Miami County Graphic (map)
Gabe Greer

MAYOR

DEMOCRAT

Name: Gabriel Greer

Age: 37

Work/Elected Experience: City Council for 4 years; mayor for 4 years; various construction jobs; licensed electrician.

Family: Two daughters, Sophia and Lily

With Schneider Electric closing this year, along with other major retail businesses, what can the city do to encourage new economic development and bring new jobs to Peru?

Many businesses and manufacturers are suffering from a lack of reliable workforce. The city is working to develop new housing in the city to attract more people to live work, live and go to school here in Peru.

The City of Peru is working closely with the Miami County YMCA to develop 40 acres of riverfront property along the Wabash River. The site will be the home of the new YMCA facility, Riverwalk Trail and housing development. My administration is dedicated to providing new housing that will attract workers to our community, supporting the YMCA and their efforts to provide quality and affordable childcare, and providing a high quality of life through new parks and trails.

What new programs or projects, if any, would you implement as mayor?

My administration is completing the establishment of a new program that will work with private developers to fix abandoned homes and build new homes on empty lots. We have implemented a new sidewalk program this year to help homeowners pay for sidewalks and have more than doubled the funds for next year and working to expand this year's success.

What is the biggest issue facing Peru, and what would you do to address it?

The biggest issue Peru is facing is the opioid crisis. It affects every aspect of our community from the children of addicts who are growing up in a uncertain and frightening homes; to the grandparents who are taking care of grandchildren they never planned to in their retirement. Signs of the opioid crisis are present in every ill that we face today and it takes the entire community taking a hard look at what we can do to minimize the harms of this epidemic. A home abandoned after Peru police busted a meth lab in the home was deeded to the city when the taxes fell behind and the meth contamination stopped investors from finding it a viable investment. We gave that home to a non-profit organization, Advantage Housing, along with $15,000 for the meth remediation and they fixed up the home along with the help from multiple churches and other non-profits and have turned the once-meth-house into a Recovery Home for women facing addiction. It takes everyone doing what they can to take these problems and I am dedicated to being a good partner to all the people in our community make Peru a better place to live.

Miles Hewitt.jpg

Miles Hewitt

REPUBLICAN

Name: Miles Hewitt

Age: 67

Work/Elected Experience: I have spent the last 38+ years on the Peru City Police Department. During this time, I have held several different supervisory positions from Corporal up to and including Assistant Chief. I am still employed on the police department. Prior to my police career, I worked at a local factory in a supervisory position in charge of shipping, warehouse and receiving.

Family: I am married with two sons, a daughter and seven grandchildren.

With Schneider Electric closing this year, along with other major retail businesses, what can the city do to encourage new economic development and bring new jobs to Peru?

I will work diligently with the local realtors and the economic development to try and get new business to locate in Peru. We cannot give away the City, however tax abatements and the Peru Economic Development can be used – not for 15 or 20 years, but start with an agreement for 5 Years. They agree to come to Peru and have so many people employed by the end of five years, if they have kept up with their bargain then make a new agreement for another 5 years. If they haven't kept up with their agreement, then the abatement would end. Although we have had some local stores open in the downtown we need to entice other businesses to come to the downtown area.

What new programs or projects, if any, would you implement as mayor?

I want to start a new recycle program. This program I have in mind would eliminate the extra cost to the citizens of Peru for the large items pick up, such as couches, chairs and mattresses. These items were supposed to be included in the monthly bill the citizen’s were assessed through the utility bill. This would also eliminate the dumping of these items, not only on vacant properties within the city, but also along our county roads. I would also like to see local citizens involved in saving and beautifying our downtown. We can make the downtown a showcase to be proud of.

What is the biggest issue facing Peru, and what would you do to address it?

One of the big issues is our local main streets. This is what a visitor to Peru look's at first. West Main, North Broadway and the downtown area. They need to be a priority not only for our local citizens, but our out of town visitors. With good roads a priority, new business should follow.

Chris Wolfe.jpg

INDEPENDENT

Name: Chris Wolfe

Age: 48

Work/Elected Experience: Peru firefighter for 24 years from 1995 to present; Member of Peru Community School Board for 23 years from 1996 to present; served in the U.S. Air Force from 1990 to 1995.

