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Only 2 of 10 Carthage, Kennard Council Candidates Respond


October 2007 - In an effort to help voters learn about the individuals running for seats on the Carthage and Kennard town council in this fall's election, The Banner sent questionnaires to all 10 candidates running for office.

Democrat incumbent Tim Wehr is the only Carthage Town Council candidate who completed and returned a questionnaire to The Banner. While Doris Wyatt, a Republican challenger, returned a partially completed questionnaire, the other four Republicans - incumbents William Armstrong, Rick Bush and Wanda Henderson, and challenger Mike Onkst - did not respond at all to The Banner's questionnaire.

The six-member Carthage Town Council will become a five-member governing body with this election pursuant to a referendum voters passed in 2003. This means that when they go to the polls November 6, Carthage voters will either select the five Republicans to the council, or they will choose Wehr and four Republicans.

Only one Kennard town council candidate, Democrat challenger Beth Coy, completed and returned her questionnaire. The other three candidates vying for seats on the three-member council, Democratic candidates Robert Bryant and John Ryan, and Republican incumbent Michelle Cleek, did not respond.

Also included below are the responses to the Banner questionnaire of Democratic challenger Abbie Wehr, who is running against Republican incumbent Linda McMahan for Carthage Clerk-Treasurer. McMahan did not return The Banner’s candidate questionnaire.


The Candidates Who Responded:



101 S. Main St., Carthage (Democrat Incumbent - Carthage Town Council)

Driver for Klosterman Baking; incumbent elected to town council in 2003.

Education: Rushville H.S. (‘79); while on council, has attended Indiana Rural Water Alliance Conferences and several workshops, as well as classes through Indiana Assn. of Cities and Towns.

Age: 46



9 N. Walnut St., Carthage (Republican challenger - Carthage Town Council)

Although she did not return a completed candidate questionnaire to The Banner, Wyatt did send in a partially completed one, which is more than her four fellow Republicans bothered to do.

The 67-year-old Wyatt retired from AT & T after 30 years. She now works as a cashier at Pavey’s Grocery in Carthage and is making her first bid for the Carthage Town Council.

“I am a senior citizen who thinks it's never too late to get involved,” Wyatt wrote in one of her responses on the questionnaire. She said she thinks “... that it would be good to have a senior on the town council.”

Asked what she believed to be the most important duties of a member of the town council, Wyatt replied, “To remember you are working for the people.” She said she thinks the town council should “work hand in hand” with local law enforcement to keep the town, its residents, school and businesses safe.

Wyatt is one of five Republicans running for a seat on what will become a five member town council. She and the other Republicans also face a challenge from Democrat incumbent Tim Wehr.



101 S. Main St., Carthage (Democratic challenger - Carthage Clerk-Treasurer)

Homemaker; community volunteer.

Education: Zionsville High School (1994); associates degree in Business Management from Indiana Business College (1995); McDonald’s Basic Management Course (1995).

Age: 31



202 E. Madison St., Kennard (Democratic challenger - Kennard Town Council)

Cashier for CVS Pharmacy.

Education: Greenfield Central High School (1981).

Age: 44


Candidate Responses to Banner Questionnaire:


► What do you believe to be the five most important issues facing your town and its citizens?


TIM WEHR - Democratic incumbent - Carthage Town Council:

1. Economic development;

2. Spending money wisely;

3. Exploring avenues to fund projects through grants;

4. Making sure that residents are aware of current ordinances; and

5. Completion of the water and sewer projects.


ABBIE WEHR - Democratic challenger - Carthage Clerk-Treasurer:

1. Making the town's utilities more efficient;

2. Collecting and making citizens aware of current fees not being collected;

3. Having office hours on Wednesday;

4. Being more forward with council on the town's financial status; and

5. Keeping the board on track on issues they have committed to.


BETH COY - Democratic challenger - Kennard Town Council

1. Empty houses and unkempt lots;

2. Sewage plant; and

3. Initiating some kind of building and housing codes.

(Coy only listed three issues - ed.)


► If (re)elected, what would you do to address these issues?


TIM WEHR - Democratic incumbent - Carthage Town Council:

1. I feel that as a board we need to be more proactive in attracting more businesses to replace the ones lost and to attract new residential growth;

2. I will explore all options before spending money. We need to explore all avenues before making a final decision;

3. We need to be more aggressive in pursuing grants for needed items other than just the water and sewer project. We need to explore all options for grants no matter what the agency may be.

4. Residents need to be made aware of our current ordinances. With that being said, the ordinances need to be easily accessible. The creation of a town website would be a perfect medium to accomplish this ...; and

5. We have accomplished a lot in regards to our water and sewer projects. We need to stay focused on our current plans, and I will make sure that they are followed through.


ABBIE WEHR - Democratic challenger - Carthage Clerk-Treasurer:

1. Find out what has been done already; contact banks or individuals that own these properties, then issue fines as needed;

2. Sewage plant is well on its way; and

3. This may have already been looked into, but we have too many multi-family dwellings on one lot.


BETH COY - Democratic challenger - Kennard Town Council

1. By filing in the courthouse delinquent sewer liens so that they can be collected on property tax bills;

2. I will make sure that citizens are aware of the tax through press releases and notices so that it can be extra revenue for the town;

3. Currently there are no office hours on Wednesday. I would make the office open so that business can be conducted five days a week;

4. Council members need to know the current balances of each account at every meeting so that responsible spending decisions can be made; and

5. Remind the board of the status of issues that they have committed to so that they are completed.


► Are you satisfied with the degree of openness in local government? If you are not ... and believe there should be more openness, how would you, if (re)elected, work toward accomplishing that task?


