Mayor to fill board vacancy after member’s death


Seymour Mayor Craig Luedeman has someone in mind to fill a vacancy on the city’s board of public works and safety.

After the unexpected death of member Larry "Doc" Sunbury, 86, on Nov. 9, Luedeman said he likely will ask Jim Plump to help fill in until the end of the year.

Plump, executive director of Jackson County Industrial Development Corp., will join Luedeman and Jim Rebber on the three-member board. He has knowledge of the job because he served on the same board when John Burkhart was mayor.

"It makes sense," Luedeman said. "He has done it before. He’s in the building. He’s familiar with how things work."

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The board of works, which oversees city departments and pays the bills, only has three more meetings in 2019.

Luedeman said he isn’t expecting any major issues to come up during that time. Without a third member, however, he said it could be difficult to get the city’s business done, especially in the event of a tie vote.

A new board of works will be appointed Jan. 1 by mayor-elect Matt Nicholson.

The board observed a moment of silence for Sunbury during a meeting Thursday. He had been on the board of works for the past 12 years and was first appointed when Luedeman became mayor in 2007.

Luedeman said Sunbury was an "unbelievable man."

Although he may not have said a lot during meetings, it was because he was thinking a lot, Luedeman said.

"I couldn’t have asked for a better person to fit that role," Luedeman said. "I can’t say how much it helped me as mayor having him there kind of as anchor on the board of works."

Although a transplant from Ohio in 1957, Sunbury considered Seymour home, Luedeman said. 

After graduating from the Ohio State University School of Veterinary Medicine, he came to work at Seymour Animal Hospital. He practiced for 50 years before retiring in 2007.

He was an active member of First United Methodist Church.

Besides the board of works, he also served as a county councilman, a member of the township advisory board and was a Paul Harris Fellow with the Seymour Rotary Club.

He was appointed to the Indiana State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners and was a cubmaster for 18 years with Cub Scout Pack 529. In 1997, he received the Distinguished Citizen Award from the Hoosier Trails Council of Boy Scouts of America.

"He was a very humble person," Luedeman said. "You would have never known until you read his obituary the many accomplishments he had throughout his life."

Luedeman said Sunbury left a legacy in the community.

"Doc was always the guy who said the right thing at the right time," Luedeman said. "He was just a good man."

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