Family: Son, Cooper, 18; and daughter, Cate, 14

With Schneider Electric closing this year, along with other major retail businesses, what can the city do to encourage new economic development and bring new jobs to Peru?

The loss of Schneider Electric and other businesses (Woodcrest in particular) is a huge blow to our community. We must do things differently. We have lost more than 600 jobs (if not more) in the past four years. We must improve the quality of life features in Peru to attract new businesses and industry. New employers to our city will want the best for their employees – the best parks, the best schools, the best amphitheater, the best experiences. We will make that happen.

I will promote the city better than ever. I will conduct monthly meetings with all current businesses to make them thrive. I will conduct quarterly meeting with the realtors. Economic development within the city will be thoroughly reviewed.

I will fight for this city like no other. We will put surrounding counties on notice. I promise Peru will win. We will win together.

What new programs or projects, if any, would you implement as mayor?

I will pursue programs and projects that spur job growth and retail. I will show why Peru is ideal for investment. I will definitely enhance our parks and river access. I will be involved in our schools. Our students will take pride in Peru. They will want to stay in Peru (unlike now). I will be in our schools like no mayor we have seen. I am a Peru Tiger and we will win.

I will re-establish the business council. I will be there for the impoverished. We will win together. High tide raises all ships. Everyone will win. I am there for all. The poor (single moms) will be helped and guided. I will work with the county jail. Those who will be released from jail will be talked to.

This town will be better top to bottom. From the poor to the rich, we will win – I promise. We will get better.

What is the biggest issue facing Peru, and what would you do to address it?

The biggest issue facing Peru, without a doubt, is our economy and jobs. If elected, I (we) will be in urgency mode, unlike our current administration. It will start with a visible, viable, vocal leader that this town needs. And we need it. We will develop a winning attitude. We will compete and win.

I campaign hard. As mayor, I will bring that same passion, commitment, fight, energy and excitement as mayor. I promise. I promise I will be there for the people. We need a winner. And if elected, we will change the game. People will be proud to be from Peru. And our citizens, and anyone for that matter, will get in contact with our mayor.

CLERK-TREASURER

Tish Soldi

Tish Soldi

DEMOCRAT

Name: Tish Soldi

Age: 42

Family: My husband, Jay, and I have been married 22 years as of January. We are the proud parents of three biological children and many kids we have “adopted” through the years!

Work/Elected Experience: I was first elected to the position of Peru’s Clerk-Treasurer in 2016. Since that time, I have found ways to save hundreds of thousands of dollars each year for the city. In January 2019, I became a certified grant administrator. Using my accreditation, I have applied for, received and managed over $2 million in grant funds.

What new programs or projects would you implement, if any, in the office of clerk-treasurer?

As I work to grow the City’s reserves, I do so with a lot of goals in mind. Most grants are 50/50 match programs so we need the ability to be ready when the right grant presents itself! I don’t ever want the city to miss out on an opportunity because we were not financially secure. I, like all of our citizens, would like to see companies and businesses invest in our community because they recognize we have an administration that will work with them and a safe, small-town atmosphere. I want to see our parks expand to offer things such as a splash pad. I would like to see our streets lined with beautiful trees and flowers. I would like to grow our festivals and entertainment offerings. There are many projects I would like to be a part of and I’m absolutely sure we can accomplish all of them with proper planning and preparation.

What is the biggest fiscal issue facing Peru city government right now, and what would you do to address it?

Statewide, property tax caps greatly impact the amount of tax dollars each community receives. When I am building the yearly budget, I take those tax caps into consideration and look for ways we can not only maintain, but thrive, despite them. Grant procurement plays a big part in the way I run this office. Millions of state and federal dollars are on the table every year. I want to bring as much of it to Peru as I can. Grant money is a great way to fill in the gaps tax caps leave behind. It’s unbelievable how many communities know about grant money, but do not go after it because of the long, arduous process involved. That is not me! I actually enjoy the challenge but above that, I love looking around the community and seeing the growth the grant money provides!

What do you see as the main role of clerk treasurer?

