City of Portage, Indiana

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New Mayor Sworn into Office

NWI TIMES 

By Anna Ortiz anna.ortiz@nwi.com, 219-933-4194 Mar 2, 2019 

PORTAGE — Following a former mayor who is awaiting sentencing in federal court, Portage swore in a new leader two weeks after James Snyder's conviction.

The city's new mayor, Republican John Cannon, said he's hitting the ground running to rebuild public trust.

“I have prepared my entire life for this job,” Cannon said. “I'm excited and I'm very optimistic. I'm ready to lead and bring people together and move forward from the divisiveness in the community from the past.”

Cannon was sworn in Saturday morning at the Portage Public Library with residents, City Council members, precinct caucus members, city employees and Cannon's friends and family in attendance.

Cannon, a City Council member of seven years, said being Portage's mayor has been a longtime goal. Cannon was the only person to file the necessary paperwork by Wednesday's deadline for the position. Previously, Councilwoman Sue Lynch, D-at-large, has been acting mayor until the caucus was held.

"I take this oath in assuming the mayor’s office in extraordinary circumstances never experienced by Portage residents,” Cannon said in his speech after he was sworn in. “I am very aware that I have not been elected during a normal election to the mayor’s office. I ask for your initial and ongoing approval, guidance and prayers."

Next week he and other officials will meet with Gov. Eric Holcomb to discuss funding for city projects like the Willowcreek Road project between the Indiana Toll Road and Central Avenue. The city budget is another big issue for city officials to tackle going forward, he said. In addition, Cannon said, there are several projects on the horizon that city and state officials are collaborating on.

Updating residents through frequent news releases and posts on the city's YouTube channel, Facebook page and website is an initiative Cannon hopes to keep people informed.

Cannon said gaining back the public's trust is paramount going forward. Snyder, his predecessor, was found guilty in federal court on Feb. 14 of felony bribery and tax obstruction charges and is awaiting sentencing. His conviction removed him from office.

Cannon will fill Snyder's term, which expires Dec. 31, and will be running for mayor in a retention campaign in the November municipal elections. He is uncontested in the primary.

Four Democrats are competing in the May 7 primary, including Lynch, Clerk-Treasurer Chris Stidham, city Economic Development Director Andy Maletta and local Realtor Leo Hatch Jr.

“The funny thing is that we have four mayoral candidates working together,” Cannon said. “But political party means nothing at our level; They're all great people. We're all adults and can work through differences and do a lot of great work in the city.”


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6070 Central Ave
Portage, IN 46368
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