Caucus elects two to boards

Republicans fill vacancies at city, county levels

GREENFIELD — Jeannine Gray looked to her boss, David Stillinger, and told him she was going to be late to work Wednesday morning.

She had a county council meeting she needed to attend.

Gray and Keely Butrum were elected by a Republican caucus Tuesday night to fill vacancies on two local governing boards.

Gray was elected to fulfill the final two years of Republican John Jessup’s term as the District 1 Hancock County Council member. Butrum was elected to serve three years on the Greenfield City Council, replacing John Patton, who died last month following an illness, as the District 3 representative.

As the meeting began, Republicans held a moment of silence to remember and honor the late councilman.

Butrum, a financial adviser, told Republicans gathered she wants to serve on city council because she wants to help shape Greenfield’s growth and be part of decision-making that will impact residents now and in the future.

She said she would use her background in finances to make economic decisions for the city to weather whatever economic cycle comes next.

“I’m not here because I think city council work is a simple walk in the park,” Butrum said. “I’m not looking for an extracurricular activity.”

She faced George Plisinski Jr., telecom operations manager at NineStar Connect, for the seat. Butrum received two votes from the three precinct committeemen eligible to cast ballots to select Patton’s replacement.

Plisinski, who received one of the three votes cast, spoke about building on the legacies of past city officials who have helped shape Greenfield into the growing city it is today.

Gray ran for Jessup’s county council seat against Jackson Township trustee Bob McDaniel, who unsuccessfully ran for an at-large council seat last spring, and Sean Simmons, a former Fortville town councilman.

Before the vote, Gray told fellow Republicans she’s not afraid to make tough decisions, she’s approachable, and she loves Hancock County, she said.

“I can promise you … I’ll do an exceptional job,” she said.

McDaniel told the crowd serving on the council would be a natural progression for him after serving as a township trustee since 1999.

Simmons said he took a break from civil service to spend more time with his family but wants to get involved again.

Gray received six of the 11 votes cast; McDaniel earned four, and Simmons received one.

Butrum and Gray were sworn in to office Tuesday night by Hancock County Clerk Marcia Moore in anticipation of beginning their new roles immediately. Both the Hancock County Council and Greenfield City Council held their first meetings of the year Wednesday.

Author photo
Samm Quinn is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3275 or squinn@greenfieldreporter.com.