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MAYOR

Ben Hodgin (D)

Q: What office are you seeking and why?

A: I am Mayor Ben Hodgin and I am seeking re-election of Hartford City’s Mayor. This is a position that I have held for almost 8 years. I feel we need to keep our positive progress moving forward.

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

A: I have 8 years of experience and the knowledge to continue to lead our city.  After serving the public for over 40 years, I am now a public servant with the ability to bring people of our community together.

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

A: 70% of our city streets have been newly paved. More than 65 blighted properties have been demolished. The extension of Wabash Avenue has been completed. We brought rail service back to our city after being absent for over 30 years.  I now believe the population of our community needs to grow. and we have jobs available to fill.

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

A: My staff and I have secured well over $500,000 in various grants already to benefit Hartford City in the past 8 years.  If I were to receive another $500,000 in grant money, I would continue to develop the downtown square and increase the pride we have in our city.  Together We’re Better!


Dan Eckstein (R)

Q: What office are you seeking and why?

A: Hartford City Mayor. With living in Hartford City for the past 13 years, this city has become my home and realizing the economic struggles within this community, I feel that with my business and retail experience, I could be a huge asset in leading Hartford City toward a more positive future. Being a local business owner, I have received tremendous support over the past 10 years, and I want to give back the same support to help with our community. I cannot think of a better way to achieve that than by running for mayor. I have a trained staff to run and operate daily operations of the store, which has opened up the door for me to run for this position and to devote myself as a full time mayor.

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

A: With over 30 years in retail leadership in the industry, 21 years of which were with Sears, and the last 10 years as the owner and operator of Food & Fuel (formally LD’s/The Deli). I feel that I have developed the skills necessary to be an effective mayor. In my years with Sears, I held department management positions and Assistant Store Manager position in which I was responsible for department profits, customer service, employee personnel issues, and maintaining positive store moral just to mention just a few. While owning the store I have done all aspects of the store’s finances, ensuring all taxes are processed and paid, all employee and customer issues, driving business profits, communication with many different avenues of the business, and handling day to day issues that arise. As well as perpetuating a positive image that reflects the community in which we serve. In owning your own business, you develop great multi-tasking skills which would serve as an invaluable asset for this position. I have dedicated my adult life to my work which has proven my dedication to hard work. 

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

A: Current drug issues in Hartford City and Blackford County. Drug abuse is an issue within every town and city. The idea of completely eliminating drugs as a whole in our towns and cities is an almost impossible task. But controlling flow of trafficking in the community is more likely. I believe education is one way to reduce drugs in a community. Create a plan in schools to promote drug awareness, and start with younger generations for educational purposes. Also, a strong work force in local police department with good leadership can be a strong deterrent for drug dealers. Community watch programs and awareness can also be a deterrent with drug dealers. Rehabilitation programs and support groups are extremely important in helping individuals to overcome addictions.

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

A: Youth/Activity Center. I feel that this could serve many purposes to involved the citizens in our community. Besides bringing our youth to engage in activities, it can also serve as a place to bring family togetherness. For instance, a cold winter Friday night, this could serve as a place for the youth to enjoy different activities or watch a movie. The direct effect of this will help keep kids off the streets and engage them in positive community unity. Another possibility is for our senior citizens to enjoy the facility for an activity they enjoy such as bingo. This center could be rented out for several gatherings from wedding receptions, family and/or class reunions, to our children’s birthday parties to help cover some of the expenses. This center can bring our community together and has a possibility to draw outside people in to our city.


CITY CLERK-TREASURER

Janet Gilland (D)

Q: What office are you seeking and why?

A: I am seeking the office of City Clerk-Treasurer because I believe the City of Hartford City and its citizens deserve a person who not only has the knowledge and experience of this position, but also worked diligently and professionally for 12 years to uphold the responsibility of this office. 

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

A: I have 32 years’ experience, 12 years as the bookkeeper at Hoover-Needler Furniture Co., 8 years working in our local county government and the 12 years as Clerk-Treasurer. I am the most qualified candidate because of my experience, I know what to expect on day one and I will be ready.

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

A: Communication is key when working with finances, reports and the public. My door will always be open to communicating with other elected officials, the Dept. Heads and their employees and most of all to the citizens of Hartford City.

