Q&A: Meet Carmel’s Southeast District candidates

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Two first-time candidates are vying for the Carmel City Council Southeast District seat in the May 7 Republican primary, as incumbent Jeff Worrell is seeking an at-large seat. Dave Hommel and Adam Aasen answered the following questions from Current:

Hommel

Name: Dave Hommel

Age: 59

Family: He and his wife have three children

Education: High school in Jeffersontown, Ky., and some college at Army assignments in Texas and Munich, Germany

Job: Compliance auditing

Years in Carmel: 17 years, all in the Southeast District

Previous political experience: I have never been in politics, so the only influence on me is what my neighbors want.

More info: CitizensForDaveHommel.com, email CitizensForDaveHommel@gmail.com or call 317-798-0558

Why do you want to run for office?

I want to serve again. I defended our freedom in uniform for 10 years and now I want to defend our voice in council votes.

What issues will your campaign focus on?

Improving how we get input from our neighbors before council votes and maximum transparency of all city decisions.

What are your qualifications for this office?

Forty years of Fortune 500, small business, military intelligence and auditing, and a fierce loyalty to my neighbors in the Southeast District.

What sets you apart from other candidates for this office?

Being uninfluenced by anyone at City Hall, a unique pairing of auditing and questioning skills and a demonstrated history of standing up for what’s right.

What is your favorite aspect of living in Carmel?

We started our family here because of its safety and schools, but we love the many improvements in the 17 years we’ve been here.

What is an area where Carmel can improve? 

Getting (and earnestly listening to) input from citizens before planning or decision-making.

Where did you graduate high school? College (if applicable)? 

Jeffersontown H.S. (Kentucky), and some college at my Army assignments in Texas and Munich, Germany.

What other organizations are you involved with? 

All the ones our kids join, such as national champion Carmel Marching Band.

What is something most people don’t know about you?

I’m the only candidate who speaks Polish, walked over live lava and drove a Russian tank.

What is something you want people to know about you?

I’m an honest man who has taken many sworn oaths in his life. I take those so very seriously.  I won’t let my neighbors down.

Aasen

Name: Adam Aasen

Age: 35

Family: Wife, Nicole, daughter, Madeline, two dogs and two cats

Education: North Central High School, Indiana University

Job: Co-owner of Donatello’s Italian Restaurant

Years in Carmel: 8

Previous political experience: First run for public office, but spent years covering Carmel politics as a newspaper reporter

More info: adamaasen.com

Why do you want to run for office?

I want to make sure Carmel’s future remains bright for my daughter and all of our city’s children. Through hard work, fiscal responsibility and innovative ideas, we can ensure that Carmel remains one of the best places to live for generations.

What issues will your campaign focus on?

I have four major areas of focus. I will work to keep Carmel’s taxes among the lowest in Indiana. I promise to give our police and fire departments the tools they need to keep us safe. I will make sure Carmel’s roads are always in excellent condition. I pledge my ongoing support for our local small businesses and I will continue to advocate on their behalf.

What are your qualifications for this office?

As a small business owner, I understand how to balance a budget. As a former journalist, I’m not afraid to ask tough questions.

What sets you apart from other candidates for this office?

As a former journalist, I have spent years being objective and examining all sides of every issue.

What is your favorite aspect of living in Carmel?

I often have friends who visit and marvel at all of the things we have here in Carmel. Their next question is how much taxes do we pay to have all this? I am so proud to say they’re among the lowest in the state.

What is an area where Carmel can improve?

Throughout the city, I’d like to get better use out of prominent vacant commercial space so we can help nearby small businesses. One key storefront I’d like to address is the former O’Malia space at 126th Street and Gray Road.

What other organizations are you involved with?

I serve on the boards of the Carmel Education Foundation and Janus Developmental Services. I serve as treasurer for Hamilton County Young Republicans. I’ve previously served in leadership roles for HAND Inc., Carmel Rotary Club and CarmelFest.

What is something most people don’t know about you?

For many years, I was a mentor through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. I even taught my 8-year-old “little brother” how to ride a bicycle.

What is something you want people to know about you?

Outside of politics, I love to watch movies, and I used to host a movie podcast. I’ve also run several half-marathons.

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