Holcomb’s appointment, Donald Fesko, originally tried to push through a 6 figure pay raise for President and CEO Bill Hanna. Today the Board voted unanimously for an undisclosed bonus and pay raise for Hanna via a “consent agenda.”
February 8, 2018-Governor Eric Holcomb’s appointment to the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority (RDA)rammed through a pay raise and bonus for RDA President and CEO Bill Hanna today without disclosing the amount. Holcomb’s appointment, Donald Fesko, had previously pushed for a six-figure bonus for Hanna according to several sources. The pay raise and bonus were approved by a questionable “consent agenda” line item. Indiana Law requires that such decisions be made in a public meeting but Fesko and the RDA Board are unelected and unaccountable to anyone. The only indication that Fesko had backed off the six-figure bonus came when consultant Bill Sheldrake of Policy Analytics announced the budget numbers for the year. According to Sheldrake, costs for salaries and benefits will increase by 16% in 2018 while costs for tuition reimbursement will increase by 47%. According to Gazette sources, Fesko had tried to pay off over $100,000 in outstanding student loans owed by Hanna as a lump sum bonus. The Budget presented today does not reflect such a payment.
In other business the RDA approved a $100,000 grant toward the cost of realignment of Chicago Avenue in Hammond. According to RDA CEO and President Bill Hanna, the project costs increased due to plans for transit oriented development in the area. The realignment includes several “traffic calming” measures. Traffic calming measures are plans to slow traffic and force people to take public transit instead of drive. The RDA also approved an $8M grant to the City of East Chicago for shoreline development.
We will have much more on recent developments in the Visclosky/Slager Regional Transformation Plan being spearheaded by Holcomb’s RDA in coming weeks. You can see the entire meeting video below:
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Copyright 2018 The Northwest Indiana Gazette