I spend my days as Clerk-Treasurer making the best decisions possible when it comes to your tax dollars. A lot of the tasks that I do may seem redundant, but they pay dividends if done properly and consistently. For instance, when I first took office, the city was paying for insurance on property and vehicles it hadn’t owned in years!! As the old adage goes, “Take care of the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves!” My main role as the Clerk-Treasurer is taking care of the pennies. I promote and expect fiscal responsibility within all the city’s departments. I check our financial health monthly to make sure we are on the right track and course correct if we are not. I’m very proud of my recent audit covering 4 years because it illustrates the efficiency and transparency of my office.

Susan Stanley

Susan Stanley

REPUBLICAN

Name: Susan Stanley

Age: Did not provide

Family: I’m a single mother of two grown children and have seven grandchildren.

Work/Elected Experience: I retired from Delphi (Delco) with almost 34 years of employment retiring as a pipefitter in skilled trades. While working at Delphi, I attained an A.S. degree in business as well as a license in real estate. After retiring, I worked in real estate selling homes while doing substitute teaching.

What new programs or projects would you implement, if any, in the office of clerk-treasurer?

Peru has a current program to help with replacing unsafe and deteriorated sidewalks. I would like to see a that program expanded to help homeowners with tree and stump removal and offer additional assistance with the cost of bringing curbs up to today’s handicap code.

What is the biggest fiscal issue facing Peru city government right now, and what would you do to address it?

The main concern being voiced to me is the current loss of jobs and businesses along with the demolition of houses. This position is not one to establish policy, however as clerk-treasurer, I would make myself available to assist those that do by keeping them apprised of what the city is financially capable of handling and help make sound financial decisions for the city.

What do you see as the main role of clerk treasurer?

The main goal I see of clerk-treasurer is to ensure that the revenues generated for the operation of the city are used efficiently and are maximized and utilized by those here locally before spending money outside of the city whenever possible.

PERU CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 1

Betsy Edwards-Wolfe

Betsy Edwards-Wolfe

DEMOCRAT

Name: Betsy Edwards Wolfe

Age: 44

Work/Elected Experience: I started my government experience at Peru High School where I served as student body president. I attended Purdue University and then attended Ball State University where I graduated with a masters of art degree in Family and Consumer Sciences. I have worked as a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator for 20 years at Woodlawn Hospital and 15 years at Dukes Memorial Hospital. I also work at IU Health Tipton. I have also helped out in the community teaching nutrition classes through the YMCA, all three school systems, and in private industries like Square D and REMC.

Family: I have two children, Cooper Wolfe, 18; and Cate, 15. My parents are Kenneth Edwards and the late Sharon Edwards.

What is the biggest issue facing Peru, and how would you use your council seat to address it, if elected?

Hands down, the biggest issue in Peru is lack of economic opportunities. We do not have enough good paying jobs here in Peru. I would work to bring industry into Peru. Peru has so much to offer! We have a great labor force, wonderful schools, great trails, phenomenal golf courses, 10 court free tennis facility, beautiful parks, etc. Peru is an outstanding place to live, but we need greater job opportunities for our residents. I would also like help the citizens of Peru, who are looking for job opportunities find the resources that we have here like Ivy Tech to acquire new skills in a short period of time. I would work with Second Saturday and other forms of tourism to bring in business to our restaurants and shops. I would collaborate with the mayor and other community leaders to help improve economic opportunities either through initiatives that are in place or by creating new ones.

What kind of projects or initiatives would you support and advocate for as a member of council?

My area of expertise is in healthcare. I would like to put into place some major health and wellness initiatives. We are set to have a new YMCA open in Peru. Healthy cities are among the best to live in. I would love to have a bike library here in Peru as well as would like to work with the Parks Department to create affordable programs for all ages. Workforce development would be another initiative that I would work toward because this is what industries look for when choosing places to locate. I would advocate for programs that would provide both economic and educational opportunities to sure up a positive future for the city of Peru.

What do you see as a city council member’s primary role?

The role should be looking out for the city of Peru and for the best interest of those who reside there. I have lived in my district for 40 years and I think people want better jobs. They also want to live in a safe place with great schools and in a healthy environment. My responsibility would be to those that I represent first and foremost. Some of the main responsibilities would be to oversee the City of Peru’s budget, program effectiveness, zoning laws, legal contracts, public health and safety, and to establish both long and short term objectives and priorities.

REPUBLICAN

Blane Holland is seeking this seat but did submit responses.

