From the Times:
Howard Fink's responsibilities in Merrillville will increase starting Monday, but Fink said he is ready for the opportunity.
Fink, who has served as the town's community development director since 2006, was named town administrator Tuesday.
The Town Council decided to promote Fink about a week after a second town manager candidate declined the job.
Fink said he was honored to accept the position and happy town leaders have "trust and faith" that he can handle the administrative duties.
Town officials said the town administrator position has many of the same responsibilities of a town manager, but not as much authority as a town manager would have.
Some of Fink's new responsibilities include overseeing the town's daily operations, making sure the town is following proper rules and procedures and being a person residents can contact regarding town topics.
"I will work hard to meet the needs of Merrillville citizens," Fink said.
Fink is familiar with working with Merrillville residents. He led several informational meetings regarding stormwater management fees and also fielded several calls when the town decided to reduce to a single waste hauler.
Fink said he will still take care of the community development director responsibilities while working as town administrator. He said it's important to continue economic development work even with a slow economy.
Town Councilman Shawn Pettit, who is chairman of the Personnel Policy and Employee Benefits Committee, said Fink's promotion doesn't come with an increase in pay. Fink's current annual salary is above $50,000.
If Fink proves he can handle his added responsibilities, the Town Council could later offer him the town manager position. Fink said he would be interested in the job if given the opportunity.
"I wouldn't have taken this role if I wasn't interested," Fink said.
Town Councilman Richard Hardaway said he is confident in the decision to promote Fink. He said Fink has been a loyal town employee who will be able to lead the town in the right direction.