City of Kokomo dedicates renovated City Hall as Stephen J. Daily Government Center
KOKOMO, Ind.—In 1979, 32-year-old Steve Daily was the youngest person ever elected to serve as mayor of the City of Kokomo. In his eight years in office, despite having a city mired in a national economic recession, he and his team presided over a period of civic accomplishments that, among others, included construction of a new city hall officially opened on Nov. 20, 1983. On Monday, just two months short of 30 years later, the building was christened the “Stephen J. Daily Government Center” in honor of his service.
Now in his 19th year as chancellor of Ivy Tech Community College’s Kokomo Region, Daily was honored for his many civic contributions as hundreds of community members filled the newly renovated city council chamber and spilled into the City Hall atrium. The “Who’s Who” of the community who came to see the updated city building and join in honoring Daily included elected current and former state, county and local officials; business and industry executives; hospital presidents; local entrepreneurs, and leaders of non-profits, along with many “average” citizens who appreciated his service. A contingent led by Ivy Tech Community College President Thomas J. Snyder represented the very proud Ivy Tech community.
In his remarks, Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight noted that many in the Kokomo community had recognized for decades that Kokomo’s 1893 City Building was antiquated and no longer met the city’s needs. It was the young Steve Daily, Goodnight said, “who leveraged the political capital, guided the process and developed the Common Council’s support for the construction of a new, $4.4 million City Hall.” Under Goodnight, upgrades to the now 30-year-old building have included installation of decorative panels on the exterior, installation of an interactive fountain and local artwork and the addition of a new public staircase circling up through the atrium.
Together, Daily and Goodnight unveiled a plaque chronicling the building’s history as well as Daily’s years of public service. As Goodnight said, it’s only fitting that it closes with remarks Daily made at the dedication of the building in 1983: “As you enter here, today and in years to come, I ask you to view this building as permanent testimony to our optimism, our belief in our ability to succeed.”
Daily said he had been reluctant to accept such an honor on his own behalf but felt justified in seeing it as recognition of the decades of public service given by many members of his family, the “talented and dedicated friends and colleagues” who helped see his vision through to completion, and his immediate family who supported him. “I hope that all these, and so many more, will take some personal pride in seeing this name, on this building, and know that it honors their contributions too,” he said.
Snyder expressed the pride the Ivy Tech community feels in the recognition of Daily’s many civic contributions. “Before Steve began his dedicated service to Ivy Tech and our students, he was employing his vision and perseverance to the benefit of the City of Kokomo and its citizens,” Snyder said. “We take great pride in Steve’s many accomplishments and we’re glad to be among the hundreds of people who came to honor his contributions.”
About Ivy Tech Community College
Ivy Tech Community College is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system serving nearly 200,000 students annually. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its communities. In addition, its courses and programs transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association.
Ivy Tech Community College Kokomo Region serves Cass, Fulton, Howard, Miami, Tipton and Wabash counties and includes campuses or instructional sites in the communities of Kokomo, Logansport, Peru, Rochester, Wabash and Tipton.