Leo-Cedarville hopefuls stress bridges, trails

April 4, 2019 GMT

Four Republican candidates are vying for two seats on the Leo-Cedarville Town Council in the May 7 primary election. Here’s a look at those running, based on responses to formatted questions:

John Eastes

Age: 73

Current job: Retired Fort Wayne Community Schools teacher

Education: Bachelor’s degree from Huntington University, master’s degree from Indiana University in business education and economics, post-baccalaureate degree in accounting from IU

Political experience: 10 years as Leo-Cedarville councilman, four years as Leo-Cedarville’s clerk-treasurer.

Also presided over the town’s first Board of Zoning Appeals, and have served as town council vice president and am the town council president.

Why do you want to hold public office? I would like to continue to have the opportunity to work on behalf of our citizens as a conservative voice on council. As a member of council, I must continue to work, encourage and strengthen the possibility of further enhancing the business environment for economic growth and improvement in the quality of living space within Leo-Cedarville.

Please identify the most important issue facing the office you are running for. Public safety, emergency service protection, timely repair of the St. Joseph River Bridge without weight limit reduction(s), continued expansion of our trail system to include the additional construction of a 10-foot-wide bike-pedestrian trail attached to the St. Joseph Bridge along with balanced budgetary support for our downtown façade and streetscape program and timely funding for the Amstutz Road corridor construction process, are all items at the top of my priorities.

If elected, how would you address this issue? Continuing the process of collaboration with Leo-Cedarville’s councilmen, the Allen County Commissioners, Northeast Indiana Regional Coordinating Council, leadership within East Allen Communities, our Indiana state representative and senate office holders, Indiana Department of Transportation, Allen County surveyor’s office, Allen County Highway Department, the Department of Local Government Finance and Allen County auditor will be very important as we plan for and make decisions specific to capital and operational expenditures on behalf of our citizens.

Ray Pulver

Age: 55

Current job: Retired Fort Wayne professional firefighter, has owned and operated Appraisal Professionals Inc., a residential real estate appraisal company, for the past 25 years.

Education: Bachelor’s degree in business administration from Indiana University Kelley School of Business

Political experience: Five years as a trustee for the Leo-Cedarville Regional Sewer District. I was involved in the planning and construction of the $5 million capital improvement project, which included new pump stations, forced mains and the rehabilitation of a 40-year-old sewer system. Serving my third year on the Leo-Cedarville Planning and Zoning Board and fifth year as Leo-Cedarville town councilman. I am the council’s vice president.

Why do you want to hold public office? I am a lifelong resident of Leo-Cedarville. I want to continue to be a conservative voice on council and try to make sure that the essence of Leo-Cedarville, a bedroom community, is maintained. I want to encourage economic growth, and enhance the quality of place while at the same time making sure that the growth is responsible, financially feasible and sustainable.

Please identify the most important issue facing the office you are running for: There are several issues facing the Town of Leo-Cedarville. The timely repair of the Leo-Grabill bridge. Construction and expansion of the trail system. Maintaining a high level of public safety, including police, fire and EMS protection. The construction of the Amstutz Road corridor. The downtown streetscape planning and construction project.

If elected, how would you address this issue? These issues need to be addressed by heavy involvement in the process. This means continuing collaboration with the local and state agencies involved. This includes our town council, New Allen Alliance, Allen County commissioners, East Allen County Schools, Northeast Indiana Regional Coordinating Council, Indiana Department of Transportation, state representatives and senators and the Department of Local Government Finance.

Scott Yoder

Age: 48

Current job: Flight paramedic for Parkview Samaritan and volunteer firefighter and paramedic for Northeast Fire & EMS

Education: High school and trade school

Why I want hold office: I love my community, and I want to continue to help it grow and keep it a great place to live.

Political experience: I served the remainder of a term of three years on Leo-Cedarville Town Council recently.

Please identify the most important issue facing the office you are running for: The town did a survey a few years back asking the citizens what they would like to see in the town for improvements. The council at the time came up with an envision plan for the current and future council to follow. The current council does not follow or reference that at this time.

If elected, how would you address this issue? I would continue to bring up the envision plan and continue to insist on looking at it and follow it since it’s what the community voted for.

Tyler Witmer

Age: 36

Current job: Grounds supervisor, Parkview Health

Education: Associate degree in business management

Political experience: None

Why do you want to hold public office? I want to serve the community in which I was raised and bring a different perspective to the town board.

Please identify the most important issue facing the office you are running for. At this time, the most important issues facing our community are the future growth and development of the town, including services to the residents.

If elected, how would you address this issue? As a board member, I will investigate the details of the growth we are experiencing and are projected to experience. I will ensure the town’s strategies to meet that growth match the needs and wants communicated by the community itself.