Commissioners Defer Vote on Highway Superintendent’s Contract

Starke County Highway Superintendent Stephen "Rik" Ritzler
Starke County Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler

The Starke County Commissioners did not act on a proposed contract for the highway superintendent as planned. Commissioner Kent Danford was not at yesterday’s meeting, and his vote is needed in order for the measure to pass. President of the Commissioners Jennifer Davis clarified the measure can pass by a simple majority but said she does not want to vote on it since she is stepping down as a commissioner at the end of the year.

Davis said she does not want to take action that would bind the new board. That leaves Danford and Commissioner Kathy Norem to vote on whether to offer Rik Rtizler a multi-year contract. Danford called the possibility a “test case” when the commissioners met in November, having previously expressed concerns about the precedent such an action would set. Davis has previously stated she would like to ensure Ritzler continues as highway superintendent so the multi-year plan for road and bridge improvements can be followed. The next regularly-scheduled commissioners meeting is Monday, Dec. 15 at 7 p.m.