Candidates meet public

Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Pat Heffner (second, from left), running for Clay County council at large, begins to speak to those in attendance at Tuesday's political forum, which took place at the YMCA and was hosted by Farm Bureau Insurance and the Clay County Chamber of Commerce. Also pictured is Tony Fenwick, running for County Commissioner District 2, Heffner, and Clay County Council at Large Candidates Chip Hoskins, Delores Johnson and Mike McCullough.

County candidates for the upcoming election got the opportunity to answer questions at Tuesday's political forum at the YMCA, which was hosted by Farm Bureau Insurance and the Clay County Chamber of Commerce.

The first set of candidates to take to the microphones were Clay County Commissioner District 1 candidates Bryan Allender and Jack Withers, Clay County Commissioner District 2 candidates Charlie Brown and Tony Fenwick, as well as Clay County Council at Large candidates Pat Heffner, Chip Hoskins, Delores Johnson, Mike McCullough, John Nicoson and Lisa Rickert.

Two of the main topics had to do with the state of the roads in the county and bringing jobs to the area.

The candidates were asked why the roads in surrounding counties are in much better shape, even after the recent passing of the wheel tax.

"In all probability, the tax structure of surrounding counties (is different and) they have more income than we do," Withers said. "We don't have a lot of industry in Clay County. (Also), every pickup truck that is in this county, the money that is collected in excise tax for those, goes to Indianapolis."

Heffner, who noted she was not on the council when the wheel tax was passed, said she didn't want to speak on something she wasn't directly a part of, but added she believes the county could see improvements within three years.

McCullough elaborated on the topic saying, "The easiest answer is that all the surrounding counties already have a wheel tax, and many have had them for several years."

He added almost every county in the central and southwestern part of the state has a wheel tax, and that he wishes it could have been passed sooner, but he was hesitant because of the tough financial times.

The candidates were also asked how to improve the county's infrastructure.

"I think we need to do some planning and set goals for the county," Fenwick said. "We have to have good education so we can have people who can actually do the job. There's a lot to it, you just can't do it over night, it's going to be something that takes time."

Hoskins said one of the main goals of the County Council is to provide the opportunity for progress to be made.

"I think our objective would be to give the commissioners the tools they need to do their job -- as far as infrastructure goes," Hoskins said.

Rickert said she thinks the county has been moving in the right direction, but added there's more to be done.

"The county is headed in the right direction, with the water tower being up there at Interstate-70 and we can (now) grow up there," Rickert said. "We have some great businesses in town; Great Dane is a great place to work. But we need more and more industry here that pays more, so people don't have to worry about living paycheck-to-paycheck."

Rickert said she feels that once the roads improve it will help attract more business and industry to the county.

Allender echoed the need for more businesses.

"We're going to need a lot more manufacturing businesses to come to this town ... we need a bunch more businesses to come help (infrastructure)," Allender said.

Nicoson said a way to attract and keep businesses in the county is to work with surrounding counties.

"I think we really need to be looking ... for satellite industries (from surrounding counties)," Nicoson said.

Brown said he has been involved with promoting the county to new businesses.

"We are working diligently to promote new businesses ... we have a group of five counties that's called Accelerate Indiana, that meets periodically," Brown said.

Blaine Akers, Clay County Superior Judge candidate, (speaking) addresses citizens at Tuesday's forum that took place at the YMCA and was hosted by Farm Bureau Insurance and the Clay County Chamber of Commerce. Participating in the forum was Clay County Coroner candidates Amy Shelton (from left) and Joel Reinoehl, Akers, Robert Pell, running for Clay County Superior Judge, and Clay County Circuit Court Judge candidates Joseph Trout and James Deal.

He said the counties work together and place all the properties on the Internet, then representatives of the group travel to different cities to promote the areas.

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  • What ever happened to the asphalt plant that wanted to come to Brazil? Oh I think they got ran off. So now how are we supposed to attract industry when you got the people who run them off. That would have been a great company to have if they really are going to improve the roads.

    -- Posted by myownlittleworld1 on Wed, Oct 3, 2012, at 12:26 AM
  • I wish we still had the railroad tracks. That could have possibly lured in businesses and plants. Why don't we move the county seat to Carbon? That way the police chief (McQueen, not Dennis Archer) wouldn't have so far to drive to work.

