A chronological look at what we believe were the major political stories in 2011, as covered by The Southside Times.
Beech Grove Mayor resigns
At the first city council meeting of the New Year, Beech Grove Mayor Joe Wright announced he was resigning so he could devote his full attention to his private business pursuits. “I want to extend my deepest appreciation to all of the members of the Beech Grove City Council who were instrumental in helping us reach our mutual goal of establishing a better, brighter Beech Grove,” he wrote in a letter to councilors.
Under Wright’s leadership, significant development was undertaken in Beech Grove, including the formation of the Beech Grove Redevelopment Commission, the revitalization of Emerson Avenue, infrastructure improvements to Park Grove, South Grove and Sarah T. Bolton Park.
Dilk sworn in as
Beech Grove mayor
Terry Dilk was sworn in as Beech Grove mayor Jan. 25, having been selected by a caucus of Republican precinct committeepersons to serve the remainder of Joe Wright’s term. In remarks during the ceremony, Dilk described the tone he set for his administration as “humbled, proud and excited.” He also said his first act will be to move his office to City Hall on Main Street. He committed to keeping public safety the top priority of local government and to building and strengthening community partnerships.
State of the City
In February, Greenwood Mayor Charles Henderson presented the State of the City address, stressing the city is in a good position. Because of the services performed by the police and fire departments, he noted, citizens can feel safe and secure on the streets, in the parks and in their homes. Community amenities are well used. “I am tickled by the activity on the sled hills. I am excited seeing people use amenities the city has provided,” said Henderson.
Mayor Dilk names chief of staff-communications director
In a move designed to streamline office operations and save taxpayers $124,000, Mayor Terry Dilk named Joey Fox as Beech Grove’s first Mayor’s Chief of Staff and Communications Director. Dilk consulted with key leaders before making the appointment.
Trestruth runs for
Mayor of Southport
In March, Jesse Trestruth announced his candidacy for mayor of the Southport, indicating he would run on the Republican ticket in the May 3 primary. “It is my desire to lead an administration that is open to our citizens and respectful to all,” Trestruth said in a news release. “I believe in fiscal responsibility and want to operate an administration with the highest ethical standards.
fires police chief
In a mid-March news conference, Greenwood Mayor Charlie Henderson announced the firing of Police Chief Joe Pitcher and the resignation of Assistant Chief David Mertz, who was then demoted to his prior position as lieutenant.
The circumstances leading up to the decision revolve around three incidents in connection with Pitcher’s handling of an internal investigation into an incident involving police officer Nick Dine. Dine allegedly violated several department rules and regulations and handled himself in an unprofessional manner, including refusing to take blood-alcohol tests. Afterward, officers were ordered to take Dine to Chief Pitcher’s home.
candidates square off
Three Republican candidates for mayor of Greenwood faced off in a public forum sponsored by the Greenwood Public Library and the Greater Greenwood Chamber of Commerce in late April. Speaking to a standing-room only crowd, Mark Myers, Robert Dine and Charles Henderson disagreed in some of their positions on a variety of hot-button issues, including the interchange at I-65 and Worthville Road, the status of the city pool project and the need for a new pool, and revitalization of Old Town Greenwood. Myers would go on to win the primary.
Beech Grove candidates
One candidate for mayor of Beech Grove said a change is needed in the way the city is run. The other believed change already has happened and the city is moving in the correct direction. The only major point where Republican Mayor Terry Dilk and Democratic challenger Dennis Buckley agreed during a joint appearance before the Beech Grove Chamber of Commerce in October was in job creation, where both candidates said a major effort is needed. Otherwise, the candidates painted different pictures of the state of the city when they spoke to an Oct. 13 meeting of the Beech Grove Chamber of Commerce.
Voters pick Myers to
He’s been a reserve deputy sheriff, safety adviser and coroner. And now Mark Myers will add mayor of Greenwood to his résumé following his election in November. As the winner of a three-way race to replace four-term Mayor Charles Henderson, Myers becomes the first new mayor in Greenwood in 16 years.
Myers got 4,166 votes, or 62 percent, almost double the votes received by Independent David Payne, who got 33 percent of the votes, and considerably more than Libertarian Jeff Spoonamore, who received only 5 percent of the votes.
Voters agree change
needed in Beech Grove
During the race for mayor of Beech Grove, the incumbent, Republican Mayor Terry Dilk, insisted the city was moving in the right direction. His challenger, Democrat Dennis Buckley, insisted, however, that change is needed in the way the city is run. Voters overwhelmingly sided with Buckley on Election Day, as he soundly defeated Dilk with 61 percent of the votes.
Buckley, who began his career with the Beech Grove Fire Department in 1980, garnered 2,113 votes compared to 1,341 for Dilk.
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