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This is an historic time in Fishers politics.  Our first ever Mayoral Election will be taking place this year as Fishers prepares for its transition from town to city effective January 1, 2015.  This transition may seem like light years away considering spring has not yet made its way to Central Indiana.  However, Primary Election Day is Tuesday, May 6th.   This is an especially important date for Fishers’ residents because all six (6) of the Mayoral Candidates are from the Republican Party.  Because of this unique candidate base, Fishers’ residents will know who the first elected mayor will be based on the results of the Primary Election since there is no opposing party.  The six candidates are listed here in alphabetical order:  Renee Cox, Scott Fadness, Maurice Heitzman, Walter Kelly, Marvin Scott, and Elaine Viskant.
As an HR Consultant with many years of recruiting experience, I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to find out more about the inaugural six mayoral candidates.  I pondered what I would want to know if I were hiring a new mayor.  I created twelve (12) questions to ask each candidate in order to learn more about their experiences, goals, and plans for Fishers’ future.   What better way to help local residents learn more about their voting options than to share the responses from each candidate?   This article will feature the responses from the candidates to my questions.  Due to space constraints, not all questions that were asked are able to be published in print.  For a complete list of questions and answers please go to www.atfishers.com.   Primary elections are not normally known for their stellar voter turnouts.  I challenge you all to do your research, mark your calendars, and go vote on Tuesday, May 6th.  Be a part of history in the making as Fishers becomes a city.

Renee CoxRenee Cox

1. Why do you want to be the mayor of Fishers?

I have the passion, the vision and the qualifications.

A. Passionate: It is my belief that the world needs people who are passionate about what they are doing. Too often the approach to finding a life path is based upon what is needed in the world, how much it pays and what perks come with it. My personal mission in life is to improve the quality of life of those I serve. I am most passionate when I’m fulfilling this mission. Being on the council has allowed me to meet residents, solve problems and make Fishers an even better place to live. As mayor, I will have greater opportunities to strengthen the Fishers community.

B. Visionary: Fishers is a great community and I’m going to do everything I can to make it even better. Bringing in more business and good-paying jobs generates revenues that provide for strong public safety, low taxes on residents and more money for our schools. A well-thought-out plan of how Fishers will grow is very important. Controlled growth will allow for an effective, efficient government under my administration. It will also ensure our community thrives both now and in the future.

C. Qualified: I am a leader who inspires, listens, encourages, equips and shows the way. I have demonstrated I connect with people and achieve positive outcomes for all concerned as often as possible. In times of opposition, I have stood firm in my convictions and the residents have affirmed those convictions. In the debate between town and city, I was the only council member who supported the citizen’s right to directly elect their mayor. Also, I led the cause to allow Fishers families and small businesses to keep their hard-earned money in their pocket rather than pay more taxes.

2. What ideas do you have for business development in Fishers?

I will work hard to attract bio life science companies and light manufacturing and continue supporting the entrepreneurial spirit as well. I will keep an open mind to other industries that will present themselves. Those that are a good fit for Fishers will be diligently pursued by my administration.

3. What would be your top priority if you are elected mayor?

I will diligently pursue thoughtful economic development and good-paying jobs.

4. Our schools are crowded and the decreased funding will bring more challenges to the Hamilton Southeastern School District. How do you plan to ensure top education and fix current and future issues in our district?

To keep our schools great, it is important to have reasonable classroom sizes. As mayor, I will have a controlled growth plan that will focus on economic development and less on residential development. This means more money for schools with less growth in classroom sizes. My administration will work with and communicate regularly with the school administration. As mayor, I will do my part to help school funding by bringing more business to Fishers. I will work collaboratively with the school administration to find efficiencies that will save the taxpayer money.

5. What is your favorite thing about Fishers?

I love the diversity of residents we have in Fishers.

6. What do you think needs to be changed to set Fishers up for future success?

Fishers must be proactive in attracting businesses. Fishers must take the initiative to call on businesses outside of Indiana that will fit in our great community. We must continue supporting entrepreneurship. A comprehensive, proactive, ongoing plan of communication and inclusion of all ethnicities, faiths and identities are needed.

7. How long have you lived in Fishers?

I have lived in Fishers for nine years.

8. Why should voters choose you to be the first mayor of Fishers?

I listen to the concerns of the Fishers residents. I was the ONLY elected Fishers council member who wanted the residents to directly elect their mayor. I led the cause to help Fishers families keep more of their hard-earned money rather than raising taxes on food and beverages. It is my firm belief that a mayor should be the one marketing the Fishers community to businesses. The last 17 years in sales, marketing and business development roles have been very successful. One of the highlights of my professional career was taking a small, independent health care business that was generating a few hundred thousand dollars a year in revenue to tens of millions of dollars in sales just seven years later with limited resources. This demonstrates my leadership ability. I am the candidate in this race that most easily connects with the residents. I will seek the input of the community before making large decisions.

