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WILLIAM “BILL” RICHMOND

What office are you seeking and why?

I am a candidate for Winchester Mayor. When I realized that Shon would not run for reelection, I asked myself who is the most qualified person for the job. When several area residents asked that I consider running, I (as objectively as possible) reviewed my qualifications and decided that I have the best resume, skill set and aptitude for the job. During this time (early in the year), it became evident to me that Winchester Council had become dysfunctional and seemed more interested in bickering amongst themselves and the mayor than in meeting the needs of the community overall. I am not a person who will do whatever it takes to protect my own position. I will do what’s right for the community. 

As a former Winchester Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the year, 2-time volunteer of the year and Mardi Gras Grand Marshal-I will continue my heartfelt and sincere dedication to the community and my work on behalf of its citizens. It is not hard work, it is “heart” work. It is about working smart and giving your best effort every day. 

What is your personal/professional/governmental experience, and how does that make you the most-qualified candidate?

Richmond State Hosptial, psychiatric attendant/QMA taught me to respond calmly in dire emergency situations, to be empathetic to others-however different they may be, and the satisfaction of knowing your work helped others to have a better life.

The News Gazette, I have attended essentially every Winchester Council meeting since May 1996. I have also attended Unoin City council meetings, and Lynn and Farmland Town Board meetings. I have been involved with important issues under consideration by several school boards, the county economic development board, the county tourism board, the county board of commissioners, county council, the airport board, Winchester Main Street, the Winchester Redevelopment Commission, the area planning commission, the board of zoning appeals, The Journey Home Veterans Shelter, and the Winchester Board of Works and Public Safety and have addressed every issue of importance by all of these over that period. I have a great deal of experience and prior knowledge of the issues we now face and have already created working relationships with those I will be working with should I be elected. I also have a perspective of seeing how other agencies get things done and what they have tried.

Area Planning Commission Executive Director. 

What is one issue you would like to address if elected?  How would you address it?

I would work to improve the tax rate for local residents. The thing about the economic development process is, you have to work very hard for years to see even minor progress. But it’s very easy to kill the forward movement you’ve created by showing a negative attitude or by not being consisting in your approach. As a member of the Economic Development Coproation Technology Committee, I worked to help create and support a program that would provide broadband internet connectivity for the entire Randolph County region-a boon to business and to students with take-home computers. The initiative was unanimously approved by the economic development board and by every member of county council except one-my rival for this office. He said the matter could wait and did not have to be done right away. But when I asked out internet access consultant and the county economic development director, they agreed the matter cannot wait and would cost substantially more if it is done later rather that (as planned) at the same time as an ongoing emergency services connectivity project. I understand his interest to save money, and agree with the basic idea; but there are times when you need to strike while the iron’s hot.

If you had $500,000 in grant money and could spend it on whatever you think would improve your city, what would you do?

When I recently traveled to Sullivan, Indiana to talk to Mayor Clint Lamb about his recent successes at improving his downtown, I was fascinated by the business incubator they have established. I had an interesting conversation with Innovate Sullivan Director David Durbee about how to operate and fund such an initiative. The center had a variety of resources to help promote new businesses and to assist established businesses and industries. It is very important to support and encourage business in every way we can, including finding ways to help local businesses compete with bigger fish that have much greater resources. I also think that if we truly want to promote the community, it is our responsibility to be more positive. Instead of calling out a person who acts in bad faith and gives our community a black eye, focus on the vast majority to which this person is a minor exception. Rather than overreacting and blowing our city’s problems all out of proportion, focus on the plan to make things better-in spite of all exasperation. Don’t create a worst case scenario that is not true or accurate. More people than you realize are watching and from a greater distance.


BOB MCCOY

What office are you seeking and why?

Mayor of Winchester; To take an aggressive approach to Blight, deteriorating sidewalks, the drug problem and a 10 million dollar debt. A team is required to make things happen. My Team(Council) will continue the work already started by the current administration addressing Blight and sidewalk reconstruction. We will make a plan with goals for the next 4 years. This cannot happen without teamwork. The ultimate goal is to make Winchester a desirable place to live and raise a family. If this can be achieved people will take notice of a safe, clean community. We must continue to educate our youth on the dangers of drugs and get those help that seek it. The current debt can be addressed by consolidating current bonds which would reduce interest paid. We need to capitalize on what we currently have to offer and take more of a regional approach to Economic Development and continue the work of the Randolph County Economic Development Corporation and the Cultivating Communities initiative.

What is your personal/professional/government experience, and how does that make you the most-qualified candidate?

