Clerk-treasurer running for second term

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GREENFIELD — Inspirational quotes decorate Lori Elmore’s office in Greenfield City Hall. One by George Eliot stands above the rest: “What do we live for, if not to make life less difficult for each other?”

The words from Eliot, the pen name of 19th-century English writer Mary Anne Evans, reminds Elmore of the responsibility to serve the public as Greenfield clerk-treasurer, she said. The incumbent Republican and Greenfield native plans to run for her second term in office in this year’s election.

The clerk-treasurer handles city payroll, claims, insurance forms, tax abatements, parking tickets and violations, public records requests, the city budget and addresses any daily questions, Elmore said.

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“There’s never a dull day in the office of the clerk-treasurer,” she added.

Elmore, 55, ran unopposed in both the 2015 primary and general elections. So far, she is unopposed in the May Republican primary. She is no stranger to city politics: Her mother, Patricia Elmore, served one term as mayor after winning election in 1995. Pat Elmore also previously served five terms as clerk-treasurer.

Lori Elmore worked as deputy clerk-treasurer for 18 months under Larry Breese, who served as the city’s clerk-treasurer for 20 years and who won election the same day as her mother. Elmore, who said she was a “deer in headlights” back in 2016, still occasionally calls Breese for advice.

She’s had to learn the complexities of the clerk-treasurer’s office and how to comply with state statues.

“I love the fact there are rules I have to follow,” Elmore said. “It encourages me to actually want to make sure that I’m doing the best that I possibly can to follow that. And to also teach other people what we should be doing.”

Entering her fourth year in office, Elmore said she and her staff have worked to improve communication among department heads regarding their available funds and budgets.

“I think we have a really, really good group of people who are putting the best interests of the city first, which is fantastic,” Elmore said, adding she has a great working relationship with Mayor Chuck Fewell, who’s also up for re-election this year.

If elected to a second term, Elmore said she’ll help city officials identify projects through the Stellar Communities program that can be spent from city funds. The program offers up to $15 million in state and federal grants, but Greenfield, Fortville and Hancock County have to match the money from their coffers, typically about 20 percent. Elmore said the city, county and Fortville will have to work together to determine the best quality-of-life projects that fit within the program and available funding.

Elmore said she also aims to keep her office transparent, not just for city employees but also residents.

“I remind people (in city government) all the time, if you want to know whose money you’re spending, go into a restaurant and look around — the people who live here, the people who are contributing and paying their taxes to allow us to have a job … to make the city prosper,” she said.

Elmore is a member of Greenfield Christian Church, Greenfield Kiwanis, the Upsilon chapter of Psi Iota Xi and the Hancock County Public Library Board. She also volunteers at Hancock Regional Hospital, the Kenneth Butler Memorial Soup Kitchen and the annual Lisa Muegge Feast of Plenty.

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Age: 55

Party: Republican

Occupation: Greenfield clerk-treasurer

Political experience: first elected as clerk-treasurer in 2015

Family: Single

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The deadline to file to run in the May 7 primary is Feb. 8.

Those who want to run in the municipal elections — that is, offices in the city of Greenfield and in towns in the county — can go to the Hancock County Election Office in the Hancock County Courthouse to fill out forms.

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