After the Warsaw Common Council took care of its business Thursday, it had one last speaker talk about a media report regarding its last meeting and the Jan. 25 incident regarding Police Chief Scott Whitaker.

Jean Northenor, who has been active in community affairs and politics in Kosciusko County for decades, took exception to a report in the Times-Union and other local media regarding an appointment between she and Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer.

Whitaker was alleged to have confronted a man who came out of his house to park his wife’s car. The unidentified man’s wife had driven the car home, and Whitaker alleged she “nearly ran him off the road,” and he thought he was dealing with an impaired driver.

In his report of the incident, Whitaker said he “assisted” the man to his knees, while the man, on video, said he was “shoved” to the ground.

An Indiana State Police investigation was launched, and found no wrongdoing in the incident. Whitaker apologized to the couple for his actions in a press conference Feb. 22, but added that he wouldn’t have done anything differently.

In a Times-Union story March 19 about the last council meeting, where council members were considering hiring an attorney to look into the Whitaker incident, council member Jeff Grose was quoted as saying he wondered why it was necessary for two other council members and Northenor to meet with Thallemer regarding the incident.

Grose told Northenor the quote appeared in a competing media outlet as well.

Northenor said she was upset by the report in the March 19 story. She had made an appointment with Thallemer to tell him about rumors she’d heard, the two council members found out about it, and joined the meeting.

“There was nothing political about it,” she said, adding that she wanted to make it clear the councilmen joined her, not the other way around.

At one point she turned to Whitaker, who was at the meeting on another matter, and said she was being proactive to help protect him from the rumors. Whitaker wanted to know from whom Northenor heard these rumors; she said she wouldn’t tell him and for a few moments things got testy between them.

After the meeting was adjourned, Whitaker and Northenor talked privately for about 10 minutes.

In council business Thursday, it held a discussion on city funding for not-for-profit organizations. A committee reviewing the matter received significant input from Suzie Light, chief executive officer, Kosciusko County Community Foundation.

Discussion centered on whether to fund only capital projects, certain programs within an organization or the day-to-day operations of a charitable entity. Council members said they wanted the guidelines to have enough flexibility to be able to make individual budgeting decisions, but strong enough to have accountability from organizations receiving funds.

Whitaker asked again to transfer budgeted funds for the purchase of secure, law enforcement specific mobile devices. The devices would be used in lieu of a stipend for officers to use their personal cell phones.

Earlier this month, a motion was made for the transfer, but died for lack of a second. The measure was approved unanimously Thursday night.  

City Planner Jeremy Skinner presented three reviews for tax abatements. Two are for a property at 1445 Polk Drive, occupied by Patrick Industries. That business is eligible for abatements on real property and “personal property,” or equipment purchased for operating the business.

The third abatement was for real property at the Banner Medical facility at 1295 Polk Drive.

In all three cases, the companies have complied with the terms of the abatement, and the council approved all three measures in one 7-0 vote.

The next Warsaw Common Council meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m April 15 at City Hall, 102 S. Buffalo St.