Todd Barton
Todd Barton
Crawfordsville Republican candidate for mayor Todd Barton has written a plan for Crawfordsville, if he is elected mayor on Nov. 8.

The Paper presents it in its entirety. We will present written plans by the other candidates, incumbent Democrat Charlie Coons or independent Tom Rule, as they become available.



TODD BARTON for MAYOR of CRAWFORDSVILLE ACTION PLAN for Making Crawfordsville Great Again



Introduction

Crawfordsville is at a fork in the road. We face further economic stagnation, decline in our infrastructure, downtown, and buildings, erosion of our property values, and loss of home-town pride. Or we can integrate change and move Crawfordsville in the right direction. It's been said that there's nothing worse than failing to plan for success. And I think it's the current administration's failure to plan that's caused us to struggle in recent times. Crawfordsville can be great again. I am running to be Mayor of Crawfordsville, because I believe my ten-point plan provides the road map that gets us there. This plan will be implemented on day one of my administration if I'm fortunate enough to serve you as your mayor. But this plan is based on what I believe must be done so that we can shape what Crawfordsville will be - GREAT AGAIN! My plan focuses on ten aspects of our community and what your mayor and city government must do to lead Crawfordsville back. The framework for my plan includes:

1. Economic Development

2. Fiscal Management

3. Ethical Standards

4. Empowerment and Open Communication

5. Effective City Services

6. Revitalization of Blighted Areas

7. Intergovernmental Cooperation

8. Infrastructure Rehabilitation and Growth

9. Annexation and Growth

10. Improved Quality of Life

If you have any questions as you read through each of the sections below, please do not hesitate to contact me on Facebook at Todd Barton for Mayor of Crawfordsville. You may also reach me directly by telephone at 376-6651. I look forward to your questions and any input you may have. I believe in my plan, and I also know that together, we can make Crawfordsville GREAT AGAIN.



1. Economic Development Economic Development and job creation are the foundation on which all other components of my plan are built. The time to get serious about developing our local economy and job creation has been upon us for some time. Unfortunately, we have failed to take proactive steps to turn things around. This is unquestionably being demonstrated by the need to continuously cut services to a point that it begins to threaten the quality of life we expect in our community. By continuing down this path we face the inevitable result, a community that no longer resembles that with which we have grown accustomed, but rather a community with a much lower standard of living. I believe that we must aggressively focus our energy on growing our economic base, which will result in personal and community revenue creation. This is the only logical way to preserve or improve our quality of life. I fully agree with The Paper's Tim Timmons's recent assessment of Crawfordsville that "we are dying from a thousand small cuts." We have continued to lose jobs in our community and, unfortunately, the outlook is grim unless we take significant action quickly. We face the likelihood of more job losses and have no real prospects for significant job creation. This places us in a downward spiral of endlessly cutting services and lowering the standard of living in our community. I believe current economic development efforts are falling short for several reasons:

We need a vital, active, creative economic development approach. The economic development model currently being used is substantially the same as the plan our competitor communities are using. If we continue to do things just like those other communities, what sets us apart and makes us stand out to potential investors? The answer is painfully obvious, nothing.

We need a new partnership and cooperation with our nongovernmental economic development organization, Montgomery County Economic Development ("MCED"). MCED is well organized and blessed with the insight and experience of many talented, successful individuals. But it lacks a cohesive sense of direction or goals. I believe that as the county seat, Crawfordsville, and its mayor, must take point on responsibility for setting the overall economic-development agenda.

We must increase the city's support for MCED and work on a sound, team-based approach. MCED is not receiving adequate support from the city of Crawfordsville. The city's current efforts can be described as a fractured approach at best. The city must increase MCED support in two ways. First, the mayor and the mayor's administrative team must be fully active and engaged with MCED. And second, the city must increase its financial contributions to MCED. The city's current contribution of $15,000 per year sends a clear signal that economic development is not as important as the other things on which we spend much more. Of course, increased funding must be tied to increased performance expectations. This is a reasonable expectation any future city council would have in considering increasing our MCED contribution.

