Larry Lannon, Fishers resident and blogger.

Larry in Fishers – July 2024 Edition

  • Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness was direct in his comments before the City Council in May, expressing his city is as efficient as any municipality in the state, yet state tax distribution systems shortchange Fishers. To remain competitive with surrounding communities and the private sector, the City Council voted unanimously to provide city employees a midyear hike in basic pay.

Public safety workers will see a $2,500 increase in their annual pay. Other city employees will receive a $1,000 annual hike in pay. Fadness says this will cost the city about $500,000 in 2024 and roughly $1 million in 2025. The pay increase will be effective in the current pay period. Fadness emphasizes this pay increase will not apply to any elected officials. The mayor says this midyear pay action is unusual, but the gap in compensation has been growing. This is not a bonus, but part of the base pay for each employee.

Fadness repeated an assertion he made on a recent podcast with me, saying the property tax and income tax distribution system established by state law penalizes Fishers, and it is his long-term goal to work toward advocating for what he describes as a system that treats Fishers fairly. He cites Carmel as an example, in which that city receives $60 million more per year in property and income taxes compared to Fishers. Fadness calls this gap “staggering.”

  • HAND Inc, a local nonprofit with a goal of providing affordable housing, is finishing its first project in Fishers, Cumberland Cottages, at 141st Street and Cumberland Road. The 11 units will feature five at market-rate rents, and six with rents based on affordable-housing criteria. The original Cumberland Cottages plan was for 11 detached units, but budget challenges changed that. However, HAND is looking forward to opening the project. “We’re really excited,” says HAND Executive Director Andrea Davis. “This is the first of this kind of design that we’ve done with the homes oriented around shared green space. It’s called a cottage court design.”
  • As the school year ended for 2023-2024, the Hamilton Southeastern (HSE) school district announced the Teacher of the Year for this school year, and the winner is Aimee Bastin. She has 30 years of public education experience. She currently serves as a resource teacher and also chairs the exceptional learners department at Fall Creek Junior High School. “I think of teaching like if you want to go into sales, and you want to be a good salesperson, you have to believe in the product,” says Bastin. “I believe in what we do here at HSE.”

She is also a leader in professional development, sharing the latest information on new accessibility tools and learning strategies for students. Along with the honor of being named HSE’s Teacher of the Year, Bastin was awarded a $500 prize from the Hamilton Southeastern Education Foundation. She will also move forward as the district’s nominee for the Indiana Department of Education’s Teacher of the Year competition.

  • For several years, people living in the northeast part of Fishers, in the area of Southeastern Parkway and Cyntheanne Road, have wanted a grocery store nearby. Meijer is proposing a grocery at that location, but residents of the area voiced their opposition to this store in this location. The Fishers City Council listened to a presentation from representatives of Meijer, describing the proposed store as smaller than most other locations, such as the current facility in Noblesville. This Meijer store would offer only groceries and a pharmacy. Since this is the first reading of the proposed text amendment, there was no public hearing, but a public hearing will be part of the Plan Commission consideration. Even though there was no formal public hearing, residents in the area of the proposed grocery voiced their concerns and outright opposition to the project during the community comment time at the end of May 20th’s council session.

Family Express describes themselves as a family-owned enterprise that began in northern Indiana with 81 locations, and wants to build a convenience store, fueling station, car wash and pet wash near the interchange at State Road 37 and 135th Street, near the Zaxby’s and Taco Bell. If all goes as planned, Family Express expects to open in late 2024.

  • With a new school board in office for more than a year and a new school superintendent hired, many top administrators have chosen to leave the HSE school district, which means new administrators come on board. Tige Butts will be the new principal at Fishers Junior High School. Drew Tower has been hired as athletic director of Hamilton Southeastern High School. Bryan Rausch is poised to take the HSE assistant superintendent of operations post in July.

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