Three candidates are vying for two seats on the Elkhart City Council this year. Incumbent Brian T. Shipley Jr. is being challenged by Ronald C. Adams and Colten Fors. Each candidate responded to questions given to them by the Tri-County Times. Their answers follow.


Colten Fors


Age: 27


Number of years you’ve lived in this community: 20


Occupation: President of For Sure Roofing


Why are you running for the City Council in your community?


To better the city of Elkhart.


Have you ever served on City Council here before?


Yes


What experiences/qualifications are you able to bring to the City Council?


I believe my position as a business owner, and the multiple relationships with people from the city of Elkhart are valuable aspects that will aid the city of Elkhart if I were to be elected. I am a hardworking, team-oriented individual who is prepared for the challenges associated with a councilman position. I will utilize my knowledge and leadership skills to promote innovative ideas, and advance the position of the city of Elkhart. I value leadership, teamwork, honesty and ethics. My strong desire to contribute to the advancement of the community will help the city of Elkhart succeed and accomplish its goals. I appreciate the consideration, and hope I can be of service.


In your opinion, what are the top two issues facing your community, and where do you stand on these issues?


Budget, and growth. I am in favor of growth, as long as we can keep it under control. We need to regulate budget with the expense of the new lagoon.


In your opinion, has the current City Council/leadership been doing a good job for your town? And why do you say that? What do you think your city could be doing better?


Recently the City Council has done a good job. They are doing good at adapting to the changes and growth that is happening. We could do a better job of foreseeing future issues, instead of reacting to them.


Who are the members of your family?


Wife Sarah, a boy Carter, and a girl Gracie.


Ron Adams


Age: 57


Number of years you’ve lived in this community: 55


Why are you running for the City Council in your community?


I have previous City Council experience with the city of Elkhart. I have assisted with numerous events, concerns and keep up to date with city changes my entire life, helping however I am able. I assisted with the last upgrade on the water treatment plant as well.


Have you ever served on City Council here before?


Yes, early 2000’s


What experiences/qualifications are you able to bring to the City Council?


I have owned and operated several businesses in Elkhart. Over 40+ years customer service experience. Worked with the Memorial Park, as well as several city events, and assisted as needed in other areas, personal and business.


In your opinion, what are the top two issues facing your community, and where do you stand on these issues?


1. Infrastructure of water treatment plant and keeping up to date with code and maintenance for that. I stand to help improve this issue.


2. Incoming sports fields/recreation. I stand in favor of this to improve and increase the quality/quantity for the future youth of our community.


In your opinion, has the current City Council/leadership been doing a good job for your town? And why do you say that? What do you think your city could be doing better?


Partially. The current council/leadership has been trying to improve our community. There appears to be a lack of communication between the community and the council. We could be more open with communication and listening to concerns. Getting a solid plan together for paying for the water treatment plant and funding other needs while keeping the tax rate low. That is why people move here.


Who are the members of your family? Single


Brian Shipley


Age: 38


Occupation: Union Pacific Railroad conductor


Why are you running for the City Council in your community?


The decisions that will be made over the next couple of years will affect the city for next 30-50 years. Fostering responsible growth, commercial and residential, will continue to help defray the cost of essential infrastructure improvements that have gone largely neglected until the last four to six years.


Before I was sworn in on my first term; I learned that an upgrade to the city lagoon was eminent. Clerk, mayor and council have worked over the past four years, planning for what will be one of the largest improvements likely in the city’s history. To defray some of the cost, we allowed a commercial/industrial development to begin to the east of the city, as well as encouraged the continued residential development to the east.


Although the many hours of stress and time away from my family for service to the city can be tedious. I’m ready to serve, if the residents of Elkhart choose me.


Have you ever served on City Council here before?


I have served for the past four years.


What experiences/qualifications are you able to bring to the City Council?


I have a master’s degree in business and have served the past four years helping to facilitate good city planning and responsible growth.


I’m a family man who believes that the council’s role is to improve the quality of life for residents and protect what is most families largest investment, their home, by fostering responsible city growth and quality city services.


In your opinion, what are the top two issues facing your community, and where do you stand on these issues?


Responsible growth and quality city services.


There are many city infrastructure and quality of life improvements to tackle, including water improvements, human resource, lagoon construction, and parks and recreation improvements. Good foresight and planning will be essential.


In your opinion, has the current City council/leadership been doing a good job for your town? And why do you say that? What do you think your city could be doing better?


We’ve done a lot over the past four years. When the term blacksmith has to be removed from the city code, it says a lot about where we were. I’d say we just need to keep moving forward.


Who are the members of your family?


Wife, Marie; children Hudson 10, Peyton 8, Dawson 5 and Ruthie 2.