9. What issues do you feel need to be addressed in your first six months as mayor?

1.) I will establish an open-door policy for employees, residents and businesses. 2.) My economic development team will implement a thoughtful development plan for Fishers. 3.) I will meet with focus groups regularly for their input. 4.) I will work closely with Fishers’ diverse faith and ethnic groups. 5.) I will seek to improve city employee morale so every employee feels respected and listened to regardless of their position.

10. What organizations, boards, clubs, etc., are you a current member?

Sweet Briar HOA Board, Kiwanis Club of Geist, American Legion Auxiliary Post #470, Town of Fishers Parks Advisory Committee, Hamilton County Republican Women’s Club, Hoosier Heritage Port Authority and Life Church of Fishers.

11. What is the one thing you want voters to know about you when making their decision for mayor?

I will listen to the voters. Open communication between the mayor and the community is important to the planning and decision-making process.

12. How can voters learn more about your platform and get in touch with you for feedback or questions?

Website: www.reneecoxformayor.com and/or my cell phone: 317-460-4664.

Scott FadnessScott Fadness

1. Why do you want to be the mayor of Fishers?

I fundamentally believe in the potential of this community and I believe that I have the vision, experience and capability to help realize it.

2. What ideas do you have for business development in Fishers?

I think there are three main areas that we need to focus on:

• A continued focus on the development of an entrepreneurial ecosystem that will grow jobs right here in our community. • Continue to develop a great community identity and a sense of place that will attract the next generation of the best and brightest for our workforce. • Continue to operate an efficient and effective local government to ensure that taxes and the cost of doing business in our community stay low.

3. What would be your top priority if you are elected mayor?

Taking Fishers from a reactive suburban sprawl bedroom community as it has been in the past to a proactive dynamic community with a clear vision and a strong sense of identity.

4. Our schools are crowded and the decreased funding will bring more challenges to the Hamilton Southeastern School District. How do you plan to ensure top education and fix current and future issues in our district?

I have and will continue to work with HSE Schools and other elected officials to bring attention to the inequities in the state school funding formula. Quality schools should be one of the top priorities for any community, and it takes a lot more than talking about the issues to bring about positive change and help secure our schools’ future. This needs to be Hamilton County’s No. 1 legislative issue, and I am the only candidate who has currently taken an active role in bringing all of the communities in Hamilton County together on this issue. Through these efforts, we can bring about positive change and ensure our schools remain one of the strongest in the state.

5. What is your favorite thing about Fishers?

The residents. As mayor, I will work tirelessly to ensure that Fishers’ residents have quality services and low taxes while increasing opportunities for growth and creating a sense of community. The focus on family, hard work, optimism and education in our residents is incredible.

6. What do you think needs to be changed to set Fishers up for future success?

• A clear vision must be set. • Strong planning in the areas of land use, transportation, parks and financial need to be developed in order to ensure the vision occurs. • The residents, businesses and government need to be aligned and working toward a common vision.

7. How long have you lived in Fishers?

Seven years.

8. Why should voters choose you to be the first mayor of Fishers?

• I have a vision for this community that has been developed by talking to countless residents and businesses, which will put our community on a track toward financial sustainability for the next generation while providing top quality services to those who live, work and play in Fishers. • I have demonstrated the ability to execute this vision over the last three years as town manager. • I have a strong work ethic that will ensure that the job gets done.

9. What issues do you feel need to be addressed in your first six months as mayor?

• Develop a strong relationship with the new city council. • Continue to work with the state legislature regarding the school funding formula. • Complete a modernization of the city’s financial system.

10. What organizations, boards, clubs, etc., are you a current member?

• Board member of Alternatives Inc. (a domestic violence shelter that serves Hamilton County and other surrounding counties). • Board member and co-founder of Launch Fishers. • My wife and I are Red Cross Disaster Action Team members. (We are on call one week a month and go help those who are victims of fires.) • I am an adjunct professor at IUPUI. (I teach public finance and strategic planning for public and nonprofit organizations.)

11. What is the one thing you want voters to know about you when making their decision for mayor?

I am extremely passionate about this community reaching its real potential. I feel I am the only candidate with the experience in running a community with the size and dynamics of Fishers and vision to properly lead us into the future.

12.  How can voters learn more about your platform and get in touch with you for feedback or questions?

• Website is www.fadnessforfishers.com Facebook/FadnessforFishers • Twitter @ScottFadness  • Email scott@fadnessforfishers.com

Maurice HeitzmanMaurice Heitzman

1. Why do you want to be the mayor of Fishers?

I am running for mayor of Fishers for several reasons. I have been very active in the community in various ways for many years and have a broad background of education and experience that is relevant to the governing of Fishers as it becomes a city. While I am knowledgeable of many functions and occupational specialties involved in the various departments of Fishers government, I am able to use that knowledge and experience to enhance the work of the professional staff of Fishers’ specialists and add guidance as appropriate while letting those specialists do their jobs efficiently. Additionally, I have been involved with a variety of organizations and programs and continue to be involved with several of these programs in Fishers from cultural to youth programs and with working with and managing volunteers and professions to continue promoting citizenship and other values in Fishers and toward maintaining the sense of community as Fishers becomes a city.

