Pharos-Tribune

October 29, 2011

Candidates see mayor as full-time job

Challengers say they’ll give up other posts if elected.

By Jason M. Rodriguez
Pharos-Tribune

LOGANSPORT — Walking in a grocery store to get one item and getting caught in a half-hour conversation. Getting a hair cut and a debate. Conversations at the dinner table. Blackberry communication on vacation.

It all comes with the job of being mayor.

That doesn’t even include the county, city, economic development and regional meetings that the mayor of Logansport needs to attend to keep the community competitive.

“I believe it’s a full-time job if it’s done properly,” said Mayor Michael Fincher. “This is the only job I have.”

The two men vying to unseat Fincher, Republican challenger Ted Franklin and independent candidate Seger Mathew, say they would treat it the same way. Both men said if they become mayor, it will be their only job.

Democrat Fincher said the hectic schedule is something he also brings upon himself.

“When something happens, the department heads know I want to know,” he said.

Franklin is a firefighter and fire investigator with the Logansport Fire Department. He sold Universal Fire Extinguisher in January, but still owns a 15-unit assisted living facility.

“If I’m successful in this, I’m going to be leaving the fire department,” he said, citing a law that might prevent him from being mayor and receiving a paycheck from another municipal department. “I wouldn’t do it anyway. I just couldn’t do it.”

As for the assisted living complex: “It’s pretty much on autopilot. I’ve got a staff of nine very capable employees who make sure everything runs smoothly.”

Mathew is an employee services coordinator at Peak Community Services.

“When I take over the mayoral job, I’ll leave Peak,” he said. “They know that. I was already running for mayor when I was hired there.”

Fincher said that when the city eliminated the deputy mayor’s position, the mayor’s job took on more book work duties. And, of course, the mayor can’t slack too much on the ribbon cuttings, 7:30 a.m. meetings and various civic functions.

“Honestly, that’s the heart of the community,” he said. “People expect you to be there, and I take that very seriously.”

• Jason M. Rodriguez is news editor at the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5117 or jason.rodriguez@pharostribune.com.