We must operate with a formal, comprehensive economic development plan for our community. The current administration's lack of any plan is a fundamental flaw that leaves us simply treading water and trying not to lose as much as the guy down the road. Planning is paramount to success in any endeavor. Economic development is certainly no different. Without a plan we find ourselves drifting and expending our limited resources in inefficient ways. Do we continue more of the same or do we seek a solution? A comprehensive plan offers our only real chance at avoiding more of the same and the potential for a different outcome. Simply wishing for that big employer to happen along defies all current statistics and is not a plan. Should we continue to pin all our hopes on this?

We must face the inevitability of change. Remaining passively attached to the economic development ideals of the past will most certainly guarantee failure. Change is now happening so quickly that we must become increasingly flexible and prepared to shift our focus on an ongoing basis. Free markets, emerging economies, and the technology revolution make future economic development planning a very fluid process.

Your mayor must work closely and in cooperation with county officials and believe that we should approach economic development as a "community" rather than a "city" and a "county." The current approach is disjointed, with separate and distinct "city" and "county" involvement. This fragmented, divided approach doesn't benefit either of us. This approach is further complicated by the overlapping roles of nongovernmental agencies. Potential investors often remark that their first impression is that the city and county bicker, compete, or just don't get along. Those looking to invest, plant their business and create jobs do not want to deal with these issues, and so it's simply too easy for the investor or business person to pass on our community. This must change.

We must actively engage state economic development leaders and utilize state resources. The State of Indiana has recently invested heavily in attracting business to our state. Unfortunately, evidence of our involvement or benefit from such efforts and use of our state resources is non-existent. Why are we not seeking to benefit from these expenditures and efforts made at the state level?

We must create a "sales team" for Crawfordsville. This will consist of a group of local government leaders, business leaders, and interested citizens to effectively sell our community to those who are considering investing here. A first impression can be the only impression. So we must put Crawfordsville's best foot forward with potential investors and business people. There are many talented people in this community who love to show it off and make people feel welcome while bringing to light our proud history and positive attributes. We must call upon those who can help us make the sale and utilize their passion for this community.

We must develop and harness our community pride. To attract potential investors we must awaken and utilize the abundant pride that exists in this community. Visitors and potential investors are greeted by crumbling, abandoned buildings, weed infested sidewalks, decaying welcome signs, and a general lack of upkeep in many highly visible areas. What message does this send? We must rekindle our abundant community pride to clean these areas up and make a difference. Proper leadership can make it happen.

We must market our Commerce Park. Recent efforts have simply missed the mark or fallen short. The ongoing failure to secure a corporate tenant in the industrial park speaks for itself. Again, we can continue to take the same approach or we can make changes. Members of the redevelopment commission have worked very hard, largely at their own expense, to make the park marketable and position it for success. But our failure to develop a clear development plan or to utilize marketing professionals, such as commercial brokers, to help us obtain the desired results is a clear contributor to our failure to secure a corporate tenant. The following actions are necessary to effectively address each of these shortfalls. Here's my action plan for Crawfordsville's and our community's economic future: Barton's Economic Development Action Plan:

1. Immediately increase the city's support of MCED efforts by pledging active involvement by the mayor and administrative team. If MCED is to serve as our Lead Economic Develop Organization (LEDO) we must properly support them and provide them with the tools and motivation to succeed. I will seek additional funding from the city council for MCED that is comparable to what Montgomery County is providing. However, the increase in support will be coupled with increased performance expectations. The following actions are essential to improving our success and will be related to MCED in the form of performance objectives: a. MCED will complete a Resource Assessment Poll that includes the development opinions of each of MCED's Directors and specific members of the business community. Copies of all completed polls will be shared with the Montgomery County Commissioners, Montgomery County Council, Crawfordsville's mayor, city council and redevelopment commission. This must be completed by March 1, 2012. b. MCED will present city and county leadership with an Economic Development Market Ranking Report. This report should, at a minimum:

Identify those resources available in our community for practical job creating market exploitation.

Identify legitimately available economic development markets based upon the resources identified. (What are our niche markets?)

Create market goals based on the resources and markets identified.

Goals should be ranked and practical in terms of public cost as well as demonstrating logical and competitive advantages for our specific community.

The report should be approved and signed off on by the MCED Board of Directors.

