LaPorte City Hall stock

LaPorte City Hall is decorated for the holidays.

Doug Ross, The Times

LaPorte's new mayor, Mark Krentz, was chosen after several rounds of voting by the city's precinct committeemen on Friday.

One of his first official acts should be to plan a visioning process for the city.

Essentially, the city needs a plan that takes into account what residents and other key stakeholders want for the city.

Valparaiso Mayor Jon Costas did this for his city when he was elected, and it worked well.

Residents offered their ideas, and the city was able to establish priorities based on what was easily achievable and what would take longer to accomplish. That provided some metrics by which the new administration could be evaluated.

Costas has repeated the process since then, and it has paid off. The vibrant downtown park shows what can be accomplished this way.

This process should begin promptly in LaPorte.

Krentz is following a popular mayor, filling the remainder of Blair Milo's term after she left to join Gov. Eric Holcomb's administration.

The clock is ticking for Krentz. He has two years to prove he's the mayor LaPorte needs before he stands for election by the voters.

A plan like the one Valparaiso developed under Mayor Costas will take months to draft, but even just beginning the process will have the advantage of showing LaPorte residents the mayor is not only welcoming their input but also inviting it.

Get the input, then figure out how to act on it, over time, to improve the city.

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Members of The Times Editorial Board are Publisher Christopher T. White, Editorial Page Editor Marc Chase, Editor Bob Heisse, Politics/History Editor Doug Ross and Managing Editor Erin Orr.