Photo by Michael Johnson

Councilmen Bill Cheever, from left, Doug Pepple and Mayor Cathy Gross listen to a member of the audience during the Monticello Common Council’s first meeting of 2020.

MONTICELLO — The city’s Board of Public Works and Public Safety formally accepted earlier this week retiring Monticello Police Chief Randy Soliday’s official letter of retirement.

The retirement of Soliday, who has served the city in numerous capacities during his long career in public service, is effective Jan. 15.

“(Soliday) has dedicated his entire life to the city of Monticello,” new Police Chief Jason Lingenfelter told the board Monday in presenting the letter.

“I have personally had a privilege of working with him in the past,” new Mayor Cathy Gross said. “I appreciate your recognition of him.”

Soliday’s letter, addressed to Lingenfelter, states:

“As you know, I entered the Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP) in January of 2016. In doing so, I was required to disclose a date of retirement to our pension. Jan. 15, 2020, is my last date of employment with the Monticello Police Department.

“I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the City of Monticello for my years of employment. It has been a privilege to serve the citizens of Monticello. Through my years with the city I have been a dispatcher, firefighter/advanced EMT, Street Department laborer, a patrolman, assistant chief of police and the chief of police. I can truly say it has been a honor to serve the City of Monticello. Thank you for the many memories.”

The board also granted Lingenfelter permission to begin advertising for a full-time patrolman, a part-time receptionist and to remove Officer Dane Holmes off probationary status with the department.

“He’s qualified (and we) have full confidence in the young lad to continue on as a Level 1 patrolman,” Lingenfelter said. “He is doing wonderful for us and we expect great things.”

In other business, Andy Harmon was voted as Board of Public Works and Public Safety president.

The city’s Common Council made similar appointments during its meeting that followed the Board of Works session.

The council appointed Dan Oldenkamp and Alyssa Adams to the Monticello Redevelopment Commission, while Councilman Doug Pepple was appointed to the Area Plan Commission.

Appointments to the Northwest Indiana Solid Waste District were suspended for the time being.

City council liaisons for 2020 will be Ken Houston (utilities), Ralph Widmer (fire department), Bill Cheever (street department), Kim Kramer (police department) and Pepple (parks and recreation department).

Pepple was again named the council’s president for 2020. He was nominated by Councilwoman Kim Kramer.

“I think he’s done an outstanding job in the four years I’ve worked (with) him,” she said.

“I appreciate the confidence,” Pepple said.

The next meeting of the Monticello Common Council will be 6 p.m. Jan. 21, preceded by Board of Public Works and Safety at 5:30 p.m.