This must be completed by May 1, 2012.

2. MCED must create and submit a comprehensive written Plan for the Economic Development of the Crawfordsville/Montgomery County Community. The plan must: a. be an evolution of the polling and marketing reports above

b. be original and specifically developed for this community

c. identify our strengths to be utilized and the markets to be exploited

d. reference objectively logical arguments and knowledgeable resources

e. must clearly define detailed marketing tactics, budgets and timelines The final plan must be ratified by a majority of the MCED Board of Directors and then submitted to Montgomery County Commissioners/Council as well as the Crawfordsville Mayor/City Council for their consideration and approval. This must be completed by August 1, 2012.

3. As mayor, I would assume a leadership role by facilitating meetings to be held no less than monthly at which all those who play a role in our economic development will build collaboration, share information, exchange ideas in a cooperative manner. These meetings should include representation from county commissioners, county council, city council, MCED, Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce, Crawfordsville Redevelopment Commission and any other groups deemed appropriate. These meetings will begin being conducted no later than January 31, 2012.

4. A substantial relationship will be established with state economic development leaders and every effort will be made to ensure that we are taking full advantage of their efforts to promote business in Indiana. We must capitalize on the state's use of these resources. Initial meetings will be held as part of the MCED process of constructing our economic development plan and the process of incorporating the state's resource and efforts into our own efforts must be taken into consideration in the development of the plan.

5. As mayor, I will assemble a database of local government leaders, business leaders, educators and citizens who are passionate about selling our community and are willing to assist when potential investors visit our community. This will be a diverse group whose varied backgrounds and interests may be called upon for specific situations. This database can be used by city or county officials as well as MCED to build a "sales team" specific tailored to best make potential investors feel most welcome and encouraged to invest in our community. This database will be in place by February 29, 2012 but will require ongoing maintenance as interest by volunteer members change over time.

6. The city will develop a volunteer based program for those who are willing to give a small amount of time in order to improve our community. This group is based on the strong sense of pride present in our community. Although there are many potential roles for such volunteers, their ability to impact the overall look and presentation of our community during efforts to recruit new investors is immeasurable. Small things such as removing weeds from downtown sidewalks and picking up trash from streets can go a long way in making us more attractive. It sends a clear message to potential investors. This group will be formed and volunteers will begin being recruited by April 1, 2012. The director of parks & recreation will be responsible for managing the activities of this group.

7. Our relationship with existing employers will be nurtured and strengthened. I will set out on a plan to meet with the senior leadership of all our major employers by arranging times to call on them at their corporate headquarters. A strong, personal relationship creates a bond that solidifies our position to retain current jobs while encouraging additional growth. We must show genuine interest in the success of these employers and their local operations by undertaking an effort to gauge how we can best help them in Crawfordsville and promote the growth of their operations.

8. The process of locating or expanding a business in our community must be simplified. Those wishing to invest here are currently faced with an endless chase of permits and paper between multiple city and county offices. This is

very discouraging and stifles growth in addition to sending a clear signal that we don't have our act together. I will undertake talks with county officials and make every attempt to develop a mutually agreeable arrangement under which the offices of Crawfordsville City Planning Department and the Montgomery County Building Department would be located within the same space. This would be followed by a creation of a comprehensive set of steps that those wishing to build or invest could follow. In a sense, one-stop shopping. If someone wants to invest in our community, whether through expansion or new investment we should roll out the red carpet and do everything to assist them, not provide them with the sense of being given the runaround. Although this is dependent upon buy in from county officials my goal is to have such a move complete by June 1, 2012.

9. Every effort must be taken to ensure that tax abatements are achieving their desired effect. Although the planning director assembles as much information as possible concerning such requests and requests for continuation of abatements there are often unanswered questions. Businesses often fail to attend meetings of the city council at which their requests are being considered. This leaves council members with a tough choice and the decision is usually made to grant the abatement even if important information is lacking. Certainly, no one wants to vote against an abatement continuation only to see a business pack up and leave town taking jobs with it. I will seek to institute a policy requiring site visits by administration officials and council representatives prior to the request for a new or renewal being placed on the council agenda. These visits will ensure that all the needed information is available for council consideration and show that the city is truly interested in the business and its expansion. This process will begin with any abatement requests made after February 1, 2012.

