Could you have run a city at age 28? LaPorte's mayor is doing just that.
Blair Milo took officeon Jan. 1. It is not easy being a brand new mayor ... much less being a woman, under age 30 in politics. But Milo doesn't seem to notice and is already making changes in LaPorte.
"Whirlwind" says Milo as she laughs, "and that is probably going to be the next four years too."
That is how Milo describes her first three months in office and already she feels she is doing what she set out to do.
"To impact the community for the betterment of what the history of the city is going to be," explains Milo.
Milo, who also is a U.S. Navy veteran, is one of a handful of young mayors elected this year. She grew up in LaPorte and is now the city's second ever female mayor.
"It is important to address the challenge of the day," says Milo, "it not about being a female or young, it is about getting a job done."
And by most accounts, she is getting the job done:
- She has worked with state leaders to iron out a major property tax issue.
- She is working with young people to tackle LaPorte's drug issues.
- She expanded hours for public transportation and improved customer relations at the police department.
Her job has also come with some major challenges too. The city could be slammed with about $130,000 extra in electric expenses after a rate change.
"We may have to make some tough decisions in the days ahead," says Milo.
And perhaps the most publicized issue she has dealt with so far ... a local man is facing stalking charges after police say he showed up at Milo's home, meetings and gatherings.
"We are trying to not make it a main focus while also recognizing the safety concerns involved with it," says Milo.
Challenges though, are not slowing her down. After all, Milo says, there is a lot of work left to do.
"I love LaPorte and if there was something I could do to make LaPorte a better place then that was what I thought I needed to do," says Milo.
Milo says she keeps in routine touch with the other young mayors in the state including South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Frankfort Mayor Chris McBarnes ... each of them is under 30 years old.