Tag Archives: mike pence

Governor Pence Authorizes Bonuses of up to $1,000 to State Employees

29 Dec

by Ken Davidson

Governor Pence has authorized one time, end of year bonuses to be paid to State employees. The bonuses of up to $1,000 will be based on performance reviews to be completed in January. The Governor states that the bonuses are in lieu of pay raises and will not affect the budget. We would love to hear your opinions, is this sound fiscal policy? Sound off in the comments section.  

Here is the Governor’s letter to State of Indiana employees:

Fellow State Employees,
As 2013 draws to a close, I am writing to express my sincere appreciation for your service to the people of Indiana over the past year.
Through the efforts of dedicated State Employees like you, Hoosiers continue to receive quality service and support when interacting with our state government. Indiana is strong and growing stronger due, in part, to the commitment you exhibit every day in service to the public.
Because of your efficiency and commitment to fiscal discipline, Indiana leads the way with a balanced budget, AAA credit rating and a reputation for sound fiscal management.
While our present circumstances do not permit us to increase base pay, because your service to Indiana has been exemplary, I have authorized a bonus that you will receive once performance evaluations are completed in January.
Employees who meet expectations will receive a $500 bonus, those who exceed expectations will receive $750, and those rated outstanding will receive $1,000.
I hope this news will be an encouragement to you for a job well done in 2013.
Thank you for your service to the good people of Indiana. It is the greatest privilege of my life to serve alongside men and women like you.
God bless you and your family with a memorable holiday season and a healthy and prosperous New Year.
Sincerely,
Governor Mike Pence

Gov. Pence Names Rep. Suzanne Crouch State Auditor

16 Dec

Gazette Staff

 

INDIANAPOLIS—Governor Mike Pence today announced Representative Suzanne Crouch as Auditor of State for Indiana.  She will complete the term held by Dwayne Sawyer which runs through 2014.

“Suzanne Crouch has a lifetime of experience and a heart for public service,” said Governor Pence.  “Suzanne’s fiscal leadership in the Indiana General Assembly, her distinguished public career in local government, and financial background will be valuable assets to our state.”

Crouch served two terms as the Auditor of Vanderburgh County, and was president of the Vanderburgh County Board of Commissioners. She was elected to the Indiana General Assembly in 2005 and serves as Vice Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

The Auditor of the State has four primary duties: accounting for all of the state’s funds; overseeing and disbursing county, city, town and school tax distributions; paying the state’s bills; and paying the state’s employees.

Crouch received her degree from Purdue University.  She is married to Larry Downs, and they have one daughter.

Erin Sheridan, the Chief of Staff for the Office of the Auditor, is serving as Auditor on an interim basis until  January 2, 2014.

NIRPC Passes Illiana, Lowell Residents Outraged, Union Members Cheer

12 Dec

by Ken Davidson

In perhaps one of the most contentious public meetings of the year, a room full of people who face losing their farms and family homes squared off with union members looking for temporary jobs.  Union members cheered as NIRPC voted to approve the Illiana Toll Road while farmers cried.  Perhaps the best comment was from a Lowell resident who said “move the road closer to Cedar Lake and Crown Point since they want it so bad.”  That comment clearly points out the irony of communities who have nothing to lose weighing in on the fate of people’s homes in rural south county Indiana.

Christine Cid stood up to the machine once again and voted against the Illiana.  You will recall that Cid was the lone democrat on the County Council standing against the income tax.  This time Cid was joined by County Chair Thomas McDermott.  McDermott, acting as Mayor of Hammond, clearly stated that communities along the 80/94 corridor may be harmed by the southern corridor.  Thus, the question as to why Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson decided to support the controversial plan.  Freeman-Wilson would appear to have the most to lose with the construction of the tollway as she has pinned Gary’s revitalization hopes to the plan to be a transportation hub.  The Illiana Toll Road is expected to be a catalyst for the proposed Peotone Airport as well as a truck route to avoid congestion.  The primary economic growth Gary has seen in recent years has been along the 80/94 corridor.  In the event the Illiana is successful in removing even 20% of the truck traffic from the area, that could be a large loss in jobs and tax revenue for Gary.

The real story here is Governor Mike Pence.  Pence chimed in today praising the Board for passing the plan.  Pence would do well to remember his base if he plans to run for re-election.  It seems that he was outmaneuvered politically during this entire process.  Maybe we will see a Governor McDermott after all.