Married 29 years to Michelle Starbuck with daughter Emily which is currently a Ball State Student, Finance committee at my church, Advisory Committee member for Winchester House, Drug Free Randolph County Treasurer, Lifelong resident of Winchester. Retail Management, Manufacturing Management, Purchasing agent, Materials Manager, Engineering experience, Draftsman. City Council 3 years, County Council 10 years, Area Planning over 12 years, Winchester Board of Works, Eastern Indiana Development District.

What is one issue you would like to address if elected? How would you address it?

Economic Obsolescence=Loss of assessed Value. Enforcement of existing Ordinances relating to nuisances such as abandoned properties and abandoned vehicles. Creation of new ordinances to address landlords renting to known drug dealers. Correct zoning irregularities within our city. This was presented by Area Planning to Council last year with no action taken. We need to understand the needs of our current employers and work to grow their business.

If you had $500,000 in grant money and could spend it on whatever you think would improve your city, what would you do?

Adding more Street Lights. We have many areas that lack lighting. When you drive into Winchester at night time the first thing you take notice of is how dark our streets and intersections are. This is a safety concern for our children as well as an invitation to criminal activity.


JEFF WARD 

What office are you seeking and why?

I am running for Winchester Clerk-Treasurer as an independent candidate. My reason for seeking office is to make Winchester a better place to live, work and raise a family. I view my 30-plus years of experience as a journalist telling and presenting the stories and issues of many Hoosiers as a form of community service. I wish to continue that service by serving as your clerk-treasurer. I run as an independent because I believe partisanship has no place in an office that serves the public interest and handles city funds provided by Winchester residents. As your clerk-treasurer, I will devote my full energy to this position and strive to maintain and enhance the high standards the office demands.

What is your personal/professional/government experience, and how does that make you the most-qualified candidate?

My journalism career brought me in close contact with government officials here in Winchester, and later in Peru, Ind., and Delaware County. I am familiar with the budgeting process, tax increment financing (TIF), and the impact tax caps have made on government finances. These are all serious issues that affect you, the taxpayer, and they will continue to affect how Winchester budgets its money. The office of clerk-treasurer must maintain a good working relationship with the mayor, city council, city employees no matter which party is elected to these offices. Plus, the office must treat those who have business with the city, whether to pay a bill or to seek information, with courtesy and respect. I aim to do all of these, and to look for ways to expand services online if it can be done safely and securely.

What is one issue you would like to address if elected? How would you address it?

The one issue I would like to address, as it pertains to the clerk-treasurer’s office, is to conduct a review of all work procedures and processes from the top down to see whether there are possibilities to gain efficiency and productivity, that will result in stretching taxpayer dollars to their maximum. Plus, I want to look for ways to enhance or streamline customer service. Perhaps there are services that can be added to the city’s website, or a way to convey useful information quickly and easily.

If you had $500,000 in grant money and could spend it on whatever you think would improve your city, what would you do?

If I had $500,000 in grant money, I would explore ways to improve the quality of life in the city through two processes: 1. Look for ways to rehabilitate homes in the city that are in need of repair, especially homes that can be saved instead of demolished. 2. Look for opportunities to add walking/bike trails in the city, including new sidewalks, where they are needed. For example, could bike lanes be added to existing streets, at little cost, to connect our park systems? What about bike lanes and a bike trail to connect the city to the expanded YMCA?  What other things can be done to enhance our park system to make to more accessible to all of Winchester’s children and adults?


JOHN BOYD

What office are  you seeking and why?

District 1, city council, because I feel like I will be a great asset to the city. 

What is your personal/professional/government experience, and how does that make you most-qualified candidate?

12 years Saratoga Town Board President, 10 years police reserve in Saratoga, 5 years Ridgeville, 10 plus years Union Rep. at my work, Wick’s Pies.

What one issue would you like to address if elected? How would you address it?

A program for the street department and city. To change out equipment every 3-5 years.

If you had $500,000 in grant money and could spend it on whatever you think would improve your city, what would you do?

I would set up a fund for the City (Street & Park). A program to get rid of the abandon houses, another for the sidewalks, and invest in a splash pad for the kids. Four equal amounts invested to help the City.


KERRY SAYRE

What office are you seeking and Why?

I am running for Winchester Clerk-Treasurer because I want the opportunity to maintain and improve upon what has been established by our current Clerk-Treasurer, the Mayor, Department Heads and City Council. It would be my pleasure to help our city and be involved in our community.

What is your personal/professional/government experience, and how does that make you the most-qualified candidate?

