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Posted on: February 17, 2023

Mayors begin collaborative initiative

Friday, February 17, 2023

 AUBURN – The term job shadowing is normally reserved for those individuals who are learning a new position or for young adults and students interested in exploring different career paths.

The phrase however is taking on a new meaning beginning this week as the three DeKalb County mayors sat down together on Friday for what they hope will be a learning experience for each of them.

Auburn Mayor Mike Ley welcomed Garrett Mayor Todd Fiandt and Butler Mayor Mike Hartman to City Hall FJob shadowingriday morning to share the inner workings of the city with his two counterparts. Mayor Fiandt, is in his second term serving the residents of Garrett, while Mayors Ley and Hartman are in their first terms serving Auburn and Butler respectively.

Mayor Hartman said the collaboration between the three cities was something the mayors tried to kick off in 2020, but COVID-19 and each of their busy schedules brought an end to the meetings.

Friday the three picked back up the process looking to discuss issues affecting each of their cities. The collaboration also gave the mayors an opportunity to discuss ways that the three cities can work together for the better good of DeKalb County.

That effort to work together for the betterment of DeKalb County started Friday as the mayors met with representatives from Waterloo, Hamilton and Corunna to discuss partnering together in an effort to make the most of monies available from the Indiana Next Level Recovery: Opioid Settlement. DeKalb County Commissioner Mike Watson was also a part of the discussion.

After nearly a half hour of discussion all parties agreed to reconvene in March to work toward a countywide initiative, or to at least further discussion.

During Friday’s visit Mayor Ley took Mayor Fiandt and Mayor Hartman on a tour of the city, showing the various projects that are in the works from new commercial business to proposed new housing developments. That discussion began after time spent with Kellie Knauer, building and planning department administrator for the city.

“This is a great opportunity for each of us to learn a little bit more about the inner workings of each other’s cities,” said Mayor Ley.

Ley continued by saying he is looking forward to visiting each of the other communities during this process to see first hand the exciting projects that are happening in Butler and Garrett.

Mayor Fiandt said he was amazed to learn about all of the projects that are underway within the City of Auburn.

“I was impressed with what Auburn has going on,” Fiandt said.  

The new endeavor will have the mayors meeting at each other’s office on a rotating basis throughout the year.

Hartman said he believes the joint effort will provide for good conversation and collaboration.

“It is nice to sit like this and collaborate with the other mayors of DeKalb County,” he said. “This allows me to get a little insight behind the scenes.”

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