Gick prepares for shift to new council position

Saturday, December 11, 2010

GREENCASTLE -- After three decades away, a man comes to appreciate his hometown. That's the conclusion Phil Gick has reached since returning to Greencastle in May 2006.

The retired Army colonel decided maintaining the quality of this community is important, so he was determined to get involved in county government.

Gick was elected as a new at-large member of the Putnam County Council at the Republican Caucus last Saturday. He began serving immediately, replacing Nancy Fogle, who is now a Putnam County Commissioner.

"I grew up in Greencastle, then after college moved away for 30 years," Gick said. "As an adult, you come to realize you grew up in a pretty good environment. The quality of the environment is in relationship to the activity and involvement of the community."

That concept of community involvement is at the core of Gick's motivation to join the council.

"I moved back with my wife -- she grew up about 20 miles away -- and we feel like we need to give back to the community. It's nothing sophisticated," he said.

With the ever-shrinking budgets of counties and municipalities in the state in recent years, a position on the county's fiscal body isn't always an enviable one. Gick said he hopes to continue the good work the council has done in trying times.

"I'll know better once I get involved in a more active way, but my perception is, on the whole, I think the county's done pretty well," Gick said. "I've heard about other counties having serious fiscal problems. While we may not have everything we want, they've done a good job of keeping the county in the black. That's not easy to do."

"I want to continue to support that kind of fiscal discipline."

More specifically, though, Gick is curious about the problems and possible solutions facing the county and its courthouse annex.

"I'm interested in finding out more about that. I've done some reading and looked at some of the appraisals and suggestions that have been done by some of the contractors," Gick said. "I don't have a stated position on it, but certainly in keeping with being fiscally responsible, I think if anything's to be done there, that will be a tough challenge to keep it as fiscally responsible as possible."

Gick's first meeting as a councilor will be at 7 p.m. Dec. 21 at the courthouse annex.

An upcoming issue of the Banner Graphic will feature a talk with Jay Fogle, the other new council member. Fogle will begin his term on Jan. 1.

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