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Carlisle council race: Quality of life, business growth issues key

Incumbents Barbara Tankersley and Nicholas Lamb are seeking full four-year terms after being appointed during the past two years to fill vacancies created by the resignations of former councilmen James Lickliter and Jonathan McEldowney. They are being challenged by Debbie Kemper and Chris Stivers.

Members of Carlisle Village Council serve four-year terms and are paid $3,600 a year.

MORE: Read more on the candidates on the Journal-News Voter Guide

Kemper is making her first run for a council seat and is running because she wants to service the community.

“I’d like to help bring businesses to the community and I want to help it grow now that a new school is being built,” she said. “I only want what’s best for the community.”

The Autumn Meadows Court resident said bringing more businesses to the community will help keep taxes low as well as create jobs for the village.

Kemper, 54, said small business development and jobs are critical needs. If she is elected, she wants to work with council as a team to look at developing a splashpad or a coffee shop for people to gather as well as a safe place for youth to go after school. She also wants a safe community through helping the village police and fire departments and working with the Carlisle Board of Education.

“I value and would love to listen to the voices and ideas of citizens,” Kemper said.

Lamb, 32, who was appointed last year to fill the vacancy created by former McEldowney’s resignation, said he has learned a lot in his first year and has enjoyed serving the community as a council member.

“I think I can do a good job and I am not blind to the other candidates,” he said. “I’m enthusiastic and I would urge people to review the council minutes and meeting videos and judge for themselves.”

The Dale Avenue resident said the most pressing issue facing the village is getting business growth to match up with its residential growth.

“Carlisle was going in good direction before I got on council,” he said. “Carlisle is doing a good job and is in a better financial position than ever before. I want to see that continue.”

Lamb said the village is wisely spending its revenues to improve Carlisle and is not hoarding or spending its funds frivolously.

“Staff does an amazing job and spends money on things that make sense,” he said. “I can’t complain about anything.”

Stivers said he’s running because change is always good and said his big inspiration was the controversy about locating a Casey’s General Store where the former Pizza Hotline remains empty on Central Avenue.

“I was frustrated how it was handled because that could have brought money and business to Carlisle,” he said. “I want nothing but the best for Carlisle.”

That frustration led to him getting appointed to the village Planning Commission.

The Deep Woods Court resident said he wants to make it a priority for council to address the issue because it’s an eyesore.

Stivers, 43, said the village’s most pressing issue is to bring in new business.

“We have open land and families are moving to Carlisle but we don’t want to outgrow our new school being built,” he said.

If he’s elected, Stivers said he wants to work with the village manager and meet business people to determine what can be done and what incentives are available to bring new business to Carlisle.

Stivers, whose wife Traci serves as the Franklin Twp. administrator, applied last year for the open seat after McEldowney resigned.

Tankersley is a lifelong resident of Carlisle and is seeking her first full four-year term on council. She raised her family here and wants to see the village progress as well as keep its “small town feel.”

The Easter Drive resident said bringing in more business and more employment for people is the top pressing issue in the village now that the new K-12 school building is getting closer to completion.

“We need some things that people want and would be happy with,” she said. “Casey’s (General Store) would have been good for Carlisle, just in a different location,” she said.

Tankersley, 62, said the village is working on a number of projects, but she would like to see the police department fully staffed and and retaining its police officers on its staff.

She said the police department has become a training ground for officers who work in the village for a short time then move on to larger police departments with better pay and benefits.

“We have a safe community and we want to keep it safe so we have officers when we need them,” Tankersley said.

She said she remains dedicated to the citizens of the village.

“I want to be a part of keeping the village of Carlisle a great place to live, a place to raise children and to keep taxes affordable,” Tankersley said.

She filled the vacancy of former councilman James Lickliter who opted to resign two years ago. Tankersley also filled a previous vacancy but got ruled off the 2017 ballot due to an error on her petition.

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