In one of his first moves as the new Lake County Democratic Central Committee chair, Jim Wieser has appointed Hammond attorney Kevin Smith to the Board of ...and more »
In one of his first moves as the new Lake County Democratic Central Committee chair, Jim Wieser has appointed Hammond attorney Kevin Smith to the Board of Elections and Registration.Wieser, who was serving as the election board attorney, said he tendered his resignation for that position Tuesday and re-appointed Michelle Fajman as election board director. Smith previously served on the election board as an appointment of Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr. when he was party chair.
Smith will replace Justin Murphy, current election board chairman, who was appointed to the post by former chairman Sheriff John Buncich. Wieser said he has had the opportunity to serve off and on as election board attorney for a couple dozen years and learned how the board operates and how people work together and fit together. He also has gotten to know Smith and his abilities during that time."He is just a fair and reasonable guy," Wieser said. "He also knows how to allow discussion and dialogue and most important he knows how to listen. I just admire that in him."
He said Smith has worked well on the bipartisan board in the past and is looking for that to continue as the board works to consolidate precincts."There are certain goals I want to make sure I don't lose sight of as chairman," Wieser said,His choice of Smith is no reflection on the current board members. Wieser said he struggled with the decision because Murphy also is a qualified board member with a lot of knowledge about election law.Murphy will be sitting in proxy Tuesday for Smith who has a prior commitment. Wieser said the appointment of a new attorney is the election board's decision and not his. The board of commissioners ratifies that decision.
On Friday, Smith said he was thankful to Wieser for having confidence in his abilities and putting him back on the board."I'm very excited to be back on the board," he said. "I always enjoyed my time on the board and I look forward to working with both my Democratic colleagues and the Republicans on the board. We have had a great relationship in the past and I hope that continues." The five-member election board also includes Democrats Dennis Hawrot and Clerk Mike Brown and Republicans Michael Mellon and Dana Dumezich.Carrie Napoleon is a freelance reporter for the Post-Tribune.
Kevin Smith,Wieser,Lake County,Democrats