Utility, township official running for mayor

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Guy Titus

This story has been updated to correct the name of a Democratic Greenfield mayoral candidate. 

GREENFIELD – A longtime utility employee and township official is running for the city’s executive post.

Guy Titus is one of three Republicans vying for the Greenfield mayor’s office in the primary election. He faces City Councilman Kerry Grass and Street Commissioner Tyler Rankins. Mayor Chuck Fewell, also a Republican, is not seeking re-election. Nate Anderson has filed as a Democrat and is uncontested.

Titus has worked for Greenfield Power and Light going on 44 years and is currently its business services coordinator. He was recently re-elected to his fourth term on the Center Township Advisory Board and also serves on the board of directors for the Hancock Health Foundation. He has lived in Greenfield his whole life and raised his family in the city.

Titus started at Power and Light as a lineman reading meters and climbing poles. He is a member of St. Michael’s Church and coached youth sports in the community over the years as well.

“I’ve always been involved in the community, and I just love our town and I want to make a difference,” he said.

Titus seeks Greenfield government’s top spot at a time of growth for the city. When he started his job in 1979, Power and Light was responsible for about 3,600 electrical meters. Now, there are over 13,000.

“That’s how much it’s grown in my time at the power company,” he said. “A lot of growth. Some of it I’m not so crazy about, some of it’s OK.

“I kind of look at Greenfield like two separate entities almost,” he continued, noting the new developments between McKenzie Road and I-70 on the city’s north side. “Which is great for the community – we all need it – but I still want to focus on downtown Greenfield.”

He pointed to downtown’s architecture and old homes.

“I want to keep enhancing that, keep the downtown vibrant,” he said, adding its walk-ability and restaurants are draws.

Titus is concerned with a growing trend of build-to-rent single-family housing developments.

“What’s that going to bring to our community?” he said. “I want people to buy homes and stay here.”

Helping infrastructure as well as police and fire protection keep up with the growth is another priority.

“I want people to come here and spend their money – a nice place to live, and shop and eat,” he said. “Obviously I don’t want to be Fishers or Carmel; we’re never going to get there, but I want to get quality stuff here. I want to have good amenities for the people that want to stay.”

In his role at Power and Light, Titus is in charge of assets, work orders, purchasing, work management, tree crews and contractors.

He often works with various city departments as well.

“That, I think, is an advantage for me, because I’m not a professional politician,” he said. “I’m just a blue collar working guy. I’ve worked with these guys, I’ve worked with the water department, sewer department, parks department – we’re always helping them and assisting them, so I know what goes on, I know their people, I know how to coordinate projects because if they’re putting water and sewer in, we’re putting power in, so I know all the city workings.”

If elected, he would not micromanage, he said.

“I’m not going to run each department,” he said. “I want to have good people in each department running them, but they’ve got to have a good coordinator, you’ve got to have a good quarterback.”

Center Township includes Greenfield and its surrounding unincorporated area. Titus was part of the township’s advisory board that created the Greenfield Fire Territory, which he said more fairly distributed the taxpayer cost to those benefiting from fire protection.

He also pointed to the township’s use of service contracts that allocate funding to nonprofit organizations like the Hope House, Kenneth Butler Memorial Soup Kitchen and Senior Services. Titus noted that the township’s main responsibilities are fire protection, poor relief and cemeteries, but that it’s been able to avoid a maximum tax levy and still remain frugal enough to help the nonprofits.

“We feel like it’s the people’s money, and you need to give it back to them,” he said.

The primary election is May 2.