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January 3, 2014

City council to vote on new position

Redevelopment commission director's position controversial

Logansport City Council will consider creating a new position and making one of its members executive director of the city’s redevelopment commission — a move some council members may object to.

All but one of the redevelopment commission’s members were reappointed by city council and Logansport Mayor Ted Franklin for 2014. Franklin replaced Logansport City Councilman Bob Bishop’s spot on the commission with Bill Drinkwine, the city’s building commissioner.

Franklin is proposing the creation of an executive director’s position for the redevelopment commission and tasking Bishop with its duties. The city’s redevelopment interests have grown to the point of requiring someone working toward them full-time, Franklin said.

The position would not be a city position, but paid through the 2014 budget’s appropriation for contractual services.

The proposed resolution states the executive director would answer to the commission and would not have a vote. Speaking before city council, which met in committee Thursday night, Bishop said the position would likely be funded through a specific line item in future budgets.

Bishop went on to say his duties as a member and president of the redevelopment commission have included working out the necessities of local economic development projects by meeting with Franklin, Logansport Municipal Utilities Superintendent Paul Hartman, the city’s economic development organization, planning and zoning officials, attorneys and financial advisers. He said he conducts research and prepares the records and reports presented at commission meetings as well.

Bishop said he would continue to perform these duties and that doing it through a full-time position would allow him to better ensure they were carried out in the city’s best interest.

“I’ll be doing the same thing I’ve been doing,” Bishop said, adding that the only difference would be that he would be getting paid and would not have a vote on the commission.

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