31 Aug

Meet the Candidates: Tim Neese, Elkhart Mayor

Meet the Candidates: Tim Neese for Elkhart Mayor


Former Elkhart City Councilman
Indiana House of Representatives, 2002-2014
Chairman, House Local Government Committee, 2004-06 and 2010-14
Author, Indiana Health Care Compact (conservative alternative to Universal Health Care)
Co-author of legislation regulating telemarketers
Co-author of legislation providing a tax credit to military veterans/spouses on purchasing license plates
Twenty-five year sponsor of exterior paint program for low income individuals
Proposes fire and police merit boards
NRA member
Ball State University, B.S. Degree
Wife Paula, three children
Member, Saint Thomas the Apostle Church
Instructor, Rick Mount Basketball Shooting School
Christiana Creek Club member
Sagamore of the Wabash recipient, 1987 and 2014
Former senior assistant, Indiana Secretary of State’s office
Member, Indiana Recycling Coalition
Director, Solid Waste Management District


18 Sep

Elkhart County Council Votes in favor of Local Option Income Tax

Income taxes might be rising next year in Elkhart County.

It’s up to the Elkhart County Council, which voted 5-2 to pursue a vote on a 0.5 percent county-wide income tax increase.

The decision came Thursday, Sept. 18, afterseveral days of budget hearings and nervous discussions on how county government can continue functioning in the wake of dwindling property tax revenues stemming from property tax caps.

After five years of creatively managing to balance the budget, the county has run out of options to find money to plug the holes, councilman David Foutz said.

“We’ve been dealt a hand by the state legislature that puts us in a position to look for alternative sources of revenue,” he said.

During budget hearings Tuesday and Wednesday, many department heads expressed serious anxiety about their ability to get through the next year on flat-lined budgets.

“As financial stewards, it’s damn well our job that there’s enough depth and enough strength in our local financial system to get through hard times, and right now we don’t have that,” council president John Letherman said Thursday evening.

In favor of voting on the 0.5 percent increase:

  • John Letherman – President
  • David Hess – Vice president
  • Randall Yohn – District 2
  • David E. Foutz – District 1
  • Thomas Stump – At large

Against voting on the 0.5 percent increase:

  • Daryyl Riegsecker – District 3
  • David M. Ashe – At large

Daryyl Riegsecker, who opposes voting on the increase, said too many people are struggling right now to think about raising taxes.

“I feel bad for the public,” he said.

Ashe’s concern was for parents working minimum wage jobs just to make ends meet.

“You’re looking at skimming money right out of their paycheck before they ever see it,” he said.

About 85 percent of the county’s budget pays for criminal justice — including the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department, the Prosecutor’s Office and the courts. The next biggest expenditure is the Elkhart County Highway Department.

“Our choice is between letting the public safety go to pot or letting the roads go to pot, and I don’t think the public wants either one of those two things to happen,” Letherman said several hours before the council voted.

Elkhart Mayor Dick Moore and Goshen Mayor Alan Kauffman have both expressed support for an county-wide income tax increase in recent months.

Where would the money go?

If the council approves the 0.5 percent income tax increase, 0.25 percent would go straight to public safety funds. That means cities, towns and the county would get that money for police and fire departments, emergency medical services, corrections facilities and pensions for workers.

In 2015 the county would get $3,582,000 from the public safety income tax, and cities and towns would get a combined $6,004,000.

Revenue from the other 0.25 percent increase would be used to create a credit on property tax bills. This would ultimately allow all taxing units — county, cities, schools and libraries — to recoup some of the property taxes that would have otherwise been lost to tax caps.

In 2015, that 0.25 percent property tax income tax would grant the county an estimated $725,000 in new revenue. Townships would get $145,750, cities and towns would get a combined total of $2,300,000, schools would get $2,350,000 and libraries would get $234,750.

The bottom-line impact of the credit on an individual’s property tax bill will depend on each tax bill’s tax cap class, net assessed value and tax rate.

Residents who don’t pay property taxes would see no other effect aside from the paycheck cut.

Elkhart County’s collective income tax rate currently includes a 1-percent adjusted gross income tax, a 0.25-percent economic development income tax and a 0.25-percent special jail income tax.

What about the budget?

They council started out with a $4.7 million deficit but managed to balance the 2015 budget, more or less, without making big cuts. A 3-percent wage increase was also granted to full-time county employees.

“I don’t look at it as a 3-percent raise. I look at it as a long overdue cost of living adjustment,” Letherman said during budget hearings Tuesday, Sept. 17.

