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Hancock County News

New Palestine Town Council still with open seat

A vacancy continues on the New Palestine Town Council and it appears it could last a little longer.


Councilwoman Jan Jarson tendered her resignation several weeks ago after first being elected in 2012 and being re-elected twice. Her resignation created an empty seat that must be filled by the town of New Palestine and the Hancock County Republican Party through a party caucus.

However, there is one glaring issue – nobody has come forward to fill the vacancy.

The caucus is slated for 6:30 p.m. on October 5 at Town Hall. The party has 30 days from the vacancy, which happened on Sept. 17, to fill the seat. Those interested in filing the seat need to submit paperwork declaring their intention to Janice Silvey, chair of the Hancock County Republican Party, by 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 2.

In order to be eligible for the seat, the person must live within the town limits, have the paperwork filed out and notarized.

It will then be up to a four person committee to vote on who will fill the seat.


Jarson cited a change in priorities as the main reason for her resignation in September. In a letter she sent to the town council and county clerk of courts Lisa Lofgreen, Jarson wrote, “I am writing to inform you that it has become increasingly apparent that I cannot devote the necessary time and energy I feel is necessary to the office of Town Council Member. I have spent a great deal of time and thought before arriving at this decision and find that my priorities should be with my family and serving my community in other less stressful occupations. I have enjoyed the honor and privilege of serving our community and look forward to the future.”


Jarson’s resignation also brought an end to a series of issues between her and fellow council members, tracing back to January.


In January, Jarson voted against censuring former town-clerk Tonii Pyle, who also resigned recently. In August, town officials discovered that Pyle, former clerk-treasurer Becky Hilligoss, former town manager Dave Book and Jarson all had a hand in making modifications to the town’s employee handbook pertaining to return to work provisions for employees returning from medical leave.