Township candidates make pitches ahead of Tuesday primary

Thursday, May 3, 2018

John McPherson

Washington Twp. Trustee

My name is John McPherson and I am running for the office of Washington Township trustee in the May 8 Republican primary.

I have lived in Washington Township my entire life and I have been a member of the Reelsville Fire Department for 21 years. I am a graduate of Indiana State University and I am currently employed at the Putnamville Correctional Facility as the Safety Hazards manager.

My life's focus is helping others and I feel being trustee would allow me to continue to help those in need as well as look after the best interests of the township's finances, properties and equipment.

The main job of a township trustee is providing fire protection and equipment for the township. As a member of the fire department, I have good knowledge of what the department needs are currently and going forward.

Another duty is to maintain parks and a community center. I plan to work with the school corporation in maintaining the playground and park behind the school so that our children will have some place to play and the public has a place to go locally.

I have been a treasurer and have managed money at the fire department and churches for many years, and I would certainly consider myself as an organizer, a doer, and a good leader.

With my years of being a responder I work well in a team environment and it has taught me to be a very good listener and understand the needs and desires of others who are facing difficult situations.

I feel that I would make a very good trustee for Washington Township. I know the area, and many of those that live there. I desire to serve the citizens of this township in a different way than I have in the past, and I will do my best to ensure that every decision made and every dollar spent is in the best interest of the township and its citizens.

Jessie Hoskins

Washington Twp. Trustee

Republican candidate Jessie Hoskins is seeking election as Washington Township trustee in the May 8 primary.

With a fresh viewpoint, Hoskins plans to use her experience as a county employee to invest tax dollars back into Washington Township and create revenue using resources already at hand.

Hoskins began her career in county government as a data collector for the Putnam County Assessor. She spent months in the field, interacting with taxpayers and listening to their concerns about taxes and government.

When a position opened in the Auditor's Office, Hoskins jumped at the opportunity to better serve taxpayers in a financial setting. She has held two positions within the Auditor's Office, where she is currently employed.

Prompted by her dedication to those in public service, Hoskins single-handedly reviewed every Disabled Veteran exemption filed in the county. She wrote a letter to nearly 40 veterans who were not using their full benefits and saved them an average of $220 a year on their taxes.

Her experience brings forth the knowledge necessary to fix the township's budget, find investment opportunities, and comply with State Board of Accounts.

"We need to take a step back and examine our budget," Hoskins said when asked about the lack of funding for the Reelsville Volunteer Fire Department. "The vital needs of the township are not being met. There are funds available that are not being utilized properly, and that's unacceptable."

Hoskins believes no matter how small the office, it is time to hold our elected officials accountable and make no exceptions.

Hoskins describes herself as a motivated learner and dedicated to upholding the standards of an elected official.

Outside of the courthouse, Hoskins is often seen in "muck" boots and a ball cap, working alongside her husband, Paul, and their three children -- Zion, 9, Zoe, 7, and Luke, 6.

She is a member of Bethel Baptist Church and is focused on raising her children with good conservative values. She considers Putnam County, specifically Washington Township, a perfect place to do so.

She believes that she brings all the necessary experience and resources to the table, with the motivation and work ethic to get things done.

Jerett Query

Jefferson Twp. Trustee

Searching for a way to give back to the county where he was born and raised, Jerett Query, a Republican, has announced his candidacy for Jefferson Township trustee in the May 8 primary.

Jerett was born and raised in Putnam County, where he has resided his entire life. Jerett began his journey to serve when he joined the Greencastle Fire Department as a reserve firefighter seven days after his 18th birthday.

From there he fell in love with helping and giving to others and pursued his passion in public service by becoming a Nationally Registered Paramedic. He was hired on the local ambulance service where he served for more than 11 years with three years helping lead the organization as the operations manager. All the while, Jerett served on the Greencastle Police Department for seven years as a reserve patrolman and Emergency Response Team paramedic.

Jerett further has worked as a 911 dispatcher for Putnam County for five years. He brings more than 17 years of public service experience and still continues to serve as a volunteer firefighter in Jefferson Township and is currently employed as a federally certified locomotive engineer and conductor with the Indiana Railroad.

Jerett has a passion for his community and is eager to bring fresh ideas and assistance to the residence of Jefferson Township, all while maintaining the small-town feel.

He adds that, "I will help to elevate every resident and the quality of life in our community. I will bring much needed transparency and accountability. Most importantly, I will strive to gather and use community input and involvement. I will be inclusive. I bring experienced leadership, critical thinking, integrity, honesty and common sense. I bring an open mind and will listen and respect all board members.

"There is so much history and many memories in the grounds of this town that need preserved," Query said, adding, "People still take their time to get where they are going and everyone waves at one another, I love the feel and sense of community one has for each other here."

Jerett resides in Jefferson Township with his wife of 10 years, Ashton, and their two daughters, Reese and Anni, ages 7 and 3. They enjoy their animals, spending time together in the woods and enjoying summertime campfires. He can be reached at

On May 8, your vote matters and would be greatly appreciated.