PERU CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 2

Brian Arwood

Brian Arwood

DEMOCRAT

Name: Brian A. Arwood

Age: 40

Work/Elected Experience: Board of Directors, Indiana State Nurses Association, 2019-2021; President Elect, American Psychiatric Nurses Association, Indiana Chapter 2020-2021; President, American Psychiatric Nurses Association, Indiana Chapter 2019-2020; Treasurer, American Psychiatric Nurses Association, President Elect 2016-2019; President, Indiana University Kokomo Student Government Association, 2013-2015; Direct, IUK Student Athletics and Wellness Board, 2011-2013

Family: Wife, Meredith; and four daughters, Molly, Mina, Illy and Runa

What is the biggest issue facing Peru, and how would you use your council seat to address it, if elected?

It would be easy to say that we’ve lost a lot of jobs and that is our biggest issue. However, it is more complicated than just finding jobs. The global and national workforce is changing, and in order for a municipality or county to be able to look to the future we have to address the kinds and variety of workforce we can provide. Trying to find a factory or manufacturer to locate in Peru or Miami County may seem like the best option – and it would certainly help to add jobs like that for our population – but in the long run we need to focus on building our education base to provide more skilled trades, degreed positions, and quality educators. We need everyone – from street sweepers and the guy at Arby’s to nurses and brain surgeons – and our biggest issue is building a workforce that can sustain high end jobs right here in Peru and Miami County for years to come.

What kind of projects or initiatives would you support and advocate for as a member of council?

Value added projects or initiatives. I would hesitate to vote for an initiative that brought a large corporation to town in exchange for tax cuts and incentives. While it may sound great to add X# of jobs to an area, what is to stop the corporation from starting a new bidding war for their next home when their tax cushion runs out in a few years’ time? I would hesitate to vote for wholesales of materials and goods that are hard to replace or replenish. While clearcutting a forest to sell of the lumber may initially garner a large lump sum payment, what do we lose for not having the trees for the next 20-50 years? We need to support and advocate for projects that are long term investments, not just short term gains.

What do you see as a city council member’s primary role?

The primary role of any elected official is to be a representative for the people in their service area; it is to speak with their voice. Too often politicians vote along or against party allegiances. The elected official has to utilize their knowledge and expertise to speak for or against initiatives, weigh the benefits and detractors, and advocate for what they believe is the best outcome for their constituents. A city council member’s primary role is to talk to the people in their service area, to hear and understand what they have to say, and to represent them with integrity and honesty. They are to keep people informed of decisions and deliberations that impact them, and to frequently be available for feedback. A true politician is to represent the best interests of their constituents even if it is counter to what they themselves believe. The role of a proper city council member is to benefit both the city and the people.

REPUBLICAN

Tom Gustin

Tom Gustin

Name: Tom Gustin

Age: 77

Work/Elected Experience: Thirty-nine year public school educator (retired 16 years); currently serving third term (12th year) representing Peru City Council District 2.

Family: Wife, Dianne; three sons; two daughters; seven grandchildren…..and a partridge in a pear tree!

What is the biggest issue facing Peru, and how would you use your council seat to address it, if elected?

Accomplishing all of the tasks which need to be done with the limited budget each year. The council, mayor, and city clerk have been working very closely to ensure expenditures for listed projects are wisely expedited! We also must face a problem with several businesses closing shop in our community. Enticing other businesses to settle here will be one of our priorities.

What kind of projects or initiatives would you support and advocate for as a member of council?

We’ve been working very hard to tend to the blight problem in our city. Condemned structures on our list are being demolished as our budget will allow. Our parks programs have really taken off with some excellent up-grades. We are presently using some of our funds along with some grants to take care of some badly needed street paving (some will have to wait until next spring due to the lack of sufficient funds). We’ve been working with a group to beautify our downtown! We’ve also made some strides at saving several of our very old buildings in an attempt to preserve our local heritage.

What do you see as a city council member’s primary role?

It is my sworn duty to represent the citizens of Peru and to protect their interests to the best of my ability. I love this town. I was born and raised here, and other than time in college, and a short stint on the road as a professional musician, I’ve lived here all my life. My residence is at 415 Oliver Street, and it’s been my home since 1975.

