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The Journal Gazette

Sunday, December 03, 2017 1:00 am

O'Day starts term as counties association VP

BRIAN FRANCISCO and NIKI KELLY | The Journal Gazette

Allen County Assessor Stacey O'Day on Nov. 1 began her term as first vice president of the Association of Indiana Counties. She was elected in September during the association's annual conference in Switzerland County.

“It is my privilege to serve in such an important leadership position,” O'Day said in a statement. “The AIC mission is to assist county officials to better serve taxpayers. I look forward to using what I've learned in my assessing career to advocate for policies that help county officials to just that and more.”

O'Day first took office as assessor in 2007 and has held leadership positions for the Indiana County Assessors' Association.

Fur flying

Former state Sen. Beverly Gard got a bit feisty last week at the last meeting of the contentious Alcohol Code Revision Commission.

When one member, Terry Bauer, expressed frustration with the process of voting on final recommendations, she cut him off.

“Let's move on, Mr. Bauer. I know the process bothers you. The legislative process isn't pretty, and you're just going to have to deal with it,” she said.

She also had words with her former colleague, Sen. Ron Alting, R-Lafayette.

Gard pointed out that polls show the public wants more cold beer options but special interests are driving the policy instead of them.

Alting responded that he would remember that given that he is getting beat up over the issue of legalizing medical marijuana.

“You wanted this job, senator,” Gard said to Alting.

New center

Indianapolis public affairs firm The Corydon Group is forming a new Health Policy Center and hiring a prominent physician to run it.

John J. Wernert will start work with The Corydon Group on Monday as a senior vice president and will launch the center.

“Dr. Wernert's work at the new center will focus on public and payment policies that promote long-term, sustainable and better health care outcomes,” said Christopher M. Gibson, The Corydon Group's managing principal.

“John will work with clients to assess how health care delivery can be improved to create those better outcomes.”

Wernert has recently worked in Kentucky and Indiana to improve rural access to mental health and addiction services, as well as on alternative payment strategies with insurers. He formerly led the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration.

State hosts group

The Indiana Black Legislative Caucus teamed up with the National Black Caucus of State Legislators to host a four-day conference in Indianapolis.

It started Thursday and runs until Monday. The goal is to discuss issues of concern in the black community and encourage young people to take a more active role in public service.

“We are proud to welcome lawmakers from across the country to Indianapolis this week for the NBCSL conference,” said state Rep. Cherrish Pryor, D-Indianapolis, chair of the IBLC.

“It is an honor for the IBLC to serve as hosts for this event, which enables leaders within the African-American community to come together to address the most pressing issues of the day and form public policy answers that can be used at the state and federal levels to enact lasting reforms.”

Journal Gazette reporter Dave Gong contributed to this report.

To reach Political Notebook by email, contact Brian Francisco at or Niki Kelly at An expanded Political Notebook can also be found as a daily blog at