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Winfield announces town appointments, revises election ordinance

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Clerk-Treasurer Rick Anderson swears in Deputy Ryan Kovacik at Tuesday's Town Council meeting at the  Winfield Government Center. Kovacik is the town's fourth full-time police officer. 

WINFIELD — The Winfield Town Council reappointed its leaders for the year Tuesday night.

Gerald Stiener remains the council president with Tim Clayton as vice president.

Councilman Jim Simmons was appointed to the Water Works Board.

In addition to the appointments, the town officially swore in its fourth full-time police officer during the meeting.

Deputy Ryan Kovacik, a recent graduate of Indiana University Bloomington, was presented with his badge by Town Marshal Dan Ball.

“Interesting note, Kovacik actually worked New Year's Day for us and made the first arrest of the year for DUI at 7:10 a.m.,” Ball told the council. “He’s already earned his first paycheck.”

After a request by the Lake County Board of Elections, the council voted to revise and alter language of an ordinance outlining Town Council staggered terms.

Under the current ordinance, which was approved in March, two council seats will be open for a three-year term and three will be for a four-year term starting in 2020. After that, all five council members will be elected to four-year terms.

Rick Anderson, Winfield clerk-treasurer, said the problem with the ordinance is the fact that seats are indicated by current councilperson’s names.

According to the ordinance, Anderson and Councilman James Simmons will be elected for three-year terms following the 2019 municipal election with Stiener, Clayton and Councilwoman Bridget Baird elected for four-year terms.

“If all five do not run for re-election and get re-elected, there could be confusion on which newly elected councilperson takes which seat,” Anderson said.

The clarifying ordinance now indicates the top three vote-earners in the general election take four-year terms and the two lowest vote-getters take the three-year terms.

“For our purposes, this is great,” Michelle Fajman, Lake County elections director, told The Times. “Come November, we won’t have arguments over who gets what in terms.”

Anderson said the future staggered terms help ensure the Town Council would not have “five brand new members at one time,” guaranteeing there will always be someone with experience.

The next Town Council meeting will be 6 p.m. Feb. 12 at the Winfield Government Center.


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Allie covers South Lake County municipal government, development and breaking news for The Times. She comes to the Region from Lebanon, Indiana. She is a proud Ball State University graduate.

Related to this story

WINFIELD — The Winfield council is hiring a fourth police officer, a move the town marshal said puts the department "right on target."

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