Why are you running for office?
Having served on the Hancock County Council since 2015, I have gained a great deal of experience in managing our county’s financial resources, and I want to continue that work representing the taxpayers of Council District 2.
What makes you a qualified candidate for the position?
As a current member of the council, I know our county is facing some challenges that will require strong leadership and prudent decision-making, and I bring a wealth of those attributes to the table. I have owned and managed my own successful business, my law practice, for almost 30 years here in Hancock County. During that time, I have provided legal counsel to numerous units of local government so I know how local government works. Also, I have served on several civic and not-for-profit boards, and those experiences have taught me about leadership. My professional experience coupled with my service on the county council make me the most qualified candidate seeking this office.
What are your top three goals for the position?
My first goal is to make sure that any time I vote to spend my fellow citizens’ money, I do so slowly and with an eye toward getting the best bang for the buck. I know everyone works very hard for their money and they deserve that from their government. My second goal is to continue the work we are doing to improve and maintain our local roads and bridges. There is a long-term plan in place to do so, and I want to see funding for that work continue. Thirdly, as someone who has worked in our local justice system since the 1980s, I want to make sure that any plans to renovate that system are carefully thought out and prudently implemented.
What are the most pressing issues facing Hancock County, and what can the county council do to help?
The most pressing issue facing our county is the drug problem and its impact on all of our community’s assets; our families, our homes, our workplaces, our schools, our healthcare systems, our courts and our jail. The problem is comprehensive and its effects on our community are devastating. The council is attacking this problem on multiple fronts including providing funding for bed space in treatment facilities and hiring mental health and substance abuse personnel.
Do you support construction of a new criminal justice facility? Why or why not?
The drug problem is affecting criminal justice systems everywhere. Hancock County is not alone in fighting this fight. According to state statistics, 44 out of Indiana’s 91 county jails are overcrowded. Yes, we need to expand our current facilities to meet this increased need, but as I’ve stated previously “building an entirely new jail should be a last resort as it would be exorbitantly expensive. Unless the jail study reveals an insurmountable inmate increase, funding would be better spent on expanding alternative sentencing programs.” Daily Reporter, April 23, 2016.
Identify one area where Hancock County is overspending, and identify one area where you’d like to allocate more resources.
I think our county has a good record of stewardship. I think both the board of commissioners and the county council take great care to ensure that taxpayers are protected from frivolous spending. I cannot think of an example of overspending. As for where additional resources should be allocated, I am a strong advocate for road funding, and any time we can improve our roads, I think the citizens of Hancock County are well served.
Name: Randy Sorrell
Office sought: Hancock County Council
Occupation: Attorney at Sorrell & Hamilton
Political experience: County council member since 2015
Family: Two children