The Latest Hometown Happenings Around Fishers

The Latest Hometown Happenings Around Fishers

Writer / Larry Lannan
Photography Provided

The 2023 Fishers city election is now behind us, and there will be some changes in the City Council. Democrats Jocelyn Vare and Crystal Neumann lost their bids for another term and republican David Giffel was unsuccessful in his re-election bid.Fishers

New faces on the 2024 council include republicans Tiffanie Ditlevson and John DeLucia, along with democrat Bill Stuart. The GOP will enjoy an 8-1 majority on the council for the four-year period beginning in 2024. Jennifer Kehl was elected to another four-year term as city clerk. Mayor Scott Fadness and City Judge Dan Henke were unopposed.

Voters overwhelmingly said yes to a school funding referendum. Hamilton Southeastern (HSE) Schools are expected to have $24 million per year based on the referendum property tax rate for the eight-year period starting in 2024. The final vote total was 15,751 Yes, 6,733 No.

One of the first items on the agenda for the new City Council will be the possibility of entering into a citywide trash collection contract with a private firm. Mayor Fadness’ Chief of Staff Jordin Alexander is to brief the council members on the process to use, should the council choose to move forward. Councilor Brad DeReamer is the only member that has said he will oppose any such contract.

The HSE school board approved a new one-year contract with the HSE Education Association. Teachers had overwhelmingly ratified the new pact. The starting teacher salary will increase from $44,074 to $48,500. There will be additional compensation for teachers based on longevity. The board voted unanimously to approve the contract at the November 8 meeting.

Nataki Pettigrew, chief equity and inclusion officer for HSE Schools, is leaving that position. According to a news release from Washington Township Schools in Marion County, Pettigrew will assume the position of chief academic and diversity, equity and inclusion officer for Washington Township Schools.

Hamilton East Public Library Director Edra Waterman is leaving her post and headed to Anderson, where she will assume duties as library director there. Also, the Hamilton County commissioners appointed novelist Susan Crandall to replace Ray Maddalone on the Hamilton East Public Library board.

The Hamilton East board revoked the controversial policy moving some books from the young adult section to the adult collection. The vote was 5-1. Micah Beckwith voted no and Tiffanie Ditlevson abstained from voting. Ditlevson, who will be assuming a seat on the Fishers City Council on January 1 of 2024, announced she will be resigning from the library board at the end of 2023.

Central Office Administrators Ryan Taylor and Substitute Coordinator Diane Howell reviewed the substitute teacher program for the HSE school board November 14. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic there were about 400 regular subs, and now the number is 324. There were 66 permanent substitute teachers in HSE Schools prior to the pandemic, and there are now 46. Those with a daily substitute teacher license are paid a $90 daily rate. Efforts are being made to retain and recruit more subs. Taylor told the board HSE Schools is “always in a state of recruitment” for substitute teachers.

Fishers will be home to an Indoor Football League (IFL) franchise in the 2025 season. The Fishers Event Center, now under construction, will be home to the squad. Team President Larry McQueary says the IFL features more scoring than the NFL, a 50-yard field, no fair catches and no punts. McQueary and Mayor Scott Fadness appeared on a recent podcast, talking about the IFL team, the Indy Fuel and other events likely to happen at the Event Center.

Speaking of the Event Center, Deputy Mayor Elliott Hultgren told the Fishers Board of Public Works and Safety that the construction of the facility is on schedule and set to open in November of 2024.

Major Mike Janes was honored by the City Council for 20 years of service to the Fishers Police Department. “Mike has always been a very honest person through those 20 years of knowing him,” says Police Chief Ed Gebhart. “He’s always put the agency, the community and the profession first, and his decision-making always exemplified that.”

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