Gov. Pence Announces Indiana Maintains AAA Credit Rating

5 Dec

Gazette Staff

Indianapolis, IN – Governor Mike Pence today announced that Indiana has maintained its AAA credit ratings from all three bond agencies: Standard and Poor’s, Moody’s, and Fitch Ratings. Indiana has held AAA ratings with all three agencies since April of 2010.

“Fiscal discipline is the foundation of our prosperity,” said Governor Pence. “Today’s news is a testament to the hard work and discipline of State employees at every level and the fiscal leadership of the Indiana General Assembly. In the years ahead, our administration remains committed to maintaining a fiscally stable environment within our state for the betterment of both Hoosier families and businesses.”

Gov. Pence, Supt. Ritz Issue Joint Statement

27 Nov

 

 

Indianapolis, IN – Indiana Governor Mike Pence and Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz yesterday agreed to have the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) facilitate a conversation among the members of the Indiana State Board of Education (SBOE) regarding roles, responsibilities, and the operations of the Board.  Under the leadership of Superintendent Ritz, Indiana re-joined NASBE earlier this year.  Governor Pence and Superintendent Ritz also discussed the Center for Education and Career Innovation (CECI).

“I am grateful to the Superintendent for her willingness to work with my administration to address the challenges and opportunities for Hoosier students, teachers and schools. I also appreciate the Superintendent’s willingness to work with members of the Indiana State Board of Education and NASBE to resolve differences that have arisen on the board,” said Governor Pence.

“Since the last meeting of the State Board of Education, I have said that the Governor and I needed to work together directly to address recent issues that have arisen,” said Superintendent Ritz.  “Yesterday’s meeting was a first step towards that goal.  I believe the Governor now has a clearer understanding of my concerns regarding the CECI, but much work remains to be done.”

 

State Auditor Sawyer Resigns After Just 4 Months in Job

26 Nov

Gazette Staff

 

In a prepared statement, Governor Pence announced the resignation of State Auditor Dwayne Sawyer.  Sawyer was appointed to the position just four months ago.  At the time, Pence cited Sawyer’s expertise in computerizing public records.  Sawyer cited personal reasons for his resignation.  No further details are available at this time.  The full text of the Governor’s statement follows:

Indianapolis, IN–Governor Mike Pence announced that he accepted Dwayne Sawyer’s resignation as Auditor of State, and offered the following statement:

“I have accepted Dwayne Sawyer’s resignation as Auditor of State effective December 15, 2013. His reason for resigning had to do with personal and family circumstances, and I respect his decision to step aside. Hoosiers can be assured that Mr. Sawyer’s resignation had nothing to do with his fiduciary responsibilities for the state or his execution of his duties as Auditor. This office will always be grateful for Mr. Sawyer’s service and wish him well in his future endeavors.”

Dwayne Sawyer stated in his letter of resignation, “Due to family and personal concerns, I have come to the conclusion that it will be in the best interests of my family and the people of Indiana whom I have been honored to serve that I resign from the office of Indiana auditor of state.”

Mr. Sawyer’s letter of resignation can be found attached.

Letter_of_Resignation

 

Pence Makes Multiple Board Appointments

21 Nov

Gazette Staff

Indianapolis, IN – Governor Mike Pence today named appointees to the Commission on Higher Education, the Horse Racing Commission, the State Ethics Commission, the Indiana Arts Commission, the Commission on Ports, and the Housing and Community Development Authority Board of Directors.

Commission on Higher Education

Caren B. Whitehouse of Vanderburgh County has been named to the Commission on Higher Education. She currently serves as Executive Director of the Vanderburgh County Medical Society. Whitehouse serves on the Pulmonary Fibrosis Board of Directors, the Healthy Evansville Steering Committee and the Vanderburgh County Perinatal Task Force. She is a graduate of the University of Evansville and Oakland City University. She will serve through June 30, 2015, effective immediately.

Horse Racing Commission

President and Chief Executive Officer of Pillow Logistics George E. Pillow Jr. will serve on the Horse Racing Commission. Previously, Pillow, of Marion County, served as Assistant Executive Administrator for the Department of Health and Human Services. Pillow was a 1984 recipient of the Sagamore of the Wabash and has been inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame as well as the Indiana State University Hall of Fame. A graduate of Indiana State University, he will serve through September 1, 2015, effective immediately.

State Ethics Commission

Bob Jamison, retired from the New Albany Office of the FBI, Daryl Yost, Director of the Certified Technology Park of the Northeast Indiana Innovation Center, and James Clevenger, Partner at Wyland, Humphrey, Wagner & Cleveland have been reappointed to the State Ethics Commission. Clevenger will continue to serve in his role as Chairman, and the appointees will serve four-year terms through October 31, 2017, effective immediately.

