Jerry Purcell is running for Common Council At-Large in Richmond, Indiana as a Republican candidate in the 2023 general election.

2023 Election Guide

Western Wayne News 2023 Election Guide

The Western Wayne News asked candidates in contested races for the Nov. 7 general election the same nine questions.

  1. What are two specific reasons you decided to run for this office? (100 words or less.)
  2. If elected/re-elected, what are your top three priorities for your time in office? (150 words or less.)
  3. What are two specific skills you would bring to the office to benefit constituents, if elected/re-elected? (100 words or less.)
  4. What’s one aspect of the government body you’re seeking to join or lead that you think is working well and should continue? (100 words or less.)
  5. What’s one aspect of the body you’re seeking to join or lead that you think needs to change, and what specific action(s) would you pursue to change it? (100 words or less.)
  6. Will you accept the results of the election process even if you are not elected/re-elected? (50 words or less.)
  7. Beyond encouraging attendance at public meetings, how do you plan to involve residents in decision making processes that the office you seek is a part of? (100 words or less.)
  8. If you received a $5 million grant to improve our community any way you wanted, what would you do with it and why? (150 words or less.)
  9. Any other comments you’d like to share about your candidacy? (150 words or less.)

Candidates were given a month’s time to respond with a firm deadline. We share their answers, unedited from their original form, here and in our print editions.

For full election coverage, visit the Western Wayne News 2023 Election Guide.

Jerry Purcell

Reasons: A. Following my thirty-nine year career as a first responder, as well as a lifelong community volunteer, I believe that I am in a position to bring my many experiences to the Richmond City Council.

B. I want to support and lead the revitalization of our neighborhoods, as well as our small business districts.

Priorities: A. A Master plan is sadly lacking for our city. Creating a master plan, with input from all of our community members will ensure continuity as our city moves forward year to year, as well as from administration to administration.

B. Provide the infrastructure needed in our small business districts to promote private investment and increase long term vitality.

C. Rebuild the confidence of our citizens in city government through holding town hall style meetings, as well as emboldening our fellow citizens to share their ideas for Richmond’s future with city representatives.

Skills: A. My understanding of the city budget through my experiences as Richmond City Fire Chief.

B. My ability to create and direct projects to completion.

Working well: The present city council members do work well together and across party lines.

Needs changing: The lack of reaching out to our citizens for input on issues which affect them is a serious breach of trust. For instance, before a large project is initiated in a neighborhood, such as new sidewalks or street closures, how difficult would it be to knock on doors or put out fliers to inform folks about these inconveniences? Upon completion, the city should return to that neighborhood’s residents for an after action report on the project.

… It is not rocket science to run a city efficiently, but it does take the heart of a servant willing to listen and who has the fortitude to see projects to their completion.

Jerry Purcell

Accepting results: Yes

Involving residents: There is no better way than to speak directly to our citizens. Is it not a courtesy to involve those most affected by decisions? The mayor, city council members and department heads should acquaint themselves with the leaders of our business districts and our neighborhoods. In our era of emails and texts, nothing is a substitute for a “sit down across the table” to discuss concerns and mutual goals.

$5 million: One must first realize that this is a one-time money deal. The grant must be used in a way that has the greatest impact on present need while taking into account ongoing support costs which must be incorporated into the city budget. In the alternative, the project must be self-supporting once completed. I would spend this grant on infrastructure in our small business districts in order to better utilize existing structures and promote private investment.

Others: Ringing in my ears as I have prepared to make this run for city council at large are the many voices of old friends, new friends, even folks who probably will not even vote, but still have opinions. These voices have blended together to express the same concerns over and over again. “We want to be heard. We want to be consulted. We want input. Please finish the projects you begin in a timely fashion.” It is not rocket science to run a city efficiently, but it does take the heart of a servant willing to listen and who has the fortitude to see projects to their completion.

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A version of this article appeared in the October 11 2023 print edition of the Western Wayne News.