2. What ideas do you have for business development in Fishers?

Business development is a crucial aspect of governing Fishers. Fishers needs to have growth in all areas including rejuvenating the Nickel Plate District and surrounding areas of downtown Fishers as well as other areas, including but not limited to the SR 37 corridor, the I-69 corridor, Saxony, the 116th Street corridor, the 96th Street corridor, and all the other retail and commercial areas.

While TIF (tax increment funding) and other financial incentives can be used to attract business to Fishers, the overuse of these incentives can be very expensive. The overuse of incentives can lead to the expectation of incentives for all perspective businesses looking at Fishers as a potential home for their business or as a satellite location. Care should be taken not to build the business growth based on businesses that relocate every time the tax or other incentives run out.

Fishers is a very desirable area for both residential and commercial citizens and offers many economic benefits, including a well-educated and productive workforce both locally and from surrounding areas. We are well-located to transportation resources and have a strong infrastructure to support growth.

Business development based on a strong stable community with a strong tax base providing services with low tax rates is a strong model for attracting and keeping businesses in the city, without being a financial burden to the residents and business already in the city.

3. What would be your top priority if you are elected mayor?

As mayor, there are many items that would be priorities, but the first responsibility of government is public safety. As mayor, my top priority would be to ensure that the public safety departments are well-managed and have the resources and support they need. The primary concerns in my administration beyond the immediate needs of the public safety agencies within the city would include how departments are involved in the safety of our citizens and the public in Fishers, including:

A. Updating plans to meet the current and future needs of the city relative to police; fire and EMS services (emergency medical services, both basic life support and paramedic/advanced life support levels), through the Fishers Fire Department; and developing short- and long-term emergency response plans for natural or other disasters and incidents ranging from snow removal to multidepartment responses to maintaining services to the public such as in the case of a tornado.

B. Developing a timetable for funding and implementing the plans with contingencies as needs and circumstances change.

C. Integrating the plans for the facilities for law enforcement, fire and EMS into the development plans to ensure rapid response times with proper personnel and equipment to all emergencies.

D. Providing the necessary training and funding for personnel along with funding for current tools, resources, technology and support of programs to protect the public.

E. Supporting the efforts of the Fishers Police as an investigative agency with a strong legacy in successfully investigating criminal activities as a deterrent to other criminal activities and resulting in a safer community.

F. Promoting cooperation between the Fishers agencies and the equivalent agencies in the cities adjacent to Fishers, including the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department, Indiana State Police and other public safety agencies.

4. Our schools are crowded and the decreased funding will bring more challenges to the Hamilton Southeastern School District. How do you plan to ensure top education and fix current and future issues in our district?

The challenges to the Hamilton Southeastern School Corporation is a two-edged sword. First, the management of the school system is by an elected school board charged with the operations of the school system, including managing funding, school operations taxing and funding, facilities, and personnel.

However, the mayor along with the Fishers City Council can assist the HSE School Board and administration by use of zoning and planning to provide for planned growth and balanced development allowing the school board time to plan, design, construct and staff the schools, getting ahead of the need for portable classrooms as soon as a new school is built or is enlarged.

The town of Fishers has a variety of personnel and other resources available that can be made available to assist the HSE School Corporation.

Care must be taken to allow the elected officials of the HSE School Board and the administration of the schools to fulfill their duties and for the city of Fishers to support those efforts to the benefit of the students, parents, teachers and administrators, as well as all of Fishers as a world-class educational program.

5. What is your favorite thing about Fishers?

There are so many things I like about Fishers it is difficult to pick a favorite, but if I must, I think it is the sense of community. People not only help each other but are often willing to go out of their way. People become involved, not just in their children’s various programs but in community programs and events.

6. What do you think needs to be changed to set Fishers up for future success?

There are many conceptions of what the town of Fishers is or has been as well as what the city of Fishers will be. We have been a town that looked to be the best we could be in many categories, such as the best place to live, the best place to work, a safe place to live and work, the best parks and recreational facilities, the best school system, and for having a high standard of living in terms of real and intrinsic values.

To set Fishers up for future success, we need to focus on the things that have led to Fishers’ successes, but now at a higher level, and to learn from the things that did not go so well to prevent recurrences of undesirable circumstances or events. The change from a town to a city changes the style of government but not the desires of the people. The mayor is an elected representative of the people of the city and has a duty to protect the interest of the city, which includes the residents, the businesses, and even the public traveling into and through the city.

7. How long have you lived in Fishers?

I have lived in Fishers since purchasing our house in 1974 and raised our son and daughter in Fishers where they attended Hamilton Southeastern Schools until they graduated in 2000 and 2001, respectively, before continuing their educations at two universities in Indiana.