Tom Chiarella

Floyd Township Trustee

My name is Tom Chiarella, and I am running for Floyd Township trustee in the May 8 Democratic primary.

I have lived in Putnam County for 30 years, and in Bainbridge, on Big Walnut for three years now. I raised three children in Greencastle; I'm married and we are raising an 11-year-old granddaughter, who attends Bainbridge Elementary.

I'm a writer by trade. I am currently a contributing editor at Popular Mechanics and Chicago Magazine.

Previously, I worked at DePauw for 28 years before retiring; in that time, serving as chairman of the English Department for two terms.

For 22 of those years, I also worked as writer-at-large for Esquire Magazine. While at Esquire, I often wrote about celebrities, but just as often I wrote about my life as a father, an American, and a person concerned with the well-being of others. I tried anyway. Sometimes with a magazine, you end up writing things you don't care much about and hope no one reads -- like how to trim your eyebrows, or who's the sexiest woman alive (turns out it is my wife). But I also had the honor of interviewing President Clinton regarding his work in Haiti, and many others, including Don Rickles, John Daly, Halle Berry, Jimmy Kimmel, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady (in the same month). The only one I didn't like was Brady.

Here's the part where I'm going against the advice of friends in crafting this statement: I am running in part because I was disappointed in the results of the last presidential election. Not that President Trump has anything to do with keeping the lawns mowed at cemeteries around Heritage Lake (though I do vow, if elected, to pay our contractors more promptly that Mr. Trump ever did his).

The fact is, I am running as a Democrat, because I was born this way. My mother was a Union member, and my father was a management guy. Yet both of them were Democrats. I believe that the work of government is not automatically suspect, and that there is no swamp to drain. I have seen that it is possible for elected officials to be principled, compassionate and disciplined in their work.

So yes, I put my name in the ring as a challenge to myself to engage in the governance of our community. But I am running simply because I would like to help. I am up to the job.

Democrats care, and Democrats are capable. It's time to give us a chance to step up. For my part, I'll work to be honest, accessible and energetic. I'll use my experience to help citizens-in-need as best I can. It would be my great honor to serve our community, and I look forward to the work ahead.

Tina Sillery

Clinton Twp. Trustee

My name is Tina Sillery and I am the Republican candidate for Clinton Township trustee in the May 8 primary.

I was born and raised in Putnam County. I have five children and five grandchildren with one on the way.

My husband, Matt Sillery, is a business owner in the county.

I have worked for the county for 10 years. I started my first five years in the Assessor's Office as data entry as well as collecting data in the field for properties. I also assisted with sales disclosures, personal property and special exemptions for tax-exempt entities.

I then was approached to take on a new position in the Auditor's Office as human resource payroll deputy. I was excited for a new challenge and experience and I am in my fifth year in this position.

I will be utilizing my experience with the county if elected as Clinton Township trustee with budgeting and dispensing funds where it is mostly needed.

I look forward to this new challenge and promise to do my best for the residents of Clinton Township.

Steve Walters

Cloverdale Twp. Advisory Board

Steve Walters is a Republican candidate looking to retain his seat on the Cloverdale Township Advisory Board on the May 8 primary ballot.

A lifelong resident of Cloverdale, Steve has served the community in many ways over the years.

He is very involved in the community and supports many activities in the area. Steve has worked in business, healthcare and government and brings knowledge and experience to the position. He understands what taxpayers expect and works to make sure funds are used correctly and accounted for.

Steve and wife Jennifer have two grown children and live in Cloverdale.

"It's not a glamorous position, but I believe the position is important and I take the job serious," Walters said.

Steve would appreciate your support on May 8 in the primary election for Cloverdale Township Advisory Board.

Russ Evans

Greencastle Twp. Advisory Board

My name is Russ Evans and I am a candidate for Greencastle Township Advisory Board in the May 8 primary.

With my many years of public service I feel that I am well qualified to serve all the people in our township, and my 24 years of service as a volunteer firefighter at Bainbridge I am well suited to work with the Greencastle Fire Department and the City Council to negotiate a fair contract for fire protection.

Having served on the City Council, I feel very comfortable dealing with the township budget, school board appointment and helping those in need of our assistance. I pledge to do what I can to assist the Beyond Homeless Shelter and our Humane Society

I will be here year round and make myself available to deal with issues that face our township. You will be updated on a regular basis on my Facebook page so you can be informed of any issues within our township.

I am currently a volunteer with the Community Emergency Response Team.

I retired from Walmart Distribution in January 2017 after 25 years. I drove a high-reach fork truck and served on the fire brigade and safety team.

I currently work at Putnam Park Road Course and part-time at Dollar General.

My wife and I have been married 47 years and have two grown children that live and work in Greencastle.

In March 2002 my wife and I were the first married couple in the state of Indiana to receive the prestigious guardian award from the Indiana High School Color Guard Association for our volunteerism.

In closing, I want to thank you in advance for consideration and your support.