At a Republican convention held on August 17, four candidates for the seats spoke to the 101 registered voters in the audience. Vying for the seats in addition to Wattenbarger and Hanley were Angel Perkins and Francis (Gerald) Anderson.
No Democratic candidates filed for the seats.
Republican County Chair David Holmes informed the voters that they could vote for two candidates, but did have the option of voting for only one.
Holmes said the town saved some $6,000 by using the convention rather than holding an election.
Prior to the candidates speaking, Holmes took a vote on whether to allow votes of two of whose residencies were in question. Holmes said the identification of one was fromNorth Carolina and a second from Bloomington. By an overwhelming majority, caucus attendees voted to allow the votes.
Wattenbarger has been on the town council for 13 ½ years. He said, “It’s been an honor for me to represent you.”
Although he is originally from Washington State, Wattenbarger considers himself a Hoosier after teaching for 40 years inIndiana. Speaking of decisions that the Town Council members have made over the years, Wattenbarger said, “Sometimes we make decisions that not everyone agrees with.” “I try to look at what is best for the Town ofBourbon.” he added.
He indicated that he has stayed true to the Republican Party. He said, “I haven’t jumped around parties to make my position better.” Wattenbarger said that when you come to a job like the Council, one cannot have a (personal) agenda. Wattenbarger concluded his five minute speech saying, “My goal is trying to preserve what we have left.”
Hanley joined the council in March to replace Gary Collins who passed on unexpectedly. Hanley said, “I think everybody in this town should be treated equally.”
Hanley pointed out the work oft he council in the past months. He said they have done way with some unnecessary spending. He said, “We have saved $20,000 in the last six months.”
Hanley said, “The biggest thing we need is more industry. That’s what it will take to save Bourbon.”
Carol Anders Correspondent