8. Why should voters choose you to be the first mayor of Fishers?

I believe the voters should choose me as the first mayor of Fishers, as I have a lot of experience as well as education that relates to the duties of the position of mayor as an administrator as well as to the operations of the many departments of the city. My experience as a firefighter, EMT, assistant chief and as the Corporate Secretary of the Volunteer Fire Department. My experience as a Scout leader for Boy Scout units and coed Venturing and Exploring Scout units, as a volunteer and board member with the Renaissance Faire since its inception in 2005, as a two-time president of the Fishers Jaycees (Junior Chamber of Commerce Chapter), with the Sister Cities program, and as a volunteer that chaired the fact-finding committee that researched and published the differences, the advantages and the disadvantages prior to the 1998 referendum on whether Fishers should remain a town or become a city.

9. What issues do you feel need to be addressed in your first six months as mayor?

In my first six months as mayor, the necessary organizational transitions from operating as a town will need to be changed to operating as a city. Projects will be looked at to ensure we are making the best use of resources. Prospective business partners will need to be communicated with to assure them that Fishers wants them as business partners in the city and that fair and reasonable conditions will prevail. Existing residents, businesses and organizations will also need to be assured that business development will be a priority without encumbering the existing residents and businesses with unreasonable costs. When costs are incurred, it will ultimately be to the public’s benefit.

10. What organizations, boards, clubs, etc. are you a current member?

I am a 25-year member of the Boy Scouts of America as a leader and as a member of the Del-Mi District serving the youth of Hamilton and Tipton counties, and as the assistant district commissioner for the 29 Scouting units in Fishers. In addition to being an assistant district commissioner, I am the unit for three Boy Scout Troops, on the committee for Pack 109, and involved at the Crossroads of America Council on the Voyageur Adult Training Program promoting training and safety on High Adventure outings such as Canoeing in the Boundary Waters of America Wilderness through comprehensive training of adult leaders to train the youth in safe camping, canoeing, pioneering, cooking, swimming and lifesaving skills as well as the typical Scouting skills. I am a member of the Fishers Renaissance Faire Board of Directors and have been involved with the Fishers Renaissance Faire since it started organizing in 2005. For approximately three years, I have also been involved on the Fishers Sister Cities Board.

11. What is the one thing you want voters to know about you when making their decision for mayor?

What I would like the voters to know about me when making their decision is that I am one of them. I am a longtime resident of Fishers that has the same values, principles, concerns and challenges they have as well as a combination of knowledge, experience, skills and commitment to public service that have prepared me to serve them as their mayor.

12.  How can voters learn more about your platform and get in touch with you for feedback or questions?

Information will be added and updated on my campaign Facebook page at facebook.com/MauriceHeitzmanforFishersINMayor. I may also be contacted by email at mheitzman1@gmail.com or through facebook.com/MaHeitzman.

Walter KellyWalter Kelly

1. Why do you want to be the mayor of Fishers?

My wife and I have raised our three children in Fishers since moving here in 1976, and two of them live in Fishers, and the other one just recently moved from Fishers to the Castleton area of Indianapolis. Because of this we get to enjoy and be with all four of our grandchildren, all grandsons, all the time. Fishers has always been a family community concerned most about quality education, quality and housing opportunities affordable by various income levels, a safe environment with responsive emergency services, and easy access to transportation corridors for employment opportunities both in Fishers, the greater Indianapolis region and work-related air and interstate access.

I served for 21 years on the Fishers Town Council, 17 of which I served as the council president. I led the creation of a government structure and policy for a sustainable community during a period of state- and Midwest-leading growth — and in doing so, ensured we respected the values of the past, ensured growth was managed and not on the backs of taxpayers. As water delivery and trash removal were already provided by the private sector, adopted impact fees for wastewater service, parks and trails, and roads that early on established high standards for them and matched funding with community-established development goals. All this was done with openness of information and discussion, expansion of council size as the community grew, and annual communication of plans and results at state of the town communications and with nationally recognized comprehensive annual financial reporting.

Past board leadership service for the HSE Foundation and the Historic Fishers Ambassador House & Gardens (including a term as president for both) and Fishers YMCA, support for the Freedom Festival, a charter member of the Fishers Chamber of Commerce, and dedication to the creation of a sister-city relationship with Billericay, England, that I was proud to sign the charter as council president.

After resigning from elected office in 2001 to accept a managing partner role with the Indianapolis office of the CPA firm where I worked, I continued to provide service to the town, after a self-imposed waiting period of several months, in the form of annual financial statement consulting and compilations and consulting assistance related to town-determined bond financing needs.