10. We must take sudden and drastic steps to improve our presence on the world-wide-web. When most us seek to learn something about a community today our first stop is usually the internet. Unfortunately, our presence on the web is dismal at best. The city's website is shockingly sparse and plain, lacking the most basic information or even the ability to send the mayor an e-mail. What kind of impression does this make on someone who makes an attempt to learn more about us? I would propose that it leaves a much less than favorable impression. I will change our web presence to make it not only more beneficial to local residents but attractive and inviting to those who seek to learn more about us. A new, appropriate web presence will be in place by April 1, 2012 and will be maintained in the proper manner. This includes not only the city's website but improved web marketing strategies through search engines, etc.

11. Every effort will be made to cultivate the development of local, small businesses. Approximately 80% of job creation in the U.S. is by companies employing less than 10 people. We can no longer ignore this statistic and must create an environment of entrepreneurialism. Locally grown companies - the ones that create local jobs and grow local wealth - offer a much higher economic return than exclusively "big game hunting" in industrial development, a practice that is becoming increasingly expensive and far less rewarding than in the past. The Barton administration will implement policies that encourage and promote local small-business development:

Streamlined permitting process through the one-stop shopping process outlined earlier

A complete review of all city ordinances and policies will be conducted to make sure they encourage small business development and changes will be proposed where needed

A program will be developed to assist small businesses in accessing venture capital as financing is an essential ingredient to their development. While the city cannot finance these businesses we can certainly have already laid the ground work through an established program which links small businesses with potential lenders and investors. It seems evident that entrepreneurial development will be a part of MCED's new economic development plan; and the city will create an entrepreneurial development program to compliment this. The Barton administration will immediately set out to encourage small business development and a formal program will be in place by October 1, 2012.

2. Fiscal Management Two challenges must be effectively addressed to work toward soundly managing the City's finances:

1) the budget generally, and

2) employee health insurance. As your mayor I will take the following actions regarding each challenge: Budget Challenge: The lack of economic development, the continued loss of jobs and a housing slump have all combined with property tax caps to produce very challenging fiscal times for the City of Crawfordsville. This challenge has only been made worse by the lack of fiscal oversight on the mayor's part. Each department head is currently preparing their proposed budget on an individual basis with little mayoral oversight and no apparent coordination among departments. This has resulted in proposed budgets being submitted to the city council which exceed the anticipated revenue. In short, the recent proposed budgets have not been balanced and the city council has been forced to make significant cuts due to the lack of mayoral leadership. Budget hearings have frequently become a battle, pitting city departments against one another. This is indicative of the lack of a cohesive plan on the part of the current administration. Action Plan: As mayor I will work with department heads to develop a proposed budget that reflects our collective priorities for the following year and is WITHIN anticipated revenues. This will be done in the following fashion:

1. Work closely with the clerk treasurer to determine the anticipated revenue for the following year.

2. Assemble department heads and develop goals for the following year, which allow departments to effectively deliver services and position the city to achieve our long-term goals.

3. Prepare departmental budgets in close consultation with each department head, clerk treasurer and the chairman of the Crawfordsville City Council Fiscal Affairs. The proposed budget shall reflect our goals for the following year and the sum of all proposed departmental budgets shall not exceed the anticipated revenue.

4. The proposed "balanced" budget will then be submitted to the city council for their consideration.

5. It should be noted that priorities will need to be shifted from one year to the next in order to achieve long-term goals. For example, extra resources might need to be focused on one department for a year to make capital purchases and then shifted to another department the following year.

Employee Health Insurance Challenge: The acquisition of health insurance for city employees has become an increasingly expensive and challenging procedure. The city's portion of premiums represents a significant expenditure within our annual budget and the employees' portion has continuously increased, frequently offsetting the minimal raises that have been given. I recognize the importance of quality benefits in attracting and retaining the quality employees which allow us to most effectively and efficiently deliver city services.

