The Journal Gazette
Sunday, November 07, 2021 1:00 am

Bosma: From speaker to lobbyist

NIKI KELLY | The Journal Gazette

Former Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma will return to the Statehouse hallways in January – as a lobbyist.

He resigned his seat in July 2020 after serving in the General Assembly for 34 years, including 12 as speaker.

After observing the state's ethics mandate and one-year cooling-off period for former lawmakers, Bosma has registered as a lobbyist and will be active in his role as a senior consultant for the 1816 Public Affairs Group LLC in the coming legislative session, a news release said.

Bosma also will maintain his law practice at Kroger, Gardis and Regas, where he chairs the municipal law practice group.

Halloween high jinks

Gov. Eric Holcomb and first lady Janet Holcomb got into the spirit of things last week – hosting trick-or-treaters at the governor's residence in Indianapolis.

After a one-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the duo dressed as the woodsman in the state seal and Lady Victory, who sits atop the Soldiers and Sailors Monument in downtown.

They also had a shaggy bison set up for a photo op for parents and children.

While Janet Holcomb donned metallic-like makeup and a bird on her head, Eric Holcomb got off easy – just throwing on a cowboy hat, jeans and boots while wielding what we hope was a fake hatchet.

The first family handed out candy and sweets made in Indiana donated by Zachary Confections in Frankfort and Albanese Confectionery in Merrillville.

Miller announces

Democrat Kyle Miller on Wednesday announced his candidacy for a new Indiana House District 82 seat in Fort Wayne.

Miller previously ran for House District 81 against Rep. Martin Carbaugh – moving the district nine percentage points toward Democrats in two election cycles, a news release said.

In the 2020 election cycle, Miller and his team made more than 20,000 voter contacts across the district and raised almost $200,000. But Carbaugh won by about 1,000 votes.

Now there is a newly drawn seat that leans Democratic. And Miller hopes to continue pushing for a strong public education system; fair, livable wages; and access to health care for all Hoosiers.

From 55 budget cuts to four

The Fort Wayne City Council took last week off after hearing budget presentations and making cuts during a long October.

The council members went over more than 50 cuts during the Oct. 26 meeting, at the end of which the roughly $290 million budget was formally approved.

The majority of the cuts – 30 – were proposed by Councilman Russ Jehl, R-2nd, followed by Councilman Jason Arp, R-4th, with nine cuts and Councilman Paul Ensley, R-1st, with six cuts. Councilwoman Sharon Tucker, D-6th, proposed four cuts, and Councilman Tom Freistroffer, R-at large, proposed two cuts.

Councilwoman Michelle Chambers, D-at large, and Councilman Tom Didier, R-3rd, each proposed one cut, and Councilmen Geoff Paddock, D-5th, and Glynn Hines, D-at large, didn't propose any. Multiple council members proposed the same cuts in several cases.

Ensley, who is also council president, said the numbers don't reflect a member's willingness to make cuts. He used the example of supporting several of Jehl's cuts, even though he didn't also propose them.

Of the 55 cuts, 17 were withdrawn before the meeting and 25 were withdrawn, typically after questions were answered, during the meeting.

The members voted on a total of 15 cuts. Four passed, and 11 failed to get at least five votes of support.

One last hurrah

Tom Rhoades ended his service as Southwest Allen County Schools trustee with little fanfare Wednesday, although the president's and vice president's absences let him lead a meeting one more time.

Superintendent Park Ginder acknowledged the meeting was Rhoades' last. He thanked the former board president for the time and energy he has devoted to SACS.

Rhoades, who was elected to the five-member board in 2014, is moving outside the district. His resignation took effect Friday.

He elicited soft chuckles after board members Mark Gilpin and Jennifer Couch motioned and seconded approval of the proposed teachers contract.

“You two may be busy tonight,” Rhoades said, referring to how they were the only other members present.

But Ginder got the night's biggest laugh when he began a presentation about the need for expansion with a photograph of the district's one-room schoolhouse on Aboite Center Road.

“This is what the new school will look like,” Ginder said, riffing on how such a setup would lend itself to smaller class sizes.

Devan Filchak and Ashley Sloboda of The Journal Gazette contributed to this column.

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