FORTVILLE – A town council candidate is looking to get involved in his community once more after serving on the board several years ago.
Sean Simmons, a Republican, is running for a seat on Fortville Town Council representing District 2 north of the railroad tracks that cross town. He faces incumbent Libby Wyatt in the upcoming primary election.
Simmons was on the council for a term around the mid- to late aughts, part of which he served as president. He has also served on the Fortville Redevelopment Commission.
“I’d just really like to get involved again,” he said. “…I would like to help the town continue to grow in the right direction and work alongside the current council members and town manager and clerk-treasurer.”
He and his wife went to Mt. Vernon schools and his mother taught at Mt. Vernon High School. Simmons studied at Anderson University and has served on the Fortville Volunteer Fire Department and Vernon Township Fire Department. He works in information technology as a technology communication manager for a large law firm in downtown Indianapolis.
Becky Davis, a current Fortville Town Council member representing District 2, is not seeking re-election. Simmons said he thought he would be running for that seat. But the way the town redrew its council district lines last year put Wyatt in District 2, something Simmons was unaware of.
“When I signed up, I didn’t know that, so that was kind of a bummer,” he said. “I didn’t necessarily intend to run against her. It seems like she’s doing a really great job for the town.”
Simmons said he gained valuable experience during his first term on the council.
“I think I’m well versed coming in as far as working with the town manager,” he said.
When he was on the council last, the town did not have a planning and building director or its own plan commission or board of zoning appeals.
“A lot of that stuff was at the county when I was on, which was kind of a struggle for the town, just because a lot of stuff was kind of based on what Greenfield was doing, and it just really didn’t fit what Fortville was trying to do,” Simmons said. “So I think a lot of that since I’ve been on has been very much improved.”
Fortville’s growth, particularly on the south side of town near Mt. Vernon schools and down Fortville Pike, is one of the most significant issues the municipality faces, Simmons said. Ensuring public safety services keep up with that growth is important, he added.
“It’s always been a struggle for the police department to have enough folks with the housing, but now I feel like it’s going at a very quick pace,” Simmons said.
“I think those are draws,” he said. “…There’s a lot of good things happening.”
One matter that will be important to navigate, he continued, is a project slated to start this year on Broadway that will reconstruct a long stretch of the road and reduce it from four lanes to a lane in each direction with a center two-way turn lane.
The two Fortville Town Council District 1 seats are uncontested in the upcoming primary election. Vanessa Battaglia and incumbent Tonya Davis, both Republicans, are running. Republican incumbent Melissa Glazier is running uncontested in the primary for clerk-treasurer.
Ryan Rummell currently serves in Fortville Town Council’s other District 2 seat. The election for that position was last year. Fritz Fentz serves on the council at large; the election for that seat was also last year.