Two Dems, two Republicans seek nominations for St. John Township trustee

2014-05-04T00:00:00Z Two Dems, two Republicans seek nominations for St. John Township trusteeChas Reilly chas.reilly@nwi.com, (219) 662-5324 nwitimes.com

ST. JOHN TOWNSHIP | St. John Township Trustee candidates have different perspectives, but they each have political experience.

Daniel Langmesser is challenging St. John Township Trustee Jean Shepherd for the Republican nomination.

Rob Guetzloff and Jeff Van Hecke are the Democrats seeking a spot in the general election.

Although Langmesser is seeking the trustee position, he said he believes township government in Indiana is obsolete. Other than voting on township budgets, Langmesser said township boards have "no power at all."

Langmesser isn't a stranger to seeking elected positions. He has run for various seats in dozens of elections.

"It's a lot of fun," Langmesser said of his involvement in elections.

Motivating people to vote and getting people involved in government are among his reasons for seeking elected positions, he said.

Langmesser said that's a difficult task, especially with younger residents.

Shepherd, who has been the St. John Township trustee for more than a decade, said she doesn't agree with Langmesser's perception of township government.

"Small government like this is very, very good," she said.

Shepherd said people in need turn to St. John Township for assistance.

For those who qualify for aide from the township, "I am going to help you out as much as I can," Shepherd said.

Shepherd said she works with those receiving township assistance to help them set a plan to improve their financial situations.

In addition to serving those in need, Shepherd said she will continue to ensure proper fire service is available in unincorporated St. John Township.

Guetzloff has been a Schererville town councilman for 15 years.

He said public service is rewarding, and he thinks the St. John Township trustee position would be an opportunity to serve the community in a different capacity.

"It's a perfect fit as far as I'm concerned," Guetzloff said of the trustee role.

He said the trustee's office is designed to help those in dire need, and he has experience with fundraising efforts through church and community organizations.

Guetzloff said he would expand the transportation service provided to senior citizens and enhance programs available to seniors.

He said public safety is a top priority, and he would examine the needs of emergency personnel to maximize services provided to residents.

Van Hecke, a precinct committeeman in Dyer, said he has been active in local politics for the last seven years.

Van Hecke said he enjoys helping people, and he thinks establishing strong fundraising efforts would be key to reaching more residents in need.

He said he hasn't seen much fundraising happening in the township office.

If more fundraising efforts were done, it would take the burden off tax payers, he said.

Van Hecke, a member of the men's auxiliary at the Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Dyer, said he would pursue programs assisting veterans and events to honor veterans for their service.

Establishing an updated, more transparent and informational St. John Township website is among Van Hecke's other goals to increase awareness of the needs in the community and services available.

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Primary Election: May 6, 2014
Election: Nov. 4, 2014
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