Writer // Janelle Morrison Photos // Jan Van Velse McHugh and Submitted
This past June, Jeff Papa, former Zionsville Mayor and Zionsville Town Council member, stepped down from the town council after accepting a position with Barnes & Thornburg, making his seat available. The Boone County Republican Caucus selected Jason Plunkett in May as the next member of the council. Plunkett was sworn into office on July 1, 2017.
Plunkett, a Ball State University graduate, is a financial advisor for Northwestern Mutual in Zionsville and has held various positions with the organization over the last 15 years, including College Unit Director, Field Director and Recruiting Field Director.
He serves on the Boone County Convention and Visitors Bureau and is a member of the Zionsville Chamber. He has served as the President of the Zionsville Community Development Corporation. In addition to serving his local business and municipal organizations, he has participated as a Big Brother with the Big Brother Big Sisters of Central Indiana for the last 13 years.
Plunkett grew up on a small farm in Advance just outside of Lebanon in Boone County and graduated from Western Boone High School. After college, he returned to his home county. He resides in Zionsville along with his wife, Brittany. Married in 2013, the couple welcomed their first child, Lauren Marie, on June 8, 2017.
We asked Plunkett what inspired him to throw his hat into the political arena with a young family and businesses to look after. He credits his wife for her support and encouragement.
“I think that it would be foolish of me to leave out the fact that I had multiple conversations with my wife about this before I made the decision,” Plunkett said. “Regardless of what I am doing or what she is doing, we are a team, and we make these decisions together. I’ve been talking with folks here in the county and the town for the last couple of years about different opportunities to get more involved in the community and to help voice some of the concerns that we have as residents and those of our neighbors and friends. I’ve wanted to get more involved for those reasons. “
Plunkett described his experience of meeting and talking with people about due process and the issues that people are concerned with as “humbling.”
“My objective is not to come in and make all of these sweeping changes,” he said. “There are a lot of exciting changes that have already been set into motion, and now that I am involved, it gives me the opportunity to see the benefits of those decisions and participate on the backend of some of those decisions. There are a lot of exciting things coming down the pike that I think the people in town are going to be really excited about. Zionsville is a cool and quaint town, and while there are these exciting things going on, it is important that we don’t forget the roots of this community.
“Zionsville is a wonderful community, and I’ve been involved in the community from a business aspect for the last 15 years. I’ve met a lot of people and have a lot of clients in the area, and I feel that the most valuable asset that the town has are the people. We have a lot of wonderful businesses and restaurants throughout the town, and I think that it’s important that the residents support all of the businesses and restaurants. There is a lot of attraction power, and there are a lot of opportunities to introduce corporate development and bring in businesses. At the same time, we need to make sure that we’re strategic about that development and doing the right things, not just for today but for the town 20-30 years down the road. The decisions that we make today, whether on the council or the various committees that are associated with the town, are decisions that are going to affect the long-term plan, and we can’t make decisions that are near-sighted.”