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David Uran

Crown Point Mayor David Uran speaks to the crowd as the special guest at a Business After Hours event earlier this year at the Old Lake County Courthouse on the city square.

The choice is easy, and it's not even close.

Crown Point Mayor David Uran is the best and only logical choice to continue leading the executive office of one of the Region's best and most promising municipalities.

Incumbent Uran is the Democratic nominee for the Nov. 5 general election, but his party affiliation doesn't really matter.

He's been a consummate bridge builder since winning his first term 12 years ago, effectively working with a Republican-controlled Crown Point City Council to usher in some of the most transformative change experienced by any Northwest Indiana municipality. And he's done it with one of the lowest property tax rates among Region cities.

Uran's Republican opponent, Republican nominee Kristie Dressel, has done little more, as city clerk, than bring the wrong kind of attention to the city.

Word began to spread throughout the Region in recent months that Clerk-Treasurer Dressel is married to Paul Dressel, a convicted murderer found guilty of strangling a young woman to death in 1985 and leaving her partially naked body in a Crown Point cornfield.

The Dressels were married years after the slaying, and it's true Paul Dressel served his prison term and is now a free man.

But no Crown Point citizen should want that kind of rap sheet so closely tied to the executive offices of the Lake County seat.

Those facts in and of themselves would be enough to keep us from considering Clerk Dressel for endorsement.

But it's Uran's strong leadership and proven record that should make him a lock for a new mayoral term.

The arrows just keep pointing up for Crown Point under the Uran administration.

Earlier this year, Region hospital powerhouse Franciscan Alliance unveiled plans to invest what will likely be hundreds of millions of dollars in one of the largest hospital projects ever in the Region.

The planned 510-acre property at the southeast corner of Interstate 65 and U.S. 231 in Crown Point eventually will house the new Franciscan Health hospital, an expanded University of Saint Francis, retail and residential projects and a possible new home for Andrean, one of the Region's largest Catholic high schools now located in Merrillville.

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Uran was front and center at the negotiating and planning tables for that project.

All told, one source close to the project said the total Franciscan project and its related aspects could reach up to $500 million in investment in the Hub City.

During his mayoral tenure, Uran worked closely with the White Family Foundation and other private interests to help lure millions of dollars in investment to the city.

Those endeavors created a massive new youth sports complex that has made Crown Point the envy of Region athletics, luring in major national tournaments, sports tourism dollars and providing the children of city residents with an exceptional venue for multiple youth sports.

Uran's efforts also helped pave the way to Bulldog Park, a shining jewel of a community event and gathering venue near the downtown area. It transformed an old eyesore of a gravel lot into a beautiful pavilion and seasonal skating rink, providing an excellent site for town festivals and other events that build on the city's already-strong identity.

Downtown parking and signage for that parking also have improved under Uran's leadership, making it easier for residents and visitors from outside the city to enjoy the the heralded Crown Point Square.

The city's water infrastructure is being revamped and modernized.

Developers continue to build, growing the city's housing stock and tax base, because Crown Point residency is coveted.

Under Uran, one of the worst eyesores in the county — a long-abandoned greenhouse on one of the city's main thoroughfares — has been torn down, and a new City Hall and public safety building are set to replace the eyesore.

Good things happen in cities and towns with strong leadership.

Uran believes in investing in the city, not cutting corners and hording assets. And he's found a public-private formula that has allowed some of the best quality-of-place assets to be built with a comparatively low burden on taxpayers.

He is the only mayoral choice for the Hub City, and he's a strong option.

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Members of The Times Editorial Board are Publisher Christopher T. White, Editor Marc Chase, Deputy Editor Kerry Erickson, Assistant Local News Editor Crista Zivanovic and Regional News Editor Sharon Ross.