Westfield Clerk-Treasurer Cindy Gossard said she won’t seek reelection, citing a “deteriorating relationship with the mayor and the administration.”
Gossard, whose career in government will have spanned more than 30 years when her term expires in December, was initially appointed to the clerk-treasurer position in 2001. She has been reelected in her role since 2003.
“The deteriorating relationship with the mayor and the administration and the current work environment were contributing factors in my decision not to run for another term,” Gossard said.
Gossard and Mayor Andy Cook have filed lawsuits against each other in recent years. Cook originally sued Gossard for withholding pertinent information to the audit of all city accounts ordered by Cook in 2020, while Gossard later accused the city’s administration of installing “spyware” on all six computers in the clerk-treasurer’s office and accessing the data without her permission.
A settlement was reached, with part of the settlement stipulating that software would be removed from the clerk-treasurer’s office computers, officials said previously.
Gossard said Cook was a factor in not running for another term, noting that her job is to “safeguard the city’s finances and to ensure that the city is in compliance with the state of Indiana.”
“That becomes difficult to do without a working relationship with the mayor and the administration,” Gossard said. “To be clear, I had never refused to provide records, never.”
In a statement released by the city, Cook said, “I congratulate Ms. Gossard on her years of service and contributions to the city’s growth. For the first 12 years of my administration, she was an integral part of the growth of Westfield, which is consistently ranked as one of the best places to live in America. The last three years have been challenging, given the makeup of our current city council. However, I know Ms. Gossard leaves her position confidently, knowing that she has made a positive and lasting impact on the Clerk Treasurer’s office. I wish her well.”
Gossard also said when she investigated concerns about unauthorized access in her office, she was sued by Cook in her capacity as clerk-treasurer and as an individual. That created a work environment that was difficult for her and her staff, she added.
Gossard confirmed that she intends to serve out the remainder of her term this year, which ends Dec. 31, and has made plans to retire.
“I appreciate the citizens of Westfield putting their trust in me all these years,” she said.
Marla Ailor has filed to run for Gossard’s position, according to the Hamilton County Elections Office.