Letter To The Editor

Written by ryan. Posted in Uncategorized

Published on August 24, 2010 with No Comments

Commissioner Bob Harper has been good for Valparaiso and Porter County.

Economic development guided by good public policy results in something desirable; generally good jobs, low taxes and quality of life advantages. Bob Harper took control of Porter County development in late 2003 with what many developers considered a bad idea – the concept of green space in new residential developments. This angers developers to this day. Generally, developers moved closer to or within the city. There have been at least 13 annexations of land to the city of Valparaiso since 2004, increasing the geographical size of the city by 30 percent. The annexations added $78 million in assessed value at the time of annexation, and are estimated to grow to more than $842 million upon full build out of all areas proposed according to the city’s Web site. These annexations to the city increased the tax base and on average lowered property taxes, and probably contributed to a better quality of life for all of Valparaiso’s residents. Similar comparisons could be made for the city of Portage. Porter County now boasts of lower unemployment – 8.6 percent as of July 2010 – and a growth rate of 10.3 percent, 5 times that of Lake or LaPorte Counties. This could not have happened with out the synergism of progressive city and county public policy directives from local government leaders, one of which is Bob Harper.

Norm Hudson

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