Indiana Arts Commission

Allen C. Platt III, of Floyd County, will serve on the Indiana Arts Commission through June 30, 2017, effective immediately. Currently Counsel at Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, LLP, Platt is the 2004 recipient of the Arts Council of Southern Indiana’s Heartbeat Award. He is a graduate of Indiana University and Valparaiso University School of Law.

Jonathan Ford, of Vigo County, and Linda S. Levell, of Knox County, have been reappointed to the board and will serve through June 30, 2017.

Commission on Ports

Ramon Arredondo has been named to the Commission on Ports. Arredondo, of Lake County, retired in 2005 as Assistant to the Chairman at NiSource and has extensive experience working in both local and federal government positions. He earned his undergraduate and master’s degrees from the University of Central Florida. Arredondo will serve through June 30, 2017, effective immediately.

Housing and Community Development Authority Board of Directors

Patricia Gamble-Moore, of Herron’s Fiduciary Committee, Thomas McGowan, President and Chief Operating Officer of Kite Realty Group Trust, and Lula Porter, Executive Director of the Evansville African American Museum have been reappointed to the Housing and Community Development Authority Board of Directors, effective immediately.

Pence Offers Assistance to Resolve Board of Education Issues

16 Nov

Gazette Staff

Governor Mike Pence sent the following letter to members of the State Board of Education attempting to resolve the conflict among the members. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz, a member of the Board, recently sued other members of the Board alleging violations of Indiana’s Open Door Law. The lawsuit was later dismissed.

Dear Superintendent Ritz and Members of the State Board of Education:

Let me begin by thanking all of you for your commitment to serving the children of our state through your service on the State Board of Education. Hoosiers are fortunate to have such a talented and dedicated group working on their behalf.

I commend you for the progress you’ve made this year. Most recently I am grateful for your work in committing to a timetable for completion of the 2012-2013 A-F grades, in reaching consensus on the next steps to revise our A-F model, and in passing emergency rules to enable Choice Scholarship schools to serve students who qualify for special education.

Despite this strong progress, I am aware that the Board has had difficulties in working together, and I am writing to offer my Administration’s assistance in finding a solution.

As you are aware, Indiana is a member of the nonprofit National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE). Founded in 1958, NASBE works to strengthen state leadership in educational policymaking, promote excellence in the education of all students, advocate equality of access to educational opportunity, and assure continued citizen support for public education. The organization has a national perspective on the work of state boards of education, has expertise in best practices and has provided consulting regarding governance of state boards across the nation.

I am writing to inform you that I have reached out to NASBE, and they have agreed to facilitate a discussion within the Indiana State Board of Education to clarify its roles and responsibilities and reach a common understanding regarding the governance procedures. Our Administration is prepared to provide any and all resources and assistance needed to coordinate this process, and I hope the Board will consider this sincere offer to engage NASBE in resolving these present difficulties.

I know you share my belief that it is of the utmost importance to Indiana’s schoolchildren that the differences that have emerged between the Superintendent and the other members of the Board be resolved in a civil and respectful way to restore a spirit of cooperation and trust. The Board has an opportunity to do so in engaging NASBE, which has extensive national experience with state boards of education, governance matters and education issues.

Hoosiers are indebted to each of you for your work on the State Board of Education. On behalf of every student, parent, teacher, and administrator in Indiana, I offer my heartfelt appreciation for the hours that you give to this effort. I am confident that, with this assistance, you will be able to resolve your differences quickly and build on the progress that Indiana has made in educational achievement.

Because of your work test scores are up, graduation rates are up, and the future of education and our young people has never been brighter.

I look forward to your reply regarding this proposal to engage the National Association of State Boards of Education to assist the Indiana State Board of Education in moving forward for the good of all Hoosiers and stand ready to offer any and all assistance in making this happen in a timely manner.

