Democratic Hopefuls Serving Zionsville
Historic Ticket Seeks to Bring Balance to Town Council
*Paid for by the Boone County Democratic Party
Intro Photo caption: District 4 Candidate Tim Casady listens as community members describe their hopes for future connectivity and recreational opportunities in town.
This November, for the first time in town history, Democratic candidates are running for all seven seats on the Zionsville Town Council.
“Since 2016, we have seen a steady increase in the number of both Democratic voters and Democratic candidates in Zionsville,” said Kristi Jones, executive director of the Boone County Democratic Party. “It’s a trend reflecting residents’ desire to have a more balanced and representative local government.”
Town Council elections were nonpartisan in Zionsville until 1987. In the following four decades, no candidate running as a Democrat has been elected to the Town Council. The candidates hope to change that this year, as they vie for seats on the currently all-Republican, all-male council.
“We deserve to have a town council that more accurately reflects the makeup of our growing town,” says Tiffany Stoner, who is running for Town Council District 5. “Local government functions best when people with diverse perspectives work together to find solutions.”
These Democratic candidates are bringing that message to voters. Together, by early September, they had knocked on almost 10,000 Zionsville doors. But they’re not just talking to people. They’re already working in support of residents.
At-Large Candidate Amanda Rubeck, for instance, recently helped residents deal with a construction project near her home that had been stagnant for 2.5 years. She helped secure a “finishers permit,” which requires the work to be completed by a specific date. The yard is now being cleaned up, and construction is nearly finished.
Rubeck is no stranger to community service. She serves on the Zionsville Redevelopment Commission, Zionsville Community Development Corporation and Town of Zionsville Finance Committee, among other roles.
It’s that proactive approach to finding solutions, along with Rubeck’s extensive experience in municipal finance, that has long-time local business owner, Steve Pittman, a Republican, backing her candidacy.
“I’ve been in the habit of supporting great candidates, and I know that Amanda is the right choice for the Town Council,” said Pittman. “I’ve had the opportunity to serve with her on a board and to know her personal disposition and financial expertise.”
Tiffany Stoner, too, recently jumped into action when she learned that some residents in Holliday Farms were concerned their children couldn’t walk safely to the bus stop amid construction traffic. She reached out to the neighborhood developer and builders, prompting them to build a temporary sidewalk within days. The kids now have a safe path to the bus. As a small-business owner and former technology consultant, Stoner is used to solving problems. The 23-year resident is also a mother of four and married to a colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve. She serves the community by leading a Habitat for Humanity build annually and volunteering in Zionsville schools.
District 1 Candidate Tim McElderry has become an advocate on behalf of residents worried about a dangerous intersection at 875 East and 400 South. McElderry has reached out to residents and accident victims to discuss their concerns as well as town government to see what can be done. He would like measures to be taken to better alert drivers to the stop signs on 400 South, possibly including rumble strips or a flashing light.
“He has closely followed the process while doing a great job of communicating with the residents,” said Rock Bridge resident Anne England. “Tim’s motivation to make a positive impact on Zionsville goes beyond electoral outcomes, and his actions show that.”
The 24-year Zionsville resident is a biotechnology industry executive who volunteers locally at food banks, homeless shelters and Boys and Girls Clubs. McElderry also served for 12 years as a coach and board member of the Zionsville Youth Soccer Association.
Monisha Mitchell, who is running for Town Council District 3, recently helped residents in Royal Run with safety concerns after incidents of criminal mischief and a gun being discharged during an arrest. She reached out to Sheriff Tony Harris and Police Chief Mike Spears to convene a community safety forum.
The event was well attended and resulted in new measures to monitor traffic safety in the neighborhood, including a digital radar speed sign.
“Service is at the heart of every good leader,” said Mitchell, who serves the community professionally as a mental health therapist and as a member of the Zionsville Police Department Use of Force Board, the Pedestrian Mobility Advisory Committee and the Hussey Mayfield Library Foundation Board.
District 4 Candidate Tim Casady also has a long track record of serving Zionsville by working to preserve green space in town. He served six years on the Pathways Committee and nearly eight years on the Parks Board, through which he oversaw the extension of the Rail Trail and addition of Overley-Worman park.
“l can think of no one who could better guide Zionsville into the future while preserving what’s special about our town,” said David Brown, a former town councilor.
Casady, former owner of Nebo Ridge Bicycles, said that as a councilor, he would work to update the zoning code and prioritize the investment in pathways connecting Zionsville for work, school and play. He would also continue to work toward protecting natural areas, such as the Carpenter Nature Preserve.
Indiana native Jason Ramer, who is running for Town Council District 2, moved to Zionsville in 2018 after nearly 20 years serving in the military and federal government. He is currently approaching his 25th year as a member of the Indiana National Guard.
Ramer was an intelligence specialist in both Afghanistan and Iraq post 9/11 as part of the global war on terrorism. He participated in three wartime aircraft carrier deployments and spent a year on the ground in Iraq during the height of the conflict. Ramer visited Zionsville numerous times over the years to see his sisters, nieces and nephew who live here.
“I fell in love with the charm of the town and people who live here,” said Ramer, owner of a construction business in Zionsville. “I hope to put the leadership and teamwork skills I learned in the military to work on the town council to foster unity and progress in our community.”
At-Large Candidate Rick Graef is similarly hoping to give back to Zionsville, where he has lived for the past 27 years. Graef raised his two sons here while working as a professional musician in the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.
Throughout that time, Graef has served as a leader for the American Federation of Musicians, through which he represents his coworkers in employment matters. The role has taught Graef the leadership skills to bring together a wide array of constituents to work together for mutually beneficial solutions, he said.
“I know that having involved, caring and thoughtful leaders that put the needs of our residents and local businesses first is imperative,” said Graef. “I can be that leader for Zionsville.”