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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

City council names Bingham to serve

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

On election night, Democrat Jinsie Bingham and Republican Eric Birt came out even with voters.
Five anticipatory weeks following last month's municipal election came to an end Tuesday night when members of the Greencastle City Council voted to settle the tie for the coveted Third Ward seat.

It was a quick and decisive motion by current Third Ward representative Bob Sedlack that brought fellow Democrat Jinsie Bingham the nomination to fill his seat on the council, with Democrat Russ Evans offering to second the motion.

When it was called to a vote, the remaining two Democrats on the council, John Lanie and Tom Roach, voted to select Bingham, with lone Republican councilman Mark Hammer voting against the motion.

Republican Terry "T.J." Smith is sworn in Monday by Putnam County Judge Matt Headley as a member of the Greencastle City Council. Smith, who was elected in November to replace Democrat Russ Evans, will be unable to attend when the remaining council members are sworn into office in January.
Tuesday night's 4-1 votes down party lines settled the November election that saw both Bingham and Republican challenger Eric Birt tied with 190 votes each. Neither candidate contested the results.

Bingham, a first-timer to the council after recently completing 25 years on the Board of Zoning Appeals, was all smiles after the meeting Tuesday night.

"I am ready to pull up my sleeves and go to work for Greencastle," she said. "I'm excited and I'm pumped."

She said the last five weeks haven't been easy as she wondered what the results of Tuesday night's vote would be.

"This has been the longest five weeks of my life," Bingham said with a laugh.

The councilwoman had kind words to say about her opponent, saying Birt ran a "great campaign."

Birt also told the BannerGraphic following Tuesday's meeting that he felt Bingham ran a clean campaign as well, but that he knew he was facing a tough battle against someone who is well known and highly involved in the community.

Although admittedly disappointed with the council's decision Tuesday night, Birt said he wasn't surprised by the party-line vote.

"I think it was a foregone conclusion given the make-up of the council," he said.

Despite his loss, Birt says he's not ruling out a future run.

"I'm going to leave things open for now," he said.

He said he was asked after the meeting Tuesday night if he would consider an appointment to a board and he said he would be interested.

Bingham too said she would like to see Birt serve in a voluntary capacity with the city.

"I hope we can find a couple of things for him to do," she said. "I'm sure we can find plenty of places for him to use his expertise."

Tuesday night's meeting was the last for three current members of the council and the mayor whose terms end at the end of the year.

Mayor Nancy Michael presented outgoing councilmen Tom Roach, Bob Sedlak and Russ Evans with watches to honor their service to the board.

In January, Evans will be replaced by Republican T.J. Smith, while Roach will step aside for Democrat Adam Cohen. Sedlack is being replaced by Bingham.

Mark Hammer, a Republican, won his seat to remain on the board, as did Democrat John Lanie, who won his bid for re-election over Karen Hill Ambler.

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This was a joke from the start, you knew the Democrats would vote Bingham even though she has served 25 years with little to show for her effort. New blood was available but once again the good old boys win. Greencastle will never prosper with this train of thought!

-- Posted by Trying hard on Thu, Dec 13, 2007, at 10:59 AM

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