I believe I have capably represented my district for 12 years, and I’ve never campaigned, nor will I ever do so. If my constituents think I’ve done a good job for them, I trust they will have me continue for another four years.

PERU CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 3

Jason Bowman

Jason Bowman

DEMOCRAT

Name: Jason Bowman

Age: 44

Work/Elected Experience: I have owned my own business, Bowman’s Towing & Heavy Recovery, for 20 years and have expanded my business over that time to two shops. I serve on the Peru Plan Commission and served on the the Board of Zoning Appeals and the Miami County Board of Zoning Appeals, serving as president of both boards for several years. I was asked to take over the Peru City Council District 3 seat after Phyllis Torrence passed away. I helped create the Miami County Comprehensive Plan, which includes some proposed plans for the U.S. 31 corridor. I also currently serve on the Tax Abatement Board.

Family: Girlfriend, Kaylynn; five children, from nine months to 21 years old.

What is the biggest issue facing Peru, and how would you use your council seat to address it, if elected?

I think the biggest issue facing Peru is a lack of jobs and businesses, which go hand in hand. If elected, I would work with my constituents, Economic Development, other council members, and the Miami County Chamber of Commerce to work towards a goal of attracting industry, both factory and retail, to our town. I would also work with the existing businesses and the small business owners to find ways to help keep them going.

What kind of projects or initiatives would you support and advocate for as a member of council?

The Washington Avenue Extension is a project I’m interested in seeing completed, and making our downtown area even better than it has started to look, along with the rest of our town. I would also like to see some family friendly activities added to the existing ones we have. I think the all-inclusive playground and the new YMCA area a great stat to that.

What do you see as a city council member’s primary role?

Obviously, you want to represent your constituents to the best of your abilities, along with improving your community and the infrastructure that makes up your town.

Peter Sahaidachny

Peter Sahaidachny

REPUBLICAN

Name: Peter Sahaidachny

Age: 67

Work/Elected Experience: Twenty-six years of teaching for the Lafayette School Corporation

Family: One son, Peter Jeshua Sahaidachny; two grandsons, Luka and Bohden; daughter-in-law, Jessica Kaihoi; and one brother, Nick; and one sister, Mary

What is the biggest issue facing Peru, and how would you use your council seat to address it, if elected?

Let me start by quoting Jack Welch, CEO of General Electric, in Fortune (1995): "The challenge that we all face...is to create the environment where people can reach their dreams--and they don't have to do it in a garage." If elected, I would use my council seat to do two main things: as former Mayor Jim Walker used to say, "educate people by teaching them life skills and provide opportunities for jobs." I agree with him. Educate people by teaching them life skills and provide opportunities for jobs. This is how we get citizens to stay and rebuild our community. Sure, we've seen a lot of businesses and factories shut down, but we have to move on; we can't live in the past. We have to be creative; everyone can be good at something, but I think that we can move along the line much further with an education--that's how I ended up teaching for 26 years in the Lafayette School Corporation. To be a teacher had always been a dream of mine. I did it, so can you. What is your dream: to become a nurse, police officer, airplane pilot, or marketing manager? Go for it!

What kind of projects or initiatives would you support and advocate for as a member of council?

I believe that each council member needs to bring something of value to the community. As for myself, I have been singing and playing guitar since I was 12 years old. Back in April I organized the band Peter & Company. We as humans are social creatures, and we need something to sustain us after a hard day's work. This is how I can add value to the city of Peru by supporting musical/cultural events. And couldn't we do something more with the amphitheater? How about organizing a musical/art festival in the summer or fall? Let me quote my son Peter Jeshua Sahaidachny: "You don't need art to survive, but you need it to live."...On a more concrete level, I would enforce the leash law (my neighbor told me while she and her dog were out for a walk one day, a pit bull came chasing after them); remove junk cars; and have the city pick up bulky items once a month, free of charge.

What do you see as a city council member’s primary role?

Mark Twain said: "There are two times in a man's life when he should not speculate: when he can't afford it, and when he can." In my opinion, the primary role of the city council member is twofold: (1) to make sure the budget is being managed optimally; do we spend money on streets, sidewalks, police cars or guitars? You get the idea--what are the needs of the city? (2) to enforce laws, pass new laws, or remove old, outdated laws from the books is the secondary role.

