The Journal Gazette
Sunday, October 31, 2021 1:00 am

Boone County official joins race for treasurer

NIKI KELLY | The Journal Gazette

A fifth candidate has jumped into the Republican race for state treasurer.

Elise Nieshalla added her name to the growing field last week. The president of the Boone County Council posted a commercial-like video on Twitter to announce her candidacy.

It talks about creating jobs, pursuing dreams and giving thanks to God.

The conservative Republican says she wants to make Indiana's billions in reserves “work for us.”

The video calls Nieshalla an entrepreneur, real estate investor and former economic development official.

She joins four others in the race, which will be decided at the Indiana Republican Party's state convention next summer.

The other contenders are Fort Wayne City Clerk Lana Keesling; political strategist Pete Seat; Daniel Elliott, chairman of the Morgan County Republican Party; and Suzie Jaworowski, state director for Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign in Indiana.

The office pays about $89,000 a year. Current State Treasurer Kelly Mitchell cannot run again because of term limits.

Magazine honors Wayne trustee

Brotha Magazine, based in Buffalo, New York, named Wayne Township Trustee Austin Knox its Brotha of the Month for October.

“Mr. Knox, like his predecessor, is detail-oriented and fueled by a desire to research and understand the law and the Indiana Township Association guidelines before finalizing decisions. Most of all, Trustee Knox cares about the people of Wayne Township, both those in need and those who help,” the magazine said.

An Allen County Democratic caucus appointed Knox township trustee in January 2020. He replaced Rick Stevenson, who retired. A graduate of Concordia High School and IPFW, now Purdue Fort Wayne, Knox is up for election next year.

“We first want to help those who need it, but we also never forget that it is taxpayers' money we are responsible for,” Knox told the magazine.

Dream come true 

Fort Wayne City Councilman Glynn Hines, D-at large, borrowed the words of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. at the start of a marathon City Council  meeting.

The council's longest meeting of the year is usually the final meeting in October, when the members review cuts before finalizing the following year's city budget.

“This meeting is normally a four-hour meeting,” Hines said before he paused and started to smile, “and I have a dream ... that it won't be.”

The council members and audience burst into laughter, which was a light way to start the long, tense meeting.

And Hines, technically, got his wish. The meeting ended after 31/2 hours.

Predictable votes

Some of the decisions on the 40 budget cuts Fort Wayne City Council members made were predictable.

Councilman Jason Arp, R-4th, proposed cuts to four community economic development income tax funds in the Community Development Division's budget – $650,000 in the Incentive Fund, $685,000 for infrastructure and maintenance/tax increment financing replacement, $250,000 for the Economic Development Alliance and $125,000 for business development.

Councilman Paul Ensley, R-1st, also suggested the cut to the Incentive Fund, and voted with Arp to approve each of the cuts. It wasn't a surprise because both councilmen regularly vote against tax abatements requested by Community Development.

But the rest of council felt differently, and many members praised the work of Nancy Townsend, Community Development director, during a meeting earlier in the month.

Each of the proposed CEDIT cuts to Community Development failed with a 7-2 vote.

“That one was shocking,” Arp exclaimed – with more than a hint of sarcasm – after the fourth consecutive 7-2 vote.

Deductive reasoning

Rarely do the Allen County commissioners hear of a cost reduction for a previously approved project.

Vance Hernandez, the county director of buildings and grounds, asked the commissioners to approve a change order on the Allen County Jail's fire alarm system project.

Engineers on the project found that the detectors didn't need the 358 test switches they included in the original project budget.

The change resulted in a $16,632 deduction from the $379,095 project.

“Vance, you had me at deduction,” said Commissioner Nelson Peters, partially quoting the romantic comedy “Jerry Maguire.”

The commissioners unanimously approved the change.

Devan Filchak and Jim Chapman of The Journal Gazette contributed to this column.

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