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In Lanesville, not all names will be on ballot

Lanesville voters in the Nov. 4 election for town council trustees have choices they may not realize.
Two write-in candidates have filed for one of three at-large seats up for election. Their names will not be on the ballot.
Kenneth F. Price and Michael D. Stilger are write-in candidates. Two incumbents, Donald L. Hamblen and Herbert L. Schneider, will be on the ballot. Three at-large candidates are to be elected by all of the voters in Lanesville.
Town election officials will handle the election. Voters will mark paper ballots at the Lanesville United Methodist Church Hall, 2575 St. John’s Church Road, Lanesville, from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m. Returns will be counted at the church and then announced at the town hall, said Lanesville Clerk-treasurer Linda Smith.
Price, 64, a retired journeyman machinist, and his wife of 47 years, the former Ruth Ann Gardner, have lived in Lanesville 39 years. He was a member of the last class to graduate at Posey Township High School, the Class of 1958.
If elected, Price said it’s not his intention to ‘shove anything down the people’s throat in Lanesville.’
He does intend to beef up Lanesville’s three-member police force and will donate his pay as a town trustee (now $1,463 annually) to the town marshals’ budget ‘so they can be out there more.’
He said some drivers, especially teens, race through the town at 70 to 80 mph. The present police force, Price said, ‘can’t get the people slowed down in town.’
He added: ‘So far, everybody I’ve talked to is for me.’
Price intends to send out a brochure the week before the election that will provide more details about his ideas for the town.
The Prices have four grown children and nine grandchildren.
Hamblen, 75, was appointed to the town board in August to fill the remaining term of Carolyn Scott, who resigned. Schneider, 57, was appointed to the board more than a year ago to replace Steve Avera, who also resigned.
Hamblen, former chair of the Harrison County Democratic Central Committee and South Franklin Precinct committeeman for 14 years, is a retired sales and service representative for a chemical company. He continues to work one week a month.
A native of Story, Hamblen moved to Harrison County 35 years ago with his wife, the former Clara Louise Baker, because it is a good place to raise a family, he said. His wife, also active in Democratic politics, died in 1999. She was Indiana’s Ninth District vice chair for 18 years. Their five children are all grown, and Hamblen has eight grandkids.
Hamblen agreed to serve on the town board because he is retired and ‘I felt I had a lot to offer the town. There are lots of issues now and in the future; it will take somebody with a lot of good common sense.
‘I thought, dang it, I could handle that. One day they will be ticked off at you, and the next day you’re a hero. You’ve got to have people who can handle the situation. ‘I feel qualified to do the job.’
Hamblen said one of the most serious issues Lanesville faces is growth, especially subdivisions, and particularly Bittersweet, a proposed development about two miles east of the red ‘Mail Pouch barn.’
‘My main concern is taking care of the Harrison County people,’ Hamblen said. ‘If the people at Bittersweet can convince me it would be good for us, I’m not against progress, but I don’t want to be part of a decision that could bankrupt us.’
The answer to that, he said, is requiring that the developer be bonded on each phase of the project. ‘Nothing has started yet, but they (Bittersweet) want to hook onto our sewers.’
The town’s sewage treatment system is not operating at full capacity, so more customers might result in a lower rate. But Hamblen said the town would be responsible for maintaining the sewer line, and he’s not sure it could handle that much sewage. ‘Right now, it’s in the speculation stage,’ he said.
He and Schneider are both proud of the sidewalk project on Crestview that was paid for with Caesars’ riverboat income. ‘It has lighting and park benches,’ Schneider said. ‘We want to take it into the next phase, which is a sidewalk on Main Street to the post office.’
Schneider, 57, a native of Harrison County, has an associate’s degree in electronics and is retired from Honeywell after 36 years. He is the full-time manager of Buffalo Trace Park at Palmyra.
Appointed to the town board more than a year ago, Schneider said, ‘When I originally took the job, my biggest goal was to try to reduce the sewer bills; we have the highest sewer bills in the county.’
To reduce those bills, though, means getting more customers into the system, Schneider said.
And that can mean annexation. ‘People think annex is a four letter word,’ Schneider said. ‘I’ve tried to show the good that comes from annexing. There are some taxes, but you get the services of street cleaning, street repair. If you live outside the town, on your taxes there’s a charge for the fire department; if you live in town, you don’t. It comes out of our budget.’
Since his appointment to the board, Schneider said he’s been ‘amazed and really overwhelmed’ at the responsibilities.
‘I did not realize how much goes on in his town, the day-to-day activities involving the street department, the water department, sewer department, police department. It’s more time-consuming than I realized.’
Calls are also prompted by barking dogs, trespassers, drainage problems, and complaints about a lack of police.
‘They say, ‘If we have a marshal, why don’t we see him?’ We try to work the marshal when he’s best needed. Typically, the reserves tend to work the morning shift, the marshal on weekends.’
He believes the current board’s ability to work together is an asset. ‘We’re in sync,’ he said.
‘Everybody on the board is local; transplants don’t seem to have the town’s best interest at heart. They want to make it a suburb of Louisville, and we don’t.’
Schneider is a 1964 graduate of Providence High School in Clarksville. He and his wife of 33 years, the former Amy Pflanz of Corydon, have four children, all grown.
Stilger, 31, is a native of Lanesville and a 1990 graduate of Lanesville Junior/Senior High School.
He is a fork-lift operator at Oxford Automotive in Corydon. He and his wife, the former Ursula Roberts of Lanesville, have two children, Jade, 2, and Blake, who will celebrate his first birthday this month.
Stilger became interested in politics after returning to Lanesville and noticing changes.
‘I decided now was the time to get my foot in the door, to have some influence,’ he said. ‘I would like to see the town preserved, but grow at a good pace.
‘Money’s an issue always. If we grow too fast, will need to increase services. Growth will bring in more money, but that’s going to be more money out of the townsfolks’ pockets, too
‘A quick fix is not going to get it with me,’ Stilger said.
He would also like to see more outlets for youth to enjoy, rather than have them ‘hanging around’ with nothing to do.
‘Youth programs are available; the YMCA in Corydon is getting started,’ he said.
Stilger’s main concern is Lanesville’s high sewer and water bill. ‘Ours is $100 a month,’ he said. ‘I’m sure there has probably got to be rates, money to reduce our debt.
‘There’s got to be an easier way to look at it,’ he said. ‘I’m not privy to all the details.’