|Oct. 22, 2003
vision, image, freedom for Terre Haute
By Peter Ciancone
The short answer, one from each candidate: vision, image and
Each hopeful for mayor of Terre Haute shared the expanded version
Tuesday morning with members of the Breakfast Exchange Club of
To Republican Duke Bennett, the city has lacked vision and long-term
planning, something he hopes to supply.
"Most of the planning done around here is about the next
election," he said. The city needs to bring diverse elements
of the community to the table to talk about goals, then rely
on a mayor who can lead the community toward them.
"What I think is extremely important is getting people involved
in the political process," he said. His own party has yet
to live up to opposition party status, with many Republicans
voting Democratic in the primary so they could have a say in
the future. "We need a two-party system."
One immediate goal he expressed was to create a technology park
that would provide a place for the businesses growing out of
"We need to capture as many of those companies as we can,"
Democrat Kevin Burke said Terre Haute suffers from a negative
"As long as our image is that we don't smell good, that
we don't have good leadership, and we're bound up with union
labor, we're not going to grow," he said. By changing the
image - through everything from day-to-day cleanliness to working
with unions to attract industry - the city can take advantage
of the universities that are a big part of the city's strength.
"We're a college town," he said. "It's what we
Changing the image will make the city more attractive to students,
who may then decide to stay and add to the local pool of talent.
"Talent is what businesses need," he said. "They
can get 99-cent-an-acre ground anywhere. They can get tax abatements
Ed Gluck said he would limit government, and offered an alternative
to what he called "bullies" that run local government,
and who support it by not questioning its authority.
"The elites, they tell you how to live, and they tell you
how they'll spend your money," he said. Recalling a recent
comment he made about marijuana, and an editorial in the Tribune-Star
condemning him for it, Gluck added, "They make fun of someone
smoking a doobie, but that's a symptom of the problem."
The main change needed, Gluck said, is to get government out
of areas that should be left to private enterprise.
"Government should not be in competition with business,"
Burke was questioned about his comments regarding unions. He
said unions had to compete along with everybody else, bringing
their training and organization to the table as a sales point.
Asked what his first act as mayor would be, Gluck said he would
start by repudiating the Patriot Act passed in the wake of the
9/11 attacks. Many other communities already have done so, he
said, because its limits on freedom are unconstitutional.
All three candidates agreed to seek qualified people for city
jobs, using a human resources department to screen applicants.
That question brought the one good laugh of the morning.
"This is an embarrassing moment," said Gluck. "I
actually agree with these guys."
Voters will have another chance to question the three candidates
in person at 7 p.m. Monday in City Hall. That forum will be sponsored
by several local organizations.
Peter Ciancone can be reached at (812) 231-4253 or email@example.com.
three-part series profiling Terre Haute mayoral candidates Ed
Gluck, Kevin Burke and Duke Bennett began Sunday, Oct. 12. Tribune-Star
columnist and editorial writer Rex Buntain interviewed each mayoral
candidate for the cover of the Perspectives section of the Tribune-Star.
|Sunday, Oct. 12 - Edward
J. Gluck, Libertarian
|Sunday, Oct. 19 - Kevin
|Sunday, Oct. 26 - Duke Bennett,
|Rex Buntain is a columnist for
the Tribune-Star. His column appears Sunday and Monday. He can
be reached at (812) 231-4248 or firstname.lastname@example.org
back in days prior to the November election for more opinion
and commentary as well as news coverage.
Terre Haute candidate forums
At the first forum on Oct.
14, mayoral candidates were available for public questioning
in the Charles T. Hyte Community Center at 13th Street and College
Avenue.Candidates were asked to discuss their vision for the
renewal and revitalization of the African-American community.
This event was sponsored by the 13th Street Corridor Committee
for Community Revitalization.
The League of Women Voters was host of the
Oct. 15 forum for Terre Haute
City Council candidates in City Hall. Each candidate had the
opportunity to address the audience for a set amount of time.
Audience members could ask questions after the presentations.
The League will host one more opportunity
to hear from candidates for mayor.
Mayoral candidates will be available at 7
p.m. Oct. 27, also in City Hall, and will follow the same format.
The voting league's forums are co-sponsored by the Vigo County
Public Library, NAACP, Vigo County Teachers Association, WILL
Center, and the Vigo County Retired Teachers Association. For
more details, call the library at (812) 232-1113.
Chat with candidates online
The three candidates for mayor will be available Oct. 21-23
to answer questions in the Greater Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce's
Web site chat room at terrehaute.com.
To register for the chat, e-mail email@example.com.
Call Kristin Craig at (812) 232-2391.
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