Election city council at-large Kendra Zumhingst

The city recently shot down a proposal to annex three areas. What are your thoughts on annexation? Should the city be promoting growth this way? How will the city pay for the additional costs of that growth? Are there other areas you think could be good to bring into the city?

I would think that annexing areas on the fringe would be more feasible when there is not a large separation between housing and city limit like the Hoover addition. I would think that areas north of town would allow for expansion in and around the bypass area where there is such a vast expansion of residential housing in progress. This could add substantial growth to the city.

The city has been experiencing several years of increasing costs for health insurance because of large claims from employees. The mayor has said that drastic measures may have to be taken to help curb the problem. How would you propose the city tackle this problem? Should the city continue to offer health insurance or should employees be responsible for getting their own health care?

Yes, the city should offer health insurance to the employees. I would suggest looking into health incentive programs where employees are encouraged to take a look at their health by going through risk assessments and preventative screenings. This would allow employees to be proactive with their health, instead of reactive therefore reducing claims.

Seymour’s streets are showing the effects of yet another bad winter and many are in desperate need of work. The city has very limited funding available for road work. Do you believe the city needs to increase the amount of money it spends on road maintenance? How do you propose the city do that? Which roads should be addressed first?

I would suggest evaluating the severity of potholes and current state of the roads in question and address those based on severity. I don’t necessarily think the main roads are a major problem, but there are some roads that are in true need of repair or resurfacing. I would suggest repairing the roads versus resurfacing other roads that may be on schedule.

How important do you feel it is for Seymour to establish a network of walking and biking trails throughout the city? A lot of time has gone into developing a trails committee and plan, but a lot of money is needed to put the plan in place. How should the trails be funded?

It is vital to our area to be more activity focused. One can take a quick look around and see that we need a place where folks can walk or ride their bike safely. When you ask someone what Seymour needs, it almost always comes back to being able to do something, whether that is individually or with a family. I would suggest that the committee reach out to areas that did successfully put in a trail in their city to see what they did to seek donations and obtain federal funding for it. There are plenty of folks in Seymour that ride bicycle trails in other states, that could be a great resource of information in finding out where those places are that trails were successful in being implemented.

What should the city be doing to revitalize the downtown and bring businesses to all the empty storefronts along the U.S. 50 corridor? What do you feel the city needs more of?

Work with the Seymour Chamber of Commerce to attract businesses that would fit into our retail climate that we could sustain. JCIDC has done a great job of attracting industry to our area. We just need to be able to attract more retail establishments for dining and shopping. I would be interested in having a list maintained of open storefronts so that if someone was looking to open a new location or move an existing one, they would know what Seymour had readily available for lease or purchase. As someone who is downtown often, I am not sure what places are for lease or sale, even if they are empty or have something in them.

What other projects/issues do you think city officials need to address?

I would like to see more communication between the city officials and the residents. So many people think that no one is doing anything to work on making Seymour better and that is simply not the case. There are folks working tirelessly to sell Seymour and what we have to offer to residents and visitors.

Why did you decide to run for city council?

I am actively involved in my community and believe this is the next step to be able to bridge the gap from young leadership in the community to be able to work on implementing the ideas that will get Seymour where it could be in 2025.

Kendra Zumhingst

Name: Kendra Zumhingst

Age: 35

Profession: IT at Kremers Urban Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Background: Seymour High School in 1997, IUPUI 2003 with a Bachelor’s degree and Indiana Wesleyan in 2005 with a Master of Science in Management.

Church membership/clubs or organizations: The Point, Boys & Girls Club Board Member; Boys & Girls Club Youth Triathlon co-creator/co-director; Jackson County Visitor Center board member; Oktoberfest board member; Hometown Collaborative Coordinating Team; Vision 2025 advocate; 21st Century Scholars & Mystery Chaser program teacher; 2015 Leadership Jackson County class participant; Seymour Multisport Club; Jackson County Bicycle Club; CASA; Jackson County Young Republicans

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January Rutherford is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. She can be reached at jrutherford@tribtown.com or 812-523-7069.