In a caucus of the Democratic precinct committee people of Greencastle's four wards, Phyllis Rokicki was chosen Monday as the new councilor at-large for the city.
When asked why she sought the office, Rokicki gave the reason any public servant should -- she wants to serve the city.
"I like to serve people. I like to work with people. Greencastle is an extremely important community to me," Rokicki said. "I've lived here since 1976. My children grew up here, and it means an awful lot to me. I just felt if could serve in a capacity to help the city in any way, I'd like to do that."
Fellow council member Jinsie Bingham oversaw the caucus in the absence of party chairman Dave Bohmer. She said the process went well.
"Our election process went very smoothly," Bingham said. "We had seven out of eight possible voters attend. The Democratic Party had full support from all involved possible delegates."
Rokicki brings a background of serving Putnam County and the state of Indiana. She was a business and computer technology teacher at South Putnam, where she served as department chair.
Her life in education led to a number of other service opportunities.
"I have worked at the state, regional and national levels in education. I've served on boards. I was president of our statewide educational organization. I am currently serving on the Putnam County Foundation board," Rokicki said.
Now she has the chance to turn her attention toward the city that's been her home for more than three decades.
"I want to help make Greencastle the best that it can be," Rokicki said. "There are several areas that I'm particularly interested in. However, not one stands out because I realize that a well-rounded community has lots of issues."
The current economic crisis is especially high on Rokicki's priority list as she begins her term.
"I will be concerned with fiscal responsibility -- that will be a top one of mine," she said. "Most of us living have never gone through a fiscal crisis like we have in the last year. These are particularly challenging times.
"I think it's important that although we are fiscally responsible, we have to work harder and smarter in order to ensure our quality of life and keep moving forward. We have to set priorities, maximize our resources and form partnerships. Basically, we just have to work together," Rokicki added.
Rokicki also has the interest of small business owners on her mind, as she is one of the partners in Bright Futures.
"I'm a small business owner. I very much understand the struggles and challenges that our small businesses face on a daily basis," Rokicki said. "I'm particularly interested in the small businesses here. We want to attract jobs. We want to be business friendly. It's a real challenge, but I'm interested in working in those areas."
The council's at-large seat was open after the resignation of councilor John Lanie earlier this month. Rokicki will fill the remainder of Lanie's term, which expires at the end of 2011.
Lanie also originally took the seat in the middle of a term, replacing Rokicki's late husband Mike after his death in 2003.