The NT

Election day for the 2019 Municipal Election is just days away.  After two weeks of early voting 131 Hartford City voters have made their way to the courthouse to cast their ballots.  This is roughly 3.5% of the eligible registered voters.  I realize that municipal elections are usually less exciting and generate a lower voter turnout, but please, Hartford City, there is a lot at stake this year.

In the candidate debate last month, we heard every single one of the Republican candidates say that Hartford City is moving in the right direction.  The opposition, with little to run on, has based their platform for 2019 on making improvements by getting grants and tax abatements.  However, they completely ignore the fact that the current Democratic leaders have made the major improvements to the city largely with awards of $2.3 MILLION in grants.  They completely ignore the tax abatements which are bringing businesses and jobs to Hartford City.

•Hartford City’s Democratic leadership has demolished 73 blight homes with over $700 thousand in grant money.

•Hartford City’s Democratic leadership has repaved 70% of the streets, completed the Wabash Street extension, and is starting sidewalk rehabilitation with over $1.2 million in grant money.

•Hartford City’s Democratic leadership has purchased new equipment (fire truck, police cars, street sweeper) largely due to receiving grant money awards of varying amounts.

•Hartford City’s Democratic leadership has received $160 thousand to upgrade our city parks.

•Hartford City’s Democratic leadership has been working on downtown development with tax abatements (Old Villa apartments)

•Hartford City’s Democratic leadership has worked to make an amphitheater idea a coming reality.

•Hartford City’s Democratic leadership has brought rail service back to the city after a 30-year absence.

•Hartford City’s Democratic leadership has brought 9 businesses to Hartford City with tax abatements.

•Hartford City’s Democratic leadership has brought and is continuing to bring enhanced digital communications services to Hartford City.

These improvements make Hartford City more attractive and more accessible to future businesses moving here, adding even more and higher paying jobs to Hartford City.

Hartford City’s Democratic leadership has made all these accomplishments WITHOUT taking on debt.  We have worked with tight budgets and still improved Hartford City by acquiring grant money. 

Our Democratic Clerk-Treasurer candidate, Janet Gilland, has previously served 12 years as Clerk-Treasurer, she has the knowledge and experience to be ready on day one without needing any additional training, which in the past 4 years has cost the City an additional $20,000 dollars. She has worked diligently and professionally and understands the importance of keeping our City financially responsible.  Returning Janet to the Clerk-Treasurer’s office will put that money back into the budget to be used for additional projects.

The past eight years have seen many improvements in our city.  The current Democratic leadership has worked from its 70 years of combined experience and knowledge to move the city in the right direction.  Hartford City has rejoined the East Central Indiana Regional Planning District, which enables us to be eligible for even more grants in the future.  One of our council members, Bill Hess, chairs this commission. Dennis Nottingham uses his extensive experience and knowledge of city ordinances to ensure they are being enforced fairly.  Garry Monroe was appointed to serve on the Animal Control Board and was able to get money for the new animal shelter.  The last eight years have brought significant improvements to Hartford City.  We ARE moving in the right direction.

Even our opposition agrees. Whatever you think about the party wars at the national and state levels, think about HARTFORD CITY. What do the Republicans bring to the table that Hartford City’s Democratic leadership isn’t already doing?  Does it make sense to switch leadership and possibly stall the forward momentum we have built because of inexperience?  Mayor Ben Hodgin has said more than once that he is proud of the accomplishments, we have made in the last eight years. He, Janet Gilland, and Council members Garry Monroe (at large), Dennis Nottingham (Dist 1), Dustin George (Dist 2), Jimmy Lytle (Dist 3), and Bill Hess (Dist 4) want to continue to serve and improve Hartford City.