Candidates focus on improving Edinburgh

Two former Edinburgh Town Council members want to return to the board that oversees how taxpayer dollars are spent in the town.

Lewis Turner served on the Edinburgh Town Council for eight years in the 1990s, while Carl Crider served one term in the late ‘80s. Both will compete for a spot on the council with newcomer Miriam Rooks and incumbent Dawn Graham, all Republican candidates, during the May primary, which will advance the top three candidates to the general election ballot in November.

During Turner’s time on the council, which lasted from 1994 to 2002, he was a key figure in bringing the Timbergate Golf Course to the town, along with upscale homes that brought more revenue to the town through property taxes, which he said is still benefiting the town.

“I think the motivation (to run again), it seemed like things weren’t happening,” Turner said. “Things were stagnant, complacent (and) not moving forward as (fast as) I would like to see.”

[sc:text-divider text-divider-title=”Story continues below gallery” ]Click here to purchase photos from this gallery

The city needs to work on street repair, bringing more housing and businesses to the town and attracting factories to come to the area to employ Edinburgh residents, all while maintaining a reasonable tax rate, he said.

Crider served on the town council from 1987 to 1990, and during his time in office worked with other board members to open the Edinburgh Outlet Mall and do landscaping work on downtown streets.

“I’ve lived here for almost 50 years,” Crider said. “I’ve operated businesses in this town and I know a great deal about this town and the history of this town.

“Now I’d like to offer my services and opinions.”

Crider said he is running because he desires a town more reminiscent to what it was 20 years ago. Like Turner, he wants to repair Edinburgh’s streets. He also wants to rid downtown of unused vehicles. If downtown Edinburgh is able to maintain a clean appearance, it will attract new businesses, he said.

Miriam Rooks is in favor of downtown revitalization to attract more businesses. She said Edinburgh should apply for as many grants as possible in order to invest in the upkeep of the town, along with protecting the jobs of local firefighters and police officers.

“I’m proud of our town and I want to see if things can be improved,” Rooks said. “My heart is with the town, I simply have the town’s best interest at heart.”

Incumbent Republican candidate Dawn Graham did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

[sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”At a glance” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]


Edinburgh Town Council

Term: Four years

Pay: $4,998 per year

Duties: Adopt resolutions and ordinances for the town and set spending. Appoint a town manager.

Boundaries: All of Edinburgh

[sc:pullout-text-end][sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”Lewis Turner” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]

Name: Lewis Turner

Age: 74

Family: Spouse, deceased; two adult children

Occupation: Part-time valet attendant at Columbus Regional Hospital

Education: Lasalle University, Ball State University

Political experience: Edinburgh Town Council member 1994 to 2002

Memberships: Sons of American Legion, Moose Lodge, Masonic Lodge

[sc:pullout-text-end][sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”Carl Crider” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]

Name: Carl Crider

Age: 71

Family: none listed

Occupation: Retired

Education: Indiana State University

Political experience: Edinburgh Town Council, 1987 to 1990

Memberships: Edinburgh United Methodist Church

[sc:pullout-text-end][sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”Miriam Rooks” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]

Name: Miriam Rooks

Age: 60

Family: Husband, Curtis; one adult child

Occupation: Johnson County Health Department office clerk

Education: Edinburgh High School

Political experience: None

Memberships: Jollity United Methodist Church, Beta Sigma Phi Theta Chi chapter