August 6, 2013

Strasser appointed to Logansport Utility Service Board

Utility service board to choose new chairman later this month.

by Mitchell Kirk Pharos-Tribune

---- — Logansport Mayor Ted Franklin has appointed Don Strasser to fill an opening on the Logansport Utility Service Board left by John Davis, whose term ended last month.

Strasser, an auto salesman at Coonie’s Select Auto, grew up in Burnettsville before moving to Logansport in the early 60s.

The city ordinance that established the utility service board in 1978 states the mayor appoints three members to the board and city council appoints two. The board cannot have more than three members belonging to the same political party.

Strasser fills the opening left by John Davis, a Democrat and the board’s most recent chairman. Davis’ four-year term ended in July.

The board will continue to have a Republican majority with Jay King, Todd Miller and Dan Slusser. Marty Monahan and the newly appointed Strasser are Democrats.

Logansport Municipal Utilities Superintendent Paul Hartman said the board will choose a new chairman at its monthly meeting Aug. 27.

Strasser said he is looking forward to the responsibility.

“It feels good to get involved with the community a little bit more,” he said. “I’ve always tried to stay pretty involved and this just gets me a little deeper involvement. Hopefully I can do what’s necessary for people in the community.”

Strasser is a board member of the Domestic Violence Task Force of Cass County, a charter member and first president of the Kiwanis Club of Logansport and a former Logansport police officer.

Strasser and his wife remain active with Logansport High School and are currently hosting their 26th foreign exchange student.

Strasser said he plans to take the position with a practical approach.

“I just feel like I’m a pretty common-sense person, so I feel like I can give [the board] a little insight into the way a lot of the people feel,” he said.

Franklin spoke highly of Strasser’s character when asked for his reasoning behind the appointment.

“I think Don is well respected in the community,” Franklin said. “I don’t know of one person who doesn’t like Don Strasser.”

Franklin went on to say Strasser’s character will make him an effective board member.

“He’ll be fair,” he said. “I don’t think anyone will question his motives.”

Strasser said he is still considering where he stands on the city’s power plant project, which Franklin continues to negotiate with Pyrolyzer LLC, the company out of Boca Raton, Fla., that has said it can build an electricity plant powered by refuse-derived fuel at a cost estimated to be between $450 million and $600 million.

“I’m trying to weigh options both ways on it,” Strasser said. “It’s something I haven’t made a complete decision on. It can be the greatest thing in the world for us if everything works out fine.”

Coming up to speed on everything Logansport Municipal Utilities is doing will be a challenge, Strasser said, but one he is willing to take on.

“It’s going to take a lot of studying,” he said. “It’s almost like being back in college or high school for me. I’m always willing to learn. Any job I’ve ever done, I’ve tried to do the the very best job I can.”