Q&A: Meet the at-large candidates

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Four candidates are seeking three at-large seats on the Carmel City Council. At-large incumbents Ron Carter and Kevin “Woody” Rider are joined by current Southeast District Councilor Jeff Worrell and political newcomer Tim Hannon in the race.

They responded to the following questions:

Carter

Name: Ron Carter

Age: 76

Family: Wife, Barbara, three married daughters, 10 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren

Years in Carmel: Since 1987

Education: Speedway High School, Indiana University

Job: Prior to retirement my career was spent in marketing, sales, sales management and advertising. However, I’m still engaged nearly full-time with city council and volunteering as market master and president of the Carmel Farmers Markets.

Previous political experience: Carmel City Council, at-large – 1996 to present

Website: facebook.com/roncarter4council, roncarterforcouncil.com

Why do you want to run for office?

I am running because I feel my experience and background can continue to be beneficial to my neighbors as we continue together to keep Carmel the best place to live in America.

What issues will your campaign focus on?

My campaign will focus on Keeping Carmel First by following two key principals. First, and of most importance, is to provide the citizens of Carmel the very best value possible for the tax dollars each of us entrusts to the council. Second is to make sure that we continue to add the services and amenities that keep us distinctly different from the other communities with whom we compete for jobs and residents.

What are your qualifications for this office?

I have a degree in marketing from Indiana University. That educational background led me to a career in sales, marketing and advertising. During my career I became convinced that organizations had to continue to change with the times to ensure their long-term viability. I understand that communities, like all other organizations, must differentiate themselves from their competition to compete for the companies on which we rely for the jobs that draw citizens.

What sets you apart from other candidates for this office?

My long experience in city government sets me apart, especially from those who have no relevant experience whatsoever. If you own a business, you look for the person with experience and a successful track record in the industry. You don’t hire someone who walks in the door and says, “I have no experience, but hire me anyway.”

What is your favorite aspect of living in Carmel?

My wife and I always talk about the fact that Carmel is a large city that has a small town feel and vibe to it.

What is an area where Carmel can improve?

Carmel can improve in the area of affordable housing. But, let me explain. We need housing that is affordable for those people who are retired empty-nesters who already live here. I want single-family homes, homes on smaller lots, homes that are low maintenance, homes that are priced to be affordable for those who are now in the traditional Carmel two-story, four-bedroom homes on a half-acre lot. I want to retain the people who helped build Carmel over all these recent years. I don’t want them to move to surrounding communities to find homes they can afford as they near or enter retirement.

What other organizations are you involved with?

Carmel Farmers Markets, Carmel City Center Community Development Corporation, St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, Carmel-Clay Historic Preservation Commission

Something most people don’t know about you?

We own a motorhome in which we travel with our West Highland white terrier, Derby.

Something you want people to know about you?

Barbara and I are avid tandem bike riders. Barbara was long known as the Salsa Queen because of the fresh salsa she sold at the farmers market.

Hannon

Name:  Dr. Tim Hannon

Age: 58

Family: Wife, Denise; three adult children who grew up in Carmel; and Teddy Roosevelt, our mini Australian Shepherd

Years in Carmel: 21

Education: Rensselaer Central High School, University of Evansville, IU School of Medicine, Naval Aerospace Medicine Institute and Butler MBA

Job: CEO of Healthcare Forward, a healthcare consulting and analytics company

Previous political experience: None

Website: facebook.com/DrHannonforCarmel, timhannon4carmel.com

Why do you want to run for office?

My observation over the last couple of years is that there is a lack of balanced decisionmaking and a lack of independent thinking on city council. I bring a unique skill set and decades of leadership and business experience which will benefit city administration as well as Carmel citizens.

What issues will your campaign focus on?

There are three main issues that I am focusing on: balancing spending priorities, providing ethical and financial oversight, and increasing citizen involvement in discretionary spending projects.

What are your qualifications for this office?

I have more than three decades of progressive leadership experience in the military, healthcare organizations and startup businesses, as well as 13 years of corporate oversight experience on audit and finance committees in a multi-billion dollar organization.

What sets you apart from other candidates for this office?

In a race where the incumbents have been in office and/or on the Carmel Redevelopment Commission for many years, I bring a much-needed fresh perspective. I have a unique resume with deep leadership, business and corporate oversight experience. I am also an anesthesiologist that has driven national health policy and a retired Navy officer with 30 years of service.

What is your favorite aspect of living in Carmel?

I love the wonderful people, great location and awesome schools and parks.

What is an area where Carmel can improve?

I firmly believe there is a need for more accountability, transparency and stewardship from our elected officials. As an advocate for citizens, I will champion these core principles in our city government.

What other organizations are you involved with?

St. Elizabeth Seton Parish, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Indiana State Maternal Mortality Review Committee

Something most people don’t know about you?

I’ve logged more than 100 takeoffs and landings from aircraft carriers.

Something you want people to know about you?

I never aspired to seek public office, but I feel that Carmel citizens need a highly-experienced, proven leader to advocate for them on city council.

Rider and his wife, Richelle

Name: Kevin “Woody” Rider

Age: 57

Family: Married to my wife, Richelle, who is the executive chef at our restaurants. We have three canine children, Ginger, Gidget and Zinnie.

Years in Carmel: 36

Education: Cathedral High School, Indiana University

Job: Owner of Woody’s Library Restaurant and divvy.

Previous political experience: I have served on the Carmel City Council for 11 years and on the Carmel Plan Commission for 8 years.

Website: facebook.com/kevinwoodyrider

Why do you want to run for office?

I enjoy serving the city. I love Carmel and I think we can continue to improve. We’ve created a unique community with opportunities for our residents to live, work and play.

What issues will your campaign focus on?

