Meet candidates for Carmel council’s Northeast District


Carmel City Council member Sue Finkam, a Republican, is facing a challenge in the Northeast District from Democrat Ti’Gre McNear in the Nov. 5 general election. The candidates answered the following questions from Current:


Name: Ti’Gre McNear

Family: Husband of 24 years, Allan; 21-year-old daughter

Education: Gary Roosevelt High School, Indiana State University and Indiana Wesleyan University

Occupation: Training specialist with the Indiana University School of Social Work in partnership with the Dept. of Children Services

Years in Carmel: 12

Previous political experience: Precinct chair


Why do you want to run for office?

I am running to bridge the gap between leadership and the citizens in the community. My aim is to operate through servant leadership that is reflective of all who live in the community.

What issues will your campaign focus on?

My focuses are transparency, complacency and sustainable business.

What are your qualifications for this office?

I am a citizen who has lived in this community for over a decade. I have a master’s degree in organizational leadership and an undergraduate degree in human resource development.

What sets you apart from other candidates for this office?

I am an independent thinker with fresh ideas. I am an out-of-the box thinker who is not afraid to serve outside of the normal perimeters. I am well-rounded in my areas of expertise as I have worked for workforce development, social services, retail, education, corporate, health agencies, manufacturing/production and broadcasting. I am able to see the big picture and have a broader perspective.

What is your favorite aspect of living in Carmel?

My daughter received an excellent education, and my family is safe. Our police and fire departments are to be applauded because of the service they provide.

What is an area where Carmel can improve?

We have opportunities in areas of fiscal stewardship, providing affordable housing and inclusion.

What organizations are you involved with?

I am a volunteer with Salvation Army, McCoy Youth, Kairos East and very active in my church, Living Water Fellowship Church.

Something most people don’t know about you?

I was on my high school’s golf team but never played a game.

Something you want people to know about you?

I am passionate about serving and connecting with people. I believe that we can accomplish anything if we work together. My motto in life is this: “I loved you the moment I met you.”


Name: Sue Finkam

Family: Married for 22 years to Joe, who owns and operates an energy solutions manufacturing company. Our son, Drew, is a senior at Carmel High School.

Education: High school in Roscommon,  Mich.; Central Michigan University, Indiana Wesleyan University

Occupation: External engagement director at Indiana Donor Network

Years in Carmel: We moved here when our son was ready to start school.

Previous political experience: I am running for re-election for my third term on Carmel City Council.


Why do you want to run for office?

I am honored to have the opportunity to serve this amazing community in my professional work in the nonprofit sector, in my volunteer time in the community, and especially during my terms on council. Making sure Carmel is a leader, keeping our fiscal future sound, supporting our public safety programs and investing in the growth of our community has been the highlight of my career.

What issues will your campaign focus on?

My primary goals for the upcoming term are ensuring Carmel stays on sound financial footing while ensuring we utilize systematic, accountable and transparent processes. As always, the council cannot lose track of a city’s primary functions: investing in infrastructure and economic growth, keeping taxes low and making sure our neighborhoods are safe. I also want to continue the dialogue with Hamilton County to improve safety, reduce congestion, improve aesthetics and maintain residential property values along the vital 146th Street corridor.

What are your qualifications for this office?

I bring to Carmel decades of experience in business leadership, economic development, people management and community outreach. Over my two terms on council, and as chair of the finance committee, I’m proud to say I’ve built a strong understanding of our complex redevelopment, utilities and municipal budgets. My understanding and support of our planning/zoning, code enforcement and public safety programs helps ensure our city remains among the best places in the country to live and raise a family.

What sets you apart from other candidates for this office?

Eight years on the council has afforded me with a bank of thousands of community conversations. Combine the extensive knowledge of the needs of my district with my deep relationships with city officials and employees, understanding of municipal finance and experience in executive business management, and you have a candidate that is definitively poised to continue serving at a high level the residents of Carmel’s Northeast District as their city councilor.

What is your favorite aspect of living in Carmel?

Living in an environment where our residents strive to excel in so many ways – athletics, education, arts, medicine, technology, philanthropy, government and community service – is motivating, refreshing and inspiring each and every day. And I’m completely enthralled with our newly redesigned Monon Trail.

What is an area where Carmel can improve?

We all love Carmel, but one area I’m focused on improving is our economic development incentives applications process. While all incentives are considered on a case-by-case basis, and Carmel invests in infrastructure as an incentive for companies to locate here, providing a standardized format and process for requests would ensure accountability and transparency and send a signal to potential business partners that we are protective of our tax dollars and focused on quality outcomes.

What other organizations are you involved with?

Most days, my work with the non-profit, the city and my son fill up each day. Outside of that: board member, Indiana Funeral Education Foundation; member, fund development action committee, Association of Organ Procurement Organizations. Previous service has included: alumna, Richard G. Lugar Excellence in Public Service Series; alumna, Stanley K Lacy Executive Leadership Series; former public ed/public relations chair, Association of Organ Procurement Organizations; chairperson and co-founder, Carmel PorchFest; board member/VP, Hamilton County Economic Development Corporation; member, US 31 Community Advisory Committee; member, Indiana Assoc. of Cities and Towns Legislative Committee and Transportation Committee; board member, Carmel Symphony Orchestra; president/member of Carmel-Clay Kiwanis; secretary for the City of Carmel’s Economic Development Commission; clinical/industrial/corporate chair, National Athletic Trainers Association; governmental affairs chair, Indiana Athletic Trainers Association.

Something most people don’t know about you?

In a twist of fate, both my husband and I were both adopted at birth two weeks apart from each other in two different states.

Something you want people to know about you?

I am passionate and enthusiastic about anything relating to wine, racing, marketing and economics.



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