TIM WEHR - Democratic incumbent - Carthage Town Council:

"No. I feel that town board meetings need to be held in a professional manner by utilizing the Robert's Rules of Order, and by board members coming to the meetings prepared. I think that many residents are turned off by the manner our meetings are conducted. It is best and necessary for the residents to participate so that they are informed."


ABBIE WEHR - Democratic challenger - Carthage Clerk-Treasurer:

“No. I feel that there are several members on the board who are out of control when it comes to spending taxpayers’ money and utilities. I would be more forthcoming and encourage the council to ‘live within the means’ of the town’s financial standings.”


BETH COY - Democratic challenger - Kennard Town Council



► Are you satisfied with current local officials' efforts to invigorate the local economy, plan for the future, and promote the area as a desirable place to live and work? If not, what would you do differently?


TIM WEHR - Democratic incumbent - Carthage Town Council:

"No. I feel that other members of this board have made no effort to put a plan in place for economic development. I personally have utilized my positions on the Rush County Area Planning Commission and the Rush County Solid Waste Board to make sure that the Carthage area isn't forgotten. … I also sit on the Ag roundtable to be a voice for the Carthage area. I have spoken with officials from Smurfit-Stone on what can be done to see that their building can be utilized by other potential businesses. I have also spoken with bank officials to ensure that Carthage has a bank branch."


BETH COY - Democratic challenger - Kennard Town Council

"Yes, I am satisfied."


► What relationship do you believe persons holding the office you're seeking should have with local law enforcement, and if (re)elected, how, if at all, would you work with local law enforcement to make this town, its constituents, schools and businesses safe?


TIM WEHR - Democratic incumbent - Carthage Town Council:

"First, the town board needs to adopt the Police Manual that we have had in the works for two years. Second, I feel that communication should be open so that law enforcement feels that they have the freedom and tools they need to administer the law."


ABBIE WEHR - Democratic challenger - Carthage Clerk-Treasurer:

“I feel that the clerk needs to be open with law enforcement on the parameters of their budget. That way they can make informed decisions on what their department needs before presenting it to the town council.”


BETH COY - Democratic challenger - Kennard Town Council

"I believe there should be some kind of open conversation, but leaving law enforcement to the people trained to uphold it would be my opinion."


► Please state your party affiliation (if applicable) and briefly explain how that party’s views (or your decision to seek office as an independent candidate) have influenced your own thoughts and ideas about local government.


TIM WEHR - Democratic incumbent - Carthage Town Council:

"I am the lone Democrat on the board. I feel that partisan politics should have no place in local government. All officials should be in favor of the overall improvement of the town of Carthage. I feel that I am here to serve and do what is in the best interest of the citizens, and not for my own personal agenda."


ABBIE WEHR - Democratic challenger - Carthage Clerk-Treasurer:

"I am affiliated with the Democratic Party. I feel that my party's views of being fiscally responsible and doing what is right for everyday citizens outlines what I am all about.”


► What do you think are the most important duties/responsibilities of the office you’re seeking?


TIM WEHR - Democratic incumbent - Carthage Town Council:

“First and foremost, it is to be a servant to the town's people. I feel it is necessary to go the extra mile for them. I believe that you need to attend all meetings and not have personal agendas. You also need to be prepared and professional when dealing with outside services. And finally, you need to be proud of the community you represent.”


ABBIE WEHR - Democratic challenger - Carthage Clerk-Treasurer:

“First and foremost offering the best customer service to the citizens of Carthage by being accessible, friendly and open in the clerk's office.”


► Please list three positive qualities about yourself and explain how they would help you govern if (re)elected.


TIM WEHR - Democratic incumbent - Carthage Town Council:

“I am not afraid to ask questions. I am willing to investigate issues of concern. I am dedicated to the job my peers have elected me to do and have spent many hours outside our board meetings doing what is right for the citizens. I feel that these qualities have helped me explore other options for doing things other than "this is the way it's always been done.”


ABBIE WEHR - Democratic challenger - Carthage Clerk-Treasurer:

“I am committed to a job well done. No matter what it takes, I will do my best for the citizens of Carthage. I am customer-service oriented. The Clerk-Treasurer's office is comparable to a business. I have 10 years of customer service in the restaurant, retail and investment fields. I am also community oriented. I have invested many hours of service to Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts and the Carthage Elementary PTO. I also serve on the Rush County Extension Board as the secretary. I also am the secretary-treasurer of the Rush County Democratic Party.”


BETH COY - Democratic challenger - Kennard Town Council

1. Willingness to listen;

2. Stating my opinion; and

3. Finishing anything I start.


► To the extent you are comfortable sharing this information with voters, please identify members of your immediate family.


TIM WEHR - Democratic incumbent - Carthage Town Council:

“I have been married to my wife, Abbie, for nine years, and together we have five children, Scarlett, Andrew, Anthony, Violet and Olivia.”


ABBIE WEHR - Democratic challenger - Carthage Clerk-Treasurer:

"Husband, Tim, and I have been married for nine years. Together we have five children, Scarlett, Andrew, Anthony, Violet and Olivia."


BETH COY - Democratic challenger - Kennard Town Council

Husband, Tom Coy; and three daughters, Sara, Rachael and Krista




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