Get to know the 2 political newcomers vying for Carmel City Council’s Northwest District


Two political newcomers are vying for the Northwest District seat on the Carmel City Council.

Democrat Melanie Brown, a consultant for a medical technology company, is running against Republican Ryan Locke, an attorney who has worked for the state treasurer’s office and Indiana State Police. Incumbent Laura Campbell, a Republican, is not seeking reelection.

What are your top three campaign issues?

CIC COM 0718 Brown for Council


  • Fiscal and developmental transparency between residents and city officials is crucial. I will involve residents in decision making regarding Carmel’s future.
  • Pumping the brakes on development of more mixed-use facilities to take time to study the effects on schools, infrastructure, traffic, and environment. Transition from rapid development to more greenspace for residents’ use.
  • Keeping Carmel a sustainable city and pushing for more climate friendly measures.


CIC COM 0221 Locke Council
  • Sustainability: Promote forward-looking operational and fiscal responsibility to ensure Carmel stays the world class place it is.
  • Invest in the community: Strategically fund public safety, infrastructure, services and amenities to meet city and resident needs.
  • Placemaking: Foster a community and economic ecosystem where people and businesses want to come and stay.

What are Carmel’s greatest strengths? Where do you see areas of improvement?

Brown: Carmel is an amazing city to live in due to the high-performing schools, a stellar parks department (including the Monon trail), availability of high-quality arts and entertainment, and great amenities with a low tax rate. Most importantly, our neighbors and sense of community are our greatest assets. The city can improve in both transparency and listening to the community voice regarding development decisions. We also need to ensure our leadership represents the changing population in Carmel.

Locke: Carmel’s greatest strength is its residents. We care about each other. We care about the place we have chosen to live our lives, and we want this community that has meant so much to us and our families to continue to be an exceptional place to live into the future.

How would you describe Carmel’s financial health?

Brown: The financial health of Carmel is strong. We stay within an operating budget that aligns with our tax revenue. We should make it a priority to pay down debt and remain diligent about smart spending and investing in value not growth for growth’s sake.

Locke: Carmel’s financial health is strong. Over the past few decades, we have strategically invested in the city to meet current and future needs while continuing to set reasonable budgets and pay down our debts. It’s imperative that we continue sound fiscal discipline to preserve Carmel excellence for the next generations.

What should be the city’s role in supporting its senior citizen residents and their needs?

Brown: Carmel needs to consider accessibility, activity options and ensure affordable housing for downsizing for seniors. We need to offer programs geared toward seniors at our existing facilities like the Carmel Clay Public Library, Monon Community Center, affordable shows at the Palladium and supporting PrimeLife Enrichment, including the adoption of intergenerational programming. The walkability of downtown needs to be expanded as well as considerations regarding other forms of transportation.

Locke: Our seniors made this city what it is today when they chose to live here. Providing and attracting amenities, services, and businesses that cater to them must be a constant endeavor. We also need to strategically develop housing options for them so they can continue to live in Carmel.

How do you determine if a proposed development or redevelopment project in Carmel is something you would support?

Brown: The most important factor should be the community voice. Residents living close to proposed development are directly impacted and they have the best insight into their neighborhood. Other factors to review are the financial impact, value added to the community, environmental impacts and keeping Carmel’s charm.

Locke: Objective financial review with a focus on the current and future impact a project will have on the community. Development should be targeted on areas that are not generating economic value effectively without negatively impacting homes. I will always seek community input to help ensure my decisions protect our residents.

What do you most want voters to know about you? 

Brown: I am a working mom who has been actively involved in the Carmel community for the last 18 years. If I am elected, I will listen to citizen’s voices, be fiscally responsible and transparent, and lead with integrity. This election, each voter has significant power to set a new era for Carmel and it would be an honor for me to serve our city.

Locke: I am a third generation Carmel resident. I am extremely proud of this community that has given me so much and want to ensure that it stays exceptional for future generations. I am running to bring my expertise home and to put my strategic approach to work for Carmel.

How can voters learn more about you?