Town race draws political newcomer



CUMBERLAND – A 13-year resident of Cumberland with three decades of experience in construction management is looking to represent residents’ interests in an elected position.

Bob Carrell is running for Cumberland Town Council District 4. While the district is in the center of town, all registered voters in Cumberland vote for all council candidates on the ballot regardless of where they live. Carrell faces incumbent Breck Terheide in the upcoming Republican primary election.

Carrell has lived in Hancock County for more than 20 years and Cumberland for over 13. He lives in Valley Brook Farms with his wife, Sharon. The couple also care for Carrell’s father, Gene, who lives with them. The Carrells have four grown children and one grandchild. They attend Living Streams Community Church in McCordsville where they serve in varying capacities.

“As I’ve gotten older I’ve really taken an interest in my community and had a lot of my neighbors encourage me to participate,” Carrell said, adding that led to him joining the Cumberland Police Commission. “I took a lot of interest in the town council and as I see a lot of development happening on the east side, I think a lot of my experience and skill sets could be used in the town of Cumberland.”

Carrell has a master’s degree in applied biblical studies from the Moody Bible Institute as well as a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering and management and an associate degree in civil engineering technology, both from Purdue University.

He also has 30 years of experience in construction management.

“I manage teams of architects, developers, engineers and clients and guide them through budgets and value engineering, and we stretch their dollars as far as we can stretch in the private world, and I think those sets of skills can help me in a town government position,” he said.

One of Carrell’s objectives is to improve public safety and work with the Cumberland Police Department to improve community policing activities. He said he has learned much about the desires of the community along those lines from meeting with residents.

“They want to see some things change in the community,” he said. “Everything from getting speed bumps put in some of the neighborhoods to protect the kids and families, to more routine patrols, license plate readers – deter common theft and people from coming into the communities.”

Starting neighborhood watch programs is also something he has heard a lot about from residents, he said.

Another of Carrell’s objectives is enforcing ordinance and code compliance to ensure neighborhoods are safe and well kept.

“We’ve all seen Cumberland grow over the years, and with that growth you see good and bad,” he said. “So we want to make sure that the property values are maintained in the neighborhoods – that’s a big concern.”

If elected, he would demand fiscal responsibility with balanced budgets and sewer and tax rates kept in check.

“We need to figure out a way to stop rate hikes, analyze our current spending, make sure we aren’t doing needless spending, and stretch our tax dollars as far as we can,” he said. “Get commercial businesses and developers to pay their fair share of infrastructure so we don’t overburden our neighbors and taxpayers.”

Also among his priorities is promoting economic development in a strategic manner that encourages the right type of commercial and retail development.

“The other big point I hear from a lot of my neighbors – they know growth is inevitable, but they definitely want the right type of growth,” Carrell said. “…They don’t want warehouses. They don’t want substandard, cheaply built housing. They don’t want gas stations.”

Residents want requirements and restrictions on commercial retailers and residential developments that mandate high quality building materials and designs, he continued.

“They want restaurants, they want places where their community and friends can gather,” he said. “But to do that you have to allow some housing density. So what does that look like? It means you may need to entertain things like mixed-use developments where you have some population density, you have some commercial businesses, restaurants, small boutique shops that people can take advantage of. Those are good things as long as they’re done right, done well.”

Carrell would demand limits on investor-owned properties, mandating rental registries, and setting minimum ownership of two years before houses can be rented to prevent investors from buying Cumberland homes and turning them into rentals.

“Nobody wants their neighborhoods to be turned into rental communities,” he said. “I’d like us to create enough red tape in Cumberland to ensure that investors don’t want to invade our little town, and they turn to somebody else’s town where it’s easy to get through the red tape. There’s a housing shortage, so we want people to have access to that, not investors.”

Monitoring Hancock County developments around Cumberland to thwart substandard projects is also important to Carrell, as are maintaining the town’s roads and streets and expanding parks and trails for recreational use.

The primary election is May 2, and early voting in Hancock County starts April 4.

2023 Municipal Primary Election (May 2)

Early vote centers

Beginning April 4

Hancock County Courthouse, Magistrate’s Court – north entrance

9 E. Main St., Greenfield (moves to courthouse annex — 111 American Legion Place, Greenfield — on Election Day)

8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays April 4-28

8 a.m. to noon Monday, May 1

Beginning April 17

Hancock County Public Library – Greenfield Branch

900 W. McKenzie Road, Greenfield

2-7 p.m. weekdays April 17-28

8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays, April 22 and 29

Mt. Vernon Community School Corporation Administration Building

1806 W. Ind. 234, Fortville

(not an Election Day location)

8 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays April 17-28

8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays, April 22 and 29

Buck Creek Township Fire Department

5809 W. Airport Blvd., Greenfield

8 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays April 17-28

2023 Municipal Primary Election Day vote centers

6 a.m. to 6 p.m. May 2

Hancock County Courthouse Annex, 111 American Legion Place, Greenfield

Buck Creek Township Fire Department, 5809 W. Airport Blvd., Greenfield

Cumberland Town Hall, 11501 E. Washington St., Cumberland

Fortville Community Center, 400 W. Church St., Fortville

Hancock County Public Library – Greenfield Branch, 900 W. McKenzie Road, Greenfield

McCordsville Town Hall, 6280 W. 800N, McCordsville