Action Plan: A truly competitive process must be put into place that will allow the city and its employees to obtain the best value for the price paid. Under the current administration, a competitive process is not in place. The process is only open to one insurance agency who usually offers the city a few plans through different providers. The lack of an open, competitive process, in which any insurance provider may bid on providing health insurance stifles competition and leaves the taxpayer unsure if they are getting the best value for their money. I will institute a competitive bidding process to acquire health insurance when the city's current policy is set to expire. The services of an independent, insurance professional who shall be excluded from taking part in the process or providing insurance to the city may be used to help evaluate the cost and coverage of proposed plans and to assist the city in developing a long-term strategy for controlling health insurance costs through actions such as wellness programs and possible consolidation with other large group purchasers. The competitive bidding process will be in place upon the first health insurance renewal process under the Barton administration.

3. Ethical Standards As your mayor I will change the current practice of accepting substantial gifts from those who do business with the city. Accepting such gifts, although not illegal, is not consistent with my own view of how elected and appointed officials should conduct themselves. I don't believe it leaves officials free to make decisions based solely on the best interest of the city and its taxpayers. It is currently common practice to accept gifts of tickets to professional sporting events such as Indianapolis Colts games and the Brickyard 400 as well as collegiate events such as Purdue University sporting events. These tickets often include parking, a suite pass, free food and beverages, which are usually provided by those receiving business worth thousands of our tax dollars.

Action Plan: I will sign and adhere to an ethics policy which prohibits me from accepting substantial gifts from those who do business with the city. I will also require all department heads and mayoral appointments to sign this agreement as well. Discussing business with the city over a meal is considered a normal business practice. A business providing me with sports tickets, sponsorships for my children, or other substantial gifts, however, is a problem. I will not take part in this or allow it. If I want to attend a Colts game, I will pay my own way. In short, there should not be a "For Sale" sign on the Crawfordsville Mayor's Office.

4. Empowerment and Open Communication Challenge: Many residents feel uninformed and out of touch with the activities and decisions of our city government. While traditional barriers such as busy family schedules and physical limitations are largely to blame there are many options available today to overcome these obstacles, informing and involving those who might have been unable to participate before. The Barton administration will implement a plan of open, two-way communication with the citizens of this community that will allow them to become better informed about the activities of city government thus making them more likely to actively participate in the decision making process that will shape our future. The Barton administration will operate under a policy of open communication:

Crawfordsville's website will undergo a complete renovation to provide an interactive forum for two-way communication between the city and citizens. This will include a complete view of all city services, facilitate communication between the public and the service providers. As we move into the future it is imperative that citizens be able to learn more about city services and conduct business with the city via the internet.

Citizens will be able to easily e-mail the mayor, city council members, Department heads, and other city officials from one webpage.

All department heads and members of the administrative team will be expected to take calls from the public when available and promptly return calls when not.

Citizens shall be able to make an appointment to speak with the mayor, any department head or member of the administration within a reasonable amount of time.

The mayor's office will provide constant, ongoing press releases and information to the news media and will be readily accessible to the media.

As mayor, I will provide a quarterly written assessment of the city and progress being made. This assessment will be released to the news media and will be made available on the city website. Copies will also be mailed to any citizen requesting one.

Each department head will provide a written assessment of the activities of their department semi-annually. These assessments will be made available and released in the same manner as the mayor's. The schedule for these will be adjusted so that they are not all being completed and released at the same time.

Information released by the administration or city departments will be provided to all news media outlets in an equal and simultaneous manner.

As mayor, I will have a published time every month during which I will be available in an accessible, public location within the city. This location will rotate and change from month to month. (example: local restaurants, etc.) During this time anyone can stop and speak with the mayor regarding their concerns or ideas.

The Barton administration's policy will be that all public meetings will be held in locations that are easily accessible to the public, conducive to public attendance, equipped with adequate sound systems that allow the public to follow the discussion and are held at times that encourage public participation. All of these policies will be implemented on January 1, 2012.

5. Effective City Services Effective and efficient city services are critical to our quality of life and to future growth and we are very fortunate to be served by many highly capable, dedicated employees. The city tasks different departments with carrying out these services and in some cases too many resources are being committed and in others not enough resources are being committed. The Barton administration will undertake an evaluation of all departments and services to ensure services are being delivered in the most efficient manner.

