Cloverdale debate answers questions

Friday, September 28, 2007
Kendall Faust and Kelsey Hennett were selected as homecoming royals during the Greencastle High School football contest against Cloverdale Friday. Selected as to the court were juniors Kullan Edberg and Ashton Marshall, sophomores Hailey Wright and Jordan Hickam and freshmen Katie Farris and Kenny Buchanan.

CLOVERDALE -- Perhaps the most remarkable thing about Thursday night's candidate forum was what didn't happen.

There was no shouting. No personal attacks. And very little disagreement among the nine town board candidates present at the event.

As DePauw University senior Tom Kaczmarek, who moderated the debate, asked the candidates questions submitted by the public, each person spent more time agreeing with the others running for office than disagreeing.

Though questions ranged from public safety to the cost of utilities, to managing department heads, the theme that cropped up in nearly every answer to every question was the importance of working together and maintaining civility on the board. This was the single most talked-about issue among the candidates.

One of the most striking responses of the night was the support nearly every candidate offered for the Cloverdale Township Volunteer Fire Department. As the question of whether the town should rethink its agreement to contract its fire department out to the township passed down the line of candidates sitting at the table, each person gave high praise for the organization. Tom Tomlinson, who is running for one of two at-large seats, was the only candidate who did not give an affirmative support for the township agreement, saying, "I don't know enough about it. I plead the fifth." Nonetheless, even Tomlinson offered praise for what he has seen of the fire department's work.

Organizers Delight Coy and Gloria Bergstrom said they were thrilled with how well the forum went.

About three dozen community members turned out for the forum.

One of them was Juanita Newby.

Newby said she attended the event, which was conducted at the Stardust Hills Clubhouse, because it is important to her to be politically informed.

"I haven't missed a presidential election since I was 21," she said. "I'm 77 years old."

Daniel Inlow, who is running for a Ward One council seat and John Davis, a current board member and Ward Two candidate, were the only two candidates on the Nov. 6 ballot in Cloverdale who did not attend the forum. Inlow, however, sent several copies of a statement outlining his priorities and qualifications and apologized in writing for not being able to attend the meeting.

This was the first of three candidate forums set for the town. The next will be 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23 in the same location.

The Greencastle League of Women's Voters is partnering with the BannerGraphic and WREB to host a third debate 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 30 in the Cloverdale High School Cafetorium.

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  • The vote of confidence for the CTVFD is no surprise to the general populace of Cloverdale as it mirrors the feelings of the vast majority of the citizens.

    A little background as to where Tomlinson is coming from: Both Tomlinson and his wife, who works with John Davis, signed their name to Davis' candidacy form which states they "desire to vote" for him. So did Truax and her husband. So did candidate Charles Schenk and his wife.

    Although Schenk praised the fire department, he claimed the question was "loaded." Was it a loaded or a legitimate issue-based question since it happens to be the biggest political and most unpopular decision any town council at Cloverdale ever made? John Davis and Judy Whitaker have sued the town again and again in order to get their way over this, thus costing the town huge amounts of money and worse sidetracking the Board away from more important issues such as growth and prosperity.

    Also, Davis signed the petitions for Patti Truax, Jerry Acrea, Charles Schenk and Tom Tomlinson. This should cause concern for voters who want to make a clean break from the negative image the town has had for the past 4 years.

    Thanks, Michael for covering the town and please write more, more, more. You are doing a great job.

    -- Posted by South of 40 on Sat, Sep 29, 2007, at 7:28 AM
  • I would like to thank Mrs. Coy and Mrs. Bergstom for their organizing of the forum on thursday night. I think all of the candidates looked at this as more of an introduction to the public rather than a debate forum. However one little mis-informed lady did speak out in favor of keeping Patti Truax in the clerk's position. She obviously didn't know about altered papers that Mr. Padgett has received, or Ordinances and other important papers that no longer exist in the clerks records or rather she can't find them. Papers requested by the courts have not been delivered. These are things that make a town run smoothly. Keeping accurate records is a clerk's job. Running the town is the council's responsibility NOT the Clerk's. Obviously with all the tumoil that has prevailed during the past fours years, Important articles have either been misplaced or even possibly destroyed. Information that is public is impossible to get and the secrecy of information being kept from various board members has made it extremely difficult for the town council to run the town. Mrs. Truax made the desiding vote on the budget which ousted the CVFD and cost the town thousands of dollars that was totally unnecessary. Not even considering the lives that were placed in jeopardy for the lack of training by the town fire department. Spending the money of the town for frivilous law suits, ect. the list could go on of the mistakes that has been made all paid for by the town taxpayers..... I hope everyone will attend the next forum because I feel it will be a little more informative. Thank you again for superb coverage.....

    -- Posted by P. Gaddis on Mon, Oct 1, 2007, at 7:45 AM
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