Thursday, May 8, 2014

Times Reports Porter County Assessor and Commissioner Clash Over Assessor's Office

From the Northwest Indiana Times:

Visitors to the Porter County Assessor's Office might find the staff sitting in the hall soon.
Assessor Jon Snyder said Board of Commissioners President John Evans notified his office Wednesday he would have to vacate one of the offices now used on the top floor and turn over his department's county car.
Snyder was given 30 days to clear out of the office, but no deadline was set for surrendering the car.
"It has been implied that this is retaliation against my office and staff for my support of the commissioner's political foe (Porter County Councilman Jim Biggs)," Snyder said in a statement released Wednesday. "I would like to think that this is not the case but is part of Commissioner Evans' master plan for Porter County.
"Although I have never seen a plan, I will continue to assume that this is the case," he said. "I have asked the commissioner to meet with me regarding his plan so we can better prepare for sudden changes such as these that he has ordered. I have no intention to make any changes until the full body of commissioners meets and makes its intentions known."
Snyder said he has reduced staff and presented a plan more than a year ago for consolidating his offices. He has two suites on the top floor and one on the building's main floor. His plan would have kept the one Evans wants him to vacate because it has a large conference room and is more taxpayer friendly, he said.
"The first floor suite is very small, and I wanted more space so taxpayers don't feel like they are walking into a cave. Unless there are some structural changes, I don't see how we can vacate that whole space. There's been a lot of talk, but they never moved forward with anything. We had plans we were working on, but now it's back to 'You have to get out in 30 days.'"
Since no alternate space was offered for his use, Snyder said he might move the furniture into the hallway so it will be easier for taxpayers. He also questioned Evans' authority to order the move. Evans said the commissioners president is in charge of allocating space in all the buildings.
"That's something Jon knew when he asked for the space," Evans said. "He's got plenty of room to put his people."