Reporter Fortville-McCordsville

Some at
say rail plan
stops short
Also serving Mt. Comfort
Amounting to a hill
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the Indianapolis Metropolitan
Planning Organization sent a
representative to the latest
Fortville-McCordsville Chamber
of Commerce meeting, the proposed Indy Connect light and
commuter rail project might not
travel so far eastward.
“It’s even apparent on the logo
that it seems to stop short,” said
McCordsville Town Council
President Tom Strayer, noting
the emblem for the project —
which appears to represent
Indianapolis and four doughnut
counties — has lines outlining
the transportation project, with
the shortest segment stretching
to the east.
Before opening the floor for
Regional Planner Stephanie
Belch detailed the initial draft of
the Indy Connect map during her
presentation to the Chamber
Wednesday, March 24, at
McCordsville United Methodist
The highlight of the draft is a
commuter rail that stretches
from 116th Street in Fishers
southward all the way down to
Main Street in Greenwood, stopping at Union Station downtown
at its midway point, in addition
to various other points of interest along the way. It also includes
a light rail line that travels along
U.S 40 from Hendricks County to
the eastern border of Marion
County near Cumberland.
The blueprint also includes
numerous new bus routes, with
only one route traveling along
Company faces complaints over mulch piles,
says it’s waiting on state Page 15
April 1, 2010
How to get there from here
Each District 2 hopeful says he can help break council gridlock
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iday. Scrogham. If you don’t
recognize the names, you
don’t know Fortville.
Although the race for the at-large
Fortville Town Council spot features a few relatively new faces, the
duel for the District 2 seat pits
incumbent Phil Scrogham, who has
held his post since 1996, against Bill
Hiday, son of former town councilman and current Mt. Vernon School
Board member Bob Hiday. Both
men are running as Republicans.
Other than ideological differences, the most striking distinction
between the two involves the age
gap; Scrogham is nearing 65 and
Bill Hiday recently turned 30. In the
May 4 primary, voters young and
old will make an important call
regarding Fortville’s future.
College. He started his own business in 2006 called Hiday Custom
Builders, which operates out of
Fortville, following in the footsteps
of his father Bob, who runs Fortville
Poultry and Egg.
Bill Hiday has been married to
his wife, Shelly, since August 2007.
His only political experience thus
far involves stints on his church
council and various leadership
Scrogham boards in college.
Why did you run for office?
It’s no secret that things are broThe
Reporter sat down with both men ken here in town. Anybody can sit
in the race. Here are brief biogra- and complain about something, and
phies of the candidates, followed by I get that they might not have a lot
of time, but if you want something
their answers to our questions.
fixed, you have to do it yourself. I
thought it was time to put my
Bill Hiday marks the sixth gener- money were my mouth was. If I
ation of his family to live in don’t go try to fix it, then I’m part of
Fortville. He is a graduate of Mt. the problem.
Vernon High School and Franklin
It’s a shame that I’ve got to run
Church’s new
site has been
long time
Page 10
against a guy like Phil Scrogham.
I’ve known him forever. I’ve known
all of those folks on the council for
a long time. I don’t have a thing
with anyone on the council. We
need to get things fixed, and they
can’t get it done for whatever reason.
I don’t have a personal beef with
anyone up there. But it’s just not
working. If you have five guys on
the court and you can’t score a
bucket, you need to start subbing.
Right now, we’re stuck. We’re
spinning our wheels. I’m telling
you right now, they’d vote 3-2 on
whether the sky is blue. There’s got
to be some give and take. There’s
some negotiation in everything.
How would you try to fix the
One of the big things is just
Obituaries .............................2
Tribute ..................................3
Opinion ..............................4-5
Calendar ...............................6
Church .............................7-10
Schools ..........................11-12
Classified .......................18-19
Page 20 Thursday, April 1, 2010
Continued From Page 1
Obviously, the folks on the council can’t get along with each other
right now for whatever reason, be
it personal vendettas or whatever.
It is what it is. The fact of the matter is that the town’s suffering
and we can’t get anything done
because of it.
I own my own business. You can’t
act unprofessionally and expect to
get results. At least I won’t, and I
can’t. I’m not for micromanagement
of the police department. (Town
Marshal) Ben Kiphart runs the police
department, and I don’t want him
over my shoulder trying to tell me
how to run my construction business. And I’m not going to tell him
how to run his police department.
What else would you do differently?
In a town this size, as long as the
police department shows up when
you call them, and the trash gets
picked up when you say it’s going to
get picked up, and you’ve got water
when you turn on the faucet and you
don’t charge them an arm and a leg
for it, people are going to stay pretty
happy. We can’t continue to raise
water rates. You maybe have to start
cutting their costs.
I’ve never seen a government agency run at 100 percent efficiency. It’s
almost an oxymoron. I don’t know
where the cuts are going to come
from, but there’s fat to be trimmed. I
can guarantee it.
Last year, that council voted themselves and town employees a raise.
Are you kidding me? I don’t care if it
was $5. How many people in this
town were laid off last year? I’m not
going to sugarcoat it — it was arrogant. They justified it by saying that
our pay scale is lower than comparable towns around us. But if my neighbor had a Corvette sitting out in the
driveway, and he lives in the same
sized house and we have the same
job, does that mean I should go buy a
Corvette? That’s silly.
What is your vision for
Fortville’s future?
