During their first meeting of the new year, members of the Greencastle City Council voted Tuesday night to elect John Lanie as their next president.
Current council president Bob Sedlack, who has served in that capacity for the past two years, has decided to step down, however, he will continue to serve as a regular member of the board alongside Mark Hammer, Tom Roach and Russ Evans.
Lanie has been on the council for four years, his first year serving as the replacement for the late Mike Rokicki and the last three in his own term. He said he is looking forward to his new position.
"I felt honored that they would ask me to serve," Lanie said after Tuesday night's meeting. "I really enjoy it."
As president of the council, Lanie said he wants to encourage cooperation among board members and show greater support for Mayor Nancy Michael as she leads the city.
"I think we're in for some hard times," Lanie said. "The big thing is for the board to keep an open mind and look for ways to help the mayor run the city."
Lanie said he believes the council plays an important role in improving and encouraging new growth of the city's businesses and industries
Specifically, he said he hopes to encourage a "more diverse" set of manufacturing businesses in town, thereby adding jobs that pay higher wages for workers.
"We have all the manufacturing positions, but we need to see the higher paying jobs," Lanie said.
In turn, he said he hopes local companies will play a more active role in the community by way of company officials who serve on local boards and get involved in civic groups and organizations.
In the more immediate future, Lanie said he would like to see the heads of city departments reduce the size of the reports they give to the council each month. He said he believes their time could be better spent than in preparing lengthy reports to give to council members.
"It gets to be time consuming," he said. "That would be something to think about."
He said he hopes to have more ideas to share as the year progresses.
Lanie's current term is up at the end of this year. He told the BannerGraphic Tuesday night that he plans to run for reelection.
"I look forward to running again and serving another four years," he said.
In other business, the council:
* Approved resolution 2007-1, a resolution reaffirming resolution 2006-30, declaring an economic revitalization area for Chiyoda USA in Greencastle. Company officials are seeking a tax abatement for a $1.5 million investment in new equipment they say will add a total of seven new jobs to the Greencastle plant.
* Approved the second and final reading for ordinance 2006-16, amending the Greencastle city code regarding right-of-way permits. The ordinance moves the process of applying for a right-of-way permit from city hall to the city street department.
* Approved resolution 2007-02, renaming the portion of Frazier Street behind the city garage and former Kroger store as Barnaby Mill Road. Officials said the change was necessary to clarify for emergency responders.
* Approved annual appointments for board members to include the following: plan commission, Mark Hammer; park board, Russ Evans; economic development commission, John Lanie; tree board, Bob Sedlack; cable access board, Tom Roach; Chamber of Commerce, city attorney Laurie Hardwick; Main Street Greencastle, Lanie; Greencastle/Putnam County Development Center, Lanie; and Putnam County 911 board, Evans.
* Approved the following council members to serve as liaisons to city departments: fire department, Lanie; Forest Hill Cemetery, Hammer; parks and recreation, Evans, police department, Evans; street department, Sedlack; wastewater treatment, Sedlack; and water works, Roach.
The Greencastle City Council meets at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month at city hall.