Republicans select new council member


A retired telecommunications specialist will serve as Seymour’s next councilman after being selected during a Republican caucus.

Jerry Hackney, 73, a political newcomer who lives on the city’s southeast side, will serve as the District 2 councilman.

Hackney will replace former Councilman Brian D’Arco, who announced retirement last month because of employment conflicts.

Hackney was the only candidate for the caucus and selected by precinct committee leaders Katie Kaufman and D’Arco.

Hackney will serve the remainder of D’Arco’s term, which expires Dec. 31, 2019. The filing period for re-election will open and close in January 2019.

He retired in 1996 from Indiana Telephone Co. and then sold telephone systems. In 2006, he started Hackney Communication Network, and he and his wife, Kathi, sold the business and retired at the end of 2016.

He attended Vincennes University, where he obtained a degree in accounting, and then earned a business degree at Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus.

Since retiring, Hackney said he was looking for opportunities to serve in some capacity. Over the years, he has served in leadership positions in the local Elks Lodge and Masonic Lodge.

When D’Arco stepped down from the council, Hackney felt it could be an opportunity to serve.

He said he can bring a variety of skills to the council, including strengths in financial issues.

“When I worked at the phone company, the last 10 years I was there was primarily in budgeting and financial issues,” he said. “I wrote a program that tracked budgets and rolled it to a division level, so those types of things would benefit the council.”

He described himself as “very conservative” and being fiscally responsible.

“I don’t believe in spending money you don’t have,” he said. “Those are the things I’d like to have a voice on.”

Hackney hasn’t really thought about particular causes or issues he wants to work on when he joins the council during next week’s regularly scheduled meeting.

“I’m there to learn right now,” he said. “I’m a very good listener.”

Hackney said there are a number of things he would have liked to have had input on and may have brought a different voice to the council during some of its work over the years.

One example is the city’s welcome sign on the north side of U.S. 50 just west of the interstate exchange.

The majority of the cost was paid for by grant money, but Seymour still contributed about $165,000 from the general fund and TIF revenue from the redevelopment commission as matching funds toward the million-dollar project.

Construction of the 13-foot wall and sign with surrounding landscaping was completed in November 2014.

Hackney said it didn’t matter if grant money was used or not.

“Still, as a taxpayer, that grant money came from the taxpayers,” he said. “Those are the types of things I would be very interested in having a voice in.”

[sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”Hackney file” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]

Name: Jerry Hackney

Age: 73

Residence: Seymour

Education: Accounting degree from Vincennes University and business degree from Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus

Occupation: Retired telecommunications specialist; new Seymour City Council member representing District 2

Family: Wife, Kathi; one son; two daughters; three grandchildren


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