Thank you for the opportunity to introduce myself and my candidacy for Porter County Commissioner District 2. I have been a proud Democrat all of my life. I have lived in Northwest Indiana since marrying my husband Geoffrey in 1995. Geoff has been a resident of Porter County for most of his life, attended the very first popcorn festival and is a proud graduate of Valparaiso High School. He practices law in NWI, as did his father and uncle before him. We met in college at Miami University, where I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies.
We decided to start our family here in Porter County and have enjoyed living here for the past 25 years. All three of our children attended Union Township School Corporation and graduated from Wheeler High School. Jenna (24) graduated from The University of Tennessee with a degree in public relations and currently works for Live Nation in Knoxville, Tennessee. Grant (22) graduated in April from Florida State University with a degree in Biomedical Engineering. Elena (19) is finishing up her freshman year at The University of Alabama and is studying towards a double major in Political Science and News Media.
After college I worked 9 years as a pharmaceutical sales representative, before taking time off professional employment to stay home with our children. When they were young I worked towards a Masters in Education at Purdue University Calumet. Realizing that I wasn’t going to go back to work when they were young but still being very interested in public education, I ran for and was elected to the first of four consecutive terms on the Union Township School Board in 2006, where I continue to serve today.
I am proud to say that during my tenure on the school board we have overseen many remodeling and building improvements on both academic and athletic spaces, and more importantly, Union Township School Corporation has been one of the top academic school corporations in the entire state of Indiana. Our school corporation survived and even thrived during the pandemic and was able to stay in person for all but a couple of weeks during the 2020-2021 school year, when many local school corporations were virtual for months at a time. Union Township’s ability to remain in person was due to extensive collaboration and cooperation between our board, administration, staff, families, and most importantly, our students.
Serving the residents of Porter County through its Board of Commissioners is an expansion of this service as a school board member, with many similar responsibilities and areas of interest. As a board member, I am one of five responsible for overseeing our school corporation's almost $20 million dollar budget, which is larger than one quarter of Indiana’s 92 counties. We approve all personnel decisions as well as all decisions about construction and building maintenance. Much like our county commissioners, we are tasked with policy development and implementation as well. Attracting and retaining quality employees is key to our success and will remain a major focus in my new role as commissioner.
Successful county leadership creates opportunities by attracting good paying jobs and providing strong public safety, in addition to providing great quality of life with our plentiful outdoor attractions and lakefront. Well planned development is fundamental to providing and expanding upon these opportunities for all Porter County residents. The development of projects and ideas with a focus on fiscal responsibility has shaped the work I have done for almost two decades.
Our county is in strong financial shape due to good leadership from our current elected officials. We have the second lowest county tax rate in the state of Indiana. Thoughtful leadership will be needed to maintain that low tax rate while providing for and improving offerings to our county residents. Our elected officials, key advisors, and citizen appointees are working hard to determine the best uses for the county’s $33 million American Rescue Plan Act allotment. I hope to see a fair division of the funds among permissible projects across the four spending categories. And come 2023, I hope to be intimately involved in ensuring the ARPA projects chosen are funded and completed by the end of 2026.
Other priorities as your Porter County Commissioner will be to ensure our infrastructure is in good condition and environmentally responsible, that the county is fully broadband equipped, that our outdoor opportunities continue to grow and be accessible to all, and finally that we begin to understand and address our affordable housing shortage in the county. I ask for your vote for County Commissioner on November 8th. Go to votegiorgi.com to learn more.
~ Julie Giorgi