On Tuesday, November 8th we have the Town elections for 2011 and there is a five-person team running for office I want to personally recommend. First the incumbents in office. The improvements and service upgrades the town has realized from Republican leadership recommends these three people without a word from me. But I have had the advantage of getting to know them personally and to some extent professionally, so I want to give my two cents worth on each of them. By the way, if you attended Summerfest you no doubt saw some of these candidates and perhaps all. Summerfest was my chance to get to know these five candidates better than our normal monthly meetings and random events. So here we go...
AMY SUND - CURRENT CLERK/TREASURER
Amy has changed the old, archaic system into a modernized and efficient one. I personally appreciate the effortless automatic withdrawal of funds to pay my utilities bill and the more informative bill information that Amy has implemented. It is notable that Amy was a Democrat at one time, and naturally while sitting with her one afternoon at this year's Summerfest that subject came up. I asked her what motivated her to leave her party and come over to the Republicans. She said this word for word, "My party left me!" That is not the first time I have heard that said but it was heartfelt even if it was not coined by Amy personally. Her professionalism and dedication and willingness to innovate are valuable commodities to our town. She has the credentials to work for a much larger organization and probably for more money. Most Town residents probably do not realize how great it is for them that Amy Sund is in place in one of the most vital offices in the Town. Her ability to manage and invest our funds make new projects possible. We are indeed fortunate Amy Sund has chosen to serve the people of Cedar Lake in office!
JOHN FOREMAN -CURRENT WARD #2 COUNCILMAN
Speaking of innovation, both John and I work in the IT industry, and his experience and technological expertise are vital to the direction the Town of Cedar Lake is heading. When John held a fundraiser, he made it into an idea-gathering party and took input from everyone about what should change and what should not change in Cedar Lake. He reached out to me to do some research into some technologies that fall into my business space, not to purchase but simply to get information and collate it for future planning. John's business acumen is important to the council discussions concerning planning and expenditures while his forward-thinking approach provides an out-of-the-box point of view whenever problems are considered. Let's face it, in the 21st Century you need to have a professional geek! John (no offense, John, I'm one too!) may be a geek, but he is more than just a geek. He is an accomplished business professional who would make more money putting his Town time into his business, but he cares enough about his community to go all in for the Town when it is time to work for the Town. With multiple degrees and interests, he is a valuable asset to Cedar Lake.
GREGORY PARKER - CURRENT WARD #7 COUNCILMAN
We all call him "Greg." Greg Parker is a man's man, a working man, strong, tough and yet also ready and willing to listen to all sides of a problem and consider any and all solutions no matter who gets credit for the concept. If John Foreman is our "Techie" then Greg is the pragmatist and I don't think he cares if the idea is from a Republican, a Democrat or a Vulcan - if it is the best solution, he will be for it and he will work hard to make it happen. Greg is currently the Council Vice President and has worked on numerous boards and town projects, as you will see in the pdf sheets below my text. We need Blue Collar and White Collar people working together to get important jobs like zoning and infrastructure issues resolved. Greg is intimately familiar with the many challenges still facing us and is knee-deep in the job of resolving the problems and providing new opportunities. Dictionary Definition of PRAGMATISM- "a practical approach to problems and affairs" So when you consider the reasons why Cedar Lake has successfully grown and improved over the last few years, understand that one of those reasons is named "Greg" Parker.
PATSY (KING) CASASSA - CANDIDATE FOR WARD #6
If you think it strange that I lump the two candidates together, as it happens I got to sit with both of them together for long stretches of time during Summerfest and also they often walked the walk from house to house together. My wife, Debbie, did some walking with them and also some walking for them, passing out information about the candidates and talking to individual residents. In any event, based on all the people who dropped by the Republican booth for a chat during Summerfest, half of Cedar Lake was delivered by Patsy's father Dr. Robert King and they then spent time with Ralph at the Boys and Girls club as they grew up! Although you would think spending long hours in a booth at Summerfest would be boring, Ralph and Patsy had lots of stories to tell and so many people came by to greet them that the hours passed quickly. I can tell you both Ralph and Patsy are "people" persons, very accessible, willing to listen and learn but also with many years of experience to offer.
Patsy is already involved in the Town with the Police Commission and the Crime Watch program locally. Her business experience and her family ties as a Cedar Lake native mean that she already knows the community and plenty of the residents and she intends to focus on getting input from the people of Cedar Lake to make sure the direction the Town is taking is the direction the people agree with and, if you live in her ward and didn't meet her personally, you must not have been home because she walked all over the area!
Ralph has already put in a life of service to the community and service has been his theme, beginning with his service in the Navy as a Vietnam Vet and a career working with area youth both for the County and then the Boys and Girls Club, becoming the Director thereof and then receiving the Distinguished Hoosier Award from Governor Daniels in 2006. He and his wife LouAnn are experts at "cutting a rug" (dancing) and to top off a life of dedicated service to country and community he wants to be part of the Town Team that leads Cedar Lake through the challenges of growth that are here today and promise to continue.
Keeping Amy, John and Greg on the job continuing to stay ahead of growth and fixing the mistakes of the past is critical for the future of Cedar Lake in my opinion. I am sure that Ralph and Patsy will make the team stronger and even more accessible to the people. The Cedar Lake/Hanover Rpublicans have many members who give their time, energy and resources to grow the town. The Town of Cedar Lake was put together many years ago with little thought given to future growth or zoning issues or infrastructure and it was a mish-mash of former cottages converted into homes, residences in business zones and businesses in residential areas with poorly designed streets, archaic sewage plans, little future planning and almost no sidewalks or well-designed and maintained parks. If you have lived here for awhile you know what I mean.
Now I see what has been accomplished and especially with more help and attention from Indianapolis in large part due to State Senator Sue Landske (who occasionally attends our meetings and whose husband, Bill, is a Town Councilman) we have greatly improved the infrastructure of the Town, policies have been firmly established, new opportunities pursued, much of the lakeshore gentrified including a very classy restaurant, the Lighthouse, and a row of attractive condominiums and tremendous improvements to our schools. There are many folks who are willing to take credit for projects begun by Republicans before the 2008 elections and Republican leadership was restored in 2010, which guaranteed that the momentum of smart step-by-step improvements would translate into progress maintained.
All this is my opinion and not an official proclamation of the Republican Party. I am a simple citzen like you, one who likes the Cedar Lake that is growing with wise planning and careful consideration of funding. The Republicans have proven to do the job and do it well. Let's keep the team in place and augment it with the hard-working and dedicated candidates introduced by these documents right below my opinion piece. I personally vouch for all five of these candidates for what it is worth and my wife and I will continue to work to help them and support them in the effort to continue to grow and improve our Town!