The Mayor has no love lost for me personally so perhaps even writing this article will seem just a counter attack on all the unsavory things she's said about Valparaiso and Mayor Costas and my own associates over the years. This article though is not intended to counter attack but to give my thoughts on why the residents of Portage deserve something different, a vision for something better.
- The downtown project has made little if any progress in the last three years. That's a fact. It was a promise that Mayor Olga offered, a project that she inherited from Doug Olson, and one that has really fallen quite flat.
- This building that Portage is building has no firm leases, and is therefore a speculative venture in hopes of prying one tenant away from a taxpaying landlord in Ameriplex and getting the state to fund a lease for education.
- As the Police, Fire, and Streets Departments have all endorsed James Snyder for Mayor against the sitting Mayor. Why? It causes one to ponder the administration if they don't have the support of their own employees.
- Although attacking Valparaiso has become a hobby in Portage, with I'm sure many residents ticked that anyone else in Porter County would even have an opinion. Let's be frank, Portage could use a dose of entrepreneurial fervor and innovation. Portage could use a vibrant and active downtown. Portage could use a good working relationship between the schools, police, and city.
An easy call for me of course as I'm friends with James Snyder and find his energy and enthusiasm for Portage exciting. I hope he wins, that's no secret. But I also hope that the residents of Portage feel the entire county's support for a newly invigorated and dynamic largest City in the County. This would be good for all of us.
I don't envision the Times or the Post digging any further into campaign finance violations, shaking down city contractors for contributions, or unsavory bidding processes for construction projects. The days of that kind of journalism here in the region seem far in the past. Now the residents of Portage will have to do some digging on their own and ask: Do we want this same Portage 4 years from now?