Sincerely

Michael R. Pence
Governor of Indiana

the northwest indiana gazette

$9 Million in Grants to Help Schools Improve Safety

11 Nov

INDIANAPOLIS—Surrounded by students and staff at Cedar Elementary School in Avon, today Governor Mike Pence announced more than $9 million in grant funding to local schools and school corporations through the Secured School Safety Grant Program. The Indiana Secured School Safety Board approved the grants.
“The safety of the students, teachers, and administrators in our schools is of the utmost importance to the people of Indiana, and I count it a privilege to distribute these resources to schools across our state,” Governor Pence said. “These grants will allow our public schools and school corporations to add resources that will help secure our schools so they can focus on educating our students.”
The program is a dedicated state grant fund that provides matching grants to school corporations, charter schools, or coalitions of school corporations and/or charter schools applying jointly to:

    Employ a school resource officer (SRO)
    Conduct a threat assessment
    Purchase equipment to restrict access to the school or expedite the notification of first responders.

School corporations, charter schools,or coalitions with an average daily membership (ADM) of at least 1,000 students applied for grants up to $50,000 per year. Eligible entities with an ADM of less than 1,000 students applied for grants of up to $35,000 per year.
**list of schools who have gotten grants by county:

  • Lake County
      Aspire Charter Academy received $12,718
      for school security equipment.
      Crown Point Community School Corporation received $50,000
      for school security equipment.
      Gary Community School Corporation received $25,000
      for school security equipment.
      Hanover Community School Corporation received $27,687.76
      to employ an SRO.
      Lake Central School Corporation received $39,463.50
      for school security equipment.
      Lake Ridge Schools received $50,000
      for security equipment,threat assessment, and employ SRO.
      Lake Station Community Schools received $40,000
      to employ an SRO.
      Merrillville Community Schools received $30,170
      for school security equipment.
      River Forest Community School Corporation received $7,100
      for school security equipment.
      School Town of Highland received $50,000
      for school security equipment.
      School Town of Munster received $30,298.60
      for security equipment and to employ an SRO.
      Thea Bowman Leadership Academy received $15,000
      to employ an SRO.
      Tri-Creek School Corporation received $49,316
      for security equipment and to employ an SRO.
      Whiting School City received $50,000
      for security equipment,threat assessment, an SRO.

    Porter
    Duneland School Corporation received $35,000
    for security equipment.
    East Porter County School Corporation received $49,549.50
    for school security equipment.
    Neighbors’ New Vistas High School received $35,000
    to employ an SRO.
    Portage Township Schools received $49,658.09
    for school security equipment.
    Porter Township School Corporation received $45,000
    for security equipment and an SRO.

  • Governor Announces 2013 Arts Recipients

    26 Jul

    Governor Mike Pence and the Indiana Arts Commission (IAC) announced the six recipients of the 2013 Governor’s Arts Awards today. The  Image2013 recipients of theIndiana Governor’s Arts Awards are: Cristel DeHaan, Cynthia Hartshorn, John Hiatt, Mark Kruzan, Sydney Pollack, and Traditional Arts Indiana. Governor Pence, First Lady Pence, honorary chair of the Governor’s Arts Awards, and the IAC will honor the recipients during an awards dinner and ceremony on Thursday, September 26 in Carmel.

    The Governor’s Arts Awards program was initiated in 1973. Conceived in partnership between the IAC and the Office of the Governor, the program recognizes and honors significant contributions to and profound positive impact on the arts and the state of Indiana. The awards are presented every two years.

    Since its inception, the program has honored artists, individuals, educators, organizations, businesses, and communities for their efforts to further public awareness of the arts. Past recipients include both the famous and less famous of the arts world, major corporations and small businesses, large cities and small towns. The IAC commissions a contemporary Indiana artist to create the awards.

    Award recipients are selected by an independent panel of distinguished representatives from Indiana’s arts, education, business, public and private sectors. IAC conducts a public call for nominations and the panel reviews and scores nominations based on specific criteria. The criteria emphasize the total body of work or contributions of the nominee and the impact of the nominee’s work on the cultural climate of the city, region, the state of Indiana, or on the national and international level. A limited number of recipients are selected from the field of nominees to receive this distinguished honor.

    Cristel DeHaanCristel DeHaan, philanthropist, Indianapolis, IN Over the past decades, DeHaan has made many philanthropic contributions to central Indiana as well as the rest of the world. She started the Christel DeHaan Family Foundation’s grant making activity within arts and culture focus in Central Indiana and Cristel House, a public charity focused on breaking the poverty cycle and providing education, which has learning centers across the world. DeHaan worked with the DeHaan Foundation to provide major gifts to arts organizations, including the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, and provided funds for the creation of the Fine Arts Center at University of Indianapolis. DeHaan is recognized as one of America’s top business owners and one of Indianapolis’ Most Influential Leaders. She serves on many local and national boards. She co-founded and served as the president of Resort Condominiums International, the company that pioneered vacation exchange, and served as president, CEO and owner of the company until she sold it in 1996. DeHaan’s philanthropic vision has strengthened the arts in Indiana and supported people around the world.

