MICHIGAN CITY – Mayor-elect Angie Nelson Deuitch has appointed an all-new Michigan City Board of Public Works & Safety.
“The Board of Works is concerned with making sure the city operates both safely and efficiently,” Nelson Deuitch said. “I believe we’ve got a great group coming in who will work together to really ensure that we are following state and local statutes.”
Beginning in January, the board will consist of Tim Bietry, Gene Simmons and Candice Antisdel.
“In considering my Board of Works appointments, I focused on identifying people who have a passion for the city and who also have experience in city government,” Nelson Deuitch said. “Finding three quality folks who have run for elected office, who have served on the Michigan City Common Council, is going to be a tremendous asset for the Board of Works.”
Bietry was a city councilman at large in Michigan City from 2012-2020. He also served eight years as president of the Michigan City Chamber of Commerce, and more than eight years as a board member for Economic Development Corporation Michigan City. Prior to that, Bietry was a high school principal from 1983 through 2000, serving at Elston and Michigan City high schools. He also is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. “We all served on City Council, which is like a training ground for the Board of Works,” Bietry said. “It’s like City Council is Algebra I, and we’re moving on to Algebra II now.”
Simmons is currently wrapping up his tenure as Sixth Ward representative to the Common Council, on which he has served since 2018.
A Michigan City Police officer for 34 years, Simmons served as chief of the department for eight years and assistant chief for six. After retiring, he became manager of security Blue Chip Casino, where he worked for 13 years. Simmons has served on the boards of directors or trustees for Boys & Girls Club of La Porte County, Duneland Health Council, Citizens Concerned for the Homeless, Michigan City Lions Club, Alliance Bank and Davenport University. He is a veteran of the U.S. Army, having served in the Vietnam War. And Simmons and his wife, Linda, are currently chairing this year’s Red Kettle Christmas Campaign for the Salvation Army of Michigan City. “It’s a quality-of-life issue,” Simmons said. “I see our position as Board of Works members to enforce state laws and local ordinances.”
Antisdel represented the city’s Second Ward on the Common Council from 2016-2019, serving on its finance and Promise Scholarship committees.
She also has served on several other boards and advisory committees, including HeadStart of La Porte County, the Indiana Community Prison Advisory Board, Ivy Tech Community College Advisory Board, and Fried’s Cat Shelter Board of Directors. Antisdel and her husband, Brett, currently own and operate MidwesThrift, a pallet warehouse near the lakefront. In the past, she served as executive director of Sand Castle Shelter for Families and as a senior project manager for First Tuesday Communications.
“I don’t think people realize how much the average citizen deals with the Board of Works,” Antisdel said. “I’ve personally had to appear before the board as a property owner; I’ve dealt with them when I was on the City Council; and now, I’ll be here working on contractual issues, streetlights, signage and all the other things that actually matter to our citizens.”
The supervision and maintenance of Michigan City property – from streets and sidewalks to buildings and vehicles – is one of the more major functions of the Board of Public Works & Safety. It also addresses issues like traffic signage and regulations, excessive weeds and grass, dangerous dog determinations and the condemnation or demolition of unsafe buildings.
The Board of Works also is tasked with managing the city’s public works and daily goods and services contracts, claims approvals, administrative appeals hearings, license applications and more.