Two important things:

• I want to maintain property values, because it is the largest investment our citizens will make in their life.

• Quality of Life in Carmel. We continue to get rated as one of the top places to live in America. We have done a good job of giving our residents everything they would want to do, right here in Carmel. You have arts, entertainment, quality restaurants, the Monon Community Center, and the Waterpark, to name a few. What we have done with our economic development in Carmel also truly helps our small businesses thrive. We are becoming a destination, and I am proud of that.

What are your qualifications for this office?

My 36 years of living and operating a business in Carmel. As a restaurant owner, I hear what the community wants, what they like and don’t like. I enjoy serving the city and the people who live here. I have been in the service industry my whole life. It is my passion.

What sets you apart from other candidates for this office?

I serve council the way I serve Northview Church. I enjoy the work. It’s about what we are doing. It is about our city and our future.

What is your favorite aspect of living in Carmel?

Carmel is my home. I have been here since 1983. People feel like they belong here, they have a strong sense of community. I chose to build a business here because of what Carmel was before and it has only improved. It keeps coming back to quality of life.

What is an area where Carmel can improve?

Communication is the key. The more information we provide to our citizens, the more they can understand how the city functions. I urge citizens with a question or concern to reach out to me.

What other organizations are you involved with?

I serve as a trustee and I volunteer as a shuttle bus driver and usher at Northview Church. I am also a board member at CHERISH, Hamilton County’s child advocacy center, that provides forensic interviews, abuse intervention and prevention services to the community.

Something most people don’t know about you?

I am an adrenaline junky. I have sky-dived, bungee jumped and driven a race car around the Brickyard. I have never met a risk or a challenge I did not like. Any ideas?

Something you want people to know about you?

My faith is the most important thing in the world to me. It is what drives what I do and who I am. It gives me a service heart for the community.

Worrell

Name: Jeff Worrell

Age: 60

Family: I am married to Shari Worrell for 32 years. My son is married and lives in Chicago. He is a Chicago public school teacher. My daughter is an IT consultant and also lives in Chicago.

Years in Carmel: Since 1988

Education: High school in Urbandale, Iowa, college at Iowa State University

Job: Vice president of the physical therapy division of Scrip Companies, Bolingbrook, Ill. Scrip purchased my company in late 2010 and I now handle key accounts.

Previous political experience: Currently serving as southeast district city council representative.

Website: I am available on Facebook as Jeff Worrell For Carmel jeff4carmel.com

Why do you want to run for office?

During my first term, I have enjoyed responding to resident concerns that require a hands-on, open-minded, problem solving approach. I would like to take the skills I have developed in the southeast  district and apply them citywide.

What issues will your campaign focus on?

My highest priority is to keep our city growing by adding jobs while maintaining low taxes and high value services. I will work hard to address and explain the economic formulas at work that leverage smart spending on infrastructure. These economic formulas attract a strong business base which in turn keeps residential property taxes among the lowest in the state.

What are your qualifications for this office?

I have been heavily involved in Carmel governance over the last 25 years, serving on the Carmel Clay Parks Board, the Carmel Redevelopment Commission, Carmel Cable Commission and one term on city council. I started and operated a successful medical equipment company for 25 years, and I routinely draw on those real life business experiences as a city councilor. Also serving as president of the Carmel Chamber of Commerce at two different times, I believe I have a real world understanding of the Carmel business community.

What sets you apart from other candidates for this office?

No matter the concern or issue, I am open to listening to all people and all sides. I am ready to jump right in to help and solve a problem. Action, transparency and trust guide me as a councilor.

What is your favorite aspect of living in Carmel?

The people. I enjoy every opportunity I get to engage with the community. I have been heavily involved in volunteer activities, and I have built strong relationships with many people over the years. These people are the backbone of our city, the ones who have worked hard to make Carmel a wonderful community. I honor their service and wish for continued interactions.

What is an area where Carmel can improve?

I believe we can be more collaborative with the community. I believe when I started a Public Art Committee that was a big step towards putting collaboration into action. By seeking input from the community regarding the placement of public art instead of just making the decision, a better overall outcome is achieved. I will also continue my effort to be transparent and informative by expanding my monthly newsletter to an at-large audience. I will continue to hold town hall meetings, office hours and will always make my cell phone number available for text or call.

What other organizations are you involved with?

CarmelFest, Taste of Carmel, Carmel Marathon, St. Vincent Carmel Hospital Board of Directors, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, Good Day Carmel, Rotary Club of Carmel, Carmel Porchfest, Carmel Clay Public Library,Carmel Ghosts and Goblins, Chinese Mooncake Festival, One Zone (chamber) volunteer, Carmel GOP Club.

Something most people don’t know about you?

When I was a student athletic trainer at Iowa State University, I was in charge of the basketball team, coached by Michigan University legend Johnny Orr. One year, a walk-on athlete showed up to practice. Because he hadn’t been recruited or put on scholarship, none of us took him seriously. Jeff Hornacek became our best player who went on to have a successful career in the NBA and later coached the New York Knicks. That experience helped form a lifelong lesson for me. I learned it is unwise to jump to a conclusion and form an opinion too quickly and without knowing what’s in the heart and what’s behind the drive; the presumed characteristics for success may not apply.

Something you want people to know about you?

When Shari and I were first married, we were lucky enough to find a building with a one-room apartment in the basement. In order to cut the rent, each week we vacuumed the hallways, shoveled the snow,mowed the lawn and other maintenance types of work to afford our rent. I credit that experience with helping to shape not only my marriage, but the person I am, driven to solve problems and serve. I come from a humble background, and for reasons I can’t fully explain, I truly enjoy serving others, working on their behalf and finding solutions. I want to continue my passion of being a servant.

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