These Batesville candidates are unopposed and will be re-elected: mayor, Republican Michael Bettice; clerk-treasurer, Republican Paul Gates; District 1 council, Democrat Darrick Cox; and District 2 council, Republican Tracy Rohlfing.
These are the Batesville City Council candidates in contested races.
Party affiliation: Democrat
Why do you want this job? I felt the call to serve my community from a young age. I have always taken an active role in giving back. I feel our city is in need of change. I realize the only way to effect local change is to get off the sideline and run for office.
What are Batesville’s top three issues that you feel need to be addressed and how can city council effect change? As a teacher, I know that many families choose Batesville for its schools. Opportunity, or lack thereof, is what keeps many of our graduates from returning. The lack of housing means that even those hoping to return to our community feel unwelcome. We need high paying jobs to keep working families in Batesville, and we also need to invest in building our local community to attract employers.
Our streets are not designed for walkers or bikers. Our city is split in half by a highway overpass. Our kids can’t cross our state highways and ride their bikes to Oldenburg because of the increased high-speed traffic. We have to prioritize long-term investments into our infrastructure.
Trends suggest Indiana’s population will massively increase by 2050. However, unless we position ourselves as regional leaders in terms of inclusion and diversity, we stand to face the same trends of rural population decline occurring nationwide.
If elected, programs I would like to institute: The lack of shared community spaces, the lack of modern complete streets and affordable places to live all will be demanding tasks for whoever is in city office. We need leaders who are willing to confront these challenges head on.
Qualifications: With a lifelong interest in city government, I was first elected a state convention delegate as an 18-year-old. I care about people and know Batesville expects engaged civic leaders. As a teacher I have fought to create excellent programs for students, and on city council I will do the same.
Work experience: For the past 4 years I have taught German at Batesville High School, and am proud to have developed the first radio and television coursework at the school. Prior to this I worked in freelance film and television production.
Community service: This past summer I brought 24 Batesville students to Germany as part of the German American Partnership Program, which I planned in partnership with Hillenbrand. In addition to providing cultural programs to the community, I have also served as a volunteer for the Batesville Area Arts Council and the Kiwanis.
Education: I graduated from Batesville High School in 2008 and received my bachelor’s degree with departmental honors from Indiana University in 2012. I am currently attending IU once again to obtain my Masters in Education.
Campaign website: facebook.com/votecambron, @votecambron on Instagram and @andrewcambron on twitter
Party affiliation: Republican
Why do you want this job? I would like to continue the great work the mayor and city council have been doing for the past four years. We have succeeded in reopening The Sherman, attracting new businesses to previously vacant store fronts, as well as purchasing a new water supply for our future generations.
What are Batesville’s top three issues that you feel need to be addressed and how can city council effect change? No. 1 by far is to find a client for our shell building. As a member of the redevelopment committee, I have been working with the city to aggressively advertise and attract any and all businesses that might be able to use it.
No. 2: Work with developers to build new, more affordable (not low-income) housing to attract millennials so our present and future workers can live in Batesville instead of outside the city limits.
No. 3: Continue the street resurfacing projects that are currently in progress. As a councilman, I will vote for city fiscal responsibility that provides the revenue for these necessary projects.
If elected, programs I would like to institute: As an architect and Redevelopment Committee and Planning and Zoning Board member, I will use my expertise to expand affordable housing for local factory workers and laborers. As the backbone of our community, they need to be able to afford to live within the city limits and enjoy the benefits.
Qualifications: For the past six years, I have been a city councilman. I am a member of the Redevelopment Committee, the Planning and Zoning Board and the Financial Review Committee.
Work experience: Sole Proprietor Fritsch Architect/Developer since 1987. In this capacity I have affected the city’s landscape through my work on Best Western, The Sherman Bier hall, Miss Shannon’s, the Gibson, George’s pharmacy, Days Inn, several doctor’s offices and numerous other small businesses and residences in the area.
