If elected, what will be your focus in the position in which you are running during your term?
My immediate focus is to work towards a school referendum that unites Washington on a path to educational success and conservative fiscal policies. This will include moving forward with grade level learning: proven by the independent study performed by WCS. This will ensure our families are receiving the best education our community can provide.
What do you see as the biggest challenge the office faces?
The biggest challenge will be sourcing the information needed to produce a school referendum the community can stand behind. The community spoke loudly at the last election that the current proposal is not suitable. We will utilize the data collected from the proposal, the election data and all pertinent information needed to form a proposal that will put forth a solution that the children from our community will be provided an ever-evolving education.
What is your philosophy on economic development?
I believe in order for our community to succeed, we need to develop housing and incentives to companies who are seeking to build long term growth and high paying jobs for the community. Currently, we have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state. In order for companies to move here we need a diversified community. That starts with education and ends with quality, affordable housing.
Now that the Business 50 project is underway, what do you hope to see happen next?
I would like to see the city and county move forward with an economic plan to bring high paying jobs to the community. With the addition of I-69 we have an opportunity to grow as a community. But it will not happen simply because of I-69. We need to have attractive economic plans in order to bring companies to our community. Washington has an opportunity to succeed, but if we do not have a strong plan then counties who have already developed comprehensive plans, such as Pike and Gibson, will take the opportunities from us.
How do think COVID-19 will impact our area in the future?
COVID-19 has provided many challenges for us thus far. In order to reduce the impact of COVID-19 in our community, we need to help support our local business in the upcoming months and years in order for them to recover from the shutdowns and lack of business.
What are your thoughts on the proposed Midstates Corridor? Would it be a positive or a negative for our community? Why?
I believe that with increased traffic through our community, we can generate economic growth for our local businesses. Whether it is weekend trips to our Amish communities, passing through on vacation, or catching a basketball game, we can benefit greatly from easier access to our community from different parts of the state and surrounding states.
For Washington Community School Board candidates, after the referendum did not pass last year, what do you hope will be the next steps for the school corporation?
My hope is that the board can come together and find a solution that the entire community can support. It has been 1 year since the referendum was defeated and we have not seen changes to the referendum or thoughts on how we should move forward. While it might take time to figure out a plan moving forward on a new school, we can improve our current situation quickly with items such as security and providing teachers with supplies and funding they need for their classrooms. We can collaborate with the town and county to station a resource officer in each school. We can find room in our budget that we can provide additional funding so teachers do not need to spend their own money on classroom items. But the school board has to be willing to work tirelessly in order to provide these things for our students and community, and if elected to the school board I will do so.