by Amie Sites
Democrat Timothy Banter Sr. is opposing incumbent Republican Jim Sailors in the race for District 2 county commissioner.
Banter said he had been asked to enter the race.
“It’s supposed to be a two-party system,” he said. “After the last city election, Republicans took control over city and county. There are a lot of people who are unhappy with the way things are going and the back-door deals.”
Sailors declined to comment, saying he didn’t want to be interviewed this close to the election. In a written response to questions posed by the newspaper, Sailors had been critical of politicians “wheeling and dealing at the taxpayer’s expense.”
“We at the local level cannot tolerate that nor should we tolerate it at any other level,” he wrote.
Banter, who has lived in Cass County for 13 years, said there were some issues he believes need to be addressed. Banter said that the France Park needs to become a focal point again and county roads need to be addressed.
Sailors said county officials needed to be selective in the use of tax-increment financing districts, which could be a large issue for entities that receive tax dollars. He has argued that growth is important, but so is maintaining services for the community.
“We have made several changes in the last several years to make county government a more efficient, easier and friendlier entity,” Sailors said last November in a news release announcing his candidacy. “Even though it has been a little more challenging due to the economic times, I believe we can come out stronger by dealing with adversity and putting our best foot forward.”
Sailors was chosen in January 2008 to replace Steve Kain, who resigned to take a position as superintendent of Richland-Bean Blossom Community School Corporation in Ellettsville. Sailors was subsequently elected to a four-year term. Sailors, who has lived in Cass County most of his life, is a retired Indiana State Police officer and now an agent for Farm Bureau Insurance. He has been with Farm Bureau for 23 years.
Banter, who spent 25 years in the Navy, supervised about 100 people while in the service and managed a $1 million budget, he said. He taught classes about diesel engines and blueprint readings at Ivy Tech Community College in Lafayette before working on a production line at Chrysler for 13 years. He retired from Chrysler in November 2008. He said his experience working with budgets and managing divisions in the Navy and the time he spent working on the production line at Chrysler make him a well-rounded candidate for the position.
• Amie Sites is a reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5150 or firstname.lastname@example.org.