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Q&A: Meet the Hamilton County Commission District 1 candidates

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Incumbent Hamilton County Commissioner Christine Altman is facing a challenge in the May 8 Republican primary for the District 1 seat from Matt Milam, who has served as a precinct committeeman for Orchard Park since 2008.

Altman

Name: Christine Altman

Age: 63

City: Carmel

Occupation: Attorney and Hamilton County commissioner

How many years have you lived in Hamilton County?

40 years

How did you end up in Hamilton County?

I grew up in Fort Wayne. After college I accepted a position with Price Waterhouse, Houston, and returned to Indiana to attend law school.

Why do you want to run for elected office?

I enjoy the diverse challenges of being a county commissioner. We are a board of three and serve as both the executive and legislative branch of county government, responsible for roads, bridges and county facilities. We also serve as the county drainage board.

What is your previous political experience?

Prior to my election as a county commissioner in 2002, I served on the Hamilton County Council for six years.

What are your top priorities if elected?

I have and will continue to seek out initiatives to stem the cost of services. I feel that it is important to collaborate with other government entities to combine services when feasible, such as our countywide E911 center that has saved millions of dollars and increase the level of service. I, along with my fellow commissioners, will continue to analyze past and current data, projecting out at least 20 years to identify growth patterns, inflation and cost of delay, when designing and building capital projects. We will continue to master-plan available sites to maximize building sites and reserve buildable areas to meet future needs.

What are the biggest issues facing Hamilton County residents that your office can impact?

Hamilton County’s population is projected to double by 2050 – a clear challenge. Our success as a county will be dependent upon the quality of our schools, public safety, mobility and private investment. County government must continue to be a partner with schools, municipalities and business to keep Hamilton County a safe and desirable place to live and work.

What are your qualifications to run for this office?

My education, experience in government service, community service and hands-on business experience having practiced law in Hamilton County since 1981.

What is your favorite thing about Hamilton County?

The diverse way that each of our cities have invested their future – Carmel with the arts and urban design, Fishers with tech and entrepreneurship, Noblesville capitalizing on its history and downtown, and Westfield establishing itself in youth sports. I’m excited to watch the developing vision of our towns to the north.

What changes do you hope to bring about if elected?

Stay the course on Hamilton County’s success and assure that the county is a true partner in the revitalization of the White River.

Favorite local restaurant: Matteo’s and Woody’s Library Restaurant

Favorite movie: “White Christmas”

Favorite quote or motto: “What could possibly go wrong…”

Family: Married with three children and two grandchildren

Pets: Lucky Dog (he really is a lucky dog having been rescued after weeks on the streets of Broad Ripple by my son)

Favorite vacation: The Florida vacation with my children.

Something you’d like readers to know about you: I’m one of seven children and the proud daughter of a man who, without the benefit of a high school education, successfully provided all of his children with a higher education and a strong business sense.

Something most people don’t know about you: I competed statewide in track and field. My specialty was the shot put.

Milam

Name: Matt Milam

Age: 52

City: Carmel

Occupation: Transportation

How many years have you lived in Hamilton County? 25

How did you and your family end up in Hamilton County?

I moved to Hamilton County in 1993 with my wife.

Why do you want to run for elected office?

I care about the future of Hamilton County and want to serve the people of Hamilton County and have a background working in the private sector in transportation and serving the people of Hamilton County as a precinct committeeman since 2008.

What is your previous political experience?

Precinct committeeman for Orchard Park since 2008, state delegate 2016

What are your top priorities if elected?

I will work to reduce taxes in conjunction with the county council by doing the math on projects prior to sending them to the county council.  I will increase transparency at the county commissioner meetings by making them more accessible to the taxpayers and residents of Hamilton County. I will evaluate and study the transportation needs of Hamilton County in conjunction with the county council to find a viable solution. I will devote my time to making Hamilton County a great place to live and raise a family. I will attend public meetings such as city council, township board and other public meetings on a monthly basis in Hamilton County which will enable me to have the pulse of the county. I will work with our public safety officials in Hamilton County to ensure a safe and desirable place to live.

What are the biggest issues facing Hamilton County residents that your office can impact?

Public Safety; work to address transportation needs of businesses and residents in Hamilton County.

What are your qualifications to run for this office?

Precinct Committeeman Orchard Park since 2008; served on Carmel Clay Fire Board as secretary and built Station No. 44, remolded Station No. 45 and 106th Street Maintenance Center; private sector employment in the transportation logistics industry; committee chair for Boy Scout Troop 733 since 2012.

What is your favorite thing about Hamilton County?

People of Hamilton County, community involvement, parks, civic organizations that serve the public.

What changes do you hope to bring about if elected?

I will bring tenacity, planning and organization skills to this Hamilton County commissioner seat.

Increase transparency by working to make meeting more accessible.

Increase public involvement in county government processes.

Organize methodical business approach to county government – methodically planned in concert with county councilors.

Address transportation needs of businesses and residents in Hamilton County.

Favorite local restaurant: Mitchells Fish Market

Favorite movie: “Polar Express”

Favorite quote or motto: Do a good turn daily (Boy Scouts)

Family: Married 25 years, two children

Favorite vacation: Disney/MGM

Something you’d like readers to know about you:

If I am elected as Hamilton County Commissioner, this will be my only employment. I will devote my time to making Hamilton County a great place to live and raise a family. I will attend public meetings such as city council, township board meetings and other public meetings on a monthly basis in Hamilton County. This will enable me to have the pulse of the county. I will work with our public safety officials in Hamilton County to ensure a safe and desirable place to live.

Something most people don’t know about you: I have completed three cross-country bicycle trips with Wandering Wheels. I have a total of 17,000 miles on a bicycle.


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