THE GOSHEN NEWS
A little more than a year ago, Brett Weddell fell just short in his well-fought bid to represent District 5 on the Goshen City Council. A young newcomer to Goshen politics, Weddell was asked if he would consider a future run for city office.
“Ask me in three years,” he said.
Well, the local Republican Party just couldn’t wait that long. This past Wednesday a Republican caucus appointed Weddell to serve out the remaining three years of City Council President Tom Stump’s At-Large term. Stump, who has served 21 years on the City Council, must resign his position after winning election to the Elkhart County Council last month. The City Council will select a new president after the first of the year.
First, we’d like to thank Stump for more than two decades of public service to the people of Goshen. He is a leader who has true principles and was often willing to compromise for the good of the city. He always returned phone calls and we believe he always had the best interests of the city at heart. We look forward to Stump joining the County Council and continuing his public service to us. This newspaper believes Stump will be just as effective at the county level as he was at the municipal level.
That brings us back to Weddell, whom we would like to congratulate for his appointment to the City Council. Weddell, 36, is a 1994 graduate of Goshen High School. He went on to graduate from Indiana University before earning a doctorate from the IU School of Optometry in 2001. He has been part owner of Wellington & Weddell Eye Care in downtown Goshen for the past 11 years.
In 2011 Weddell ventured into local politics when he ran unopposed for District 5 (south Goshen) in the Republican primary. He went on to face five-term Democratic incumbent Everett Thomas in the November general election. During a municipal election that had a variety of low moments, the Thomas-Weddell race stood out as being above the fray as both candidates articulated a consistent mutual respect for each other. At the end of the day, Thomas won his sixth term by a count of 1,045-848.
We are encouraged on how this transition has aligned itself. One of the biggest issues facing both Goshen and Elkhart County governments is a resolution to south-link traffic access to the newly completed C.R. 17 west of town to Ind. 15 and the Goshen Industrial Park south of town. This ongoing debate stretches straight through Goshen’s District 5, where both Thomas and Weddell reside.
The south-link issue was the backbone of Weddell’s campaign in 2011 as he advocated for more collaboration between the city and county on finding a route resolution. With Weddell on the City Council, and Stump on the County Council, we believe that collaboration can be enhanced.
We are confident that Weddell is an excellent addition to a productive and responsible City Council.