Issues

I am running for Mayor because I care about Nappanee’s future. Just like the mayors of Nappanee when I was growing up, I want to leave this city better than I found it. Nappanee is a great place to live, work and play. My goal as your Mayor is to improve the quality of life for every resident.

Emergency Services

Emergency Services is about meeting the needs of citizens when they need it most. Relying on full-time employees and a tremendous group of volunteers, Nappanee residents can rest easy knowing they will be protected by the best-trained and best-equipped personnel in the area.

Police – The risks our officers face on a daily basis often go unmentioned, but without their dedicated service, Nappanee would have higher crime rates. Thanks to the efforts of our police officers, Nappanee is one of the top 25 safest cities in Indiana. We need to support our officers as they uphold the law and protect us from danger. We can do this by making sure they are paid a fair wage and helping them fight crime in our own neighborhoods.

Public safety is a priority in Nappanee. I will work closely with our police department, the Sheriff's Department and the Prosecutor's Office to ensure we provide the safest environment for our residents and reduce crime in the community through proactive methods.

Fire – Nappanee is one of a small number of cities to have an entirely volunteer fire department. Not only do they protect the city, but they also serve the surrounding townships. We need to maintain our volunteer staff by providing the best equipment and encouraging local employers to allow employees to volunteer time toward calls.

EMS – In the last decade, Nappanee has grown its Emergency Medical Service to a Paramedic Service with advanced life support. We’ve been able to provide medical care more quickly to our residents. While still relying on a number of volunteers, our emergency medical service capabilities have risen.

Transportation and Streets

Our local roads and streets are well cared for. The street department staff keep our streets cleared of snow in winter, leaves in the fall, and brush following storms. We continue to look for ways to improve traffic flow in and around Nappanee.

Economic Development

The heart of any city is its economic base. Nappanee has been blessed over the years with entrepreneurs in all areas of business, giving the city a diverse and healthy economy. While the city is not directly involved in business, we can provide an environment favorable for business through support services, lower taxes and infrastructure improvements. Initiatives that encourage business retention and growth are critical to the future success of Nappanee’s economy.

Parks and Recreation

Nappanee has one of the highest ratios of park land per resident in the State. From playgrounds to sports, walking trails to dog parks, sledding hills to summer youth programs, our open spaces encourage our residents to stay active and engaged. We will continue to look for ways to improve and add to our great park system.

Housing

Nappanee has seen its share of growth over the years. With a good stock of quality built homes from the turn of the 20th century, many of the structures in town are still well-maintained and attractive. From low income to custom homes, from townhomes to apartments, the diversity of Nappanee’s housing offers residents choices. As new developments and neighborhoods expand the boundaries of the city, we will work on maintaining and improving the existing neighborhoods.

Social Services

To say that Nappanee is above social services is to ignore that many of Nappanee’s residents are in need. It is important for us to work with and support local non-profit and church ministries to meet the needs of the less fortunate.

Family

Nappanee’s strength has always been its strong families that span several generations. Now, more than ever, the family is eroding, leading to increased rates of divorce, neglect and poverty. We should continue supporting organizations like Family Christian Development and Open Door, as well as other qualified mentors that can help families in need.

Youth – The youth are the future business owners, leaders and parents of our community. We should do everything we can to make sure they have support and encouragement to make wise choices. With organizations like the Boys and Girls Club, local churches, schools, the library and local sports clubs, there are plenty of opportunities for positive influence in these kids’ lives.

Senior Citizens – The knowledge and experience of our older citizens is remarkable. One of my favorite activities is sitting and talking with retired individuals as they share the lessons they have learned through life and work. Organizations like the Elder Haus provide opportunities for those over 55 to thrive through socialization, local tours and even free taxi services for rides to doctor’s appointments, drug stores and grocery stores.

Public Utilities

Nappanee owns and maintains its own water and sewer services for our residents.

Water – Our current wells for drinking water, although still operational, will need replaced soon. In anticipation of the new wells, the city purchased 30 acres of land north of the Berlin Court ditch, in close proximity to the water treatment plant in West Side Park. A test well has been drilled, and the water has been approved by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. With increasing regulations from the EPA, the staff at the water department has continued to provide safe, clean drinking water to the residents.

Sewer – Our current wastewater treatment plant on the east side of town has capacity to handle more sewage as the city continues to grow. One of the biggest challenges to the sewer system for the past 15-20 years is the state mandate to separate combined sewer systems. The sewer overflows that empty into the ditch during heavy rain will need to be intercepted and conveyed to a new treatment facility near the current wastewater plant. The cost of this project will be approximately $29 million. While sewer rates for all residents will go up, the city has secured a grant, through the USDA Rural Development, that will pay for $13 million of the project. The remaining $16 million is eligible for a low interest loan. This loan will dramatically improve the overall burden to Nappanee residents.