In short, Fishers has been my life for close to 40 years, my passion, and I am proud of being so instrumental in forging a community so many have moved to and has and continues to be recognized as a great place to raise a family in a low-cost environment. I want to make sure the transition to a city is smooth and believe my state and nationally recognized government experience and leadership continue to benefit the community as its mayor, where I will always live and enjoy watching my grandchildren’s growth and successes. For Fishers and me, my election to mayor will enable continuation of what was started and forged for many years.

2. What ideas do you have for business development in Fishers?

Fishers needs to return to more managed and measured growth that considers the changing community signature. Years ago, we needed to focus on the downtown area to reinforce our past and take advantage of what was then a singular eastern access point to I-69. We also needed to institutionalize clear and consistent messages that made clear our goals, plans and approach to development. By doing so, future residents and residential and commercial developers knew what we were about and our dedication to fiscally responsible development. Businesses knew we would approach all opportunities and their needs fairly without any special favors to a few and that we would embrace well-planned developments that were responsive to community forged values.

Location, location, location has always been a key ingredient for economic development. When you have it, you can impose impact fees so that development pays for itself. When you don’t or when you look just like any other community needing almost any kind of growth to survive, you offer inducements or incentives to get growth. When you add a state-leading if not national reputation as an excellent school system with great public safety, growth will occur and has. Fishers historically maintained a belief that we didn’t need to build a large government that would do what was already readily available or would be done by the private sector. We provided information regarding our values with areas designated for growth with general descriptions of the types of development needs, and let the spirit and entrepreneurship of the private sector bring to the town, at their cost, concepts and plans that, working with the community, forged into the residential and commercial developments that have caused so many to want to join. As important, we annually reinforced this approach. We need to return to this approach as we address options for Southeastern Parkway east of exit 10 (210), Olio Road at Geist, 96th Street/Allisonville Road intersection commercial areas supporting local neighborhood needs. The I-69 corridor continues to be the growth corridor best suited for corporate headquarters with the State Road 37 corridor, an artery best suited to continue more mixed-use commercial development. As some of commercial developments supporting some of our neighborhoods have begun to mature, we will need to begin to assess how best to revisit any development support needs. However, traffic congestion has never been a desirable outcome, and current congestion and probable long-term congestion must be addressed as part and parcel of all economic development opportunity considerations.

Launch Fishers was a great idea by the town council, and the hope is that as these idea creators find new company solutions they give back to Fishers for its support by basing their new ventures in Fishers. Giving back and appreciation for support does not mean more incentives to do so to keep them from going elsewhere.

3. What would be your top priority if you are elected mayor?

Rechanneling our incremental assessed value increases for designated tax increment tax districts to property tax relief for both city operational support and school district needs. Significantly reduce the use of incentives and inducements for economic development that would occur naturally without them. We are not in a fire sale situation and shouldn’t act like it for inter-city and inter-regional movement threats.

I also plan to investigate and assess the uses and status of impact fee funds, reserves for compliance with the original purpose of their establishment. In addition, recent emphasis on economic inducements warrants annual communication of the economic impact of them on property taxes, operational costs, and new job growth and compensation pledges.

4. Our schools are crowded and the decreased funding will bring more challenges to the Hamilton Southeastern School District. How do you plan to ensure top education and fix current and future issues in our district?

First and foremost, I plan to personally meet with state legislators and responsible state officials to refocus their attention to the need to change funding formulas that by design are more of a subsidy approach to educational needs than incentive for educational excellence by our students.

Secondly, I plan to emphasize school district needs for a consolidated partnership approach to operational and capital needs. This means that while maintaining separation of board and council legislative responsibilities and the mayor and school superintendent executive responsibilities and authority, we must begin to maximize joint approaches to common or related public needs. It means an integrated view with respect to asset deployment and operational cost sharing and prioritization to the extent legally possible the property tax caps through more effective sharing of flexible funding resources.

Our schools are our most effective economic development driver and are the magnet that attracts businesses and families to relocate to a community that considers it our most precious asset.

5. What is your favorite thing about Fishers?

It is a family-oriented community that has a blended mix of residential opportunities, so that as careers increase wealth, home values increase and children leave home to begin their families, they can remain in Fishers. I have moved once already, as have two of our children — all within Fishers. With the great athletic training and recreational opportunities led by the volunteer Sports Group and supported by great park open spaces, Geist reservoir boating (and Fourth of July fireworks) with family, the Fishers Freedom Festival with parade and fireworks, the Fishers YMCA, community gymnastic organizations, and outstanding pre-K school education, we are truly blessed. One of my more enjoyable activities relates for Conner Prairie board service for so many years and investment over the years in an HSE Foundation scholarship fund.

We are also fortunate that we are not isolated or an island in that we can utilize the close proximity community’s public assets and venues — a sharing approach to cultural and entertainment opportunities rather than having to build and pay for all such needs or wants.

