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Hancock County News

New Palestine Town Council prepares for expansion

It's been an interesting couple of months for the New Palestine Town Council, and it promises to be just as interesting as the calendar moves to 2020.


Earlier this year, councilman Clint Bledsoe brought forth the concept of the council increasing from its current three person board to five members.


At the time, Bledsoe said he was bringing it forward to increase diversity and ideas on council and also to limit the number of meetings cancelled due to not having a quorum. 


In November, residents voted not only for representation on the council, but also in favor of expanding the board to five members. Those who are assured seats on council in January are incumbents Jan Jarson and Brandee Bastin and newcomer Bill Niemier. 


Who and how the other two people will round out council is starting to take shape as council recently laid out the steps. 


In January, council will select two residents to join them, but not before a process takes place. 

Anyone who lives in the town limits and interested in the spots is asked to submit a letter of interest by Dec. 18. The letters can be mailed to the New Palestine Town Hall, 42 East Main St., New Palestine, IN 46163. 

From there, the town council will view and discuss letters during the Jan. 2 special town council meeting. The meeting will be at 7 p.m. Finally, potential candidates will be interviewed and selected at the Jan. 4 council meeting, which begins at 8 a.m. 


Bastin said she felt this was the fairest way to pick new members. 


"I felt that this was the fairest way so that anyone interesting in serving could submit a letter of interest and go through this process. Personally, I’m interested in learning about candidates and their professional, educational, and political backgrounds, as well as how they have been involved in our New Palestine community and why they are interested in serving on council. What experiences and tools will they bring to the table if they were to serve on council," she told Giant FM.