In keeping his promise to being open and transparent, the La Porte Mayor-Elect Tom Dermody announced his administration’s department leaders Tuesday morning.
“I picked this team and there’s one thing I want to say to the community,” Dermody said. “I’m responsible, I’m accountable and if anyone has questions or concerns, come to me.”
La Porte’s City Council chamber was filled with local and state government officials, supporters and community members eager to learn more about the incoming administration, including Dermody’s picks for the city’s new police chief, assistant police chief, and assistant fire chief.
“Each one of these department leaders has a plan and high expectations to take La Porte to the next level to compete with the best Indiana has to offer. It was important to me to select individuals who came with a plan of action to the interview,” Dermody said.
Public safety and service are this administration’s two top priorities. Picking the right department heads to meet the mission was especially important when it came to choosing police department leadership to help fight the drug epidemic in La Porte. The City of La Porte’s department leaders include:
Police Chief: Paul Brettin (New)
Assistant Police Chief: Nate Thode (New)
Fire Chief: Andy Snyder (Incumbent)
Assistant Fire Chief: Kelly Burke (New)
Park Superintendent: Mark Schreiber (Incumbent)
Human Resources Director: Jen Noll (Incumbent)
Wastewater Director: Jerry Jackson (Incumbent)
Water Director: Todd Taylor (Incumbent)
City Engineer: Nick Minich (Incumbent)
City Planner: Beth Schrader (Incumbent)
Street Department: Mike Fraze (Incumbent)
The new administration takes over in the beginning of January and Dermody’s team is eager to get to work.
“This team wants to keep our community safe,” Dermody said. “We want to send a message to drug traffickers when we take office in the new year. We want them to feel uncomfortable and not profitable. Soon to be police chief Brettin and assistant chief Thode will be knocking on doors. I know where those doors are. We’re going to let them know we need their help and we’ll be watching and taking back our streets.”
“When we get up and running, we will be forming a task force team consisting of the La Porte County Drug Task Force, the Sheriff’s Department, and the Michigan City Police Department to help fight the drug epidemic,” Brettin said. “It’s a county-wide issue and we all need to work together to solve this.”
Dermody said he did something different during the interview process of the potential new leaders. He invited individuals from the La Porte community to attend the interviews for all the candidates.
“I want the community to be a part of the solution, which is why we invited residents to ask candidates those hard questions. The city needs leaders,” Dermody added.
While some things are changing in the new year, others are staying the same. Bert Cook, the Executive Director of La Porte Economic Advancement Partnership (LEAP) is looking forward to working with Dermody and his administration.
“I’m excited for the City of La Porte’s future,” Cook said. “I appreciate the fact Tom has chosen me to continue on in this role. I share his excitement about what we can do and what’s coming. I jokingly said to my wife we should wipe our plans for the rest of the month and just get sleep to prepare for the rest of the year because I know Tom will hit the ground running and it’s going to be in a very aggressive and bold strategy moving forward. I’m happy to be a part of that and execute that vision.”
Dermody said he and his team will to continue to communicate with the La Porte community about plans for the city. Soon, Dermody will be announcing the director for Code Enforcement and Transportation.