I am currently a Life and Health Insurance agent where I assist clients in finding the products that meet their needs and fit within their budget. I also work with some financial and investment products. All of these services require you to be very detail oriented and have multiple deadlines per situation. I have numerous years of office experience, customer service experience, meeting deadlines and collaboration. The Clerk-Treasurer position definitely implements these skills plus numerous others. I feel I am up to the challenge this position might come with so that I can better serve our Taxpayers, the Mayor, Department Heads and the City Council Members. I am a determined, committed and dependable person with a strong work ethic. Obtaining the knowledge needed and training deemed beneficial for this position will help me be successful in serving the City of Winchester.

What is one issue you would like to address if elected? How would you address it?

I would maintain balanced budgets by keeping open lines of communication and collaborating with the Mayor, Department Heads and City Council Members and pursue grants to better Winchester. We must all use cooperation and communication to accomplish what is best for the City of Winchester and the taxpayers. We need to all work together as a team. I would like the City of Winchester to train a current employee on grant research and writing, or obtain someone that is currently experienced and successful in grant research and writing, so we can pursue some of the needed grant money that would improve our city.

If you had $500,000 in grant money and could spend it on whatever you think would improve your city, what would you do?

I would like to see Winchester start a job training or vocational/certification center, because college is not for everyone. We all need and use the services that the various trade programs provide. The training center could be used by recent high school graduates, by those currently unsatisfied in their job, or those that lose their current employment. If we have a vocational training center here, then those utilizing it won`t need to relocate to find a job elsewhere. This could keep our current families, and could help our young adults stay here to live. This could also bring in revenue; people from surrounding cities will use the center and will more than likely be visiting our businesses. Everyone utilizing the training center will have a vested interest in our town and will work towards some of the quality of life improvements that are desired; like more restaurant choices, beautification, city walking and biking trails. All of these will also be a plus for businesses or industry looking for places to start up or expand to.


KEVIN CARRENO

What office are you seeking and why?

I am seeking the Winchester City Council District Four Seat. I am running for this office because I want to help make Winchester a city where people will want to live, invest and be a part of it’s future-even more than they do now. Over the past few months as I have been campaigning for this office, I’ve had the honor of speaking to many district four residents who yearn for the old days when Winchester was a thriving, booming city with great industry and plenty of opportunity. If elected to city council this November 5th, I will make it my mission to restore and expand industry, opportunity and bring quality of life improvements to Winchester. 

What is your personal/professional/governmental experience, and how does that make you the most-qualified candidate?

Since the age of 17, I have been a business owner, and a real estate investor. I recently enlisted in the Air Force Reserve where I’ll work to become an officer. I am also a member of the Randolph County Committee of Education and the Randolph County Economic Development Corporation Technology Committee where I am working to provide Tesla charging stations for the city of Winchester. I am also a member of the Randolph County Board of Zoning Appeals. Having accomplished all of this by age 19, shows I am willing to put in the hard work and many hours to improve our city in any way possible.

What is one issue you would like to address if elected?  How would you address it?

I would like to address our declining population by improving our quality of life through infrastructure improvements such as upgraded sidewalks, roads and hiring a grant writer to apply for grants that would lessen the costs to the city. I would also like to develop a youth council with no voting rights that would allow Winchester Community High School students to be proactive in our city council and to help develop a community they are more proud of while attracting more industry.

If you had $500,000 in grant money and could spend it on whatever you think would improve your city, what would you do?

I would first hold a public discussion to welcome input from citizens on what they think would be the best use for the money. For those unable to attend the public discussion, I would also conduct a survey, asking how the public would want the money to be spent. Two important considerations would be infrastructure improvements and blight reduction.


LEESA FRIEND

What office are you seeking and Why?

Winchester City Council District 4. I am a lifelong resident of District 4. I want to see my community grow and prosper and I want to see those that live here do so as well.  

I believe that the citizens, of all ages, are the greatest assets to our community. We must work together as a team and not just focus on attracting one age group. Everyone can contribute to our mission of moving Winchester forward. We must acknowledge that the older generation as well as the younger generation have something to teach us when we work towards that goal. I am proud to be part of the group of those who are the average age living in Winchester.  There are several of us who have stayed here our whole life or are now returning to raise a family. If you live here and love Winchester like I do then you want to see the best for your hometown and its citizens. I will continue to be a community advocate and work with those elected to continue to make Winchester a better place for all to enjoy and invest in our community.

What is your personal/professional/government experience, and how does that make you the most-qualified candidate?

