State of the County

Paul Wyman gives the State of the County address at Rozzi’s Continental Ballroom on April 24, 2019.

Howard County Commissioner Paul Wyman announced Thursday he will not seek reelection this year after serving in local office for the past 16 years.

Wyman was elected to the Howard County Council in 2016 for four years before running for a commissioner’s seat, which he has held now for three terms.

During that time, he’s also worked closely with local nonprofits and operated his real estate company, The Wyman Group.

He said the decision not to seek reelection this year was based on the time commitment required to serve another four years in office.

“It’s really demanding, and to be running a real estate company, doing the commissioner job and being involved in nonprofits ... it’s really day and night a lot of times,” Wyman said in an interview.

He said it’s a decision he’s considered for a while, and he now plans to take a break, spend time with family and evaluate other ways he can serve the community.

Wyman said he isn’t considering a run for another political office.

“I don’t have anything like that in mind at this time,” he said.

During his time as a commissioner, Wyman spearheaded major projects in the city and county, including establishing a work-release program for men and women at the Howard County Jail and creating Turning Point, a nonprofit resource center to help people suffering from addiction.

He also led efforts to support capital projects at Indiana University Kokomo and Ivy Tech Community College and supported the construction of the new downtown YMCA and the Kokomo Humane Society, which opened its doors in 2018.

Wyman was also instrumental in building new trails connecting Kokomo to Peru and overseeing the construction of a state-of-the-art county morgue.

In the past year, Wyman has been at the forefront of implementing a slew of local projects funded in part by a major influx of money from the American Rescue Plan and the state’s READI program.

He said his focus in his last year as a commissioner will be implementing those projects, which include the construction of a new industrial park near the new Stellantis Kokomo Engine Plant and launching a countywide expansion of broadband internet to underserved areas.

“There’s a lot on our plate this year,” Wyman said. “It’s going to be a great year, and we’re going to make 2022 one of the best years yet.”

Wyman was also at the forefront of controversial decisions during his time in office. That included supporting a countywide smoking ban and approving a wind farm ordinance that makes it more difficult for wind energy companies to pursue development within county lines.

Wyman said he plans to remain in Howard County and evaluate ways he can work for the betterment of our community.

“I love this community,” he said. “Howard County has been fantastic to me and my family, and it’s the people in Howard County that make the community so great.”

Carson Gerber can be reached at 765-854-6739, or on Twitter @carsongerber1.

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Carson Gerber is a reporter for the Kokomo Tribune and can be reached at 765-854-6739, or on Twitter @carsongerber1.

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