December 11, 2017-The Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority (RDA) cancelled a meeting which had been scheduled for December 14, 2017. The RDA sent out a notice of meeting on Monday morning but followed it up with a notice of cancellation early this afternoon. In addition to the regular meeting, the RDA scheduled and cancelled an Executive Session. Sources have told the Gazette that the RDA plans to give RDA President and CEO Bill Hanna a bonus package worth over $100,000. According to the Sources, the bonus includes a $30,000 cash payment and over $100,000 in student loan payments. The RDA Board is made up of one appointed representative each from Lake County, Hammond, Gary, East Chicago and Porter County. The Governor has two appointments. The Governor’s Appointment, Donald P. Fesko, is pushing the bonus plan despite opposition from some Board Members. The meeting was likely cancelled solely because there were not enough Yes votes for the bonus plan. Similarly, at a meeting of the RDA in November, the bonus plan was pulled from the agenda at the last minute due to lack of support. Apparently, the RDA Board has no pressing business other than the Hanna bonus.
The Gazette has requested a copy of the contract and any draft agenda prepared in advance of the November meeting. The RDA has failed to provide these documents and we have filed a Complaint with the Indiana Public Access Counselor regarding the failure to respond. We will keep you posted as to any information we obtain.
Because the RDA Board is not elected, individuals must take great care to hold those elected officials who appoint representatives responsible for the conduct of the Board. Governor Holcomb is solely responsible for appointing the two members pushing this bonus plan forward. You can write to Governor Holcomb to let him know how you feel by clicking here