I hold a full-time job as the Publisher and Vice President of The News-Gazette. I also own two family businesses in Winchester. Having nearly 30 years in business, my experiences have allowed for a better understanding when making decisions for Winchester serving on City Council. It has been a privilege to serve the citizens of Winchester as the District 4 councilman for the last 6 years. Having served under two different administrations, I have learned what to do and not do in regards to budgets, ordinances, abatements, TIF Districts and other aspects that go into being a sound steward of the tax payer money. Having helped to create 6 City budgets, attending nearly 150 council meetings, and serving on various council and community boards, I believe when I am spending tax payer money, it’s like I am spending my own. I get the most I can out of each dollar. I feel the community deserves communication and transparency and I will strive to do better for the citizens by improving these portions of local government. 

What is one issue you would like to address if elected? How would you address it?

There are several issues. A major issue is the Blight. Whether we save or demolish these structures, we need to be frugal and diligent in our spending. The current council has worked tirelessly together and recently saved over $50,000 while demolishing multiple dangerous properties in Winchester. I would seek more project funding through grants. There are various ways to utilize this method, but it isn’t always easy or inexpensive. We have to find a good grant writer, have a plan of the grants we would like to target and move forward with that plan. We need to market Winchester effectively.  We need to create a portion in our budget that allows for us to promote throughout our region. We should be shouting from the rooftops that we are home to the Indiana State Pie.  We need to tell people about our festivals that bring thousands of people to town each year. Brag about the fastest half mile racetrack outside town that brings in big names, races and crowds. Paired with our great park system, welcoming downtown and all the great people that are trying to help make us a better community, we need to brag about Winchester.

If you had $500,000 in grant money and could spend it on whatever you think would improve your city, what would you do?

I would take a portion and utilize it to start a Revolving Loan Economic Development Fund. There are businesses that need a small loan to enhance their business. With lending criteria that is beneficial to both the City and the business owner we could give them the extra push they need to move forward. Possibly adding more employment. Another portion would be used for a multi-year plan to fund a Parks Program Director. We have a fabulous parks system. We need to make sure we are offering programs that will draw big crowds to the park. We currently have entertainment in the park, but we could add workshops and free classes to teach lessons in disk golf, tennis or other valuable feeder programs. Another portion would be used to market Winchester. Using multiple forms of media, we need to better promote our community. Informational and promotional content could educate everyone in regards to Winchester. Infrastructure in the way of sidewalks, trails, blight removal and various other features that can improve the quality of life for our citizens would also be addressed.


LINDA C. RITENHOUSE

What office are you seeking and why?

I am seeking the office of City Council at Large. My reason for running for this office is that MY CITY is Broken and if I have the ability to do something about it and do not, I am part of the problem. I have a Social work Degree with Drug and Alcohol Certification. We have a huge Drug and Theft problem and it needs to be addressed. The theft problem is getting worse everyday, it hits home as we have had several items stolen. People are afraid to go outside at night; this is no longer the town we all felt safe walking after dark.

What is your personal/professional/government experience, and how does that make you the most qualified candidate?

As stated above I have a degree in Social Work as well as one in Drug and Alcohol. I worked for Meridian Services and saw first hand the affects of both on not only the person but those who care about them. In my classes we were taught to look at the whole picture to try to find a solution as to who , what , when , where , and why ? During my college career I also attended several Law classes, my personal favorite was; How to be a criminal and get away with it! Taught by Judge G Horn of Richmond. I also had classes where I had to drive around the city and LOOK, LISTEN, SMELL, what was going on around me, it taught me to be more aware of my surroundings. I had classes in Sociology, Psychology, Government just to name a few.

What is one issue you would like to address if elected? How would you address it?

One issue is our Police Force. We have a great force for the most part but we also have a problem keeping those good officers as in many instances they can make much more money in another department. We need to up their pay, give incentives so that we are more than just a building block where other departments get the benefit.

If you had $500,000 in Grant money and could spend it on whatever you think would improve your city, what would you do?

1 - I would use it to update our Police Force, Good equipment, advanced training and most of all a living wage to keep the good ones here and protecting our city; 2 - Instead of tearing down all of the so called Blighted houses, Grants could be given to refurbish and update them to better the community by keeping them on the tax rolls, sewage rolls and provide more housing for people wanting to move here.


ROGER MILLER

What office are you seeking and why?

My name is Roger Miller and I am seeking the office of Winchester City Council District 1. I have lived in Winchester all my life and I feel like it is time to give back to the community. I would like to be a part of making Winchester a better place to live. I have been married for 49 years to my wife Marcia. We raised seven children together. I would not take this position lightly. I am not seeking this position to boost my ego. I’m seeking it to help keep Winchester a great place to work and raise a family.

