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November 5, 2012

Four independents seek two seats

SHIPSHEWANA — Four independents are seeking the two at large seats on the Shipshewana Town Council.

When voters go to the polls Tuesday, they have the choice of Jerry S. Ankney, C. Arlene Lazzaro, Elmer J. Mast and Jerry L. Rice.

Questionnaires were sent to each candidate. Lazzaro and Mast were the only two who responded.

What are the biggest issues facing Shipshewana, and how would you address them?

Lazzaro: I feel that the major issue in Shipshewana is the need for a Town Manager. If we are going to grow as a town and in tourism, we need someone who can work full-time with our community and be available to solve day-to-day issues.

As a member of the council, I will always put the needs of our residents first. They are the backbone of our community.

Since I have not been on the council for several years, I want to be open-minded about any new issues that face the council. I have attended several of the recent council meetings to acquaint myself with the current issues.

Mast: The town of Shipshewana continues to grow and with that comes change.  Dynamic changes are good for the community.  If you are not moving forward, you go backwards.  The constant challenge is keeping it positive for everyone: residents, businesses and industries.  I believe  it is important by listening to all the voices of the community, and make sure they are being heard.

Why are you the best candidate for the job?

Mast: I have lived in Lagrange County for most of my life, and I have worked in different functions of manufacturing of RV’s for the last 29 years. I have lived in Shipshewana since 2002 and I help my wife with her antique shop in downtown Shipshewana. I served on the council from 2005 to 2007.  While on the council, I served on the development and review board, redevelopment commission and on the IT committee.  All of these many experiences will help me to see from many perspectives and keep a good balance for everyone in the Town of Shipshewana.

Lazzaro: I am the best candidate for this position because of my past experiences on the various boards in our community. I am always interested in the future of Shipshewana and want to keep the values of our community.

I intend to always be a team player on the council, and I will not put my interests or ideas ahead of the other council members. It is very important that our council work together for the good of the community.

C. Arlene Lazzaro

  • Education: MS in Education
  • Related experience: Town Council, Park Board, Storm Sewer Board
  • Occupation: Retired school teacher

Elmer J. Mast

  • Education: Graduated from Clinton Christian High School
  • Related experience: Served previously on Shipshewana Town Council
  • Occupation: CNC Programmer at Jayco Inc.

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There has been discussion at West Goshen Elementary School to require mandatory student uniforms in the future. How do you feel about the prospect of mandatory student uniforms in a public school environment?

I think it’s an excellent idea that is way overdue
I think it’s a bad idea and would be restrictive for students and parents.
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