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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Few changes in City Council assignments, appointments

Friday, January 11, 2013

Adam Cohen
Mostly it is old faces in a few new places for the Greencastle City Council in 2013.

With Tuesday night being the Council's first meeting of the new year, it marked the annual time for reorganization and determining department liaison assignments and appointments to other city boards. Mostly it was old faces manning the same positions.

For the fifth consecutive year, Democrat Adam Cohen, the First Ward Council representative, will continue to serve as president of the City Council.

Cohen took over that role in 2009, during just his second year on the City Council when he succeeded John Lanie as president of the city's five-member governing panel.

Councilman T. J. Smith made the motion to retain Cohen as president, praising him for the job he has done in the past. With no other nominations, Cohen's election was unanimous.

It was also again unanimously agreed that the City Council will continue to meet the second Tuesday of each month, beginning at 7 p.m. at City Hall.

With the exception of Smith and Phyllis Rokicki trading spots, Council members will again team with the same Greencastle departments for which they served as liaisons during 2012.

Smith has swapped his liaison role with the Fire Department for the Parks and Recreation Department, while Rokicki assumes GFD liaison duties.

Meanwhile, Smith with stay on as Utilities Department liaison; Cohen as Police Department liaison; Mark Hammer as Department of Public Works and Planning Department liaison; and Jinsie Bingham as Forest Hill Cemetery liaison.

Likewise, most Council board assignments remain unchanged for 2013. Those include:

Greencastle Planning Commission -- Hammer.

Park Board -- Smith (replacing Rokicki).

Economic Development Commission -- Bingham.

Cable Access Committee -- Cohen.

Chamber of Commerce -- Laurie Hardwick.

Tree Board -- Rokicki (replacing Smith).

Greencastle /Putnam County Development Center Board -- Bingham.

Putnam County 911 -- Smith.

Interestingly, it was noted that the Greencastle Economic Development Commission -- not to be confused with the Greencastle Development Center or the Greencastle Redevelopment Commission -- has not conducted a single meeting since Nancy Michael was mayor.

One estimate of the last called meeting of the commission was six years ago. The commission only meets as needed, Mayor Sue Murray noted.

Meanwhile, concerning its representatives to the Greencastle Redevelopment Commission, the Council reappointed Erika Gilmore to an additional one-year term and chose Putnam County Museum Executive Director Tanis Monday to succeed Jim Ruark in the other Council-appointed spot.

Ruark has moved from city limits and thus was ineligible to return to the commission. He submitted his resignation in November.

The Council made one other appointment on the night, naming Emily Watts as a member of the Greencastle Board of Zoning Appeals.

Watts, an Admissions Office counselor at DePauw University, was nominated by Cohen to succeed Jeff Sigworth, who had resigned recently.

A DePauw graduate originally from Mesa, Ariz., Watts now resides in Greencastle. Cohen called her a "young business professional" and stressed how valuable it is for the city to get talented young people involved on its boards and committees.

With no other nominations for the BZA spot, Watts was unanimously approved and is expected to be sworn in at the Tuesday, Feb. 6 Zoning Board meeting.

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