Four candidates will face off on the Nov. 8 ballot for three seats on the Clark Township Board.
The candidates include incumbent Republicans Chuck Harlow and Kelli Seybold and newcomer candidates Democrat Michael Chiappetta and Republican Bonnie Moynahan.
The Daily Journal asked the candidates questions about their experience and their goals for the township. Moynahan and Seybold did not return questionnaires before deadline.
With editing for grammar, formatting and length, here’s what Harlow and Chiappetta said:
What drew you to run for this office?
Chiappetta: The development of the logistical centers and high-density housing in Clark Township served as a wake-up call to me that our quality of life in Clark Township is not guaranteed. I want to contribute to the preservation and improvement of the quality of life in Clark Township. This beautiful part of Johnson County needs active representation to ensure positive, well-planned development and preservation of all areas of our township.
Harlow: I enjoy helping people and helping to make our neighbors aware of issues that may arise in our township.
What qualifications do you have for this office?
Chiappetta: My longtime residence in and love of Johnson County and Clark Township. A commitment to apply the skills I acquired during 35 years in management positions at Eli Lilly and B2S Life Sciences to the quality of life and economic well-being of Clark Township.
Harlow: My experience running my own business. I have held this office for a few years now and am running again to continue to advise the township trustee and help the citizens of Clark Township.
What, to you, are the most important duties of this office?
Chiappetta: Care for the indigent, fire protection and care of township cemeteries are the formal responsibilities of the Township Board. However, I believe the informal duties of representing Clark Township and the county government level are equally important. Clark Township needs an active voice at the table at the county level. Clark Township Board can and should acquire public land now for parks and recreation before high land prices and development make the cost prohibitive.
Harlow: As defined by Indiana Code, the main duties of the Township Advisory Board are: to advise the township trustee concerning matters pertaining to the civil township; to organize by electing a chairman and secretary at each annual meeting of the board; to examine and approve, in whole or part, the annual report of the township trustee and enter of record the action therein, specifically stating such parts and items as may be altered or disallowed.
What are the most pressing issues facing the township, if there are any?
Chiappetta: The development of Clark Township is rapidly transforming a largely rural setting via overwhelming industrial development and high-density housing near the Interstate 65 corridor. This has led to inadequate road construction to handle the new traffic and unsafe traffic patterns, including unsafe semi traffic on Rocklane Road. Additionally, there are no current plans to set aside public land for parks and recreation for the residents of Clark Township. Clark Township needs a voice at the table regarding decisions that are threatening the safety, quality of life and economic well-being of the residents of Clark Township.
Harlow: Ever-increasing taxes and costs to the residents of Clark Township.
What are your top three priorities and how will you execute those?
Chiappetta: Priority No. 1 is the acquisition of public land for future parks and recreational facilities in Clark Township via grants available at the federal level. The citizens of Clark Township need to lobby the (Johnson County) Highway Department and Johnson County commissioners to complete Worthsville Road eastward in order to alleviate traffic conditions and unsafe long-haul semi traffic currently traveling on Rocklane Road. If elected, I plan to serve as the Clark township residents’ voice at the table regarding future zoning decisions by the Greenwood and Johnson County governments.
Harlow: The priorities of the office of the Township Advisory Board is to meet at least annually to review and approve/disapprove the budget and report of the township trustee, to keep a record of all business transactions at all meetings, to make appropriations and establish tax rates and levies for the ensuing year with notice given by the trustee and to make additional or emergency appropriations as the need or emergency arises.
Do you think people are aware of township services? Do you have any ideas to raise awareness?
Chiappetta: Township services are not generally on the minds of residents of Clark Township. The township board and trustee would be well served to write an article in the Daily Journal regarding their formal responsibilities and how they meet them. They should also express their position on how best to influence the Johnson County government to improve traffic conditions and pursue move thoughtful zoning and public land acquisition decisions that are affecting the township.
Harlow: Yes, those in need can contact the county offices and apply for assistance from the township trustee. The township services are administered by the trustee who is responsible for a variety of township-level duties, such as: administering township welfare assistance, preparing and maintaining a township budget, preparing an annual financial report for the township, maintaining township cemeteries and maintaining township-owned properties. The township trustee’s office is better known for “poor-relief” for basic necessities. The Clark Township Trustee’s office can be contacted at: 317-862-2550.
What else would you like to say to voters?
Chiappetta: Clark Township is a beautiful and unique place that sits right on the edge of a cosmopolitan city yet spans beautiful countryside. We must band together and steer development, land use and transportation decisions at the township and county level that will preserve and improve the quality of our lives.
Harlow: As a member of the Clark Township Advisory Board, I will continue to assist and advise the trustee to provide assistance as needed for the residents of Clark Township.
THE CHIAPPETTA FILE
Name: Michael Funk Chiappetta
Family: Wife, Michele; one child
Occupation: Biochemist, Technical Manager
Educational background: Indiana University Bloomington, UC San Diego
Political experience: None
THE HARLOW FILE
Name: Charles “Chuck” Harlow
Age: Not given
Family: Wife, Kim; three children.
Occupation: IT Consultant/Managed IT/Computer Services
Educational background: Ben Davis High School, IUPUI
Political Experience: Clark Township Advisory Board, dates not listed.
Memberships: Restore Old Town Greenwood, Our Lady of the Greenwood Church