Newcomer joining town council

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Ryan Rummell

FORTVILLE – Leadership for a quickly growing area in Hancock County is getting a new member.

Ryan Rummell ran unopposed this year for a Fortville Town Council District 2 seat. The Republican will succeed Robert Holland, who has served on the council since 2012 and did not seek re-election this year.

Rummell has lived in Fortville since 2018, grew up nearby in Ingalls and works as a finance manager at Stanley Chevrolet in McCordsville.

“I just love this area and I’ve thought about getting involved somehow,” he said.

When he heard Holland didn’t intend to run, he thought it would be a good opportunity to serve.

Rummell’s desire to get involved is inspired in part by his grandparents, who ran a food mart in Ingalls for years.

“I was always around them being involved in the community and I just always liked that,” he said.

He’s a newcomer to politics.

“A lot of people might think it’s a negative, but being fresh and not a politician might help a little bit I think,” he said.

Rummell said he has other applicable skills.

“I’ve got a lot of experience in being involved in groups and teams,” he said, including working as a general manager of a Family Leisure store overseeing a lot of employees.

He also calls himself a fast learner.

“I’m energetic, I’m eager to learn, I want to learn new things,” he said.

Like much of western Hancock County, Fortville is growing. It’s population went from just under 4,000 to nearly 4,800 from 2010 to 2020, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. Neighborhoods continue to develop, an apartment building is underway and another two-building complex was recently approved. Mt. Vernon Community School Corporation is adding a new school to its main campus in Fortville. Firefighting in Vernon Township has gone from two volunteer outfits to a centralized, paid, full-time operation in recent years.

“To me it seems like Fortville’s in an important stage in its life as far as a lot of people are moving here, it’s growing it seems like very rapidly, so I feel like I can help with the growing pains it’s going to experience, and I think there’s a responsible way to deal with the types of growth that we need,” Rummell said.

That growth is inevitable, he continued.

“It’s an awesome town, and you’re not going to be able to hide it,” he said. “It’s going to grow, and you’ve got to be able to go with that – without the bad growth. I would think that there’s bad growth and good growth.”

It’s also important to market the town to the right businesses, Rummell said.

“There’s a lot of goods and services that I feel like we probably still need, and getting the right businesses in here on Broadway could be really important I would think at this time,” he said.

Rummell added he’s looking forward to serving town residents on the council starting next month.

“I’m eager to represent them,” he said. “I love the people and I just want to do what’s right for the town.”