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

A: Cities have the opportunity to apply for State and Federal grants and the Clerk-Treasurer typically does not have any decision on what grants to apply for, that is the responsibility of the Mayor and Council members and I would trust their decision on the best way to spend it. The Clerk-Treasurer would be responsible for making sure all paperwork, the reports and payments are submitted in a timely manner.


Pamela Fancher (R)

Q: What office are you seeking and why?

A: My name is Pamela Fancher and I am seeking the office of Hartford City Clerk Treasurer. I

was asked to run by one of the present councilmen. I believe that working in this position is the next step for me in serving my community. I have worked for Blackford County Schools for 17 years as an instructional assistant in special

education, been a youth sponsor/mentor at the Wesleyan and Lighthouse churches for 20 years, and a volunteer for Celebrate Recovery and Hope House ministries helping people break away from the life of addiction. I care deeply about the people in my city.

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

A: I am a recent graduate of Ball State University with a BA in English Studies/Professional Writing. English Studies covers a wide variety of skills such as communication, organization, critical thinking, and problem solving. This degree, along with my background at Blackford Jr.

High as an instructional assistant in special education, gives me a variety of skills to be successful in this position.

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

A: The issue I would like to address if elected is our need to move forward to attract higher paying jobs to our city. We have lost a number of people who have had to move to find gainful employment. We have a team of Republican candidates who have a plan to hire a full time grant writer to help our city build needed sidewalks, revitalize down town, and build a civic center. This will beautify our community and make an impression on bringing in new businesses.

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

A: If I had the authority to spend $500,000 in grant money, I would build new sidewalks. This

would beautify our community and promote pride in our city. The blight elimination project has made such a difference tearing down old, empty houses; now it is time to build and beautify our city and attract new business. I am honored to have been selected to run for Hartford City Clerk Treasurer. If elected, I will work hard for you to insure a better quality of life for all citizens of Hartford City. Thank you.


CITY COUNCIL AT LARGE

Garry Monroe (D)

Q: What office are you seeking and why?

A: I am the Incumbent of City Council at Large. I feel I have been an intrigal part of council for 5 ½ years and I want to continue to serve Hartford City for four more years.

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

A: I have been in the garage door business for 45 years. Having been owner of Door Doctor since 1996. I served in the National Guard for 20 years and 9 months and retired as a Sgt. 1st Class. I have served on the committee to build the Hartford City High School Memorial Park and I am on the Alumni Committee. I am also on the Property Standards Board and the Economic Board and Tiff. I have been serving Hartford City and surrounding counties for 45 years with business experience and council businesses for 5 ½ years preparing budgets and working with police, fire, and water, sewage and parks departments. I am a 20+ year member of the Elks and currently the Exalted Ruler.

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

A: This city has made so much progress in the last 5-8 years thanks to the mayor’s leadership and surrounded by very good and dedicated people and there are several things that need to be addressed. Good restaurants and a good store similar or better quality of Alco. That is what I would like to address.

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

A: If I had $500,000 in grant money I would put in small quality stores up town to keep people shopping locally, have a place for our seniors, children’s activities and a nice band stage with weekly and by weekly music and entertainment.  In closing I would appreciate your vote to continue working to improve the quality of life for our families, children and work place.


CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT #1

Dennis Nottingham, Sr. (D)

Q: What office are you seeking and why?

A: I’m seeking the office of Hartford City Councilman District #1. I would like another term to complete and be a part of upcoming development for Hartford City. Our Mayor and current Council has been working the last eight years to make our city a greater and better Hartford City. Our team of Democrats have all worked well together and I personally think that is why Hartford City is progressing with job creation, blight removal, newly paved roads, great parks and bringing new businesses to Hartford City. I am a retired police officer and I am available to attend meetings during business hours as well as evenings, which benefits our city well and is a necessity. I like helping our citizens and help resolving city issues. I have enjoyed being a part of this and would like to continue as Councilman for District #1. I ask for your vote this November 5th.

