Claypool Town Council Elects President, Discusses Budget

Photo: Nick Deranek/News Now Warsaw

The following by Alaister McFarren, Times-Union Correspondent

At its first meeting of the new year on Tuesday, held via Zoom, the Claypool Town Council selected Benny Gates Jr. as its 2021 president, replacing Council member Liz Heiman.

Although Heiman initially nominated Council member Gene Warner, Warner turned down the nomination and in turn nominated Gates, which Heiman agreed to.

Following Gates’ selection, the Council decided to put a halt on purchases of any kind by town staff without council approval.

“With the deep cuts that are in this year’s budget, I think we should put a hold on all purchases without board approval until further notice so we can dig deeper into (the town budget) and what we’re going to do for this year,” said Gates.

This decision comes on the heels of an administration meeting the previous week. At this meeting, Council members determined they need to form a better picture of what the town’s 2021 finances will look like before allowing spending by town employees in the same fashion as it had previously.

In his department head report, Town Marshal Ben Sanders stated that the police department had received 140 calls for service in December, utilizing 131 reserve hours.

He said he was down one reserve due to personal reasons and had filled the position with Matthew Newman, a community corrections officer for Kosciusko County.

The Council will next meet Feb. 16.