About Me

My husband, John and I married in 1967 and moved to 201 Elm Street where I still reside.  Parents of two grown children, Susan (Justin) Simmons who live in Greenwood and Stephen who lives in St. Petersburg, Florida with traditional family values – honesty, hard work, concern for and helping others!  Member and attend Greenwood First Baptist Church.  I worked 24 years at Ernst & Young LLP before retiring in 1998.  Graduate of Greenwood Police Department’s first Citizens Police Academy.  In my free time, I’m a beekeeper.   I enjoy traveling in our Model A Fords. I recently finished restoration of 1931 pickup and have a 1931 deluxe delivery sedan very near completion.  

John was first elected  in 1979 and served 29 years on the City Council.  I feel both honored and blessed to have been selected to fill the remaining three years of John’s term when he lost his battle with the cancer beast.  I am proud to be your representative for the last 10+ years. Making the needs of our area known and considered when decisions are being made are imperative.  I stand committed to continue meeting the needs of our District with effective, efficient government and common sense spending!

Co-founder of “Flags for Greenwood”

With the support and efforts of the community “Flags for Greenwood” a 501(c)(3) has collected funds to expand the initial 254 “Avenue of Flags” to over 900 American flags strutting their patriotic red, white and blue as they so gallantly wave and remind us of the heroic efforts of those who have fought for our freedom.  These American flags patriotically hang on utility poles along 24 miles of our city street.  The decision was made by John and I not to ask for city funding but to solicit funds from our community starting in 1996.  The response has been overwhelming and shows the great community PRIDE!  

Volunteer significant hours annually to assist in planning and working the annual “Miles for Myeloma” (M4M) event to raise funds for research and better treatment options for multiple myeloma cancer patients.  Drive SAG vehicle helping, identify route and securing police escorts in high traffic areas so our athletes can bicycle throughout Indiana and surrounding states.   The athletes have ridden well over 2000 miles and have raised over $5 million since inception in 2005.  Their research has helped win approval of new drugs, developed methods to alleviate debilitating symptoms and now the average patients are living little more than seven years after diagnosis.

Please do not take this out of context but I do not solicit or accept donations for my campaign.  I believe by paying for one’s own campaign you eliminate any reference that a vote in favor of something may have been a payback related to a campaign contribution.

March 29, MIBOR Realtors announced their endorsement of my candidacy for Greenwood Common Council-District 1. Their endorsement demonstrates their confidence in my commitment to both my community and the responsibility of my Council Office.
I declined their $1000 campaign contribution in light of my commitment to self funding my campaign.

MEMORIAL TO HONOR VETERANSPOW/MIA Memorial
POLICE & FIREFIGHTERS

Another great additional adjoining Surina Way at Meridian Street will be the home of a memorial honoring our veterans, police and firefighters.  A rendition is nearing completion and our committee hopes to announce it publicly on April 29th

 

 

Linda working CNC Machine
Linda working CNC Machine

My husband and I started a small manufacturing business in the late 60’s in order to supplement our income in retirement.  I continue to oversee the business today along with my son-in-law, Justin.  The business has grown significantly.  We recently acquired a used Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machine which we are hopeful will allow both of us to regain some of our time.

 

 

1931 Ford PickupIn my free time, I enjoy traveling in our Model A Fords. Recently finished restoration of a 1931 Model A Pickup and have a 1931 Model A Delivery Sedan nearing completion for its maiden voyage this summer.

I am also a Bee Keeper, in 2017 we harvested 740 lbs of honey. Because of demand for local honey all of our honey was sold by November 3rd.

 

I was honored to be chosen as a member of  the Richard Lugar Excellence in Public Service Series Class of 2014-15.  Spending 1 or 2 days monthly learning a wealth of information related to public service opportunities in my community.  I was privileged to hear many well-known and very motivated community leaders throughout the State of Indiana.  The climax of the year was a trip to Washington D.C.   While in Washington we toured the capitol and toured many historic sites and was honored to have lunch with former Senator Richard Lugar.  A very touching moment was visiting the various veterans’ memorials and viewing all the names of those that lost their lives defending our freedom.  A reminder of the emotional toll was equally apparent as we witnessed veterans looking in awe and then being struck by the sad reminder of those fellow veterans that lost their lives. 

Other accomplishments include the creation and organization of a Crime Watch Program for three neighborhoods within my council district in 1993.  I have served as a consultant to two other crime watch groups and will be helping start another group in March.  In 1997, our family went door-to-door obtaining signatures to reopen the bridge on County Line when the then two lane road was reduced to one lane of traffic for several months.    Can you remember County Line only being two lanes?

