Goshen News, Goshen, IN

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November 29, 2012

Weddell set to join Goshen City Council

GOSHEN — Brett Weddell was selected to replace current Goshen City Councilman At-Large Tom Stump at a caucus held Tuesday.

Stump will vacate his position as councilman and City Council president when he assumes his role as a member of the Elkhart County Council Jan. 1.

“I’m most excited to be a part of this council,” Weddell said of his new position.

Stump said Weddell won 16-3 over Doug Nisley in votes from the precinct committee. Both candidates had an opportunity to speak for three minutes, as well as bring up a second person to speak in their favor.

Weddell last year was a GOP City Council candidate, ultimately losing to Democrat incumbent Everett Thomas in District 5.

“Ever since I ran in November of last year, I’ve had a lot of people encourage me to stay involved,” Weddell said Wednesday.

Stump threw his support in at Tuesday’s Caucus for Weddell, he said Wednesday — a reflection of his long-standing support for Weddell to join the council.

Stump said he thinks Weddell will be a good fit with the council, and a good replacement for him.

“He’s a conservative thinker like I am, and I needed someone as conservative as me to replace me,” Stump said as a reason behind his support. “He also has the experience of an election, and I had a number of people tell me how well he conducted himself. I also wanted someone electable to the position.”

Weddell said he has many similarities to Stump, but is also his own person.

“Tom has brought a lot to our council through his service the last number of years,” Weddell said. “I want to maintain the presence he has, but still, I’m not Tom Stump. Someone has asked me if I will vote identically to Tom. I considering every item on its own.”

Goshen Mayor Allan Kauffman said he also thinks Weddell will fit well with the current council.

“From what I know of Brett, he’s a good addition,” Kauffman said Wednesday. “I think he’ll make good decisions on the council.”

Kauffman said he was surprised there weren’t more candidates in the running for the position, but that Weddell has proven himself.

Another selection process caused by Stump’s county election will be taken care of in February. The City Council president position, now held by Stump, will be decided in January.

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Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

I think it’s a good idea to feed all the students free of charge
I think those who can afford it should pay for their school meals
I think all students should be required to pay for their school meals
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