Overarching Strategies:

a. Interdepartmental Cooperation:

Monthly department head meetings will be held to facilitate open communication between departments, foster cooperation and ensure that we are all focused on the same goals. Departments will face strong encouragement to assist one another in delivering services.

Some capital items such as vehicles and equipment will be shared between departments. For example: several departments maintain vehicles for the purpose of being used by city employees when they travel out of town on city business. These vehicles are notoriously not fuel efficient and in poor condition. It would make more sense to have fewer, more efficient pool cars that would be shared among departments than to continue the current method. Departments will assemble a list of commonly used goods and services and we will begin the process of negotiating in bulk, as a group, for better prices. This isn't always possible but in many cases we could realize substantial savings by approaching this together. Beginning in 2013 the city will advertise for bids annually for commonly used products. This annual bid sheet can then be used by departments for the next year. Examples include: bulk petroleum products, office products, etc.

Fleet maintenance services will be consolidated no later than January 1, 2013.

b. Communication and Innovation:

Today's workforce has changed and employees are driven by different needs.

Employees will be encouraged to openly communicate with department leaders and be allowed to share innovative ideas for improving the delivery of services.

Mayor Barton will have an open-door policy. While employees are encouraged to communicate with their supervisors any employee wishing to speak with the mayor directly regarding any matter will be free to do so.

Mayor Barton will restore the practice of delivering a "State of The City" address annually to the citizens. This will be delivered in February of each year and will begin in February of 2012.

Department Specific Objectives:

a. Streets & Sanitation:

A master plan for ongoing maintenance/replacement of streets will be utilized.

A master plan for the ongoing maintenance/replacement of capital equipment will be utilized.

The status of trash collection will be evaluated annually and a report concerning the expense of such, along with suggested adjustments, will be forwarded to the city council for their consideration.

Snow removal plans will be evaluated on an ongoing basis to ensure we are able to complete it in the most timely, cost efficient manner.

Discussions will be held with county officials to explore ways in which the city street department and county highway can come together under agreements to share large equipment that isn't used often, cooperate in purchase of supplies for better pricing (for example: salt, sand, asphalt) and increase the efficiency of each other's operations b. Police Department:

The Crawfordsville Police Department is essential in maintaining the quality of life we expect, a life free of crime and violence.

A master plan for the ongoing maintenance/replacement of capital equipment will be developed and utilized.

Policies that develop and foster open, two-way communication between the public and department administrators will be developed and implemented.

Policies that encourage constructive feedback from officers regarding the effectiveness of operations will be developed and implemented.

As mayor, I will meet quarterly with representatives of Baldwin Memorial Lodge #90, Fraternal Order of Police to facilitate open two-way communication and gauge to the effectiveness and efficiency of operations.

c. Fire Department & Emergency Medical Services:

A master plan for the ongoing maintenance/replacement of capital equipment will be developed and utilized

The department's current rank structure will be evaluated with input from department members, ranking officers, IAFF Local 4143 representatives and the department's administrative team. The current structure seems to be inefficient and in need of modernization. Recommendations for changes, if any, will be due back to the Mayor by March 1, 2012.

A Metropolitan Board of Fire Commissioners will be established and governing control of the Fire Department will be transferred to them from the Board of Works. This will allow for independent, bi-partisan decision making on personnel and operational policy matters. The Board of Fire Commissioners shall be in place by July 1, 2012.

Talks will begin immediately with Union Township Officials and new agreements for fire and emergency medical protection will be negotiated.

The city currently provides Emergency Medical Services to Ripley Township under a contract that is decades old. Talks with Ripley Township Officials will begin immediately and a new agreement will be negotiated.

Policies that encourage constructive feedback from fire fighters and paramedics regarding the effectiveness of operations will be developed and implemented.

As mayor, I will meet quarterly with representatives of International Association of Fire Fighters, Local 4143, to facilitate open two-way communication and gauge the effectiveness and efficiency of operations.

d.Wastewater Department:

A master plan for the ongoing maintenance/replacement of capital equipment will be utilized.

