PORTAGE - The Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Council Full Commission has elected its executive board for 2016. Jim Ton, vice president of the Chesterton Town Council, will serve as chair.

La Porte Mayor Blair Milo, who served as chair in 2015, passed the gavel to Ton following the election this week. Milo will continue as an executive board member.

"It is an honor and a privilege to have this opportunity to serve as Chairman of NIRPC," said Ton. "The current and potential impact of this vital organization is of significant importance to all the citizens of Lake, Porter and LaPorte Counties. I am looking forward to this opportunity to serve the taxpayers of our collective communities."

The other executive board members include:

  • Vice-Chair: Michael Griffin, Highland Clerk-Treasurer
  • Treasurer: Diane Noll, Wanatah Clerk-Treasurer
  • Secretary: Geof Benson, Beverly Shores Town Council
  • Executive Board (Lake County): Mayor Anthony Copeland, Mayor of East Chicago
  • Executive Board (Lake County): Tom McDermott, Mayor of Hammond
  • Executive Board (LaPorte County): Dave Decker, LaPorte County Commission
  • Executive Board (Porter County): Kevin Breitzke, Porter County Surveyor
  • Executive Board (Porter County): Greg Stinson, Porter Town Council
  • Executive Board: Representative Ed Soliday, Governor's Appointee

The Commission also announced 15 new appointments, including:

  • Kyle W. Allen, Sr., Lake County Commission
  • Christine Cid, Lake County Council
  • Dave Shafer, Town of Munster
  • Rick Ryfa, Town of Griffith
  • Will Farrellbegg, Town of Lowell
  • Jack Jeralds, Town of Schneider
  • Sylvia Graham, Porter County Council
  • Nicole Markovich, Town of Kouts
  • Kathryn Kniola, Town of Ogden Dunes
  • Toni Biancardi, Town of Burns Harbor
  • Jeanette Bapst, Town of Dunes Acres
  • Ron Meer, City of Michigan City
  • Nick Meyer, Town of Long Beach
  • Thomas Fath, Town of Westville
  • Fred Siminski, Town of Hebron

The officers will serve for the year, with a new election in January 2017. The NIPRC Full Commission meets four times per year and the executive board meets in the remaining months.