PERU CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 4

Cheryl Lee

Cheryl Lee

DEMOCRAT

Name: Cheryl S. Lee

Age: 74

Work/Elected Experience: I am a retired Administrative Assistant and have served on the City Council for the past 12 years for the 4th District and have been faithful in attending scheduled meetings of the council. I have served as a liaison for Economic Development, the Peru Civic Center, The Park Board, and supported businesses and causes throughout our community.

Family: I have a son, Tyler, and one grandson.

What is the biggest issue facing Peru, and how would you use your council seat to address it, if elected?

The biggest issue facing Peru is the city doesn’t have enough retail stores and restaurants to serve the community. The people of Peru constantly ask why we can’t have more stores to shop and more options in the restaurant business. We need places to shop for basic needs such as retail stores for clothing, shoes and home goods to name a few. Our people want more choices for sit down style and family oriented family restaurants. When we don’t meet these needs, people go to surrounding cities to shop and take their billfolds with them and needless to say our money is lost to other counties.

As a council member, I will continue to work with economic development, the mayor’s office and other entities that could help bring additional retail/restaurants to Peru. If Peru can provide what our citizens request of us, the city will be more vibrant and attractive not only to our people, but to outside companies who may be interested in moving to Peru. I desire to be part of the team that meets the request of our community.

What kind of projects or initiatives would you support and advocate for as a member of council?

I am an advocate for people with disabilities. I serve on the board of Harvesting Capabilities, Inc. to help meet the needs of those with physical disabilities. We seek accessible parking places, ramps for those in wheelchairs in order to have access to and from their homes, and we provide a store where people can purchase affordable adaptable medical equipment and products. One of our most recent projects has been to build an all-inclusive playground for those with disabilities. I serve on the board of Manna on Main Street to help provide free lunches to adults who are in need of a hot meal. As food prices continue to climb, we have more and more citizens in the community who need help with something healthy and nutritious to eat.

What do you see as a city council member’s primary role?

A council member is to overlook the appropriation of money, help control the city’s property, finances, oversee ordinances, motions, and resolutions for the government of the city. As a council member I am dedicated to do so.

REPUBLICAN

Patricia Russell

Patricia Russell

Name: Patricia Russell

Age: 63

Work/Elected Experience: I graduated from Indiana University of Kokomo in 1991 with a bachelor's of science in business administration. I currently work as a substitute teacher for Peru Community Schools.

Family: My husband, John, and I have three daughters each, and have blended our families together. We have nine grandchildren and one great grandson.

What is the biggest issue facing Peru, and how would you use your council seat to address it, if elected?

The biggest issue facing Peru at this time is the sustainable availability of jobs. We need positions that will provide future families the ability to support themselves above the poverty level. To do that we need a workforce that is trained and we need to attract businesses to our area. As a city council member I would work with the economic development authority to provide incentives for businesses.

What kind of projects or initiatives would you support and advocate for as a member of council?

The projects that I would support would be to enhance Peru. We need to work at maintaining our infrastructure of sidewalks and streets. I believe it would be great to look at how our city uses its workers to provide services.

What do you see as a city council member’s primary role?

The biggest role of a city council member would be to remember we serve the best interests of Peru. We need to be careful how we spend our city's money. We need to look for future growth opportunities. Lastly, we need to listen and get to know our constituents.

PERU CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 5

Joyce Greer

Joyce Greer

DEMOCRAT

Name: Joyce Greer

Age: 64

Work/Elected Experience: I have worked as a registered nurse for the past 20 years in numerous capacities. As a former wellness business owner for 8 years in Peru, I understand the concerns and obtacles faced in starting and maintaining a new business, with operating costs and the many different taxes. I have volunteered over the past 41 years in Miami County as VBS director for over 200 children, Bible studies, Salvation Army, Cub Scouts, political party and wellness fairs.

Family: I have four children, Aaron, Jennifer, Melissa and Gabriel, and 15 grandchildren

What is the biggest issue facing Peru, and how would you use your council seat to address it, if elected?

As a healthcare provider, I have witnessed the devastation and destruction that comes with drug abuse and addictions. It affects all areas of our lives physically, mentally and economically in the community. There is not one family that isn’t affected by the drug infestation not only here in Peru, or Indiana, but the whole country.