Savings for 2015 were found in several county departments, and the council was able to elimante a $2.7 million medical-cost line that was duplicated in two separate sheriff’s department budgets.

It also moved $1 million from landfill fees into the general fund and decreased wages for some positions from which staff recently retired.

Even though the budget has been balanced, there’s another $3 to $5 million in losses expected in 2015 once property tax caps kick in. The income tax increase would soften that blow, if passed.

What’s next?

The council will vote on the tax increase at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 30, when it does the first reading of the budget. If the vote isn’t unanimous, it could require a second vote, which would likely happen at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 30, when the council reads the budget again and formally adopts it.

Both meetings are public.

The Elkhart County Council meets at the county administration building at 117 N. 2nd St., Goshen.

Article Compliments of the Elkhart Truth

17 Sep

Elkhart County GOP Lunch Bunch Buffet

The Elkhart County Republican Party is offering a new opportunity to meet and socialize with their fellow Republicans so everyone can learn more about what is happening on the political scene in our area.  We have scheduled a monthly Lunch Bunch Buffet event.  Each month we will have a guest speaker and a chance to meet with fellow Republicans.

The event will be held every month at NOON on Thursday at Lucchese’s Italian Restaurant, the address is 655 County Road 17 Elkhart.

Lunch will be buffet style followed by a special guest speaker and a question and answer period. We will meet in a private room in the back or the restaurant.

RSVP is not required, however a response would be appreciated.

You can email to or call 574-522-7555.


22 Apr

Want to vote before election day? Here’s how…


Mondays – 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Elkhart and Goshen)
Tuesdays through Friday – 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Elkhart and Goshen)
Saturday, April 26 – 8:00 a.m. to 3 p.m.
(Elkhart, Goshen, Middlebury, and Nappanee)
Saturday, May 3 – 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Elkhart – Courts Building Foyer, 315 S. 2nd St., Elkhart
Goshen – County Administration Building, 117 N. 2nd. St., Goshen
Nappanee – First Brethren Church, 1600 N. Main St., Nappanee
Middlebury – Town Hall, 418 N. Main St., Middlebury
Call (574) 535-6469 and request an application
Deadline to apply for an absentee ballot by mail is April 28
Call (574) 353-6469 and request a traveling board application
Deadline to apply by vote by traveling board is noon, May 5

20 Mar

Elkhart County Republicans’ Lincoln Day Celebration

When Republicans get together we talk about the things we’ve been successful doing. We talk about the things we’ve got to get done. And, the atmosphere is not only exciting, it’s energizing. There is nothing like being in a crowd of Republicans anxious to take our nation back!

From the inspiring speakers, Dan Coats, Senior United States Senator; Connie Lawson, Secretary of the State of Indiana and Jackie Walorski, U.S. House Representative for District 2, to the big crowd, the outstanding food and the amazing people in attendence, it was an incredible evening.

Some pictures from the event:

Mary Nisly, Elkhart County GOP Chairwoman is standing on the far left.

Mary Nisly, Elkhart County GOP Chairwoman is standing on the far left.

Fabulous food and conversation.

Fabulous food and conversation.

Indiana Young Republican Federation Chairman Michael Neal on the far left meets with Elkhart County Young Republicans.

Indiana Young Republican Federation Chairman Michael Neal on the far left meets with Elkhart County Young Republicans.

Dan Coats meets with members of the media shortly before attending Elkhart County's Lincoln Day Celebration.

Dan Coats meets with members of the media shortly before attending Elkhart County’s Lincoln Day Celebration.

Connie Lawson was inspiring!

Connie Lawson was inspiring!

The turnout was huge! This picture was taken before the dinner started. The room was totally filled once the dinner began.

The turnout was huge! This picture was taken before the dinner started. The room was totally filled once the dinner began.

Jackie, as always, gave a forceful and stirring speech.

Jackie, as always, gave a forceful and stirring speech.

Dan, Jackie and Connie, kept the GOP held the crowd's rapt attention throughout the evening.

Dan, Jackie and Connie, kept the GOP held the crowd’s rapt attention throughout the evening.

01 Mar

Secretary of State, Connie Lawson and U.S. Senator Dan Coats to Speak at Elkhart County Lincoln Day Dinner

R.S.V.P. today! Don’t miss out. Join Indiana Secretary of State, Connie Lawson and U.S. Senator Dan Coats at the Elkhart County Republican Central Committee annual Lincoln Day Dinner. Enjoy fun, food and fellowship with Indiana’s Secretary of State and U.S. Senator Coats as well as local GOP officials and 2014 candidates.