Community service: I am a volunteer with the Batesville Beautification League. I am the council representative to the fire department. I am presently spearheading the design and construction of the First Responder’s Pavilion downtown. I was instrumental in promoting the Veterans’ banners. I am volunteering architectural services for the New Horizons’ “Sweets Ice Cream Shop” at Liberty Park. I have lectured at the high school’s career day on several occasions. I contribute financially to the Batesville Area Arts Council (formerly Rural Alliance for the Arts) and the Hospital Guild.
Education: 1974 Batesville High School graduate, Professional degree in Architecture from University of Notre Dame, 1979
Spouse: Diane Fritsch
Child: Jacqueline Fritsch
Party affiliation: Republican
Why do you want this job? When I was elected four years ago I felt that our city leaders had lost their way. Since taking office, I feel we’ve recovered our direction. I’d like to help Mayor Bettice keep us on our current course of sensible growth and fiscal responsibility.
What are Batesville’s top three issues that you feel need to be addressed and how can city council effect change? There appears to be an ongoing drug problem in Batesville. Our schools, in conjunction with Coalition for a Drug-Free Batesville, are doing an outstanding job of educating children about the dangers of drug and alcohol addiction. We need to explore how additional law enforcement policies and staffing might possibly aid us in dealing with this issue.
We hear frequently about a lack of affordable housing in Batesville. We need to review planning and zoning codes. A couple of things we could do are encouraging granny flats and reduce minimum lot size requirements.
The vitality of downtown continues to be an issue. We must stop perpetuating the myth that we don’t have enough parking downtown. We could easily dispel this by creating more on-street parking. With minor revisions of our traffic and parking codes, we could provide ample parking, slow down cars and make walking and biking safer and more comfortable.
If elected, programs I would like to institute: This isn’t necessarily a program, but as I mentioned previously, we need to evaluate traffic and streets to make them safe for all users. I’d like to see more shade trees planted. Shade makes your walk or bike ride more comfortable. My ultimate goal is to make downtown more desirable.
Qualifications: A willingness to serve. I ask questions and I research issues on my own. I don’t always take at face value what we’re told by consultants. When I feel a program or project is not in the best long-term interest of our community, I’m not afraid to say no.
Work experience: Assured Partners insurance sales, 30 years
Community service: I currently serve on the boards of the Golden Villa, Batesville Main Street, the Music and Arts Festival and the Board of Public Works for the City of Batesville. I’m a St. Louis Parish Festival committee member and a monthly volunteer at the St. Louis School Bingo. I’m also a member of the Batesville Knights of Columbus and the Batesville Knights of St. John.
Education: I am a graduate of Batesville High School. I’m also a graduate of Indiana University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history.
Spouse: Janna (Pictor) Irrgang
Children: Sarah Irrgang, Mary Kate (Irrgang) Lang, Rachel Irrgang
Party affiliation: Democrat
Why do you want this job? I want to serve on city council because I believe in the future of Batesville. I see a wave of growth and change in our city, and I think that I am the right person to grab hold of that and take Batesville to exciting new places.
What are Batesville’s top three issues that you feel need to be addressed and how can city council effect change? Batesville is an amazing city, but it’s not immune to time or outside influence. The infrastructure within our city, specifically sidewalks, crosswalks, and pedestrian spaces, need updated and improved. The beautiful new north side park is inaccessible by foot even from nearby neighborhoods. I would use my strengths as a writer to apply for local and state grants to fund my “Connected Community” initiative to improve walkability and safe, alternative methods to movement within our city.
Another issue is the havoc the opioid crisis has caused in the greater Ripley County area. Once elected, I plan to work closely with local organizations to further educate our community on the impact that drug addiction can have, and empower those in addiction to work toward sobriety.
Finally, I believe that city council should work toward improving quality of place through public art, unique gathering spaces, and collaboration with local businesses and nonprofits.
If elected, programs I would like to institute: I plan to install the “Connected Community” initiative to make our city more pedestrian friendly and improve infrastructure. I value and appreciate the unique contributions of everyone and plan to introduce an ordinance that would allow for a more open, welcoming community, and protect equal access to housing and employment.
