Meet the candidates running for Clay Township Board

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Three Republican candidates are actively seeking three seats on the Clay Township Board, although four names will be on the May 3 primary ballot. Candidate Kathleen Prater withdrew from the race, leaving incumbents Mary Eckard and Matthew Snyder and former board member Paul Bolin likely to emerge from the primary.

In the November general election, in which the three available seats will be open to candidates of any party on the ballot, three Republicans will face a challenge from Democrat Dallas Shelby.

Eckard

Name: Mary Eckard

Party: Republican

Age: over 50

Education: Michigan State University music major; St. Mary’s College and Indiana University South Bend continued studying voice; taught voice in South Bend and Carmel for 30 years.

Occupation: Owner, Mary Eckard & Co, PC; published author, “Take Your Stage” on Amazon

City: Carmel

Immediate Family: Husband, Barry Good, and four grown children, five grandchildren

Previous Political Experience: I was elected to the Clay Township Board in 1998 and am running for re-election. It is the only public office I’ve ever held.

Best way for voters to reach you: Email me at maryyouyou@gmail.com

Why do you want to run for office?

I feel I was elected to be a watchdog for the people of Clay Township on many issues. These included services that affect taxes, land values, poor relief and the quality of life. In my original campaign for the township board, I promised a fiscally responsible approach to township government and have stayed consistent with that.

What are your qualifications for this office?

I am serving this community currently as a township board member and understand what lies ahead for township government. We live in a lively, growing area and I want to continue representing the public by helping to manage Clay Township government during the changes and I want to help finish the Clay Township Impact Program.

What are the three top issues that your campaign will focus on?

Through the years the township has entrusted me with this role and I have consistently applied these questions to my decisions in making strategic decisions.

1. Why is this important to the people I serve?

2. Does it help people and the community?

3. Is it the best thing to move the community forward?

As the issues become apparent, I use these values to help me make the decisions I feel best. With all the growth in Carmel, it is very important that Clay Township and the City of Carmel work together in managing the services necessary for the government in this area to function properly. We are team members working for the people living in Clay Township.

What sets you apart from other candidates?

I have been working to establish a higher education initiative to develop a learning park.

What other organizations are you involved with?

Clay Township Republican Party Club, PEO, former Kiwanis president, former Chamber of Commerce Ambassador, St. Luke’s Methodist Church Choir

Something most people don’t know about you?

I am currently writing two children’s books.

Something you want people to know about you?

I have loved representing Clay Township on the township board and have worked very hard for them.

Bolin

Name: Paul K. Bolin

Party: Republican

Age: 64

Education: B.S. in marketing/advertising from Indiana University

Occupation: Vice president of sales for Kennedy Tank & Manufacturing Co., Inc., a family-owned steel tank manufacturing company in business for over 124 years

City: Carmel

Immediate family: Wife, Ann, three children, Courtney, Kevin and Brian

Previous political experience: Eight years as member of the Carmel Clay Schools board of trustees, with two years as board president, and 16 years as a member of the Clay Township Board, 4 of which were as board president. I also was an appointed member of the Carmel Clay Parks Board and the Carmel Clay Public Library Advisory Board.

Best way for voters to reach you: pbolin@kennedytank.com

Why do you want to run for office?

I want to focus my energy on the continuous improvement of my hometown. I have loved watching the graceful evolution of Carmel from a quiet little farm town in the late 1960s to the vibrant, energetic city and business community that it has become.

What are your qualifications for this office?

Experience! Having been an elected public official for 24 years, I believe I understand the expectations of our citizens and businesses.

What are the top three issues that your campaign will focus on?

Supporting public safety, continued development and expansion of the parks department, stewardship and guidance with poor relief/public assistance. These all combine to enhance the quality-of-life experiences that come with living in Carmel

What sets you apart from other candidates for this office?

Probably the diverse elected political offices I have held, and the longevity of my residence in Carmel (49 years).

What other organizations are you involved with?

Board member of Highland Golf & Country Club

Something most people don’t know about you?

I ran cross country and track at Carmel High School for legendary coach Chuck Koeppen in the 1970s!

Something you want people to know about you?

I climbed the Grand Teton Mountain in Wyoming.

Snyder

Name: Matthew J. Snyder

Party: Republican

Age: 39

City: Carmel

Immediate family: Wife (Ashlee), daughter (Charlie 4), and son (Benjamin 3)

Previous political experience: Clay Township Board incumbent

Best way for voters to reach you: 317-372-3082

Why do you want to run for office?

To do my part to continue the path of excellence this community, my hometown, has continuously been on.

What are your qualifications for this office?

I have served my community in countless ways from serving on boards of directors of NFTs, volunteering and community involvement. This combined with my experience as an executive have all culminated in, what I believe, to be a unique set of skills and insights that allow me to navigate political waters while keeping the majority’s best interests in laser focus.

What are the top three issues that your campaign will focus on?

Public safety, the independence of Carmel Clay Parks and Recreation, and community impact projects.

What sets you apart from other candidates for this office?

I have lived in Carmel my entire life. I have watched it grow into the wonderful community it is today. I have the unique experiences, background, and drive to accomplish any goals the township strives to achieve.

Shelby

Name: Dallas Shelby

Party: Democrat

Age: 48

Occupation: Nonprofit Branding & Management Consultant

City: Carmel

Immediate family: I am married with three young children.

Previous political experience: I have been a precinct chair since moving to Carmel three years ago. I also served as a delegate to the State Democratic Convention in 2020. I’ve volunteered for several local campaigns and progressive causes.

Best way for voters to reach you: dallasforclay@gmail.com

Why do you want to run for office?

Since moving here, I have focused on being of service to causes in which I believe. I am dedicated to making a positive impact on this community and am running to become a member of the Clay Township Board to ensure that all voices in the community are represented on the board.

What are your qualifications for this office?

I am passionate about giving back to my community. In addition to my volunteer work, I’ve spent the last 25 years working with nonprofits and government agencies to help them better serve their constituents.

What are the top 3 issues that your campaign will focus on?

I will work to make sure all the voices of our community are represented at the township level. I will support continued enhancements to area parks, making them accessible and safe. I will support public safety by updating fire stations and equipment.

What sets you apart from other candidates for this office?

I was not born here, but rather chose to move here (from suburban Maryland more than three years ago). I am firmly rooted in the community but with a fresh perspective that allows me to see challenges and opportunities others might miss.

What other organizations are you involved with?

I am a member of the executive committee of the board of irectors of the Carmel Education Foundation, a nonprofit that provides college scholarships for high school seniors and innovation grants for teachers in Carmel Clay Schools.

Something most people don’t know about you?

I was born and raised on a farm in Arkansas. This ingrained in me a deep sense of community and an appreciation for hard work.

Something you want people to know about you?

I am deeply committed to making this community a better, safer, happier place for everyone.


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