Arts and Culture

Nappanee has multiple opportunities for the arts and cultural activities.

Amish Acres – At the heart of our art and cultural opportunities is Amish Acres. Showcasing the heritage of the Anabaptists that settled in Nappanee, Amish Acres takes visitors on tours of the historic farm. Each August, the farm is home to the Arts and Crafts Festival, featuring artists and craftspeople from around the country. The Round Barn Theatre provides quality productions of Broadway plays, including ongoing performances of Plain and Fancy.

Nappanee Theater – One of the last family-owned, local theaters in the state, the Nappanee Theater shows the latest feature films in its cozy, historic setting.

Apple Festival – Celebrating the apple harvest, the Nappanee Apple Festival is the biggest community celebration in town. With venues at several locations around the city, residents share Nappanee’s rich heritage with the thousands of guests that come from near and far to experience the event. This festival is a great example of the teamwork displayed by the residents of Nappanee. Thanks to the many dedicated community volunteers who offer their time and talents, the Apple Festival celebrates and showcases our community to the greater Michiana area.

Historic Signs and Oversized Apples – Local artist Jeff Stillson, has worked on several murals that showcase Nappanee’s rich history. His passion for art in the community has led to the creation of the oversized apples that dot our Nappanee community.

Library – Nappanee is proud of its library and the various collections of books, technology, children’s activities and meeting rooms it holds. An addition to the library surrounds the original, historic library to showcase the original façade.

Nappanee Center – Celebrating the history of the city, the Nappanee Center is home to the Evelyn Culp memorial collection and various other artifacts, memorabilia and photos that tell the story of Nappanee. The Nappanee Center is full of interesting facts about the businesses, education, government and social activities of Nappanee that make it unique.

Planning and Zoning

With its eye to the future, Nappanee continues to plan for growth. In 1996 Nappanee adopted a comprehensive master plan that provided the framework for community development and growth. With many of the objectives and goals of the 1996 master plan completed, it is time for Nappanee to develop a new master plan that extends our vision for growth and improvements within the city. I intend to use my experience in design to provide leadership in this process. Through community charrettes, an interactive website and leadership by key members of the community, we plan to develop a document that will serve Nappanee for the next 10-20 years.

Government

Elected and appointed officials should be responsive to the needs of and engaged in dialogue with city residents. Nappanee is blessed to have quality leaders that continue to direct the city down the path of excellence.

Mayor – The Mayor’s key role is to provide leadership to the city. His day-to-day activities and long-term goals should reflect the vision of residents. The Mayor works with various boards, commissions and organizations throughout the community to create results and improve Nappanee. He acts as an ambassador for the community as he meets with local, regional, state and national representatives and businesses.

Clerk-Treasurer – The Clerk-Treasurer is responsible for the financial and business records of the city. Following the rules and guidelines of the State Board of Accounts, the Clerk-Treasurer collects tax dollars and distributes payments per the annual budget. As Mayor, I will work closely with the Clerk-Treasurer to maintain the financial integrity that has allowed Nappanee to prosper, and I will look for ways to use our tax dollars as efficiently as possible.

City Council – The Nappanee City Council is the legislative branch of city government that approves annual budgets, drafts and passes ordinances, and approves monthly expenditures. There are five elected council members (4 council districts and one at-large representative) that meet twice a month to conduct the business of the city and listen to reports of the department heads. The Mayor presides over the council meetings and votes only to break a tie. As Mayor, I intend to work with the council to pass legislation meaningful to the growth and improvement of Nappanee.

Board of Public Works and Safety – As the name suggests, the Board of Public Works and Safety oversees public works projects, city-owned utilities, and public safety. The three-member board includes the Mayor and two appointed members. The Board of Public Works and Safety meets twice a month to open bids, award contracts, listen to concerns of the citizens, approve accounts payable vouchers, and review and approve requests of the various city departments. As Mayor, I will work with this board to make sure the city services are focused on the citizens and run effectively and efficiently.

Education

Nappanee is blessed to have quality teachers, administrators and volunteers who truly care about the education of our children. Consistently, Wa-Nee schools have led the state in academic performance and extra-curricular activities. As Mayor, I plan to work closely with the school corporation to ensure education remains a top priority in the community. We need to work with parents and families to make sure we are teaching our children the skills they need to be successful and productive, whether that is preparation for the workforce, college or the military. Schools should be allowed to develop their own curriculum, and teachers should be allowed to utilize their creativity in the classroom.

Regional Influence

While we focus on Nappanee, we will continue to work on our strategic partnerships with regional organizations to help promote the area and collectively improve the quality of life for all. Neighboring municipalities like Wakarusa, Goshen, Elkhart, Bremen, New Paris, Milford, and Warsaw share many of our core values. Working with these, along with county organizations, chambers of commerce, public safety, and non-profit groups, we can create a common voice to help influence State and Federal legislation that will help preserve and promote the greater Nappanee area.