6. What do you think needs to be changed to set Fishers up for future success?

A greater forging of public policy setting and management of property tax uses with citizens. We don’t need polls — we need inclusion of disparate views and respect for them to ensure we are a community of shared values. We also need to ensure we continue to be a low-tax rate community, which means we have continuous process improvement emphasis to marry citizens’ expectations with the costs of them. And as all of our country and state are doing, ensure current day wants are transferred to our children and grandchildren. This election is critical, as leadership experience with a background of responsibility for operational growth, performance and success is required, as significant changes will occur from the separation of the executive and legislative authority of a town council to a mayor as executive and city council with prescribed legislative authority and responsibility. Won’t be just elect a mayor and the council will decide what is to be done and by whom. It also requires an ability of the mayor to forge compromises that may not always be what some want. Leadership requires a unique ability to consider all aspects of an issue from research and continual training, constantly meeting with community leaders and businesses, and a willingness to move on to other issues once an issue is resolved. I have that leadership and have a recognized history both in Fishers and in the private sector, doing so in a style that is appreciated for the respect and consideration given to opposing views.

7. How long have you lived in Fishers?

Since July of 1976.

8. Why should voters choose you to be the first mayor of Fishers?

My leadership experience for Fishers; leadership experience for my firm; and my firm national, state and local leadership experience focused on the needs and issues of governmental entities for almost 40 years. I also have been blessed with excellent health and have the energy and the passion to make Fishers the place my grandchildren will be proud of and continue residency as they grow into adulthood. I have been recognized by my firm and the community for my honesty, fairness, and enjoyment and passion for public sector service.

9. What issues do you feel need to be addressed in your first six months as mayor?

• Chief executive officer leadership reinforcing our core values — the education of our children, individual and property safety with uncongested transportation corridors and recreational space, and options as for a quality of life based on government services we are willing to afford by elected officials, staff, and appointed boards and commissions focused on the customer — our residents, businesses, and community organizations.

• Assembling a broad and diverse cross-section of community representatives to forge a blueprint, a community-driven outline of issues and concerns, and then as mayor work with the newly elected city council, city clerk and city judge along with our department heads and professional staff to ensure all actions are focused all citizens getting our best from a customer service-first perspective.

• As mayor, I must set the tone at the top and lead by example regarding our communities’ values, ethics and goals. In doing so, my leadership will monitor periodically the forged community blueprint for revalidation and/or changes necessary should community input fiscal stewardship warrant — all with emphasis on user-friendly two-way communication. Significant policy changes always warrant and deserve abundant notice and time to digest and adopt so that actions that may not be embraced by those not in favor are considered to the fullest to minimize adverse impact to them.

• We must review and report on the current status of the road, park and wastewater impact fees. The report will detail what was planned; how the rates were calculated; what fees were waived, when and why; and the balance on-hand and not pledged for existing commitments for the remaining areas included in the impacted area determination. In addition, areas for which change in use to those planned and any new areas not contemplated in the fee determinations will become the basis for consideration of impact to current fee rates.

• A comprehensive inventory will be made of the community assets and condition, fiscal status including commitments for future periods, and individual mayor face-to-face meetings with all employees. The results of these meetings will be communicated to the newly appointed department heads (many if not most of whom will likely be carryover appointments of those made by the town council for 2014.

• Call for a Mayor’s Education Summit of the Hamilton Southeastern School District and city of Fishers elected leaders, the district superintendent and school principals, city department heads, Fishers Chamber of Commerce, SPORTS leadership officials, and the leadership of the Parent Teacher Organization, the goal of which will be to forge a plan to maximize community customer service through integration of processes that consider the elimination of redundant or duplicative efforts or where seasonality cost issues and sharing can be enhanced.

• Mayor meetings with all federal and state legislators whose districts include all or portions of the city of Fishers, to communication directly with them Fishers’ goals and objectives and needs identified for their considerations.

• Mayor meetings with the mayors of neighboring communities, the Delaware and Fall Creek Township Trustees and their boards, and the elected Hamilton County officials to ensure they understand the City of Fishers Signature and to identify areas where increased cooperation and partnership assure maximum benefit for mutually served constituents.

• A reassessment of the 2014 city budget adopted by the 2013 town council to determine the need, if any, for structural and/or priority changes needed for compatibility with the inputs and outcomes of the points above.

10. What organizations, boards, clubs, etc., are you a current member?

A member of the Conner Prairie Community Connections task force, the current chair of the National League of Cities Investment Advisory Committee to the Finance Committee, and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Government Performance and Accountability Committee and the Hamilton Southeastern Schools Foundation Advisory Council.

11. What is the one thing you want voters to know about you when making their decision for mayor?

That my family lives here and my years of demonstrated experience for Fishers and knowledge of recognized operational and financial expertise thoughout the state, by state legislators and officials, and by national governmental and accounting professional organizations. I have no aspirations for other office and will dedicate my attention to public servant service for the betterment of us all — particularly our children and grandchildren.

12. How can voters learn more about your platform and get in touch with you for feedback or questions?

Go to my website waltkellyformayor.com, visit my Facebook page at facebook.com/waltkellyformayor or email me at walter.k@comcast.net.

