President, Hamilton County Council
Q: How is your role as President of the County Council different from you serving as one of the Council members?
A: My role has not changed a great deal. Obviously, I get to make some subtle changes but as a group we do not allow our Council President to dictate the agenda like some organizations. Any member of Council can add items to the agenda. My subtle change is to make sure that any additional appropriation has a sponsor to explain (briefly) what the appropriation is so that viewers and interested parties can understand what is being paid for with their tax dollars.
Q: What is something you would like the community to know about the role of the county council?
A: The County Council is the fiduciary body of the County, and our main purpose is to provide checks & balances to the County Commissioners and provide fiscal oversight for items that impact our tax levy and tax rate.
Q: What is one thing you believe the Hamilton County government does well?
A: I think Hamilton County has done a phenomenal job overall, but what has struck me is our planning for and staying ahead of the growth. While elected officials are the ones who get the credit, it is truly the dedicated workforce behind the scenes that makes things tick. Our County is blessed with hundreds of stewards of your tax dollars, and I am continually impressed by the level of care and consideration they give every task and opportunity.
Q: What are three things you have learned while serving as a councilor for Hamilton County?
A: I have had the benefit of working with the County in my professional life in the private sector including when I was the Director of Public Works and Grand Park for the City of Westfield, so I had a head start on many people who take office, but I learn new things daily.
- The #1 thing must always be how large of an organization the County is and needs to be, to provide services to our residents, businesses and visitors.
- As a member of the County fiscal body, I’m regularly reminded of how incredibly complicated governmental finance is and how that impacts everything the County does.
- Lastly, I would say that because of the multiple cities and towns within Hamilton County, I’ve been witness to the amount of coordination that occurs at the executive and staff level to provide the services and avoid duplication of services to our communities.
Q: What do you think Hamilton County’s greatest asset is?
A: I think any organizations greatest asset are its people. Secondly, we are a County that consists of amazingly strong and diverse cities. The strong leadership at the municipal level has spurred growth and assessed value that allows our County to thrive and build on services and infrastructure.
Q: You have been involved in several organizations over your career. What one organization that you’ve been involved with would you like the community to know more about and why?
A: On a strictly professional side, I was privy to information that showed how desperately my industry was hurting for a sustainable workforce. My passion for workforce issues led me to help launch the Hamilton County Center for Career Achievement. But interest in workforce and mentorship began with my involvement in an organization called ACE Mentor. This organization was created several decades ago to build interest in Architecture, Construction and Engineering careers for high school students. We worked with IPS high schools and helped provide insight into the activities that we do and provided financial assistance to students who sought careers and education in this field.
Q: How long have you served as a councilor?
A: I am two months into my second 4-year term in office.
Q: What is your professional role?
A: I have been blessed with an eclectic background in the development and construction industry. After 20+ years working on major projects including the Village of West Clay (Carmel, IN), Discovery Channels World Headquarters (Silver Spring, MD), Jordan Hall of Science (Notre Dame, IN), Eck School of Law (Notre Dame, IN), Eskenazi Hospital (Indianapolis, IN) and Grand Park (Westfield, IN), I decided to start my own consulting business supporting others needing help with major capital projects.
Q: What is your favorite place/activity in Hamilton County and why?
A: Hard question! From a father’s perspective, I love seeing my kids compete and utilize the facilities at Grand Park but from a personal level, I really love seeing the investment our cities are making in their downtowns. After dinner before my son shipped out to San Diego for USMC Boot Camp, we had dinner on Park Street in Westfield and then wandered over to Grand Junction Park where they were showing a movie. We played cornhole on the top of the hill and just had a blast. It was nearly a perfect night.