Fortville needs a little bit of a facelift, but we have to be able to pay for
it. We’ve got to be able to run leaner
and meaner. I think this town has a
heck of a lot of potential.
Every place around us is getting
growth. I don’t want to be Fishers. I
think we’ve got a great small town.
At the same time, we’re less than a
10-minute drive to two major interstates and we’ve got Four Star
schools: Why aren’t we getting good
growth? We’ve been given all the
tools to do this, and for some reason,
we fight amongst ourselves.
What have you learned from
your father’s involvement in
town government?
Dad’s got an opinion about everything. My dad is a good example of
most of the people in this town. Most
people either have a real strong opinion, or they don’t care. And I’d almost
rather take a bull-headed stubborn
person who will stand up for their
beliefs rather than someone who’s
I don’t want people to think that if
they’re electing me, they’re electing
my dad. He and I agree on a lot of
things, but not everything. Not at
Dad also said, “If you’re going to
run and get on this thing, you better
make sure your skin’s thick.” He
said at the same time, “If you take
your stand and get things done, it
may ruffle feathers.”
You don’t run for public office to
make friends. You don’t get into business to do it, either. I’ve had to fire
some of my best friends, and it stinks
bad. But when the rubber meets the
road, you’ve got to have results. It’s a
personality type. It’s not for the faint
of heart.
Phil Scrogham has served consecutive terms on the Fortville Town
Council since coming on board in
1996. After growing up in Henry
County, Scrogham moved to Fortville
in 1971, where he ended up raising
five daughters. Scrogham has been
married to his wife, Gwen, an administrative assistant for the Mt. Vernon
Community School Corp., for 33
Scrogham was a member of the
Indianapolis Police Department for
31 years before retiring from the
force in 2000. Since then, Scrogham
said his time has been divided
between his town council commitment and his 13 grandchildren.
Why do you seek re-election?
I thought a lot about it, and a lot of
plans that are going on now, we
started years ago. A lot of people
don’t realize that it takes years to get
projects done. I’d like to see some of
them finished out, but we can’t do
them until the road project’s done. I’d
like to see some of this stuff get
I worry about cutting some people.
I think our town employees are worth
more than their share. We take care
of them, and they take care of us. I
want to protect them. I hope that
some of the new people that do get on
realize that.
What projects are most important to you?
I want to make sure the road gets
done. I want to make sure Main
Street gets done. I want to see them
redo the buildings down there and
help the business owners get grants.
A lot of them are in fairly bad shape
and need a lot of upgrade. I’d like to
see the elevator gone, too. We’ve been
working on that forever, but there
are so many regulations and hoops
you’ve got to jump through.
Do you think most people understand how difficult the job is?
They have no idea. I didn’t either
when I went on. You can’t gripe
unless you go out and try to do some-
thing. You can tell people how it
works, but they don’t believe you.
What you think might take a couple
months to a year might take four
years. It drives you crazy.
You served on the town council
with Bob Hiday. What’s it like
going up against his son?
Bob is down on everything, which
is good in a way. He makes you think
about stuff. The difference between
him and (current councilmen) Ron
(Stafford) and Jeff (Ratliff) is that if
he believes in something, he’s going
to tell you. They flatly vote no without explaining it. That just aggravates all of us.
It is weird when you start coming
up against the kids of people you
worked with. I think Bill would be
good if he listens to the town manager and doesn’t take for granted what’s
said on the street. But I worry about
him taking his father’s side sometimes and wanting to cut, cut, cut.
What has gone wrong with the
current council?
This year has been unusual. There
are people on the council who have
an agenda, and they’ve attacked the
police department since they’ve been
on there. That bothers me.
If they explained their point, maybe
I’d see it. But they don’t talk to me.
We don’t discuss stuff anymore. You
can’t get an answer out of them. I’m
here for the town, and I always have
been. It worries me the next election
if they get a swing vote in there. You
can’t come on the council with an
Is this something that can be
fixed with most of the same elected officials still in place?
I think so. We’re getting there. It’s
just that now we have the lawsuit
hanging over us. It depends a lot on
Why should people vote for you
I think I’d still be good at it. I think
this would be my last term if I get reelected. We’ve got some young people
starting to come up. I’d like them all
to stay involved. That’s what we need
to pass on. We need people to volunteer their time, but it’s hard to do.
Do you think your career as a
policeman helped prepare you for
your time on the council?
I think so. You deal with a lot of
people. And you realize a lot of the
problems out there are ones that you
can’t fix. One thing about a policeman is that they’re not afraid to
make a decision. I think that makes a
difference. Whether people like it or
not, you’re going to make the decision. You’re always a bad guy.
As a councilman, have you benefited from the free time that
retirement affords you?
I don’t get out and talk to a lot of
people. That’s not who I am. But I’m
always here if they want to talk. I get
out and I look around, and I listen to
people. I put a lot of work and study
into the town.
Whenever your tenure as a
councilman comes to an end, how
Fortville-McCordsville Reporter - Indiana
will you look back on it?
It was interesting. I think I’ve
helped accomplish a lot. I used to go
to a lot of the schools, and that’s
where I got the idea for the economic
development and the industrial park
and the TIF program. That’s how we
got the Main Street idea.
These last couple years, we’ve still
accomplished a few things, but we’ve
kind of slowed down. It has a lot to do
with the economy, too. But we’ve still
got stuff we can do, and that’s what
we need to get back to doing.
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