PLYMOUTH – The Pilot News sent a questionnaire to all candidates facing a contested race in the November 2019 Plymouth municipal election. The newspaper will run the candidates’ answers in print and online as the candidates submit them and as space allows. The candidates were given a deadline of Wednesday, Oct. 23, to return the questionnaire.
Here are the answers submitted by Duane Culp, a Republican member of the Plymouth Common Council seeking re-election to the city’s District 1. His responses have been lightly edited.
Tuesday, Nov. 5, is Election Day.
Office you are seeking: Plymouth City Council, District 1
Family (Spouse, names and ages of children): Married to Jacquelynn (Johnson) Culp since 1994. Jacque and I have two daughters who are currently attending college: Katelynn, 22, who attends Ivy Tech and is studying nursing and Brittany, 20, who attends IUSB and studies elementary education.
How long have you been a Plymouth resident? I was born in Plymouth and have lived here my entire life.
Work experience: I retired after 31 years as lieutenant from the Marshall County Sheriff's Department where I was third in command and running the detective bureau.
Current occupation: Marshall County court security.
How long: On July 13, 2019, I retired from the Marshall County Sheriff's Department after 31 years. Not being one to stay seated for long, I accepted a position as Court Security at the Marshall County Courthouse.
Previous work experience you believe is relevant to the office you seek:
– Regularly maintaining a balanced budget at the City of Plymouth
– Accelerate Indiana Municipalities Training
– Specialized courses include: Circuit Breaker Tax Regulations Class, Budgets, Grant Writing and TIF (Tax Increment Financing) Zones (redevelopment, infrastructure, community improvements).
– Homeland Security: In command of security for the annual Marshall County Blueberry Festival since 2003 and working with local and state agencies to plan for potential disasters.
– Over 31 years interacting with the public on a daily basis.
High school you attended and graduation date: Plymouth High School, Class of 1982, where I played basketball, football and track.
College you attended and graduation date (if applicable): Indiana Law Enforcement Academy (1988); National Fire Academy, where I obtained my Masters in Arson Education (2000).
Other education/training you believe is relevant to the office you seek:
– 1984-2002 - I was a Plymouth volunteer firefighter where I held the rank of 1st Class Firefighter Certification (Master Firefighter)
– Leadership Marshall County, Class of XIII
– Marshall County United Way Board of Directors, past member
Why are you seeking this political office/what makes you the preferred candidate? I have the knowledge and experience to continue to move the City of Plymouth forward. We have created new jobs at a rate not seen in years: Pretzels, Inc., is increasing their production and will be adding more employees; Hoosier Racing Tire has added a motorcycle racing tire line to its factory; Winona Powder Coating has purchased the former Del Monte Plant; Indiana Wheel Company has moved into the former Dean Pickle Warehouse (next to The Zone) and the old Dean Pickle Facility (Western Ave) is showing signs of life.
Affordable housing is a key issue in Plymouth. We have approved new housing in the City that will accommodate young people just starting out, elderly citizens who want to retire in a safe community and those who enjoy downtown living at Centennial Crossing.
One of my objectives for this new term is to add sidewalks along Harrison Street, from Broadway to Oak Road and also Oak Road, from Jefferson to U.S. 30, for those who walk to work in the Industrial Park. I would like to see Phase II at Packards' Woods completed. I am working diligently to bring new business to the former Herr Plant.
There are several new business and housing opportunities which will be happening soon that have not yet been made public. Jerry Chavez, CEO or Marshall County Economic Development Corporation, and I have been working closely to attract new business opportunities. I want to prevent brain drain and keep the bright young minds here in our great City.
My plan is to maintain a low tax rate, live within the City's means, and will not only encourage new businesses to come to town but bring with it new residents who can enjoy our beautiful parks, trails, kayak launches and Farmer's Market.
What are the biggest issues facing the city?
– Affordable housing
What are your proposals for solving those issues?
We have already brought new jobs and new housing to the area. My goal is to make Plymouth stronger by preventing brain drain; making the City more inviting for young families to live and work. We already have award-winning schools, are bringing in new jobs and building housing to accommodate everyone. I have the negotiating skills and experience needed to make this happen for our great City.
Personal, concluding statement if you’d like to include one:
I am always available to answer your questions. Throughout my time on the City Council, I have been known for my non-partisan leadership and encouraging public input. I am a listener who wants to learn as much as I can about Plymouth, budgets and how to make our City better. Plymouth has a bright future, I want families to stay and businesses to thrive. Please re-elect me to the City Council, District 1.