Incumbent Democrat Brannon Meagher will face Republican challenger Bob Bishop in the race for the Ward 1 seat on the Logansport City Council.
What do you see as the issues in this campaign?
Bishop: I think the main issue in this campaign is the direction Logansport is going under the current administration and the loss of jobs in Logansport. The people I have talked to as I go door to door are concerned about the rise in taxes (trash fee), the generating plant going broke and rates going up, crime and gangs on the rise and the breakup of the fire department and the high cost associated with it, both in money and response times.
All of these issues affect jobs here in Logansport. Logansport has to become a pro-business community. We cannot continue to have excess restrictions on businesses in this town like ones that have kept the Fire Stone Grill from opening for years now. As the Hoosier Heartland Corridor is finished in the next couple of years, we need to have a clear vision of how to connect to it.
We now have a conflict between making Burlington Avenue our main entrance or making 18th street our main entrance. The overwhelming majority of people I have talked to think it does not make any sense to spend the tens of millions of dollars it will take to make 18th Street our entrance let alone the destruction it will do to property along the way.
This will take more tax money that we don’t have. What will we have to cut to pay for it or will there have to be another “fee” to pay for it? Burlington Avenue is the perfect choice because we will have to spend very little money and the traffic will flow into downtown right where all the connecting highways come through. Go south, and it heads right to the industrial park and airport. Why this administration is so intent on 18th Street, I do not know.
Meagher: The city faces many challenges, the most threatening of which is the decreased funding caused by the property tax caps implemented by the state. During my first term, the council has seen tax revenues decline while many costs have increased. To balance our budget, we’ve had to think differently about the way we do things locally. Under my leadership, we’ve been able to fund the essential services the city provides without having to eliminate any of our valuable employee positions.
Recently, the city has directed its focus toward providing education and having a workforce with some post-secondary education.
Corporations today are becoming very technologically advanced and the employees they hire must keep pace with them. Mayor Fincher advocated successfully for our new Ivy Tech campus and also convinced Trine University to open a satellite campus.
The LEDF has concentrated efforts toward helping folks finish their high school diploma requirements. We can now move students from high school into college without having to leave town. While providing this opportunity to our citizens, it’s vitally important that we continue to promote the importance of education in order to provide an educated workforce to potential future employers.
We must continue to invest in infrastructure and provide an environment in which businesses wish to locate and grow. We have to have an attitude of cooperation and place results over rhetoric in our decision making.
Why should voters choose you?
Bishop: The voters should choose me because I will be part of a new administration that will lead us in a new direction, a direction that will make job creation our No. 1 priority. An administration that will crack down on crime and gangs. An administration that will put us back on the path to prosperity. In order for us to get back on the right path, we must have a change at the top. We must have a new mayor to lead us down that path.
Meagher: I graduated from Purdue University in 2002. I’ve been employed at Small Parts Inc. since 2004 and serve as our director of materials. I am married to Jennifer and we have a daughter, Meghan. I currently serve as the first ward councilman and also sit on the LEDF board of directors.
During my first term on the council, I have gained the knowledge and experience necessary in consensus building. I have a strong fiscal and financial background which lends itself to preparing a budget and creating efficiencies where possible to maximize the use of the taxpayer’s dollar. I have worked diligently to promote a smaller, yet more efficient and reliable government. I have the ability to think analytically, not politically, when it comes to solving problems.
This is a great job with even greater responsibility, and it’s a responsibility I don’t take lightly. I feel I have been the voice of reason during my tenure and have always voted my conscience in the best interest of the city.