What is your personal/professional/governmental experience, and how does that make you the most-qualified candidate?

My personal experience comes from being a member of my local union as shop steward, recording secretary and vice president. I was on the negotiating committee for three different contracts. I owned a mowing business for nine years. I employed several people. I have been a little league coach for several years in all the age groups. I also coached Girls softball through all the ages groups and was president of that organization two different times. Each time passing the books over to the new president with money in the account. I am a past member of the Lions Club, the Randolph County Timing Association, the Moose Lodge and Phi Delta Kappa. I was a member of the WCCPC for seven years and was vice president for the last four of those years. I worked for Maul Brothers for thirteen and a half years. Construction for one summer. I was called to work for Wick’s Pies. I took a job in a machine shop for the Overmyer Mold Corp/Ross Mold Corp. I worked there for over twenty years. Being a leader in these jobs and organizations gives me some knowledge about the wants and needs of the people of Winchester.

What is one issue you would like to address if elected? How would you address it?

The drug crisis has hit Winchester hard. It seems like when the police arrest some one you see them right back at it in a day or two. If elected I would seek help frm the District Attorney’s office for stronger penalties for first offenders. In District 1 the sidewalks are in bad shape, as well as some houses. Know the limitations of each office and try and work together for the good of the city.

If you had $500,000 in grant money and could spend it on whatever you think would improve your city, what would you do?

First you take care of what is already here. Keep the square looking great. Help people fix their homes up before they become a burden to the city. Have more activities outdoors in the summer, like the bands we had in the park, and the activities around the square. Get people involved in their town!


TERRY (BEAR) ALFREY

What office are you seeking and why?

I am running for Winchester City Council District 2. I have always enjoyed being a part of public service. I want to be a part of a team that is dedicated to helping Winchester remain prosperous and continue to take steps to improve the security of our community. Winchester was and is a very “proud” community and I would love to be a part of a team that would be dedicated to continue on this path.

What is your personal/professional/governmental experience, and how does that make you the most-qualified candidate?

I have been on the Winchester Park Board for the last 14 years. During this time, we have worked together as a team to help oversee the operations of the Winchester City Parks. The Park Board also helps designate and utilize the Goodrich Park Trust, as well as working with the Mayor’s office, the clerk’s office, The Goodrich Park Free Concert Series and many other events that have been very beneficial to our community. I have also worked at the Randolph County Sheriff’s Department for close to 12 years. While there I was on the Crisis Intervention team (CIT), I was a corporal for a period of time. The last 4 years, I have been working at Randolph County Community Corrections as a Home Detention Case Manager, managing some of the felony cases of Randolph County. I have been very involved in church in Randolph County. I have also been elected to Church boards and worked as a Youth Pastor.

What is one issue you would like to address if elected? How would you address it?

If elected, I would really enjoy working with the Winchester Police Department, the Randolph County Sherriff’s Department, Courthouse and Probation to try to make our community a safe and more secure place to raise a family. I really feel it will take all these institutions working together to make this happen. We have proven in the past that we can make this work and I feel we can do it again.

If you had $500,000 in grant money and could spend it on whatever you think would improve your city, what would you do?

I would form a committee or team to help make a well-educated assessment of this situation. I feel if the decision was left to one person to make, that their interest might come first and that the best interest of the City might not be the same. I feel like there are so many resources out there to help our community that the more responsible people that we have looking for them the better.


WHITNEY REED

What office are you seeking and why?

Winchester City Clerk-Treasurer. I am seeking office to help the city’s budget become more balanced, find ways to save the city money, and help the city to retain employees as it is costly to have a high turnover rate. If elected I will work with council and the mayor in a professional manner to help improve our city budget. Also, if elected I will uphold the duties of the clerk-treasurer as outlined in the Indiana code and follow the job description as the clerk-treasurer. I would greatly appreciate your vote on November 5th, 2019.

What is your personal/professional/governmental experience, and how does that make you the most-qualified candidate?

No answer provided.

What is one issue you would like to address if elected? How would you address it?

No answer provided.

If you had $500,000 in grant money and could spend it on whatever you think would improve your city, what would you do?

If I had a $500,000 grant for city improvement, my first step would be to help make our city more appealing. Meaning, I would invest this money back into the beautification of our city. I think it is important to have a clean city, with a strong infrastructure in order to appeal to citizens and businesses that are potentially looking to locate to Winchester. In order for Winchester’s budget to grow, we need to bring businesses and permanent residents to our city; in turn this will generate revenue by putting tax money back into the City of Winchester.