Gary Cole is running for Cambridge City, Indiana Town Council, District 5 as an independent candidate in the 2023 general election.
2023 Election Guide
Reasons: I am an active retiree from the field of education and a proud native of Cambridge City. I returned here because I see potential in this small town environment. We can maintain our important heritage while growing and adjusting to the times. There is an impetus for growth and change right now and I want to help move that forward, faster.
Priorities: Blight is a huge problem and there are ordinances on the books that we seem to be slow to use. I’m aware it is a complicated issue; however, I have some ideas and would like to help Council become more proactive In these efforts. We can look to communities who have seen success at dealing with absentee and neglectful landlords, burned out and abandoned homes, vacant properties and other related Issues. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel but we need to learn and be proactive.
Annexation — I want to study this, but in order to grow we must look for additional revenues for the town. My initial understanding is we are already providing services to several properties that are not considered within town limits. There are positive and negative impacts that I wish to delve into and learn more about, but we are an older community and must find (answer exceeded word limit).
Skills: As an educator and lifelong learner, with two degrees from Ball State, I know the importance of studying the issues to be informed about decisions. I also recognize the impact my decisions will have on every community member and will take that seriously.
Working well: The most recent comprehensive plan is just now beginning to be utilized and I want to continue the momentum in following this. There were community-generated ideas and it was an expensive process to have this plan developed. It’s a good plan and should be considered in every decision we make.
Accepting results: Yes. It’s interesting that we even have to ask this question.
Involving residents: I believe the public should have an opportunity to comment on things being discussed by the Board. We need to look at the structure of our meetings to determine how to engage the community, so they feel their opinions are valued and important.
$5 million: We have a housing shortage which could be addressed by purchasing and renovating these historic homes — many of which are blighted — to preserve the town’s heritage and Main Street. We could even create a housing program for these home buyers.
We need to capture the lost opportunity of many downtown buildings which are either under-utilized or not utilized. There are upper floors which could be restored to use as businesses or creative nonprofits.
Other: Town Council has good people who have served the community with diligence. But it is time for a change and local elections are important. Please go to the polls in November and consider voting for me. I pledge to work hard and make a difference for you.
A version of this article appeared in the October 4 2023 print edition of the Western Wayne News.