We have to continually educate ourselves on the solutions and start here, one community at a time, to gain back our wellness in Peru. We need to bring out research and ideas for solutions before the council and mayor to vote and move forward in positive directions.

What kind of projects or initiatives would you support and advocate for as a member of council?

Finding the most efficient use of our tax dollars, investing and researching different approaches to our drug problem, continued cleanup of city properties, promoting our city and all that we have to offer our citizens. We need to maintain positive relationships without current businesses and understand that making Peru healthier grows the economy and attracts new business.

What do you see as a city council member’s primary role?

Listening to and representing constituents on the issues that come before the board and serve with integrity and honesty.

REPUBLICAN

Mark Ramsey

Mark Ramsey

Name: Mark Ramsey

Age: 63

Work/Elected Experience: I worked at the Peru radio station for 35 years. I helped Miami County and the City of Peru in a lot of different capacities.

Family: Single

What is the biggest issue facing Peru, and how would you use your council seat to address it, if elected?

Jobs are the main problem. We need to be more aggressive for industries that are willing to come. Peru has a lot to offer, we need to show them what Peru is all about. People from other cities are amazed that we have something going every weekend. To use my council seat, I am willing to talk to other industries, show them around, keep a positive attitude and be supportive.

What kind of projects or initiatives would you support and advocate for as a member of council?

I would advocate for keeping the city clean and presentable. We still have a few streets that need to be paved, need to clean up property so it looks presentable, and make sure the of Peru stays within the budget. Peru has a budget we have to stay within, as councilman I will watch that very closely. It takes everybody to make this Peru beautiful and presentable to outsiders. Respect each other as we as a city are working to accomplish the same goal.

What do you see as a city council member’s primary role?

My primary role is to listen to the people, there concerns and positives, be out in the public as much as possible. By living in south Peru, people don't realize that we are in the city limits, once you cross the Broadway bridge people forget about us. As a councilman, I will try my hardest to let people in Peru that we are in the city limits. I know there is not much to offer, but these businesses still need to be recognized they are in the city. I will try to help them out each day. My phone is always open, if there is anything I can do I will try and relay to other council members.

PERU CITY COUNCIL AT-LARGE

Steve Anderson

Steve Anderson

DEMOCRATS

Name: Steve Anderson

Age: 50

Work/Elected Experience: Professionally, I have spent 30 years in the construction industry from small remodels to $30-million hospital developments. As a current member of the City of Peru’s Board of Works, I feel I have a deep understanding of the inner workings of the city. My commitment to developing businesses was also strengthened from all I have learned working so closely with local businesses as a board member of Rediscover Downtown Peru.

Family: I am a single father of one son, Seth.

What is the biggest issue facing Peru, and how would you use your council seat to address it, if elected?

I believe Peru, as a whole, is now moving in the right direction. The changes we’ve seen in the last few years are palpable. With that said, I also see a lot of opportunities for improvement such as streamlining information and services for potential businesses developers within a single office, a one-stop-shop so to speak. We need to take the confusion out of what our building department can offer new businesses and make it as pleasant an experience as possible.

What kind of projects or initiatives would you support and advocate for as a member of council?

I would be a huge advocate for the development of new and affordable housing for the citizens of Peru. There are plenty of people that would choose the quality of life a small town like Peru has to offer but the lack of nice housing sometimes steers families into different communities. I want to stop that. I’m very proud that I have been involved in many community projects including building the skatepark and starting our Second Saturdays to promote our downtown businesses. I have a passion for this community that I have used as my motivator through the years. Being on the City Council just feels like the natural next step.

What do you see as a city council member’s primary role?

I believe my job as a Councilmember is to keep the communication open between our citizens and City Hall. Through the years I have found that a lot of times, lack of communication is what divides a community. I find the more information our citizens have, the more likely it is for everyone to work together to overcome challenges.

Carrie Young

Carrie Young

Name: Carrie Young

Age: 53

Work/Elected Experience: Employed with First Farmers Bank and Trust for 16 years. I hold a position with the Planning Commission and the Peru Parks Board for the city of Peru currently. I am active with the United Way (campaign chair), Miami County Biddy Basketball (secretary), Junior Achievement of Miami County (President of Board in Miami County), Relay for Life Event Lead in Miami County, CASA Volunteer and a Rotarian.