Back from 1967 through the mid 70’s when my husband and I were active in the Greenwood Jaycees we worked on several community projects.  Three of those hold wonderful memories of the major changes we were helping to achieve right here in Greenwood.  The first was selling bricks to raise money to build the current concession stand for the Little League at Craig Park...which is still in use today.

The second one, the Jaycees and wives collected “Top Value” grocery store trading stamps to purchase the very first school bus for Gateway Learning Center.  I can tell you it was a lot of stamps….TO FILL A LOT OF BOOKS!  We (6-8 of us) would sit around a Formica topped dining room table with a wet beach towel down the center and put stamps in the stamp books.   

The third one, I chaired in 1975.  It was raising money by having an All Night Skate at the BIG RED BARN.  I went into talk to Jeanette Surina about donating the use of the barn and allowing us to have an All Night Skate to raise money for a new “Operation Life” ambulance for the fire department

All Night Skate

Those of you who knew Jeanette will hear the sound of her voice saying “Doll, I’ve never had an all-night skate before but lets do it!!!  The fire department was on stand by and we had so many children they couldn’t begin to fall to the floor as there wasn’t enough room to get there!!  Children could not leave until the following morning unless their parents arrived at the door to pick them up.  We served donuts, milk and juice the next morning before bidding a farewell to our skaters.  What a night was had by all!

Two major issues that were important to keep moving forward during the 2015 election was the Old Town Façade project, long term strategy designed to encourage economic development and upgrading the standards in our building codes.  During the last 4 years we have updating/increased the requirements of exterior appearances and adopted higher standards similar to what other communities have done.  We’ve shown  we’re no longer satisfied with gas stations having metal post from the canopy to the ground.  Our city was way overdue in requiring higher standards.

As your councilwoman it is my duty to make sure the city continues setting realistic goals and priorities.  Three top priorities continue to focus on maintaining superb public safety practices/equipment, as well as supporting our police/fireman, repairing/replacing infrastructure such as sanitary sewers, storm water drainage, sidewalks and paving or rebuilding deteriorating streets.  Must have a robust public safety network, infrastructure and realistic zoning guidelines or we will lose our ability to attract great companies such as Poynter Sheet Metal, Discount Filters, Amazon and Pitney Bowes just to name a few!  

Quality of Life is a very viable 4th priority.  We must remain aggressive in attracting sound commercial growth.  We don’t need additional truck terminals.  They only cause more congestion and damage to our roads.  Our determination to focus on strong development will create a broader tax base.  Increasing our commercial foundation will broaden our tax base and help us to attain even better tax rates than our existing (nearly lowest in the state) base.  Creativity will be the force driving our ability to attract commercial development which in fact will have a major emphasis on keeping our tax rate attractive and lower than most communities.  Our ability to attract or entice the interest of owners and executives to choose our city will be a reflection of the perception of our friendliness, helpfulness, attitudes and our quality of life issues.   

It is my belief, that executives looking to expand or relocate their business are greatly influenced by “Quality of Life” issues.  Conveniences, expanded/cutting edge medical services, reputation of schools (both public and private availability), perception of traffic issues, professional services, attractive fire protection rating (ours’ just improved from four to two ….with one being the absolute best), effective police department with low incident of criminal activity are all key to luring commercial growth and development.  In addition our fabulous Freedom Spring Water Park and trails that span throughout our community are major attributes that should put us well over the top in the selection process. 

Our community presently has a fairly large variety of homes, condos, retirement communities and apartments available to career professionals, recent college graduates, empty nesters and individuals that have recently lost spouse/partners.  It’s just as imperative to have quality assisted living and nursing facilities in our community.  Adult children facing the challenge of relocating mom and/or dad want options nearby that are modern, clean, meet their care needs/expectations, satisfy the safety or medical needs and most of all a friendly environment that mom and/or dad will be happy and not resist or beg to be taken home.  These baby boomers are struggling to balance safety, overall health needs and satisfaction. 

We should place MORE EMPHASIS ON PUBLICIZING OUR TAX RATE!!  Other communities with smaller populations may have more city employees and a larger “average cost per resident” –  Our website should show charts that “detail & compare” OUR TAX RATE TO THOSE OF OTHER CITIES WITHIN THE STATE WOULD BE BENEFICIAL IN HELPING US MAKE THE CUT FOR INITIAL CONTACT.  HOW WE REACT TO AND PERFORM AFTER THAT WILL DECIDE WHETHER WE CAN RETAIN THE INTEREST/ATTENTION OF POTENTIAL OWNERS AND EXCECUTIVES.  Having incentives in place and a “team” to focus on addressing questions and concerns of potential new businesses/manufacturers SHOULD HELP US DO A BETTER JOB OF LANDING NEW GROWTH!  WE NEED TO CONVEY OUR EXCITEMENT OVER HAVING XYZ BRINGING THEIR BUSINESS TO OUR COMMUNITY AND EXPRESS HOW MOVING TO GREENWOOD CAN BENEFIT THEM! 