A plan to upgrade our aging sewer infrastructure over time will be created.

e. Planning Department:

The Planning Department will coordinate and work with the Montgomery County Building Department, provided that an agreement can be reached with county officials.

The permitting process will be streamlined.

The director will be actively involved in the city's economic development efforts and will maintain a close working relationship with MCED.

f. Storm Water Department:

The Storm Water Department was created by the current administration and its duties were previously handled by the Waste Water Department.

Under the Barton Administration the duties of managing our Storm Water Program will be transferred back to the Waste Water Department with storm water sewer operational support from the Street Department. This is a much more efficient use of our resources and will allow more of the fees collected to be put to use to address storm water issues that exist in many areas of our city.

The Storm Water Board will be asked to consider current rates and fees following the consolidation of these services to ensure that they are not excessive at that point.

g. Parks & Recreation:

The Parks and Recreation Department is an important part of the overall quality of life for many people and it is an important component in attracting new businesses to our community. Unfortunately, our Parks & Recreation Department has suffered immensely in recent years, adversely affecting those who rely on its services. Although, restoration of services is largely dependent upon the success of economic development efforts and future growth in revenue some steps will be taken immediately.

The Parks & Recreation Director will be charged with facilitating a written assessment of needs and a Park Improvement Plan by January 1, 2013.

Efforts will be made to improve our parks. This can be enhanced by cooperation between city departments and the use of volunteer groups and through the solicitation of individual and corporate support. It is much easier to seek and gain support when an improvement plan is in place.

The ongoing, expensive problem of vandalism in our parks will be evaluated and appropriate steps taken to address the problem.

The Parks belong to the citizens, not the Mayor, and the current practice of posting the mayor's name on signs at all parks will be immediately discontinued.

A plan for enhancing the Sugar Creek Trail shall be developed and in place by January 1, 2014. This plan must include connecting it to the heart of our city. The trail is a wonderful asset but unfortunately, most of our residents cannot access it without taking a ride in the car.

h. CELP

Our electric utility has long been one of our fundamental strengths.

CELP has struggled in recent years with an operating deficit. This appears to have been worsened by overhead at the power plant that was not being used as well as by declining revenue resulting from the decreased consumption brought on by the economic downturn.

CELP is under the operational control of the Utility Services Board.

CELP is managed by a mayoral appointment.

The Barton Administration will have an expectation that CELP be solvent and no longer operating at a loss by 2014. 6. Revitalization of Blighted Areas Challenge: Our community is being plagued by vacated, run-down properties that hang over our future like a dark cloud. These properties are not only an eyesore but present a significant risk to public safety and diminish our ability to attract new businesses and residents. Some of the worst examples of such blighted areas include the old hospital property and Ben-Hur Building. Other properties, however, such as the former Target building, are at risk of quickly becoming as bad if action is not taken. Action Plan: I will create a Revitalization Task Force comprised of relevant department heads, legal counsel, a city council representative, business leaders, and economic revitalization experts by January 31, 2012. This task force will be charged with studying the situation surrounding both the old hospital and the Ben Hur properties. They will be tasked with assembling the background information and a list of potential actions, along with costs associated with each, and reporting back to the Mayor by July 1, 2012. These options will then be presented to the city council and the public so that a collective, informed decision can be made on how to proceed based on projected cost vs. benefit of each option or a decision may be made to do nothing. This timeline will allow the council to study the options at the same time that projected revenue and budgets are being considered for the following year. If it is determined that action can be taken it could then be incorporated into the 2013 or later budgets. Timeline Summary:

January 1, 2012- Barton administration takes office

January 31, 2012- Revitalization Task Force has been formed

July 1, 2012- Task Force reports back to Mayor

July 2012- Options are presented to city council and public for discussion and consideration

7. Intergovernmental Cooperation: All local governments and taxing bodies face similar challenges in today's world. It is imperative that they begin to work together to provide services in a far more cost effective manner. Unfortunately, the lack of cooperation between local governments in our community is often cited by potential investors and visitors as one of their most striking impressions. The Barton administration will be firmly committed to seeking out new and innovative ways to build trust and cooperation between local governments. It is absolutely essential to our future success.