Marvin ScottMarvin B. Scott

1. Why do you want to be the mayor of Fishers?

As Fishers morphs from a town into a city, the role of mayor will become essential to the city. Being on the ground floor of this transition and having the possibility of providing shared leadership to the citizens of Fishers is exciting. Many exciting and challenging things have happened to Fishers over the last 10 years, from increasing population, higher traffic levels, larger schools, more police and firemen, and the list goes on. It is necessary to establish an administration that is directly accountable to the Fishers community. After a lifetime of service to various businesses, and social, educational and governmental entities, it is time to give back to the citizens of this great state of Indiana and to share my skills as a servant-leader. Service to several boards speaks to my civic involvement: Boy Scouts of America (regional and local council), Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission, National Endowment for the Humanities, president of the Indianapolis Water Works, and Indianapolis Civic Theater, to name but a few. Responsibilities associated with these memberships have given me an appreciation of what it means to be a servant-leader.

2. What ideas do you have for business development in Fishers?

We must do an assessment of our business community, to determine how it can be better served, with a blue-ribbon committee made up of local business and community leaders. Working with the firemen, police, teachers, and public work groups will prove to be challenging. However, all interested parties will be invited to participate in this endeavor. With major stakeholders, we will mutually determine what is to be done to ensure the further growth of the new city, and to determine where we stand as compared to other municipalities. We need to determine, with our business leaders in Fishers, how to attract additional business ventures. Concessions made by our municipality will be transparent and available to the taxpayers of Hamilton County. Low-hanging fruits are companies that are desirous of returning to America. We must set a stage to capture these businesses and have facilities as well as a trained and available workforce for these businesses so as to entice them to our community. Exchange programs and visits should be provided for overseas companies. Based on the city’s strategic plan, we will be able to better develop our portfolio in order to attract new enterprises. Business leaders and other constituencies must provide insightful discourse on our strategic plan for business development. In our region, we have tremendous resources that are not fully vetted. Beyond our region and the world, we must apprise ourselves of opportunities for growth in various sectors.

3. What would be your top priority if you are elected mayor?

If elected mayor, my primary concerns would be to establish an administration that is responsive to the public and takes into consideration the needs of improving the infrastructure of our community. To have business leaders and citizens readily available for discussion — such as teachers, trash collectors, police, firemen, municipal workers — will allow us to envision what we can do together to improve the services they presently provide. My administration will show that it is concerned and eager to work for the good of the community. My priorities are to maintain our current strong assets, while addressing new needs and making improvements where needed. The die has been cast, and it is positive, with Fishers being designated as an excellent place to live. We have achieved nationwide recognition, and my administration will strive to improve our schools, whereby we become No. 1 in the nation.

4. Our schools are crowded and the decreased funding will bring more challenges to the Hamilton Southeastern School District. How do you plan to ensure top education and fix current and future issues in our district?

Industrial growth and technology enhance educational opportunities. Industries will increase our tax base and job opportunities for our community. Obviously, we need to pinpoint the shortcomings of the district in regards to decreased funding. Having active lobbies in Indianapolis will go far to locate and secure adequate funding for schools.

5. What is your favorite thing about Fishers?

The quietness of the community, good neighbors, safety, excellent city services, and its many parks and open spaces are extremely important for the well-being of the community and must be well-maintained. We must make Fishers a point of destination for people who visit our region, just as Conner Prairie is a destination for many Hoosiers.

6. What do you think needs to be changed to set Fishers up for future success?

We will need the services of a world-class urban planning organization. An eye from the outside could yield great benefits. Oftentimes, one can’t see the forest for the trees; therefore, we must think bold and go beyond our border for additional great ideas. Teaming up with our universities for cultural programs will go far in improving our communities standing among the most desirable places to live. Our local museum that collects memorabilia could become one of the great destinations for our city.

7. How long have you lived in Fishers?

I have lived in Indianapolis for 24 years and in Fishers for less than a year. My wife is a professor at Anderson University, and she drove from Indianapolis to Anderson daily — 50 miles one way. The trip proved to be too time-consuming and dangerous. We got a road map and attempted to find developments along Interstate 69. Fishers proved to be an excellent location that divided her drive time in half. We are both excited with our choice that Fishers is our home!

8. Why should voters choose you to be the first mayor of Fishers?

In 2006, I ran for the U.S. Senate and received nearly a million votes, and Hamilton County was one of five counties where I received a majority vote. The confidence that citizens showed in me during that race I hope will carry over to the mayor’s race. I have a national and international understanding of cities and how they work, and, with my leadership, this city will be moved forward with mutual decision making and with the assistance of Fishers’ citizens.

9. What issues do you feel need to be addressed in your first six months as mayor?

Matching job descriptions in city government with our strategic plan for growth is important. An assessment of programs and of expenditures to determine if we are using our tax money efficiently and for the greater good of the community is a must.

