous employee benefits. "I really don't understand why we're on a self-insurance program," he said.
"I think we can cut a lot of money out of the budget with that thing" and still have a good plan. His company seeks quotes on insurance coverage every year.
Other units of local government have made that decision and done well, so why not Porter County, Good argues. Good point.
Both candidates want a county human resources professional on staff. "This is a subject that's been talked about a lot for the last 10 years," Good said.
That's a point worth considering. There have been a number of issues discussed ad nauseam over the years that remain unresolved.
The animal shelter, for example, "seems to get a lot of ink in the media, but nothing ever seems to get done," Good said. He wants to see a three-year plan that includes increased operating costs of a new shelter so the county can plan accordingly.
Adams said she wants a new shelter, too, but the County Council doesn't want to spend the money. She also wants a spay/neuter program to reduce the strain on the animal shelter.
Adams has tried to accomplish things during her four years in office, but too little has been done. She means well, and she's not the only commissioner, but she hasn't been persuasive enough.
Good is a hard-drive executive who currently represents the county well on the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority and served on the Jobs Cabinet.
We endorse Good for the Republican nomination for Porter County commissioner in the 2nd District.