    -- Posted by My Dime on Wed, Oct 3, 2012, at 12:46 AM
  • @My Dime: The tracks still go into the proposed industrial area at the old AMAX mine. At one time, Indiana Railroad was cleaning up those tracks. If that area could be developed properly, it would be a big boost to our local economy.

    -- Posted by jerad on Wed, Oct 3, 2012, at 7:16 AM
  • jerad: Thank you for that info. I do remember Charlie promoting that at one time. Wonder what happened?? Maybe Mr. Fenwick will look into it after the first of the year.

    -- Posted by My Dime on Wed, Oct 3, 2012, at 9:34 AM
  • My Dime- I am confused as to why you say, "The police Chief (McQueen, not Dennis Archer)." Our police chief is McQueen? I think he's doing a great job. I think Dennis Archer as our captain makes for a good team. They both are very dedicated to making the police department excellent. Archer is great with budgets and money. McQueen is a down to earth guy with common sense!

    -- Posted by Unsolicitedtidbits on Thu, Oct 4, 2012, at 9:39 AM
  • @mydime: Do we have a crystal ball good sir? Charlie has been looking into the issue and is continuing to work with Indiana Railroad to develop a cost effective means to clean up the tracks.

    From what I see...YOUR pal Mr. Fenwick is too busy pandering for Photo ops himself with his cousin..the putnam county sheriff. See the link here

    I don't need a crystal ball to see that when Charlie is featured in this publication, he is doing the work of the people of Clay County. What the people of District 2 elected him to do and what he will continue to do.

    -- Posted by Knightsvillegal21 on Thu, Oct 4, 2012, at 10:56 AM
  • I think Charlie Brown is a great guy. He has done a lot of service to the county. However, I think it's time for new people to represent the County. I say this in no negative manner to Charlie. Once you are in a position for a while, I think it's time to give it up and recognize that some people have new ideas and new motivation for the County.

    I cannot tell you how much respect I have for Charlie. I also have respect for new ideas and new people on the committee. Maybe my thinking is different from everyone else?

    -- Posted by Unsolicitedtidbits on Fri, Oct 5, 2012, at 7:07 PM
  • A great job is what the county had the state do to 340 before they turned it over for the county to take care of. Just what we needed is another chip and sealed road in the county. Sure wish someone could explain to a lot of us why they needed to chip and seal a road that was just fine the way it was. Amazed at the stupidity in this county................

    -- Posted by MS440 on Sat, Oct 6, 2012, at 1:45 AM
  • Another stupid chip and seal was on the Rio Grande about a year ago. Oh never got sealed. And the county had to pay for it. Why you ask...because Charlie FORGOT to send the paperwork/grant to the State to pay for the chip and seal. THAT was money wasted that we didn't have and why do it to the Rio Grande? Then....this summer, a county salt spreader was again on the Rio Grande "spreading" chip with the salt spreader. That was a hit and miss deal....again another stupid, wasteful move. What's up with that Charlie Brown???? It's time for you to retire!!!!!! I'm sure the mayor has a place for you in city hall since you work for him.


    Go AMY!!!!!

    -- Posted by Proud of My Country on Tue, Oct 9, 2012, at 6:46 PM
  • Proud of my country

    How about retiring your slanderous statements about 'Charlie and the good works he has done for this community?

    Do you have proof that he forgot to send the paperwork to the state about the grant? Oh..thats right..YOU DON'T

    Do you have proof that Charlie works for Mayor Wyndham? Oh..thats right..YOU DON'T

    I will ask you again to stop spreading these statements about Charlie ... and heres the truth of the matter

    Charlie has worked tirelessly to bring fiscal responsibility to the commissioners table ... and will continue to do so

    If you want so desperately to retire about retiring the lies you and Mr Fenwicks pals have been spreading about Charlies record. The people of this community who know, love, and respect Charlie will SEE RIGHT THROUGH YOU COME ELECTION DAY.


    -- Posted by Knightsvillegal21 on Sun, Oct 14, 2012, at 7:42 PM
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