CREATING AND IMPLEMENTING VISIONS HELP EVERYONE AS THE GREATER THE TAX BASE THE MORE PROSPEROUS OUR COMMUNITY WILL BE.  HAVING AN ARRAY AND VAST SELECTION OF SERVICES AVAILABLE HELPS TO ELIMINATE THE NEED TO DRIVE TO OTHER COMMUNITIES TO SPEND MONEY ON SERVICES/ITEMS NEEDED OR WANTED.   

MANY PEOPLE SAY WE ARE OVER SPENDING…. BUT if that is the case then how can it be that our

Assessed Valuation Increased from $2,129,424,140 (12/31/14) to $2,493,703,197 Certified for 2019  and our Tax rate reduced from $.6609 in 2014 to $.6573 in 2019??

As city leaders we must have visions for the city yet be very conscious of both the long and short term effect.  As elected officials we must exhibit good management of money yet be innovative and think outside the norm.  It is not realistic to continue doing what has “always been done and in the same manner in which it has been done”.  It’s imperative we demonstrate our ability to have appropriate vision and insight in dealing with growth and evaluating additional amenities for our community.  As taxpayers, you expect us to be just as frugal with your money as we would be with our own personal investments!  

From 1980 till 2007 our city tax rate had only increased $0.312 during that 27 year time period.  In 2011, our tax rate was $0.7122. 

Through hard work/dedication our 2019 tax rate is $0.6573.  We must continue to maximize the best use, return and investment of taxpayer money! 

I understand you expect the city to operate a frugal, competent, effective and honest government without reducing services.  An effective councilperson must have an understanding of all city departments in order to make prudent decisions at budget time.  I have the experience to deal with the problems facing one of the fastest growing cities in our state.

I am proud of my accomplishments, I am conservative and demand honesty.  I don’t mind asking the hard questions so the right decisions can be made.  I have fought for what I believe and stand for what’s best for the people in my District.   I have demonstrated a reputation to be fair yet compassionate – but a firm problem solver.  Integrity matters even when it may not be the “politically correct” thing to do!

Our city infrastructure and services have grown significantly over the 10 years.  It’s imperative to have visions for the city yet be very frugal.  We must continue to manage and maintain our existing infrastructure yet remain responsible to our existing community.  The city budget must be managed the very same as one’s own personal budgetControlled economic development is essential in order to maintain a reasonable tax base which in essence supports our budget needs and offsets property taxes.  Sound commercial growth is economically necessary as it does not impact our student population creating need for expensive new schools.  Elected city officials have no control over the public school budgets or school tax rates.

I attend at least 85% of the following meetings:

Redevelopment Commission

Board of Aviation Commissioners

I attend at least 40% of the Plan Commission or Board of Zoning Appeals

I served on the board a portion of the time and attended most all of the Restore Old Town Greenwood meetings.  I was very much in support of the FAÇADE grant of $40,000 that was awarded to hire a firm to do renditions of what the former facades would have looked like on our buildings in the immediate downtown area.  I was also involved in the effort to obtain the $400,000 grant that was awarded to Greenwood to redo the facades along Main & Madison Avenue

I am a member of ASPIRE Johnson County.  However, due to the vast amount of time I spend either on council or other board related responsibilities, I have not been able to attend many of the meetings recently.  Aspire Johnson County is a county-wide initiative focusing on a goal of making Johnson County be a true destination to live, work and play.  The Talent Retention Team is working to attract and retain qualified people who want to live, work and play in our communities.  One of the wonderful things about Aspire is that volunteers from cities, towns and county working together to better attract families wanting to find a fantastic place to move, build their career and family. The group is working with schools to highlight the vast array of career opportunities in Johnson County.  Part of this initiative is working with 6th grade students to help them identify career goals that will provide them the salary necessary to enjoy quality of life experiences. 

It is my privilege to be your council representative.   I will continue to listen to your concerns, criticisms or suggestions….that’s why I list my phone number on my campaign literature and have my number listed in the directory.     I do listen so please call me anytime!

Your One Vote Can Make A Difference

Proven Decisions + Positive Results =EXPERIENCED LEADER

Voting is a PRIVILEGE

I HOPE YOU WILL FIND ME WORTHY OF YOUR SUPPORT.  I believe my track record, experience, reputation for fairness and responsiveness will confirm me as your BEST choice.  Please take advantage of having your say about selecting the leaders of tomorrow that will continue leading our city during the 21st century!

Proudly Paid for By The Committee to Re-Elect Linda Gibson