Qualifications: My involvement as a volunteer, board member, public speaker and more have given me invaluable insight into the needs and potential within our city. I have attended various leadership classes like the Hillenbrand Community Leadership Series and Emerging Leaders Project, which have helped shape me into a strong, natural leader.
Work experience: Batesville Community School Corp. English teacher, 4 years
Community service: Batesville Area Arts Council, social media chair; Star-Spangled Symphony of Batesville, committee chair; Project 229: A Photographic Journey, photographer and writer; volunteer for events with organizations like Batesville Main Street, Batesville Fire Department, the City of Batesville and Batesville Community School Corp.
Education: South Dearborn High School, 2011; Indiana University, Bachelor’s of Science in English Education, 2015
Campaign website: paulsatchwill.com/campaign
Party affiliation: Republican
Why do you want this job? I would support Mayor Mike Bettice’s agenda and continue the great work he has been doing. As a lifelong resident of Batesville, I love this city and want to see it continue to prosper, develop and grow. I support the current administration’s progress and look forward to joining the team.
What are Batesville’s top three issues that you feel need to be addressed and how can city council effect change? I believe that addressing the drug problem in Batesville is a foremost concern. City Council should have an active role in financing and supporting programs that affect this issue. Availability of workforce housing is needed to maintain and attract new families to the Batesville area. We need to make a conscious effort to enable people who work in Batesville to live in Batesville. The shell building could be a huge asset to our city if we can attract an industry that will provide high employment numbers. With my background in Real Estate, Business Sales, and Marketing, I will assist in this endeavor.
If elected, programs I would like to institute: Workforce housing to support development of housing for young families working and living in Batesville. To continue the growth of Batesville, we need to attract the younger generation. The administration, realtors and developers need to work together to build the type of housing that these families require and can afford.
Qualifications: I have served on the Board of Works Committee, Economic Development Committee, and attended and participated in the majority of council meetings for the past 20 years.
Work experience: Hill-Rom Sales and Marketing, director, 20 years; Real Estate Broker; Business Manager, ongoing; served 6 years Army Reserve
Community service: Distinguished volunteer of the year 2016; director and president of chamber of commerce (past); Director Batesville Area Historical Society (present); Director of Cierra’s Club, Fear Factory (present); Board of Works (past); Economic development committee (past); Cochair bicentennial committee
Education: BHS graduate, business degree
Spouse: Ginger Flannery
Children: Shawn Flannery and Shanda Flannery
Party affiliation: Democrat
Why do you want this job? My children have inspired me to step up and serve this community. I would like to give back to a town that I truly love. I was told as a young girl if you want change to happen, you need to get involved. Now is my time to get involved.
What are Batesville’s top three issues that you feel need to be addressed and how can city council effect change? The “Batesville Sign” by the overpass – We need a beautiful sign to enhance our city. It is the first thing people see when they come to our town.
Scheduling leaf and Christmas tree pickup – Many people I have talked to have complained about leaf pickup. No one knows when pickup will happen. It would be better to have set days for different parts of the city. Publishing pickup on the Batesville website, in The Herald-Tribune, and on WRBI would help people plan when to have leaves out.
Pedestrian/bicycle access across the interstate – In the interest of safety and convenience, we need a sidewalk for the pedestrians to connect the neighborhoods north of the interstate to town.
I believe if city council works together, we would be able to accomplish these three goals.
Qualifications: I was born and raised in Batesville, brought up in a small town business household and continue to work with a local business. In my job I talk to many people in our community. Through these conversations, I have heard many concerns and suggestions on how to make Batesville better.
Work experience: Simpson’s IGA, office manager, 10 years; John R. Wade, O.D., optometric technician, 33 years
Community service: baking pies and volunteering during the Huntersville church picnic
Education: Batesville High School graduate; Indiana University, associate degree in optometric technician.
Husband: George Flodder
Children: Emma Meyer and Marine Corps Sgt. Lee Flodder