Starting in January, two seats will be added to the meeting table at Crothersville Town Hall.
That’s because the town council is going from three to five members. When voters in the southeastern Jackson County community cast their ballot for the Nov. 3 general election, they will choose from among nine candidates.
The only incumbent is Democrat Lenvel “Butch” Robinson. The other Democratic candidates are Brenda Holzworth, Nancy Hopper, Geoffrey Walker and Robert “Bob” Lyttle.
Republicans running for the council are Chad Wilson, J.D. Woods, Jerad T. Sporleder and Danieta Foster.
Robinson, who was elected in November 2011 and began serving in 2012, said he wants to continue using his background in construction to help improve the town, including getting houses, buildings and streets fixed.
“I have a heck of a lot of education in that field because I’ve been in construction all my life, so I have a real good idea what these things should cost and how they should be handled,” Robinson said.
During his time with the council, Robinson helped kick-start a project to separate the sewer and stormwater lines in town, which will make the sewer plant more efficient. Work is expected to begin in the spring.
“We just need to continue to try to get more things done like that throughout the town,” he said.
Holzworth ran for the town council a few years ago, but it had to be decided in a caucus, and she lost by one vote.
She said she has attended several council meetings and helped promote the increase of board members from three to five. She decided it was time to take another shot at a council seat.
“I believe the most pressing issue facing the town at this time is keeping our high school through maintaining a positive image and offering needed programs,” she said. “Increasing our population and improved housing can contribute to a larger school enrollment. This is not just a school issue. It is a community issue.”
Walker ran for the Crothersville Community School Corp. Board of Trustees in 2014 but wasn’t elected. He said he chose to run for the town council because he has a passion for the community and believes he can help make it a better place to live.
“Getting the town cleaned up, grants to improve sidewalks, streets, drainage and also try to get more factories and businesses for job opportunities,” he listed as the town’s main issues.
Lyttle, who used to serve with the town’s police department, said, while he doesn’t know what the top issue is at this time, he would work with the other council members on whatever needs addressed if he is elected.
“I am just one-fifth of the council, and I cannot promise anything, but I do promise I will be fair to all who live in Crothersville,” he said. “I can listen to the people for changes they would like to see done and take it to the council.”
Wilson said that through his small business he has made it a point to be fair with customers. He said he would bring the same responsibility to the town council.
“I will work with the council to continue discussion about making our community a destination for new business,” he said. “The town has built a good foundation. We must continue to build our infrastructure to support improvements.”
Woods has served as a member of the local volunteer fire department and a reserve officer with the sheriff’s department and currently works for Jackson-Jennings Community Corrections. He said he wants more transparency and communication between the council, town hall employees and residents.
“In order for the partnership between the council and the townspeople to work, we are going to need to increase and strengthen the flow of information and communication,” he said. “I would like to make town board meetings community events. … I would like to spread the word and encourage the people of Crothersville to participate in their local government.”
Sporleder said he feels having a construction management degree and running a business should help him if he joins the council. He listed several issues that need to be addressed.
“Fixing rain runoff drainage, continuing improvements to our streets, continuing improvements to our police force to ensure that this is a safe, peaceful town not only for residents here but for future ones that may move here, creating a committee of five people to work on parks and recreation ideas and creating a safe place that our children can go,” he said.
Foster, a lifelong Crothersville resident, said she wants to listen to and be a voice for the people who live in town and would try her best to address their concerns.
“I hope that I, along with the rest of the council and the community, can make Crothersville attractive to new business and industry that will bring in new people and make the town more attractive for those who are living here to stay long term,” she said.