Gary Activist Jim Nowacki has complained for years that the two boards meet at the same time in distant locations, preventing residents from attending both
April 18, 2018-The Northwest Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NIRPC) Executive Board will meet tomorrow morning from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at their office at 6100 Southport Road, Portage. At 10:00 a.m., the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority will meet at their office at 9800 Connecticut Drive, Crown Point. NIRPC will consider, among other things, amendments to the Transportation Improvement Plan and the 2050 Plan. The RDA will meet at 10:00 a.m. in Crown Point and their agenda includes several transportation related projects. The flow chart for transportation projects in Northwest Indiana often flows from NIRPC to RDA and meeting at the same time makes it impossible for even those residents who understand the process to follow along or comment. Gary Activist Jim Nowacki has been a frequent critic of the two Board holding meetings at the same time. “This has been brought to the attention of both boards many times. . . the RDA is like an impaired driver veering into the NIRPC lane” Nowacki stated. Nowacki noted that NIRPC had sent a letter asking RDA to re-arrange their meetings so that they did not conflict with NIRPC meetings.
The NIRPC meeting minutes of Se;tember 17, 2015 reflect that NIRPC Executive Director Ty Warner acknowledged that having the meetings at the same time presented a scheduling conflift for Attorney David Hollenbeck, who represents both Boards:
“Ty Warner said he sent the letter to the Regional Development Authority (RDA) asking that
they not hold meetings on the same day and time as NIRPC, as requested at last month’s
Executive Board meeting as Dave Hollenbeck represents both NIRPC and the RDA. He
informed the Commission that Bill Hanna, RDA President and CEO, is in Japan.” (See http://www.nirpc.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/9.17.2015_Exec_Bd_Mins.pdf )
Warner has never expressed concern about the difficulty members of the public face attending his meetings which are not served by public transit or RDA meetings which are held in a distant location in Crown Point. NIRPC videotapes their Executive Board meetings but the last published video of a meeting is September 2017. Audio recordings of NIRPC Committee Meetings are “available upon request.” The RDA has refused to record their meetings despite repeated requests to do so.
Voters will have a unique opportunity to reshape the elected Boards on May 8 of this year as County Council Member Christine Cid sits on both the NIRPC Executive Board and the NICTD Board. The two unaccountable boards are largely responsible for the implementation of the Slager/Visclosky Regional Transportation Plan which a majority of residents oppose. Elected officials who are on the NIRPC Executive Board rarely talk about their votes to spend hundreds of millions of tax dollars.(Agenda) RDA Board (4 19 2018)
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