As mayor, I will take the lead by facilitating and hosting a bi-monthly forum that encourages open discussion and exploration of potential ways in which local governments can work together more effectively.

Representatives from each branch of local government will be encouraged to participate. This would foster open communications and include potential involvement by the city, county, towns, townships, and school corporations.

The first such forum will be held in February 2012. 8. Infrastructure Rehabilitation and Growth: Our city is faced with the challenge of aging infrastructure, especially in the older areas. The Barton administration will set out to create and implement long-term plans for infrastructure maintenance and replacement. In addition, the potential for new growth must always be factored in. A long term plan will allow for the planned, controlled replacement over a greater span of time than the frequent need to make emergency repairs and replacement.

Sanitary Sewer Plan must be in place by 2013

Street Plan must be in place by 2013 &

Storm Sewer Plan must be in place by 2014

City Facilities Plan must be in place by 2014

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9. Annexation and Growth

Controlled growth is an important part of the future of our city and being able to properly annex areas as city services are extended to them is critical. Unfortunately, we have failed miserably and at great expense.

Any effort to annex areas that have already been developed must show a cost/benefit analysis that is clear and concise and must be facilitated by an open process that actively engages the property owner(s).

The most logical areas for annexed growth are those areas to yet be developed. It shall be the policy of the Barton Administration that city utilities and services will not be extended to unincorporated areas until they have been annexed.

Legislation will be proposed and sought before the city council that prohibits extension of city utilities and services to areas until they have been annexed.

10. Quality of Life Our small town quality of life is one of the most appealing aspects of living in Crawfordville. We must, however, take steps to ensure that we maintain the quality of life we desire and that we seek to improve it. As noted earlier, our ability to successfully complete economic development is paramount to maintaining and improving our quality of life. But additional steps must be taken as well.

Economic development efforts must result in a statistical shift that makes our community more attractive to additional shopping, dining and entertainment options.

There are many organizations working hard to improve our community. The Barton administration will actively engage these organizations in an effort to encourage and assist them in any way possible.

The city must seek to harness the great sense of community pride and utilize it for the greater good by forming alliances to aid in keeping public areas and our parks in the best shape possible.

Blighted areas will be addressed. Some property owners have neglected their property resulting in a decreased quality of life for their neighbors. The Barton administration will work closely with the city council to assess the need for changes in ordinances.

The Barton administration will recognize the important role our military veterans and active military plays in preserving our way of life. As mayor, I will propose legislation to the city council by June 1, 2012. To provide specific benefits such as free parking in the downtown business district, reduced rates for services such as parks and recreation activities, for active military and veterans.

The Barton administration will complete a community health-care needs assessment to begin looking at short-term and long-term issues regarding our community's health-care services, our local hospital and emergency medical services, and issues regarding the uninsured.

The Barton administration will form a task force and volunteer corps to evaluate, revitalize, and renew Crawfordsville's gateways. This is essential to economic development, but more importantly, it's a point of our small-town pride. In addition, we are faced with the ongoing challenge of trains blocking our streets. While this might be addressed in other sections of this plan it seems, above all else, to be a detriment to our quality of life, either by threatening our public safety or by causing considerable inconvenience and threatening commerce. The Barton Administration will take a two-pronged approach to addressing this issue.

1. Short Term Plan: Because a long-term solution is likely to take some time to complete a short-term plan will be developed and implemented in consultation with department heads & INDOT officials that will allow us to best manage the situation and keep things moving when crossings are blocked. This will include at a minimum:

Police Department plan for managing traffic flow

Fire Department plan for providing timely service despite blocked crossings

Street Department plan for the impact of increased traffic on city streets

Suggestions and requirements from INDOT

Procedure for detecting a blocked crossing and implementing the plan. This could include relocating some of the city's surveillance cameras allowing the 911 dispatchers to have a live view of major crossings.

The short term plan shall be in place by February 1, 2012. 2. Long Term Plan:

The long term plan shall be focused on eliminating the problem

It should be developed in consultation with INDOT, traffic engineers, and railroad officials.

A list of options shall be prepared and presented for consideration by the city council and the public by February 1, 2013.

The city council with input from the public will have a list of the options, along with the associated costs of each to consider or reject.