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

A: I have nearly 8 years of being a City Councilman, a former Hartford City Police Chief, 26 years as a police officer, one year as an Intake/Dispatcher, five years as a Volunteer Fireman for Hartford City and eight years as a board and president member of the Blackford County Solid Waste District. Working in public service for 40 years gives me great knowledge of government rules and gives me necessary intelligence to make wise and good decisions for the City of Hartford City and the citizens of our great city.

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

A: I would like to address our city issues with street lighting which could save the city thousands of dollars each month or year. I would support changing our city street lights to LED lighting which would reduce cost and make our streets brighter. I would ask the mayor to put this matter on the first agenda this coming January 2020 and ask him to contact Indiana Michigan Electric or a contractor to address our City Council with this matter. This would be a great savings to Hartford City.

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

A: If I had $500,000 in grant money, I would spend it on a Community Center for the City of Hartford City. A Community Center would be a great asset to our City.


Michael Wolfe (R)

Q: What office are you seeking and why?

A: I am seeking the office of Common Council for District 1. As being born, raised, living, and raising a family in this wonderful City, I feel it is now time to give back to the city that shaped the person I am today. I want to contribute to the continued success of Hartford City by applying my knowledge and experience to those citizens of District 1. I want to be part of a strong council that makes good and solid decisions not only for today, but also forward-thinking for the future.

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

A: I am currently an advisory Board member for the Licking Township trustee which has provided me knowledge and experience in the governmental financial operations and oversight. My finance degree from Ball State University and current 19 plus years work experience in the financial institution/banking operations provide experience in financial oversight of both government and private business operations. I work daily with companies to see benefits and weaknesses in how decisions affect them not only today, but years down the road. I feel this experience will help make legislative decisions that affect businesses both small businesses and large. Developers and investors that seek opportunities for residential and business development see a benefit of having a strong and experienced financial mind (and minds) providing support (or recognizing weaknesses) for those projects that will further develop and grow the city.

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

A: Hartford City has experienced a steady decline in population and thus tax revenue.  There are several quality of life items, such as new sidewalks, rising water costs, and a community center, that need addressed to entice people to relocate to Hartford City.  Unfortunately, the current financial situation does not allow for such expenditures.  One of my first projects would be to seek and hire a grant writer to assist the city in obtaining funding to allocate to these quality of life issues so necessary to attract new citizens and property owners to Hartford City.

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

A: I would allocate a portion of these funds to the aforementioned sidewalks and community center develop, but a large portion of these funds would go to the youth sports leagues in Hartford City. I would direct these funds to be used to insure every child in Hartford City would have the ability to play in any of the numerous sports offered to our youth at no cost to them. These grant funds would also be used to supply equipment, clothes, shoes, and whatever other items needed to participate. I feel a child participating on a sports team is a child not out seeking and finding drugs or other dangerous recreational activities to occupy their time. This would provide the youth the positive building blocks to grow into adults that are productive members of the Hartford City Community.


CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT #2

Dustin George (D)

Q: What office are you seeking and why?

A: Hartford City Common Council District 2. To continue the positive momentum that has been created over the last decade.

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

A: I am a lifelong resident of Hartford City. For the last 24 years I have been employed at Huggins Auto Sales. I have served the citizens of Hartford City for over a decade as a Hartford City City Council member. I have the knowledge, understanding and determination to continue moving our community forward.

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

A: I will continue to pursue the highest quality of life for all our citizens. Seek new opportunities for our youth and senior citizens. See that all city departments continue to run efficiently and on budget. Provide the services our citizens expect.

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

A: Invest in our youth. Give every child the opportunity to participate. From the arts to athletics. Too often we overlook how important learning to play an instrument, being a team member and building relationships with others shapes a child for the rest of their life. This is no longer about you and I. This is about the future of our community and how we prepare our children for it.


CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT #4

Bob Sine (R)

Q: What office are you seeking and why?

A: Hartford City Common Council District 4. Seeking position to help Hartford City progress.

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

A: Professionally, I have nearly 40 years in finance, with the past 15 years as Branch Manager for Via Credit Union. I also serve on the Board of Hartford City Library. Formally worked on the Hartford City Redevelopment Commission.

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

A: The main issue is securing more grants to improve the city. I would suggest we hire a full time grant writer.

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

A: With $500,000 in grant money, I would push for new side walks and a permanent Senior Citizens Center.