Despite a highly contentious primary, Republican voters in Greenwood want Mark Myers to keep the city’s top job.
Myers, who has been in office since 2012, was able to thwart a challenge from former Center Grove School Board President Joe Hubbard to receive the nomination for Greenwood Mayor Tuesday. He got 3,465 votes, or about 55% of the votes cast while Hubbard received 2,785 votes, or roughly 45%.
“I am extremely excited and happy and glad that the people of Greenwood have decided to keep me for another term,” Myers said. “I’m excited to see what new things we can do for our community.”
Over the last 11 years, the son of a former mayor helped revive downtown Greenwood by working to fill vacant storefronts, beautifying facades and improving city streets. He also kicked off the redevelopment of the former Greenwood Middle School property into the $9 million Greenwood Fieldhouse, a recreation facility, and The Madison, an $83 million mixed-use development.
Two other projects started under Myers include the roughly $62-million Westside Sewer Interceptor Project, completed last year and designed to upgrade sewer lines in White River Township, and the planned $10-million sports park near Worthsville Road and Interstate 65.
He’s also added jobs, attracted Fortune 500 companies like Amazon and built a staff he frequently raves about.
Myers was frequently criticized throughout the campaign over crime in Greenwood, including last year’s record-high number of homicides. He was also criticized over public safety staffing, tax abatements the city has given out to companies and lawsuits the city has settled.
He was also criticized over the city’s food and beverage tax, which was originally set to be used to fund public safety. However, state law prevented it from being used for that purpose when the legislature passed the bill enacting the tax.
Hubbard when he announced his intent to challenge Myers last year, he resigned from the Center Grove School Board to do so. A main focus of his campaign has been on public safety and increasing funding and staffing for both the police and fire departments.
He also wanted growth in the city to slow down until public safety and infrastructure are taken care of and are at acceptable levels, Hubbard said earlier this year. Another goal was to make sure small businesses were given the same opportunities large corporations were.
A lot of criticism has been directed at Hubbard over the course of his campaign, including by Myers. Criticism includes his residency within the city, his financial history and business practices. Hubbard has defended all of these subjects throughout his campaign.
Late last week, Hubbard was criticized following accusations of him allegedly choking a Center Grove graduate in a June incident, something that was reported to police. No charges were filed, and Hubbard said he was just protecting his daughter.
Myers will appear on the ballot in November as the Republican nominee. He could face a Democrat or third-party candidate, though none have filed at this time.
In the immediate future, Myers wants to work on fixing relationships within different city departments and bringing the city back together.
“My No. 1 priority is on my employees,” he said. “I want to make sure that we’re all on the same page, and that we’re working together again. We can build Greenwood back up to the strong community that we were before and we will be again.”
He also has a message for the supporters of his opponent.
“Everybody is allowed to have their own opinions. Everybody’s allowed to have their thoughts on who the leader should be,” Myers said. “But at the end of the day, we all need to work together for the good of the community of Greenwood. My goal is to get everybody back on track and working together as one for our community.”
HOW YOU VOTED
Joe Hubbard 45%
Mark Myers: 55%