Mayor-Elect Treva Hodges will take office at noon on January 1st with several new appointments and a couple of familiar faces joining her to fill key positions within her administration.
Hodges says she began working to form a transition team immediately following the November election, and has moved forward with eyes on taking over work in the Mayor’s office despite several subsequent weeks being tied up in a recount and election contest question. The Mayor-Elect left her legal team to hash through recount issues while she remained focused on the year ahead with her transition team, comprised of Charlestown locals Donna Ennis, Jim Adams, and Jim James. The committee put out a general call for applicants mid-November and received a wide variety of resumes from prospective applicants. According to a pre-determined process, all identifying information was removed from the documents and the transition team members ranked resumes based on skill and experience. Following the anonymous ranking process, the highest ranked applicants were interviewed, and the team reached a consensus based on point rank and the interview process.
As Hodges begins her tenure as Mayor of Charlestown next Wednesday, the following early appointees will join in helping to guide her incoming administration:
|City Attorney||Mickey Weber|
|Chief of Police||Tim Wolff|
|Director of City Services||Tobin Williamson|
|Communications & Multi-Media Director||Leah Farris Lowe|
|Parks & Recreation Director||Marissa Knoebel|
|Assistant to the Mayor||Jenny Works|
|Building Commissioner||Mike Hughes|
|Wastewater Director||Mike Perry|
|Director of Sanitation & Animal Control||Lee Slaughter|
|Street and Drainage Superintendent||Albert (Tubby) Purcell|
“I’ve worked with our transition team to assemble a qualified administrative team that shares the goal of moving our city forward by keeping Charlestown first. I look forward to collaborating with team members to serve the residents of our community in this time of growth,” Hodges said.
“Applicants who reached out were extremely qualified; I truly wish we had a place for many of them and it’s a sincere compliment to have had so many folks express an interest in being a part of our new administration,” she continued. “It’s hard to turn people away, and some of them were avid political supporters or people I consider friends. That was and remains tough. These are hard decisions to make, but in the end – I trusted the judgement of my transition team to help guide me through a very difficult decision-making process.”
Positions that will not be filled immediately include the Director of Economic Development, School Liaison, Director of Sports (Parks Department), and a Receptionist position in the Mayor’s Office. Hodges said she has opted at first for a lean, but highly skilled and versatile staff while she works to assess the need for other positions.
Hodges also stated that she intends to continue contracting with the Wheatley Group for Economic Development consulting. She plans to meet with other employees, contractors, and vendors in the weeks ahead to discuss current arrangements and make plans for moving forward. Much of this, she said – is contingent upon her ability to get into office and roll up her sleeves.
“We’ve been working toward this transition under the assumption that January 1st will be the start of a new administration, unfortunately for a month or better after Election Day, things were left uncertain due to recount and contest issues. It delayed things communication wise, but that’s always a part of the process that should be expected as a possibility.” Hodges said. “We’re hoping we can work with the outgoing administration in the final days to make this transition flow as smoothly as possible.”
Leah Farris Lowe, who will serve as Hodges’ incoming Communications Director, acknowledged the transition process as a potentially bumpy one given the political climate.
“This election was a dogfight for both sides, it came down to a handful of votes,” she said. “It’s a call for some change, respectfully. We all wish Mayor Hall and his outgoing staff the very best, and we hope they’ll be agreeable to a smooth transition. With a political changeover of this nature, it’s normal for any policy-driving positions – such as department heads or key administrative positions – to be named anew by an incoming administration,” Farris-Lowe continued.
“These are all political appointments, albeit in this case based on experience and education, that serve at the pleasure of the Mayor and work to implement the Mayor’s policies,” she said. “While it’s hard to see change sometimes in a community as small as ours, I think any Mayor – incoming or outgoing – would agree that it’s important to surround yourself with a qualified staff that supports your vision. Treva is certainly bringing on some experience and won’t be starting out on training wheels in any sense.”
Biographies of each appointee are available here: Appointee Profiles
Mayor-Elect Hodges invites the community to meet her staff at her local swearing-in ceremony and reception on Saturday, January 4th 2020, from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. at the Charlestown Arts and Enrichment Center located at 999 Water Street in Charlestown, IN. No RSVP is required, but a Facebook event link can be found here: Meet Mayor Hodges Event Link