Family: I am married to Jeffrey Young

What is the biggest issue facing Peru, and how would you use your council seat to address it, if elected?

Economic Development, industrial growth and housing. We need to maintain what we have currently and continue to create a place for growth and progress. Invest in our future and the future of our youth.

What kind of projects or initiatives would you support and advocate for as a member of council?

I want to support and advocate for economic growth and infrastructure to include the continuing of working on our roads, sidewalks and to grow our housing available to attract more to our community.

What do you see as a city council member’s primary role?

Always be a good listener to everyone, not just fellow council members and administrative but also to our community that we are representing. Be active and work together as a team with fellow council members, administrative and the community to conduct policy concerning not only the current state of the city but the future of the city as well.

REPUBLICANS

Andrea Harris.JPG

Name: Andrea Harris

Age: 54

Work/Elected Experience: Headstart since 2016 and Nurturing since 1997; Graduate from Peru High School in 1985; College- Child Day Care in 1998; Child Development Associates in 2017.

Family: two daughters; a son-in-law; and two grandkids.

What is the biggest issue facing Peru, and how would you use your council seat to address it, if elected?

Bringing back hometown values and recreation back for our children and community of our city.

What kind of projects or initiatives would you support and advocate for as a member of council?

Child Abuse Prevention, Northview, meetings.

What do you see as a city council member’s primary role?

I want to be part of the solution to move Peru forward and a safe place for our children. I would like to work with everyone to re-implement the safe house stickers so our children don’t feel threaten or lost and they can go to these houses. Background checks are a must to assure their safety. Being a part of determining how to best use our tax dollars.

Kathleen Plothow.jpg

Name: Kathleen L. Plothow

Age: 57

Work/Elected Experience: Henry Dean Publishing, Marketing & Fundraiser; Eastern United States Representative; Volunteer Grant Writer, assisted Circus City Festival Inc. in obtaining a nearly $53,000 grant from Dukes Foundation, 2017; Miami County Child Abuse Prevention Council member; Family and Individual Therapist, Utah Alcoholism Foundation, Inpatient/Outpatient Addiction Treatment Center, Provo, Utah; Marketing & Fundraising, Utah Alcoholism Foundation, Salt Lake City, Utah

FAMILY: Single, oldest daughter of Roger H. and Lenora Dean Damron Plothow; four siblings, one foster Navajo Native American brother.

What is the biggest issue facing Peru, and how would you use your council seat to address it, if elected?

Economic changes and an apparent unstable financial future, continues to be detrimental for the morale of many Peru residents. Many have voiced frustrations of the unknown and a lack of communication from some leaders. It is imperative to stimulate our economy through marketing and enhancing the public’s perception of Peru, Indiana. I anticipate working with other city council members in communicating thoroughly with the constituents and providing much needed transparency. We need to be involved with ALL members of this great community. It is vital to work closely with entrepreneurs, businesses and Miami County Economic Authority in creating an asset-based economically growing community. Peru is ripe with talented artist, musicians, food and beverage artists of varying sort and actors. I am and will continue to reach out to these amazing groups.

What kind of projects or initiatives would you support and advocate for as a member of council?

For the past several months, I have been working with a small group of entrepreneurs who are determined to help others bring their businesses and ideas to Peru. They have been quietly moving, talking, listening and creating strategies to make better opportunities for new businesses coming into Peru. At this time, we are working together to develop a small business coalition. This would create less challenging avenues for incoming businesses. An initiative will be presented to Peru City Council Spring 2020. In the environment of micropolitan economics, we must partner with every and any Peru City resident. I’m a strong advocate for all the is good and appropriate for our many neighbors and families.

What do you see as a city council member’s primary role?

The At Large City Council member is to advocate for every individual living within Peru City limits. We are to protect the city budget and ensure proper allowances. It is our unwritten duty to bring honor to this community. We must represent each individual with respect and integrity. There are few greater honors than to be a representative of “We the people”.

Carson Gerber can be reached at 765-854-6739, carson.gerber@kokomotribune.com or on Twitter @carsongerber1.

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Carson Gerber is a reporter for the Kokomo Tribune and can be reached at 765-854-6739, carson.gerber@kokomotribune.com or on Twitter @carsongerber1.

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