Last Updated on November 21, 2015 by cassnetwork

Logansport Mayor-elect Dave Kitchell has selected a deputy mayor, police chief, fire chief, street commissioner, cemetery sexton and administrative assistant who will be assuming their responsibilities along with him Jan. 1.

Mercedes Brugh, a former Logansport City Council member and long-time Logansport resident, will assume the role of deputy mayor. Brugh, who is best known in the city for her efforts that led to the development of the Little Turtle Waterway beginning in the 1980s, has been self-employed for years as an artist. She became just the fourth woman ever to serve on the council.

“In Mercedes, we have someone who brings a wealth of city government experience, as well as someone who has championed a great volunteer effort for three decades. She has demonstrated the kind of passion for Logansport that a deputy mayor should have and the city is fortunate to have someone with her tireless commitment to the public process on their side for the next four years.”

Brugh has written grant applications that have secured more than $4.4 million in development for the city and has closely studied the power plant issues, attending dozens of city council and Utility Service Board meetings. Brugh is self-employed as a glass artist and her work is featured in 40 galleries across the country.

By virtue of her office, Brugh will serve as one of three members on the Logansport Board of Public Works and Safety. In addition to Kitchell and Brugh, the third appointee will be Carl McPherson, a retired Logansport resident who recently ran for city council. McPherson is a former teacher and graduated from Logansport High School and the University of Houston. Brugh also will serve as a mayoral appointment to the Logansport Planning Commission.

Brad Rozzi, a sergeant in the Detective Division of the Logansport Police Department, will be the new police chief. He is a 1989 graduate of Logansport High School and a 1993 graduate of Ball State University where he received a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. Rozzi is in his 21st year on the department. Rozzi is a crime scene investigator and has been in charge of maintaining evidence for the department. His assistant chief will be Rob Smith, who also is a sergeant. Smith has been with the department for more than 15 years. Like Rozzi, Smith is a Logansport High School graduate and has completed training through the police academy. Smith has served the department for more than 18 years. Both Rozzi and Smith are sons of former Logansport policemen.

Bernie Mittica has been named fire chief. Mittica, a 1986 Logansport High School graduate, served as acting chief in the Fincher Administration when former Chief Bob McMinn was on medical leave. Mittica has also served as an EMT with Logansport Memorial Hospital along with his wife, Gloria. Mittica is expected to name an assistant chief soon.

Kitchell has announced he will abolish the title of Public Works director, effectively separating the position back to the two positions. Tony Shanks, who is in his 30th year with the Logansport Street Department, will serve as commissioner. He is a Logansport High School graduate and the son of former City Councilman John Shanks. His supervisor will be Bryan Gleitz, who has served in the department for several years. Shanks succeeds Dan Williams. The vacancy in the department created by Williams’ retirement will be filled by a mechanic’s position.

Marla Evanich, who has been employed with the Logansport Community School Corporation for the past three years, will assume the role of administrative assistant in the Mayor’s Office. Evanich worked for former Clerk-Treasurer Ruth Ellen Bland as a deputy. Evanich has experience in monitoring grant funds and budget expenditures. A Logansport High School graduate, she is the daughter of the late Lloyd Bruce, who was a Logansport policeman and Cass County Health Department employee. Kitchell said Evanich brings a wealth of experience in budget matters and will be a liaison with Clerk-Treasurer-elect Stacy Cox’s office.

Bob Bernhardt, a 26-year employee of the cemetery department, has accepted the cemetery sexton position.

“We are indeed lucky to have people who are dyed-in-the-wool Logansport people  committed to making Logansport the best city it can be,” Kitchell said. “We’ve tapped the experience of several people who bring backgrounds that speak well for themselves. We had some difficult choices to make because there are many qualified people in all the departments. It speaks well of the depth and leadership in those departments. We appreciate the effort and commitment our outgoing department heads have given the city of Logansport and we wish them well in their future endeavors.”

SOURCE: News release from Logansport Mayor-Elect Dave Kitchell

EDITOR’S NOTE: Kitchell says the city’s Community Development Department and the newly created economic development department will be eliminated, and the council will have to rectify the language for the deputy mayor position. Under Mayor Mike Fincher’s administration, the deputy mayor position became the community development director.