Tom Rule
Tom Rule


Before I go into what I would do if elected to address the problems before us, I want to go on the record as being opposed to the $500 per city employee pay raise for 2012. Yes, it's just $500 but times 150 it equals an additional $75,000.00 tax burden on the already heavily taxed citizens, that do pay taxes of Crawfordsville. I will give my specific reasons to object before the public hearing in front of the City Council. I first and foremost need to think of those affected by financial decisions recommended by myself and how it might change their life going forward. If elected, I am being given the responsibility of how best to meet the needs of the citizens given the resources available, an ever increasingly difficult task. I certainly don't know all the answers as to how to meet the desires of the nearly 16,000 citizens(9,000 registered voters) of Crawfordsville. With GOD'S tremendous help it's all I can do to look after myself.

I do have some possible suggestions as to how I might meet those needs. As an Independent candidate, I will be depending on the voters of Crawfordsville to tell me what they are concerned with and how we can best address those concerns. To that end, the cornerstone of my administration would be the formation of a Citizens Advisory Council to the Mayor. I would divide the city into four parts. I would like to get 2 volunteers from each of the four parts plus an at-large representative that would discuss with me, on a very regular basis, monthly at least, the concerns they are receiving from those living in each part. Together, we would propose possible solutions to be taken back to those voicing the concerns before taking them to the City Council. In addition, I am considering the likelihood of holding at least one Saturday morning Town Hall Meeting per month. As an Independent candidate, I have pledged that your voices will be heard and who better to decide what's best for you, than YOU?

As I think we will all agree the very existence of Crawfordsville, in a form resembling, at least, what it is today, depends on jobs and unfortunately Crawfordsville is primarily a blue collar, labor intensive job market. I say unfortunately because those are the type of jobs most vulnerable to lower cost wage markets of which there are many around the world. The fiercest and scariest is China. What we, as a unified community, can do to preserve those types of jobs is very limited. Control is not ours. Sure workers can take less pay and the city can provide a favorable tax environment but both of those choices leads to reduced revenue and the ability to provide necessary services to the citizens. For that reason I propose to open an idea bank here in town and why not open it January 2nd? Anyone can deposit an idea into the bank on what we can do to retain the jobs we have and hopefully attract new jobs that require a greater degree of skill and knowledge than is presently available. The bank would be located in the Mayor's office.

That is why, as one of the early backers of the IVY-TECH expansion, I am glad to see we are on our way to it becoming an operating reality.

The next area of concern is the fact, as I see it, that we have lost our sense of pride in this town. Perhaps this should be the Number One Area to address because it affects everything else. Our city is dirty. Way too much litter just about anywhere you look. There are also abandoned vehicles or at least not presently operable vehicles on many city properties. How are we going to impress potential clients to expand or locate here when we give a bad first impression? We have become too accepting of mediocrity. We need to build our pride in all we do and all that GOD created us to be. With the many talents we possess, we must put them to use, NOW.

Let's return this town to something to be proud of and it starts with each of us expecting more of ourselves. Therefore, I expect our town ordinances to be vigorously enforced or where necessary, made stronger. Maybe one day our pride will become our ordinance.

I opposed it in front of the council in the Spring and I still don't believe the City of Crawfordsville needs to be in the trash removal business and I will press to end it.

I feel that the Mayor should be more accessible to the public and I will propose to extend the office hours from 7:30AM to 4:30PM with no closure for lunch.

As the funds become harder to come by in which to provide services for the city we are really going to have to do more with less, as the old saying goes. Therefore, I will try to organize a large group of volunteers to help provide manpower and knowledge to supplement what we are able to pay for with tax dollars. To set an example, I will volunteer to donate $40,000, pre-tax, from the salary paid to the Mayor to establish a fund to be administered by the Advisory Council To The Mayor to fulfill special needs that arise that can benefit the Citizens of Crawfordsville.

It may seem trivial in the overall scope of things that we as citizens need to deal with but I feel there are way too many NO TURN ON RED signs posted around town. When you can see for 3 blocks in the area of oncoming traffic, do you need a NO TURN ON RED sign? Yes, this is a pet peeve.

I agree with the Republican candidate Todd Barton that something needs to be done with the eyesore called our old hospital. In fact, I expressed that sentiment several months ago in a viewpoint letter to the editor of the Journal Review, but I also included along with the hospital, the BEN HUR Building, and the unsafe conditions that continue to exist there. If the city needs to condemn the building to take ownership, let's do it. Then we can sell off the salvageable parts of the building, tear it down and try to find Federal Funds, which will become more scarce, to build a parking garage, which should help alleviate the parking problem as it exists today, especially when it applies to the need employees of downtown businesses in having to move their car or truck every 2 hours and remove the possibility of visitors to our town, of which we need many, from being in violation of our parking ordinance.

We must increase our tourism dollars. I will work to put together another major festival for Crawfordsville to compliment the Strawberry Festival, which I feel is in need of a bit of freshening-up. We also need at least one more minor festival to go along with The Taste of Montgomery County. I have faith the citizens of our town can help make it happen.

These are a few of the areas of concern that I feel, as Mayor, I need to address. Yes, there are many more and we, YOU & I, as citizens of Crawfordsville, can bring about changes to benefit everyone---If you want to! What do you want?

GET INVOLVED! Let's make it happen. Someone once said "Tradition is the GREATEST ENEMY of PROGRESS." We must innovate and move forward.


Tom Rule

Independent Candidate

For Mayor of Crawfordsville, Indiana

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