Incumbent Democrat Michael Fincher faces two challengers, Republican Ted Franklin and independent Seger Mathew, in the race for Logansport mayor.
What do you see as the issues in this campaign?
Fincher: The first issue is the same as in every election! The budget, and how to offer our citizens of Logansport the same level of services that our citizens believe they deserve and have grown to expect.
Revenues have been reduced dramatically, over the last two years, due to the property tax reforms handed down by the Indiana General Assembly. The recession has also played a big part in the dilemma.
People cannot pay their property taxes on time because of layoffs and downsizing of companies and their return to work has been hampered by the slow recovery. The cost to the city of workman’s comp, health insurance for the employees, fuel, equipment and replacement parts continue to rise, creating additional stress on the budgets.
Even though we have raised the contribution by employees on their health insurance, raised the deductibles the employees pay for their insurance, raised the threshold of liability to the city and given no raises two out of the last four years. We have reduced staff in the parks and cemetery through attrition, combined offices to reduce costs and reduced fire department staff.
Upgrading our community’s perception is another issue. How can we expect new business to locate here if when they drive through town there is grass that needs mowed, houses in need of painting or leveling, windows boarded up just because it is cheaper than leaving the glass windows in place. If you were a business looking for a place to locate, would you invest in a community that doesn’t have pride in itself?
Another issue is education of our workforce and increasing the percentage of students who graduate from high school. This issue has little to do with the mayors’ office but it is a problem for the entire community to be aware of. A workforce that is willing to continually re-educate themselves will be the community that business will gravitate to. That is why it is so important to keep Ivy Tech filled to capacity and keep Trine University located in Logansport.