The dinner will be held at the Matterhorn, 2041 Cassopolis Street, Elkhart, IN, Friday, March 14, 2014. The keynote address by Connie Lawson will begin at 6:00 p.m. Dinner will be served at 7:00 P.M.

Connie Lawson, Indiana Secretary of State

Connie Lawson, Indiana Secretary of State

Your support of this great event will be greatly appreciated.

Sponsorship options for this year are:

$500 — One Full page advertisement in the Lincoln Day Program to be placed at each guest seating. (approx.: 8.5 x 7)

$250 — A half page advertisement in the Lincoln Day Program to be placed at each guest seating. (Approx.: 4.25 x 3.5)

$75 — Business card size advertisement in the Lincoln Day Program to be placed at each guest seating.

U.S. Senator Dan Coats

U.S. Senator Dan Coats

We ask that each advertisement be camera ready and submitted with your checks. You may also email your artwork to

Please mail checks to:

Elkhart County Republican Central Committee
P.O Box 81
Goshen, IN 46527
If you have any questions, please contact Abbie Albaugh at
574-215-5742 or
Thank you for your consideration,
Abbie Albaugh
Elkhart County GOP




26 Feb

YR Hosting 3rd Annual ‘Machine Gun Fun Fundraiser’

This Sunday, March 4, Elkhart County Young Republicans will host their third annual ‘Machine Gun Fun Fundraiser’. The event will be held at 4:00 p.m. at the Midwest Gun Range, 128 Rush Ct, Elkhart, IN.

For more information about the ‘Machine Gun Fun Fundraiser’ or to find out more about the Elkhart County Young Republican Club, please contact, Jason Obendorf



Elkhart County Young Republicans

17 Feb

Indiana gets a new ‘state slogan’

by Gayle Lane

On Feb. 12, Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann and state tourism director Mark Newman announced the launch of “Honest to Goodness Indiana” as the state’s new “consumer brand.”

 Ellspermann says the campaign will be used to show tourists that “everywhere you go in Indiana, the people and the experiences are genuine.”

 The “Honest to Goodness” logo will be tilted 16 degrees to the right, something officials say is a nod to Indiana becoming a state in 1816.

The state’s tourism office designed the campaign with Indianapolis marketing company Williams-Randall. The new brand cost $100,000 to create and the state will spend an additional $1 million implementing it. Jake Oakman, spokesman for the Indiana Office of Tourism Development, which paid $100,000 for the slogan and the soon-to-start campaign that will run through summer, says that the new four-word slogan isn’t meant to stand alone. “Wait until the billboards, the print ads and the TV commercials come out,” Oakman suggests, “then the new slogan will take on a fuller meaning.”

20 Jan

Walorski featured speaker for Goshen City Republicans’ Ronald Reagan Dinner

You don’t want to miss this event. Reservations are required. RSVP today.

invites you to attend the

Celebrating his 103rd birthday

February 8, 2014

117 South fifth Street – Goshen, Indiana

6:00-7:00 p.m. Social Hour & Silent Auction
7:00 p.m. Dinner
Speaker: 2nd District Congresswoman Jackie Walorski
Introduced by Casey Hendrickson

Tickets: $40.00 each or Table of 8 $280.00



20 Jan

Walorski Campaign Coordinator tells ECRWC how to become more involved

“I work on Jackie Walorski’s campaign and people often ask, what can I do to get involved?” said Emily Daniels, Walorski’s campaign coordinator. Daniels was the featured speaker at Tuesday night’s Elkhart County Republican Women’s Club dinner at Dandino’s Restaurant and Lounge in Goshen.

Daniels said there were many ways for people to make a difference. “Some like talking to voters in a phone bank, door to door, parades, other hosting fundraisers… I try help people get plugged in using their skills and talents.”

Emily Daniels, Campaign Coordinator for Jackie Walorski, recently attended an Elkhart County Precinct Committee meeting.

Emily Daniels, Campaign Coordinator for Jackie Walorski, at Elkhart County’s January Precinct Committee meeting.

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing,” Emily added. “I have that quote on my desk. It keeps me from being discouraged knowing that I am doing what I can and helping others do what they can to get our country back on track.”

Emily Daniels can be reached at Contact her today to get involved.

The Elkhart County Republican Women’s Club meets once a month. February’s meeting will be held on February 11 at Dandino’s Restaurant and lounge in Goshen. Elkhart County Sheriff Brad Rogers will be the featured guest speaker. To RSVP or for more information about the Elkhart County Republican Women’s Club contact Kris Rowe, New members are welcome.