Longtime town council member set to retire

McCORDSVILLE — One of McCordsville’s longest-tenured serving town council members, will step away from the position at the end of the month.

Max Meise, 81, a Republican who’s retiring after serving 16 years on the council, will leave with two-and-a-half years left on his term.

During a caucus conducted Tuesday night by local members of the Republican Party, Tom Strayer, who served several terms on the McCordsville Town Council until opting not to seek re-election in 2014, was chosen to serve the remainder of Meise’s term.

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Strayer — the only candidate to file for the opening — will begin work with the council in July.

Meise, a McCordsville resident for the past 22 years, said he’ll miss his council duties, which ranged greatly throughout the years.

In his time on the board, Meise served as council president for several years and also covered a three-month stint as a part-time town manager when the community was seeking an interim leader in 2005.

“I love the town and the people; it’s been a really nice experience for me,” Meise said.

A career educator, Meise was a science teacher in Warren Township on the east side of Indianapolis for 41 years.

After retiring from teaching in 1999, Meise decided to run for an open seat on the council in 2000 — a much different era in McCordsville, he said.

According to figures from the U.S. Census Bureau, when Meise joined the council in 2000, the town’s population was hovering around 1,000 residents — a far cry from the estimated 6,000 who call the area home today.

Watching the town transition over the course of that time has been enlightening, Meise said.

He’s overseen the town’s explosive growth and all the changes that have come with it, including expanding the town’s law enforcement, public works and planning departments to keep up with increasing population.

Though Meise had every intention of enjoying a life of leisure after retiring from teaching, his interest in government and his passion for the community led him to pursue what he calls “a second career” in public service.

He’s served on several boards over the years, including the town’s parks board, plan commission and architectural review committee. He’s also a member of the Hancock County Solid Waste District board, which coordinates disposal and recycling initiatives across the county.

In retirement, Meise, a father to three and grandfather to seven, said he plans to remain an active member of St. Simon’s Catholic Church in Geist, where he sings in the choir with his wife of 61 years, Judy.

Larry Longman, president of the town council, said Meise’s presence on the council will be missed.

Over the years, Meise earned a reputation for his attentiveness on the board, Longman said.

Meise never hesitated to ask questions and moved forward when he felt passionately about a topic. He was always the first to make a motion in support or against a cause, Longman said.

“Whenever we’ll read through an ordinance or motion, we don’t have to wait long for Max to chime in,” Longman said with a laugh.

And Meise’s enthusiasm for the community is matched by Strayer’s, Longman said.

Since stepping down from his position with the town in 2014, Strayer has attended all of the council’s meetings, never missing a beat in town happenings, Longman said.

Strayer, who works as a full-time architect, said he looks forward to picking up from where he left off and building upon the work he completed in the past.

“I’m just hoping to be able to help guide the town as it continues to grow,” Strayer said.

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Daniel Morgan is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. He can be reached at (317) 477-3228 or dmorgan@greenfieldreporter.com.