Road improvements and road maintenance are crucial, and securing constant funding from the state in order to ensure normality in the city is a must.

Employees will be asked to show how an increase in their productivity would improve community services. Each department head will be asked to show what their unit would look like if given an increase in their operating budget and, conversely, if there were funding cuts. City employees would have to show how their departments would function under such constraints or increases. In six months, based on legislative funding dates, we must be ready to face all eventualities.

With a growing population, it is essential to address issues related to school crowding and identify ways to meliorate funding shortages of classrooms and teachers.

It is also critical that we draw plans to increase by 10 percent the number of jobs and industrial development.

It is essential that we work with all community constituencies in order to maintain and enhance our ranking as one of the safest cities in the nation.

10. What organizations, boards, clubs, etc., are you a current member?

I am on the regional and local council of the Boy Scouts of America, the Indiana Academy of the Social Sciences and the American Sociological Association. I served on the Waterworks Board (five years) and the National Council of the Humanities (nominated by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the U.S. Senate). I was a college president and directed the overseas graduate programs for Boston University in Heidelberg, Germany, and in Naples, Italy, in conjunction with the U.S. military (for seven years). I was a consultant to Gulf Oil for the improvement of educational institutions in Nigeria and Angola. During my career, I have written and co-authored four books; 15 of my articles have appeared in referred journals. My most diligent work over an eight-year period was serving federal judges as a court-appointed expert or as an expert witness on matters of race.

11. What is the one thing you want voters to know about you when making their decision for mayor?

I am a tireless worker and willing to work collaboratively with other stakeholders. The support of this community for my election as Fishers’ first mayor is appreciated, and I promise to take our city to the next level of excellence. A vote for me will cement a positive transition from town to city.

12. How can voters learn more about your platform and get in touch with you for feedback or questions?

My website is being formulated and will contain my platform issues and contact numbers. In the interim, if interested citizens care to reach me, I can be contacted at 317-440-4600 or my e-mail address: mbscott2010@comcast.net.

Elaine ViskantElaine Viskant

1. Why do you want to be the mayor of Fishers?

I want to be mayor of Fishers to preserve its low tax base.

2. What ideas do you have for business development in Fishers?

I’d like to lower taxes to bring in business. I’d like to attract a broader range of businesses, as it is rather heavy on medical offices, banks, fast food and hair salons.

3. What would be your top priority if you are elected mayor?

I’d like to refine our ability to take advantage of natural disaster assistance programs that are offered by the state. There is no community reference tool or protection from “predators.”

4. Our schools are crowded and the decreased funding will bring more challenges to the Hamilton Southeastern School District. How do you plan to ensure top education and fix current and future issues in our district?

I want parents involved in solving problems. Currently, the administration takes very good notes but takes no action recommended by the parents. Fishers has a younger population that will age and relieve the pressure naturally. We don’t want to sell off buildings down the road when maintenance costs go up and student enrollment goes down. I went to school in Chicago where we had 30 to 35 students in a classroom. The size of the classroom has nothing to do with the quality of the education. Family involvement has everything to do with it.

5. What is your favorite thing about Fishers?

My favorite thing about Fishers is its good police response time. I feel safe and secure.

6. What do you think needs to be changed to set Fishers up for future success?

I would like to see another state-funded bridge built across the White River to relieve the current bottleneck during flood season.

7. How long have you lived in Fishers?

I’ve lived in Fishers for 18 years.

8. Why should voters choose you to be the first mayor of Fishers?

I’ve been active in several key areas. I’ve helped to preserve public safety and maintain environmental responsibility and business-type diversity to aid in equal opportunity for success.

9. What issues do you feel need to be addressed in your first six months as mayor?

The school board needs to get requisitions up to date and completed. (I don’t know the status of an air-conditioning unit in the high school gymnasium that was still not installed after nine years.) I want Indianapolis big government to stay in Indianapolis. Mass transit is not warranted by the people, count in evidence at our only Park and Drive location. The best example of wasted money for mass transit was the bus services to the Indianapolis airport from downtown. The cost was subsidized at 4-to-1 in a major transportation corridor and no one used it. It was an economic debacle, and therefore it was dropped. (It was a great example of dreams not matching reality.)

10. What organizations, boards, clubs, etc., are you a current member?

I currently belong to no organizations, boards or clubs. So I don’t have a conflict of interest or time constraints.

11. What is the one thing you want voters to know about you when making their decision for mayor?

I believe that big government is never the solution for any problem. The “bill” is always bigger than the benefit. The best examples are Detroit, Illinois and California. Local decisions give the best return and promote the biggest growth.

12. How can voters learn more about your platform and get in touch with you for feedback or questions?

I hope to have a website soon. I will respond to computer printed, signed notes with contact information that are mailed to my home address: 10734 Northhampton Drive 46038. I have an account set up at the Teachers Credit Union for campaign contributions.

 

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