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Greencastle At-Large Seats Result From Lack Of Contests

Greencastle city hall sign

Photo: Dan Goldblatt

Instead of five wards, Greencastle will retain the four it has and just add to its number of at-large seats on the city council.

Putnam County political leaders say a recent decision by the Greencastle City Council to expand from five seats to seven was influenced, in part, by a lack of willing candidates.  The new seats will be at-large, in hopes of drawing more interest.

When the 2010 Census count came back showing Greencastle’s population had edged above 10,000, the city council began thinking about how to adapt.  Instead of redrawing the city’s four wards into five, council members elected to simply add two more at-large seats for the 2015 election.  Greencastle Mayor Sue Murray says instead of limiting the seats geographically, she hopes to entice more people to run at-large, since those candidates can reside anywhere in the city.

“There aren’t always a lot of contested races in Greencastle and Putnam County,” Murray says.  “I don’t know if it’s a lack of interest or if people are hesitant to get involved or whether they think people are doing a good job – or a combination of the above.”

Republican Party leaders will begin a recruitment effort this Saturday at their first meeting of the year.  County chairman Darwyn Nelson says he’s eying those who have assisted the party in the past.

“People that help on the various voting contests, such as the last general election,” Nelson says.  “Who are the ones out here volunteering, getting out the vote? Who are the ones that have stepped up to some committee assignments on the county level or city level?”

Democratic Party Chairman Dave Bohmer says since he’s stepping down as chair in March, he won’t lead any recruitment efforts, leaving that to the person who replaces him.

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