District 2 Commissioner
*It’s been an honor to serve the residents of Monroe County over the past three years, and I would appreciate the opportunity to continue that service. In 2012, I made a commitment to protect our environment and encourage civic engagement. The Board of Commissioners has achieved a great deal in both areas, but there is more work to do.
One of the pledges I made in the 2012 campaign was to reduce county energy use to save taxpayer dollars and protect our environment. I was proud to work extensively on the County’s Energy Conservation project, which will reap benefits for residents for years to come. The measures included the replacement of HVAC equipment and improved controls, completing the solar array on North Showers building and the installation of interior storm windows in the historic Courthouse. These measures include a guaranteed minimum saving of $150,000 per year. In 2015, a solar array which covers the roof of the Charlotte T. Zietlow Justice Center was completed.
The Commissioners have initiated a contract to install additional HVAC improvements at the Charlotte T. Zietlow Justice Center and interior storm windows in two additional county buildings – the Health Building and North Showers. These energy conservation projects will be completed in 2016. Each phase of energy conservation required the Commissioners to work effectively with the County Council. Together, we have made great strides in reducing our energy costs, protecting our environment and saving taxpayer dollars.
Although a great deal has been accomplished in energy conservation, there is more that we can do. I will continue to work on this important issue. I serve on both the County’s Fleet Committee and the Environmental Quality and Sustainability Commission.
In the 2012 campaign, I made a commitment to encourage civic engagement. In 2015, the Board of Commissioners supported the development of a new website (to debut in 2016) to help residents locate services and information more easily. In addition to improved navigation, residents will also be able to report roadway problems, such as potholes, quickly and easily. In addition, the Commissioners will launch a civic engagement webpage this year that offers residents the opportunity to ask questions or offer suggestions, to respond to questions posed by County department heads, and to offer their opinions via the survey feature. I will continue to explore ways to increase civic engagement, building on existing efforts. For example, the County’s Citizens’ Academy is a great educational tool that helps residents understand how their government works. I will work to expand on programs like these.
I have lived in Monroe County for more than 20 years. I earned a Ph.D. from Indiana University in 2005 and am an educator. I volunteer at area social service organizations including Planned Parenthood and Middle Way House. I served on the County Council from 2009 to 2012 and as a County Commissioner since December 2012. I am the Chair of the Democratic Women’s Caucus. For more information, contact me, 812-345-0707, [email protected]
*For consistency purposes, this candidate biography has been edited into first-person
Additional candidate information:
Chamber of Commerce Questionnaire