Mayoral Candidate Sue Finkam Outlines “Elevate Carmel” Comprehensive Plan

Writer / Alli Donovan
Photography Provided

Meet Sue Finkam – local business owner, community leader, wife and mother all wrapped into one. She has been a crucial part of Carmel’s success in her past 12 years on the Carmel City Council, and she is ready to push Carmel into further success by becoming its next mayor.

Finkam is the founder and chief executive officer of FireStarter LLC, a certified woman-owned, full-service marketing agency headquartered in Carmel.Sue Finkam

Finkam took a job in Carmel in 2005, and she and her family moved to the city in 2007. She has seen firsthand the commitment to excellence that the community of Carmel has, and she is dedicated to keeping it special. She has served in various roles on the city council, co-founded, a community transparency portal, and she serves as a member of the Hamilton County Solid Waste Board. She has previously served as the vice chair for the Hamilton County Economic Development Corporation and co-founded Carmel PorchFest.

She is excited to be running for the mayor of Carmel to lead residents and businesses to greater heights.

What is Finkam’s plan as mayor of Carmel?

Finkam has developed a plan that allows Carmel to continue being recognized as a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire, but this plan will also create an opportunity for Carmel to become the best-run city in America.

Finkam has thoughtfully listened to residents, business owners and visitors of Carmel to develop a list of priorities for what people are needing from the next mayor, and incorporated these ideas into her comprehensive plan. Her plan is called Elevate Carmel. This vision plan provides strategic ideas and next steps that involve public safety, community engagement, fiscal discipline, strong neighborhoods, schools and more.

Let’s walk through some of the Elevate Carmel plan:

World-Class Public Safety

“We absolutely have to make safety a top priority,” Finkam says. “Our crime statistics are low but they have increased, and the statistics don’t matter if you’ve been a victim of a crime. You just want to be safe.”

Action items for Finkam’s plan are to establish a Mayor’s Advisory Council on Public Safety, which will involve members from all aspects of city government. Public safety members will receive top-class training and accessibility to exceptional equipment. She also has a plan to increase the number of mental health resource officers in the community.

Finkam and her public safety plans have received endorsements from the Carmel FOP Lodge 185 and the Carmel Professional Firefighters Local 4444.

Fiscal Excellence

Finkam will prioritize fiscal discipline by budgeting responsibly and preparing Carmel for the future. She plans to achieve this by completing a comprehensive financial audit of all city-related entities, committing to a fiscal plan that will improve Carmel’s financial position, and understanding all expenses.

Community Engagement

Through community engagement, Finkam will leverage the community’s voice and use data to create the city’s first community-endorsed strategic plan. There will also be opportunities for residents to participate in city activities, including newly formed committees that will focus around transportation, arts, financial investments and more.

Finkam will also engage students in her efforts through the Mayor’s Youth Council.

Inspired Quality of Life

Another priority of Finkam’s Elevate Carmel vision plan is continuing to develop the high quality of life in Carmel.

“I love how [Carmel community members] are all united around contributing to making our community great, and giving our kids and families a better future,” she says.

Finkam’s plan aims to ensure the quality of life in Carmel remains among the best in the country, and continually attracts talent, visitors and growth. The plan includes implementation of more trails and multi-use paths, continued investments in amenities, and working with local businesses on providing sponsorship and philanthropic support of arts programming.

To read the rest of Finkam’s Elevate Carmel plan, visit

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Early voting for the Carmel mayoral election ends on Saturday, November 4. Carmel early voting locations are the Wilfong Pavilion at Founders Park, located at 11675 Hazel Dell Parkway, Building A, or the Jill Perelman Pavilion, at 3000 West 116th Street. For more information, visit

Election day is Tuesday, November 7, 2023.

For more information on Finkam’s mayoral campaign, her plan for leading Carmel, or to submit questions and ideas, visit her campaign website at Community members can also follow her on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Comments 3

  1. Tom Foley says:

    Sue is exactly what we need now in Carmel. What we DO NOT need is a left wing liberal!!

  2. Chad says:

    We don’t need another complicit right winger who will turn a blind eye to facts to garner support from lunatic groups like “moms for democracy”. Sorry Sue you can court the unhinged crazy people all you like. But good people will keep you from dragging their ignorance and hate into our schools. If you didn’t want to be cast as one of them you had your chance to stand up for something more, and you stayed quiet. Just like you will when they attack free speech in our schools.

  3. Chad says:

    Also Alli this was about as puff as a piece of writing gets. Did her campaign pay you for this fluff?

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