Meet the New Castle candidates |

Meet the New Castle candidates

NEW CASTLE – Two candidates are running for the position of mayor in the New Castle municipal mail-in ballot election on April 4. Registered voters in New Castle should receive their ballots some time this week. Three other candidates are seeking three open seats on the Town Council. Their information will appear in the Post Independent this week.

Age: 53Occupation: Cabinetmaker, self-employedFamily: Wife, Kim; daughter, Sara; son, ThomasHow long have you lived in New Castle? Since 1976.Why are you running for mayor? With Steve Rippy’s departure (former longtime mayor and town administrator), I started to become concerned about consistency in the town and people remembering things from 15 years ago. Steve was a priceless resource. And then when I heard Bill Wentzel (the current mayor) was retiring, I decided to run. I had never entertained the notion before. Having worked on (Planning and Zoning Commission) for 16 years, I’ve seen all the documents that very few people have a memory of. Previous experience? I was appointed mayor from 1988 to 1990 and was re-elected from 1990 to 1994. I’ve chaired the Planning and Zoning Commission since 1996.If elected, what are your goals for the town? I’d like to implement a sign code because I think the next big presence will be franchised restaurants with big signs. I want to make sure we maintain New Castle’s identity. I also want to continue with the trail system and get connected because it’s a good alternative to cars. We also need to recruit more jobs so people don’t have to commute so much. And we need to increase our emergency preparedness.Any changes you would like to see? To work with the Department of Transportation to make sure we are on the short list to widen the (I-70 interchange) bridge and put in a pedestrian bridge.Biggest issue you see facing the town right now? Losing our identity to outside influences. I would like to see us develop a vision of what the town is so when developers come to town, we have a document in place and see how their vision agrees with ours.Do you feel you have the time to commit to the board meetings and special meetings? I’ve been ardent about attending all the P&Z meetings all these years. My kids are gone, and I work walking distance in town.What qualities do you feel you will bring to the town as mayor? The most important quality is that I can chair meetings in an impartial way. I really believe I’m a good chairman. I know how to suspend judgement, referee and bring a certain calm and nonjudgmental attitude. I’ve chaired hundreds of meetings.Favorite pizza topping? Black olives.Hobby? SingingFavorite TV show/movie/book/author? Favorite TV show is World News This Morning at 5:30 a.m.; Book is “Team of Rivals” – the life of Abraham Lincoln; Movie is “The Outlaw Josey Wales.”

Age: 52Occupation: Owner of New Castle Café for the past seven years.Family: Husband, Bob; daughter, Kelli; son, Bobby; grandchildren, Brandy, John and Cody.How long have you lived in New Castle? Born and raised in New Castle. I’m a New Castle native.Why are you running for mayor? Because I care a lot about New Castle, and I want to see it become a united community. I feel that the time I have been on Town Council helps qualify me to take the next step as mayor.Previous experience? I have been on council for nine years and served on various committees, including finance, public safety, personnel, historical preservation and cemetery.If elected, what are your goals for the town? I’d like to help balance the growth so there is more balance between residential and commercial development. I’d like to see the downtown revitalized, which will pick up as we see more commercial come in.Any changes you would like to see? No. I think the town staff is doing a remarkable job.Biggest issue you see facing the town right now? Balancing the growth. We’ve got tons and tons of residential; we’re really lacking in commercial.Do you feel you have the time to commit to the board meetings and special meetings? In the last nine years, I have a 99 percent attendance rate. With the record I already have, it shows I make that time for the commitment.What qualities do you feel you will bring to the town as mayor? My absolute love of New Castle and my wish to see it grow and prosper.Favorite pizza topping? Veggies.Hobby? Love to read and do counted cross-stitch whenever I have time. I also love to walk.Favorite TV show/movie/book/author? I don’t watch much TV, but I love to read and my favorite author is Diane Mott-Davidson. She writes mysteries and lives in Evergreen.

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