Its newest member will lead the Hagerstown Town Council, after the former president and president pro tem decided against staying in those positions.

The council unanimously elected Allan Bullock president and Fred Dill as president pro tem on Jan. 2. They replace Becky Diercks as president and Brian Longbons, pro tem. Diercks said she had decided not to be president any longer and Longbons nominated Dill to replace him. The council president serves as the town’s executive, although the town manager runs day-to-day business. 

Bullock, a high school history teacher, is the youngest council member and is serving in his first term. An assistant fire chief, he is the grandson of Robert Bullock, who retired as building commissioner on Dec. 31. His father, Bobby Bullock, is part of the fire department.

At the meeting, Chief Keith Folkner reported that a $30,000 grant from the Criminal Justice Institute will allow Hagerstown Police to update the electronics in their vehicles. Each will be equipped with a computer tablet. The department received about $100,000 in grants in 2023 and is working on more for this year. Additionally, he said, the department has received donations and funding to buy a new police dog.

In his monthly report, Fire Chief Rick Cole said the planning process for a new or expanded fire station has been delayed. He had planned on applying for a planning grant for the project but the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs has put that process on hold.

Cole also presented a certificate of appreciation to council member Donnie Benedict, recognizing him for 30 years with the fire department. 

The council declared Robert Bullock as its citizen of the month in honor of his more than 30 years serving as town building commissioner. Town officials had planned a retirement lunch in his honor on Jan. 10.

Representing the town Advisory Plan Commission, Longbons said the new building commissioner, Terry Ford, is updating some forms and processes related to that department. His work will be shared with the Plan Commission and council when complete.

The new town attorney, Jon Madison of the Mooreland area, attended the meeting to introduce himself. He is affiliated with the DeFur Voran law firm, which has offices in New Castle and Muncie.

The council’s next regular meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 5, in Town Hall, 49 E. College St. The public may attend. Town Hall will be closed Monday, Jan. 15, for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

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A version of this article appeared in the January 10 2024 print edition of the Western Wayne News.

Bob Hansen is a reporter for the Western Wayne News.