Andy Cook – A Look at His Legacy

Mayor Andy Cook Talks Accomplishments After Decision Not to Seek Fifth Term

Writer / Melissa Gibson
Photography Provided

In 2005, Andy Cook moved from Carmel to Westfield with his family and recognized the potential of a growing community.

Never one to back down from a challenge, he began asking questions and looking for ways he could get involved, and he did so by running for mayor and taking office in January of 2008.

Sixteen years have gone by and Cook has decided it’s time for a new chapter, passing the baton to Mayor-Elect Scott Willis.

A quick look back reminds residents of $1.5 billion in economic development, the building of Grand Park Sports Campus and Grand Junction Plaza, and recognition by WalletHub and Business Insider as the fourth-best small city in the nation.

However, the numbers aren’t what Cook will remember most.

“The number-one thing I’m most proud of is our Youth Assistance Program,” he says. “We looked at how citizens in this community take care of those that need help. How do we do it outside of traditional government programs? It requires schools, courts, prosecutor’s office, city, police and others to all work together.”

The Youth Assistance Program identifies children aged 3 to 17 at risk of entering the juvenile system. They aren’t in trouble at the time, but statistically it’s just a matter of time.

“It’s a voluntary program in which the youth’s situation is evaluated by professionals, and then we use community resources to get that child back on track to becoming a successful citizen in Westfield,” Cook says.

So far, it’s estimated that more than 100 children have changed course and stayed out of the legal system. In the past five years the number of juveniles entering the Hamilton County system has decreased by half.

It’s all about collaboration. Cook says departments that have long since worked in siloed environments can create great outcomes for the community when working together.

Cook says growth is a good thing, but it can be a challenge as well.

“I’m proud of our residents and our employees and I think we’ve done well, keeping up with the growth,” Cook says. “Our endeavor is to become a desirable city and a destination, creating a place where people want to be.”

Westfield is certainly the place Cook wants to be. With grandchildren living a few blocks away from his home and a love for the city as a whole, walking away from the mayor’s role is bittersweet.

“It’s been fun,” he says. “I’ve enjoyed it immensely and I have mixed emotions. It’s hard to let go, particularly when you’re surrounded by such great people. We’re not going away and I’ll stay involved if people will have me. It’ll be different, but I think under Mayor-Elect Scott Willis’ leadership and seven new council members, the city is in good hands.”

For more information on all Cook and his team have accomplished, visit

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