Four contested trustee races on the ballot this year


Some Jackson County voters will have contested races for township trustees on their ballot on Nov. 6.

Trustees are elected people in each township who help those in need with temporary help for basic necessities. They may help with shelter or housing costs, utility bills, burial expenses and other needs.

The funds for those services are raised through property tax dollars.

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Property taxes also pay for operating expenses, including salaries for the trustee, administrative staff and board members. The general fund also pays for the rent of office space for each township’s office, which in rural areas often is based in the trustee’s home. Other general fund expenses include insurance, supplies, advertising and professional services.

Township governments date back to times when people traveled by horse or walked, making trips from rural areas difficult.

Voters in Jackson, Carr, Pershing and Redding townships will each find a contested race for trustee this election cycle.

Jackson Township

Republican Linda Auleman and Democrat John Burkhart are not strangers to politics. Auleman has been the Jackson County recorder for eight years and before that, she worked for the Jackson Township trustee for six years. Burkhart also has had a political career and served for 13 years as the mayor of Seymour.

The township includes a good part of Seymour and distributed $78,396.17 in public assistance in 2017.

Auleman said her personal experience will help her with the job if she is elected.

“I know the job very well and have run an office for eight years. I know the trustee’s office is there to help families in need,” Auleman said. “I understand this because I have been a single parent and can identify with their struggles. A vote for me will be a vote for our families in Seymour.”

Burkhart, the Democrat, said he is running for Jackson Township trustee because he’s always been interested in public service. He also believes that position will afford him the opportunity to serve the residents of Jackson Township.

“My management experience in the private and public sector has provided me with the background to successfully manage the duties of this office,” Burkhart said. “I believe I can improve the operation of the Jackson Township trustee’s office, utilizing my 32 years of management experience at Cummins Engine Co.”

Carr Township

Democrat George “Pat” Bahan has a military and education background and Republican Steve Ingle is a policeman and retired firefighter. Both men are vying for the position of trustee in Carr Township, which includes Medora.

The township provided $19,358.68 in public assistance in 2017.

“To be honest, I had not thought about running for trustee until former trustee Joe Campbell and another friend approached me and asked me to run,” Bahan said. “At first I was skeptical, but as I started to better understand the office, I came to see it as an opportunity to use my experience to serve my community.”

Opponent, Steve Ingle, said he is running for Carr Township trustee to help the residents of there. He said he feels the citizens know him well.

Ingle said that in his experience as a police officer and retired volunteer firefighter, he has seen firsthand the needs of the people in Carr Township.

“I just feel I am the better candidate for the Carr Township trustee, with the job I do every day,” Ingle said. “Being on the streets every single day and seeing the people struggling for help, I love to help people and assist them when in need.”

Pershing Township

Sharon Yost is the Republican candidate and she is running opposite Timothy Edington for the office of trustee in Pershing Township, which includes Freetown and Spraytown.

The township provided $4,118.19 in public assistance in 2017, mostly for utilities.

Yost said she is running for office because of her commitment to the Freetown community and her desire to make improvements there. She feels she is better qualified because she has served on the Pershing Township Advisory Board for the past four terms.

“Therefore, I am very knowledgeable of the duties, responsibilities and legal aspects of the trustee position,” Yost said. “For the past eight years I’ve served as the secretary of this board and my commitment to Pershing Township is evidenced by her involvement in the community.

The Democratic candidate for Pershing Township is Timothy Edington of Freetown. His wife, Theresa Edington, was going to be on the ballot, but passed away on Oct.4, just weeks before the election.

“Theresa was running, but then she passed away so they asked me,” Edington said. “She wanted to do it, so I’ll do my very best to fill her shoes.”

As to improving the operations of the trustee’s office, Edington said it will be a learning experience for him, but with the help of others, he believes he can do the job.

Redding Township

Republican candidate, Donald “Mark” Adams will challenge Democrat incumbent Conrad “Connie” Calmer for Redding Township Trustee, which includes Reddington and Rockford.

In 2017, the township provided $4,118.19 in assistance.

Adams said he is running to serve his community.

“I have been asked by several people why I would want to get into politics and how I have time for this job,” Adams said. “To me, this is another way to serve the community I live in and love, this is not political. I feel I am qualified to carry out the duties of this office and I will do so to the best of my ability to help the citizens of Redding Township.”

Calmer said he has several programs he’d like to finish. He’s responsible for two cemeteries, Glasson and Conologue. The office had soil brought in to level out the grounds and reseeded in Glasson Cemetery, he said.

Work at Conologue included trees being cut down and stumps leveled so it could be seeded and later have roadway put in between.

Adams said we should be willing to go beyond what is expected and show true compassion and honesty to the families in need.

“I feel as though every individual or family should know they matter and that there are great people willing to help with financial assistance, advice and community resources,” Adams said. “I will represent our district with the utmost respect and honor.”

Calmer said he said works with people when they come in for assistance and tries to help them get all the assistance they can from the township office and other agencies.

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Township: Jackson

Name: John Steele Burkhart

Age: 79

Family: Married 60 years to wife, Dottie Burkhart; children, Douglas, Beverly and William Burkhart

Education: Shields High School graduate, Bowling Green State University

Residence: Seymour

Party: Democrat

Occupation: Semi-retired and is employed part time at both the Jackson County Visitor Center and Home Depot.

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Township: Jackson

Name: Linda Auleman

Age: 57

Family: Two sons, Bobby (Liz) McIlquham and Jesse (Brittaney) McIlquham; and one granddaughter, Camdyn McIlquham

Education: Seymour High School graduate, Indiana State University

Residence: Seymour

Party: Republican

Occupation: County Recorder

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Township: Carr

Name: George Patrick “Pat” Bahan

Age: 64

Family: Married 41 years to wife, Lee Bahan

Education: Brownstown Central graduate, Indiana University and Indiana Wesleyan

Residence: Medora

Party: Democrat

Occupation: Retired teacher

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Township: Carr

Name: Steve Ingle

Age: 58

Family: Married 15 years to wife, Sharon Ingle; five children; eight grandchildren

Education: Bedford North Lawrence graduate and ILEA Marshal’s Academy

Residence: Medora

Party: Republican

Occupation: Medora Town Marshal and Superintendent of Water and Waste Water Departments

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Township: Pershing

Name: Sharon Yost

Family: Husband, Dean Yost; three children; seven grandchildren

Education: Freetown High School graduate

Residence: Freetown

Party: Republican

Occupation: Operates Sharon’s Nu-Image beauty salon

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Township: Pershing

Name: Timothy Ray Edington

Age: 57

Family: Was married 27 years to wife, Theresa Edington (deceased); two stepchildren, Orlando (Jamie) Dillman and Steven (Cindy) Wynn; three step grandchildren

Education: Brownstown High School graduate

Residence: Freetown

Party: Republican

Occupation: Owner of Edington Logging

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Township: Redding

Name: Donald “Mark” Adams

Age: 56

Family: Wife, Connie Adams; four children, Lydia (Travis) Maupin, Meredith, Janelle and Brantley Adams

Education: Seymour High School graduate and Mid America School of Mortuary Science

Residence: Redding Township

Party: Republican

Occupation: Voss and Sons Funeral Service, owner / Funeral Director 35 yrs

[sc:pullout-text-end][sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”Calmer File” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]

Township: Redding

Name: Conrad E. Calmer

Age: 75

Family: Wife, Arlene Calmer; two daughters and four granddaughters

Education: High School graduate and some college

Residence: Seymour

Party: Democrat

Occupation: Retired Indiana State Police Sgt.


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