Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

November 8, 2012

Goshen City Council will have new face in 2013

GOSHEN — With Goshen City Council President Tom Stump headed to Elkhart County Council, a vacancy will need to be filled as of Jan. 1, according to Stump.

He will resign the city council office via a letter to Elkhart County Republican Party Chairman Dale Stickel, he said. His resignation will be effective Dec. 31.

“I’m excited for County Council,” Stump said Wednesday. “It presents new challenges.”

Stump won with more than 38,000 votes, as did Republican incumbents John Letherman and David Ashe. He said he decided to run for office because he wants to see more efficiency in government.

“I’m looking for efficiencies to suggest,” Stump said. “I’m excited about that.”

Goshen Mayor Allan Kauffman said Stump has been a good asset to City Council.

“We disagreed on a lot of things, but we’ve probably agreed on more than we’ve disagreed on,” he said. While Stump has been a conservative voice on City Council, his time spent on Redevelopment Commission has been more progressive, Kauffman said. No matter where he serves, Stump has an ear open, Kauffman said.

“He still listens to people, and he’s willing to change his mind,” Kauffman said. “Sometimes he’ll oppose an idea when he first hears it, but after he listens to more details, sometimes he’ll think about it. He’s not afraid to express his own ideas or listen to others.”

Stump’s replacement will be selected through a process in December, he said. Once Stickel has received his resignation letter, he will call a caucus of the Goshen City Precinct Republican committeemen.

This caucus will hear from interested individuals, and then they will vote for Stump’s replacement. All of this will take place sometime in December, Stump said.

Local Republican Brett Weddell said he’s very interested in the possibility of being on City Council. Weddell ran against Councilman Everett Thomas in a Nov. 8, 2011, election, but lost.

“I’m definitely interested in being on the city council,” Weddell said.

If elected by the caucus, Weddell said he would like to spend time getting used to the council position before attempting to lead any ideas to the council.

“My first goal would be to get accustomed to the position,” he said. “I wouldn’t want to make any large moves.”

Weddell also took time to congratulate Stump.

“I was very happy to see that Stump won,” Weddell said. “...Tom is a great individual, and he’s got huge shoes to fill.”

Stump said he will miss Goshen’s City Council.

“I will have been there 21 years by the end of December,” Stump said. “But I expect to still be part of the city.”

Also up for grabs is the City Council President position. Stump said that will be handled in January, though he doesn’t know who will become the next president. Kauffman said he was also unsure if the Republican members of the council, who hold a majority, would vote for a Democratic council president with more experience or a Republican president with less experience.

Stump said he’ll still be present at some city meetings, and that he believes Kauffman will continue his appointment to the Redevelopment Commission.

“I have ideas (for the Commission),” Stump said with a laugh.

For more information on Goshen City Council, visit www.goshenindiana.org/content/city-council.

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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?

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