Incumbent Mary “Becky” Beckman is being challenged by Darren Patterson for the District 2 seat on the Dubois County Council.
Beckman is in her first term on the council and is seeking to retain her seat because she feels the current council is working well together. “I am a part of an honest to goodness working council, and I am proud to tell Dubois County that we work well together and we do not hesitate to take on hard issues,” she said. “From day to day county services to one time projects, what we accomplish today will ripple out for twenty years.”
Patterson, a local business owner, said he was inspired to run by the examples set by other community members. “I was inspired by fellow businessmen like Jeff Bounds, Steve Bartels, Shane Lindauer, Mark Messmer and Mike Braun,” he explained. “I am so impressed that they have taken time from their busy careers to devote to a leadership role in government. Also, I want to contribute my time, talent and resources to improve the quality of life in the community future generations.”
Along those same lines, Patterson said that he is concerned about the area’s economic development and the loss of local business. He explained that his education and his more than 20 years of business experience running The Mortgage Company of Southern Indiana Inc. gives him some insight on how to be an ambassador to new and existing businesses.
I believe members of local government should be ambassadors to welcome potential new business to the community,” he explained. “I believe I know how to promote the community well.”
Beckman is concerned about socio-economic trends, more specifically the hunger and homelessness she is seeing firsthand in the community as well as substance abuse. “One in six people in Dubois County are food insecure,” she explained. “Our teens are above the state average in binge drinking and vaping. Child abuse and neglect cases have risen over 400% since 2012 in Dubois County.”
She added that the quality of life in the county is as important as the current trend to focus on the quality of place. “It is not a tug of war. We require both to be vibrant and for all to thrive. We have been shortsighted in understanding the plight of the backbone of Dubois County- our workforce,” Beckman explained. “They are our greatest asset and they are having a hard time making ends meet. Indiana’s archaic minimum wage is detrimental to our growth. Housing, childcare, medical expenses, food, and of course taxes, affect every pocketbook in Dubois County.”
Both candidates support the continued progress on the Midstate Corridor, the upgraded highway through the county that will connect U.S. 231’s improved portion at the southern border of the county to the improved routes north. The county council recently approved funding $1.75 million for the Tier I Environmental Impact Study.
“I am in complete support of this project,” Patterson said. “The sooner the better. This will be a significant economic growth project that will pay huge dividends in the future.”
Beckman said she felt the county needed to step up to fund the study to see if the road can become a reality. She does have some concerns regarding the impact the route could have on landowners and employees though.
I weighed the pros and the cons and the pros won out. This was not the time to say no to this project. It is too preliminary, to not see if this can become a reality,” she said. “However, this corridor is not the answer to all of our problems. We have to have input on the route so we have greater control for our farmers and homeowners. We have much work to do to safeguard our downtowns, small businesses, restaurants and hotels, and most of all, our workforce. A new road can also take our workforce north or south to better-paying jobs.”
You can read more about these candidates at the following links.