The Times from Munster, Indiana on May 3, 1998 · 28
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The Times from Munster, Indiana · 28

Munster, Indiana
Issue Date:
Sunday, May 3, 1998
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&8 SUNDAY. MAY 3, 1998 LOCAL The Times Minister weighs changes to building fees ordinance Town Council considers code amendments in wake of dispute with school town BY JOHN NOVICK JR. Times Correspondent MUNSTER - Town officials are considering amending Minister's building fees ordinance to prevent future conflicts with Munster schools over the assessment of permit and inspection fees by the town for school corporation building projects. A Lake Superior Court judge ruled in favor of the school town last December when it found that the district did not have to pay $280,000 in building inspection fees assessed by the town for a $45 million schools construction project. Judge James Richards ruled that, as written, the town's existing ordinance exempting various government entities from building inspection fees included the school district, an interpretation town officials disputed. According to Town Manager Thomas DeGiulio, the judge also asked the town to consider clarifying the language in the ordinance to avoid future conflicts. "The town is considering if the schools should be exempt from future building fees. The revised ordinance could specifically include or exclude the schools (as exempt)," DeGiulio said. Town Council President David Shafer, R-2nd, there is another option under consideration. "There are some who believe that a body with taxing authority like the school town should be exempt from building fees. But if the town of Munster has to incur greater expense than normal because of the size or nature of a building project, or if we need to go outside of our own staff to meet an obligation, than the other government body should meet these unusual expenses, even if it's the school town," Shafer said. Shafer added that the town council has not yet agreed on which government agencies should be exempt from paying Munster's building permit and inspection fees. Nor is it yet clear how the town will deal with the issue of reimbursement for unexpected expenses that some times arise with large complex projects. Town officials are quick to add that they will meet with the school board in late June to discuss possible amendments to the ordinance before the town council takes any formal action on the matter. School Board President Carrie Wadas expressed support for the approach the council is taking while considering revisions to the ordinance. "The school board hasn't had the chance to discuss possible versions of the amended code," Wadas explained. "But we look forward to talking with the town. Both bodies owe it to the citizens of Munster to work together on this. I am pleased to hear that the town " am pleased to hear that the town wants to engage in discussion with the chool board before they change the ordinance." School Board President Carrie Wadas wants to engage in discussion with the school board before they change the law," Wadas said. Last month, the town council unanimously approved a motion made by councilman Hugh Brauer, R-4th, to table a vote on the details of the proposed amendment until talks with the . school board have been completed. I i v. VI 1 - 3s: 1 Small Student to Teacher Ratio 88-90 Pool Temperature Certified Experienced Instructors Proven 12-Year Swim Program Co A IV oil Co;- - i mmnf mum pspter- tmm, m fas S'ePAeCrobics pleading 'Parties! AlfcAmerican GYMNASTICS Precinct races link with mayoral contest B Incumbents face many opponents in new East Chicago precincts. BY BOB TITA Times Staff Writer EAST CHICAGO - Some of the biggest winners and losers in Tuesday's election probably won't capture headlines. Far removed from the newspaper ads, billboards and lawn signs that have defined high-profile campaigns for county and township offices, is a bitter struggle for control of the city's Democratic precinct organization. The results of the precinct committeemen's races are expected to influence whether Lake County Democratic Chairman Stephen Stiglich and Mayor Robert Pas-trick face each other in the 1999 Democratic mayoral primary. "I think it has everything to do with next year," said Jerome Rep-pa, chairman of the Lake County Combined ElectionsVoters Registration Board. "Everybody but 4 A vurne'S 1Z Acres of Family Shopping Fun. 1 V vrTj. iiodody "V -OVkiifl mow Bouquet Jor' ,w" - Oo MOW $34-9JV ,cw, - r ntlT rUJTl 1 Cash and Utrrjj-" nor j v7 ?e ' I a., C Geraniums J Fi.ox fring Azaleas Great Gifts For Mom Precious Moments - 1998 Spring Exclusive "Mom, You Always Make Our House a Home" $37.50 Seraphim Classics - 1998 Special Limited Edition "Hope - Light in the Distance" $ 1 75.00 Collectible Spun Crystal Figurines Reg. Price Assortment $4.99 to $8.99 $3.97 Reg. Price Assortment $9. 