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Saturday, Feb. 24
The Indiana Daily Student

politics

Whikehart starts as deputy mayor today

John Whikehart will retire from his position as chancellor of Ivy Tech Community College today.

However, his service within the Bloomington community isn’t over.

Whikehart will accept the position of deputy mayor of Bloomington on Friday.

“I’m looking forward to a return to the government,” Whikehart said. “I worked in city government in Kokomo back in the 1980s, and then I worked in state government in the late ’80s and then early ’90s before I came to the college. So, I’m most appreciative of the opportunity to return to governmental work and hopefully contribute to our community and the city of Bloomington.”

As deputy mayor, Whikehart will implement city policies with direction from Mayor Mark Kruzan.

“John will be a full partner in the management in city government,” Kruzan said. “His job will entail managing big picture issues for the city as well as internal issues within City Hall.”

Whikehart worked as chancellor for 12 years before retiring.

Previously, he was the executive director for administration at Ivy Tech and became director of staff for Frank O’Bannon, Indiana Senate Democratic Leader, in 1988, according to a government news release.

“I hope to bring my 40-some years of public administration background to the city and to be of service to the department heads of the various departments,” he said. “I’ve been meeting with them over the past few weeks and asking them two questions — one, tell me about your department, and second, tell me what I can do to help you.”

Kruzan and Whikehart will not sit down formally until sometime next week to discuss the policies they hope to implement and create.

But Kruzan said there are a few issues he thinks will be crucial to Bloomington’s success in 2014.

These include economic development of the 12 acres in downtown Bloomington that the city purchased from the University, bicycle pedestrian safety issues throughout downtown and public safety issues with both the police and fire departments.

Kruzan said he does not doubt Whikehart will complete all of these initiatives successfully.

“I’ve known John for many years, and he is about as civic-minded a person and as pro-student a guy as you’re going to find,” Kruzan said.

Follow reporter Kate Starr on Twitter @kastarr7.

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