    Cynthia HartshornCynthia Hartshorn, music educator, vocalist, Indianapolis, IN Hartshorn has been a music teacher in Indianapolis for nearly 41 years and a director of her church’s choir for 29. She is a life-long Hoosier who holds a Bachelor’s degree from Ball State University and Master’s degree from Indiana University. She began working with music during her time at Arsenal Tech High School as a student, taught 12 years at John Marshall High School and then returned to Tech for 29 years. She served as director of the music department for 15 years before assuming the role of choir director. Hartshorn has worked with thousands of students, and some of those students have gone on to be actors in Broadway musicals, music educators, arts advocates, philanthropists, performers, members of choirs and recorded musicians. She also leads many performing groups and directs several large-scale productions each year including a fall play, all-school musical, senior musical, faculty musical, and an outdoor festival.

    John Hiatt (photo by Jack Spencer)John Hiatt, singer, songwriter, Nashville, TN Born in Indianapolis, John Hiatt is a folk, rock, blues and country guitarist, pianist, singer and songwriter. His career began in 1972, playing with bands in small clubs in Indianapolis. Hiatt released his debut album in 1974 and has since written more than 600 songs and recorded more than 20 studio albums as well as two live concert albums. Before his own recording career, he was a prolific songwriter for a recording company in Nashville. Hiatt has been nominated for 11 Grammys, received the 2000 Nashville Music Award for Songwriter/Artist of the Year, and received the 2008 Americana Music Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting. After coming out of a troubled childhood and tragedies in his adult life, Hiatt is an inspiration to many as a musician and songwriter as well as a person who found success after hardships.

    Mayor Mark Kruzan

    Mark Kruzan, mayor, Bloomington, IN Kruzan has served as mayor of Bloomington for nine years and has consistently recognized the role of the arts in the city’s history and economy. He established a permanent arts staff in the city and worked to make Bloomington a cultural district, which was part of his campaign platform. Kruzan used his four areas of focus: community commerce, community collaboration, community condition and community character to showcase arts and culture. He has made resources available for artists and art enterprises in both for-profit and not-for-profit sectors and expanded investment in the arts more than six-fold during a period of national economic distress. Kruzan has implemented many arts and culture policies and programming during his time in office. Other cities around the state and country now look to Bloomington under Kruzan’s leadership as a model in economic and cultural progress.

    Sydney PollackSydney Pollack*, producer, director, actor, Los Angeles, CA Born in Lafayette, Ind., Pollack spent his formative years in South Bend, Ind. where he developed his love of drama and theatre at South Bend High School. He graduated from high school in 1952 and later moved to New York City and Los Angeles. In the 50s, Pollack studied acting at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre in New York. He served two years in the army then returned to teach acting. In the 1960s, he became a television director for series such as “Ben Casey,” “Alfred Hitchcock Hour” and “Wagon Train.” His big screen debut was “War Hunt,” in which he developed a lifelong friendship with actor Robert Redford. “Out of Africa” was his big directing success, which received 11 Academy Award Nominations and seven wins.

    Throughout his life, Pollack directed more than 30 films and many TV shows, produced 48 films and acted in 40 movies and television shows. Pollack became a four-time Oscar winner. In 2000, he received the John Huston Award from the Directors Guild of America as a “defender of artists’ rights.” In 2003, he was honored by the Hollywood Film Festival for Outstanding Achievement in Production. At the Austin Film Festival in 2006, he received the Extraordinary Contribution to Filmmaking Award. Pollack was highly respected in the filmmaking world and influenced many artists in the industry.

    *posthumous award

    Traditional Arts IndianaTraditional Arts Indiana, arts organization, Bloomington  Traditional Arts Indiana (TAI) works to promote, document and preserve work and stories of traditional Indiana artists. Established in 1998, TAI exists from a partnership between the IAC and Indiana University, Bloomington. TAI exists from a partnership between the IAC and Indiana University Bloomington. Committed to identifying, documenting and showcasing Indiana’s living cultural traditions, this unique organization champions the arts as part of everyday life, through a host of public programs and helps people access the arts around the state through 40 traveling exhibits touring free-of-charge to public libraries. From its work with refugee weavers in Indianapolis to old-time fiddlers in Paoli, TAI has gathered important documentary materials from Indiana folk artists, which it archives for future generations at Indiana University.