99 to $14.99 $7.97 Mem Tropical Patio Hirtscus .. . 2Ta. WMiWif Florist Mums Garden Gift Sets Four Sets to Choose From Pruning Tools & Accessories iiiWiiHMfite -nre-r'-iiiiiar. 1- 1 Union Tool Lady Gardener Tools Your Choice of Two Shovels, Rake, Hoe or Cultivator 99 SUNCAST Gardening Center Cart Organizing Gardening Activities Portable Potting Bench c :tj5 ft Rattan Hanging Basket 8" Basket - $4.78 12" Basket $7.98 wiirTW aHrM' mttw& iar mm hm tai 'Wt fcv m i Pie Ear i . -. ) Chlorine I O t f y i . . f Ireati i i Test Kit t t f ! Rev. $2.99 t -a t I "W 1 g 67t Value ,. FREE feW FREE T"' Free With Coupon Limit 1 FxnimVlowI -i T-l Free With Coupon Limit 1 Kxp.res Vwm e! I T I If the devil's grandmother seems to know that Stiglich wants to be mayor of East Chicago." Stiglich did not return telephone calls to his office on Friday. Pastrick has not indicated whether he'll run for another term, but Stiglich's redistricting of the city's precincts early this year was clearly designed to diminish the precinct organization that has served Pastrick for 25 years. The precincts were cut from 44 to 32, eliminating several longtime committeemen. Other committeemen who are running find themselves campaigning for the first time in new precincts. As a result, dozens of challengers have migrated to the primary election in hopes of winning a wide open race with a splintered vote total. Despite that committeemen receive no pay, 88 city residents are vying for the 32 Democratic committeeman positions. Twenty-four committeeman candidates are running in the Re publican primary. "The incumbent doesn't have the edge because he doesn't know the precinct," committeeman candidate Edward Egipciaco said. "As far as I'm concerned, this election is about precinct committeemen more than anything else." Incumbent Democratic committeemen have responded to challengers by relying on the public works resources and political influence available to them through City Council representatives. Replacing cracked sidewalks, trimming trees, passing out trash cans and recommending people for jobs have long been staples of successful precinct elections. "I feel like I do over and beyond the call of duty," said Joel Markovich, a committeeman for 12 years who is one of six candidates in the 2nd District-Precinct 1. As the owner of a construction company, Markovich has the equipment to provide voters in his South Side precinct with extra snow plowing and other services that his opponents cannot match. 0 N1998 Henry Rodriguez, another candidate in 2-1, recalled a man who pledged support if Rodriguez arranged for a garage to be razed. "He said: 'I'll work for you, if you work for me,' " Rodriguez said. "I don't have the kind of clout or authority to do that." Egipciaco, a candidate in the 1st District-Precinct 2, said he reminds voters that special city ser- vices doled out at election time are paid for with their tax dollars. "People are .so brainwashed. They always expect a garbage can or their trees trimmed or their driveway plowed," he said. Egipciaco said he tries to convince voters that they can no longer rely only on politicians to improve the city. Although Egipciaco and Rodriguez are not publicly allied with Stiglich, their aggressive campaigns in precincts with pro-Pastrick committeemen have contributed to the disruption that many old-guard Democratic leaders feared. City Councilman Frank Kollintzas accused Stiglich of causing further havoc by changing the location of polling places and rejecting officials recommended by the city's Democratic .committeemen. He said the location of the polling place in Markovich's precinct alone has been changed three times in recent weeks. "It's the biggest fiasco I've ever seen in my life," said Kollintzas, D-4th. "What's happen is another move by the county chairman to confuse voters." Each polling place is staffed by an election inspector from the Democratic Party and separate Republican and Democratic election judges, clerks and election sheriffs who are responsible for maintaining order and enforcing regulations about campaigning near polling places. Reppa said he has rece'ived several calls from East Chicago complaining about the location and staffing of the polls. But he said the election board doesn't have the authority to intervene. -V. Vi or ap.. IV ijjncJ by .land Russell t ' - ALU birSh perfect AK ;tu-s jVr the !bers kvvt hv J'.. . MERRLLLVLLLE Your Local Jeweler for 19 Years 7203 Taft Street (Strack & Van Til Plaza) Merrillville 7 6 9 - 1 9 1 1

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