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
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
What inspired you to seek elected office?
I think it is important that people get involved in some fashion in our community. This can be through our church, boys/girls scouts, little league, etc. For me, elective office has been an area which I have found rewarding and feel I have contributed to.
Why do you believe you are the best choice for Elkhart voters?
I have experience on the Elkhart City Council and the Indiana House of Representatives. During my time in the state house, I was a 12 year member of the local government committee, which deals with various local government matters. I also feel that my administrative and management experience will be useful as mayor.
The annexation issue has come up as an important issue for many. How would you have dealt with the issue as Mayor?
It’s important to realize that as a city grows, often times city government increases as do expenses. Indiana statute defines positions to be taken by a municipality and residents opposing annexation. The current proposed annexation is, in my view, rather diverse, due to city services being available in some areas and not in others. There is also a land use issue in adjacent proposed annexed areas which varies. I also feel that improved communication by city hall could have helped in resolving problems.
There seems to be some type of disconnect between city government and the people, both within the city limits and the rest of the county. How would you work to improve that relationship?
I have for twenty five years held town hall meetings and have found them to be very helpful in obtaining input from citizens. As mayor, I would also want department heads and other individuals not to be reluctant to disagree with me. Thus, I do not want “yes people” telling me what I want to hear. I want a competitive and aggressive staff that will solve problems. I am not looking for a Democrat or Republican solution . . . I am looking for the correct solution.
Are there any other issues you can see on the horizon for the city?
Economic development, crime reduction, possible new fire station
Why did you choose the Republican Party?
Because of the conservative approach in managing government and finding solutions.
How do you see your role when it comes to your oath of office and the constitution?
As mayor of Elkhart, I would take an oath and would abide by all laws and requirements and would never do anything to betray the sanctity of my oath and the Constitution.