Elkhart County Township elections 2014: What to expect on the ballot

While turnout for township elections is typically low, its those officials who collectively control about $15.7 million in cash and investments in Elkhart County.

Posted on April 4, 2014 at 3:13 p.m.

ELKHART – The May primary elections will feature four competitive township board races and one township trustee race.

While township races don't typically inspire nail-biting drama like some state and county races, these hyper-local governments can oversee millions of tax dollars every year.

At the end of 2013, Elkhart County's 16 townships had a combined total of $15.7 million in cash and investments, according to government data.

Out of the county’s 16 townships, Benton, Elkhart, Harrison and Osolo townships will each have more than three names on the ballot for board seats. Harrison Township will have two contenders for its trustee position.

What’s a Township Board?

There are three board members in each township who act as the legislative body of government.

Their approval is required for items like the borrowing of money, appropriations, proposed levy of taxes, and the annual report and estimate of expenditures submitted by the trustee, including salaries and wages for township elected officials and employees, according to Indiana Code.

What do Township Trustees do?

Each township has one trustee, who acts as the executive body of government.

Among other duties, trustees are expected to prepare annual reports of expenditures; maintain financial and appropriation records; provide and maintain cemeteries, parks and community centers; and manage township property interest, according to Indiana Code.

Upcoming competitive races

All candidates listed have filed as Republican. Asterisks (*) indicate incumbents. Candidate information is provided by the Elkhart County Clerk's Office.

Township trustee race

Harrison Township

  • Mary Taylor, Goshen
  • Kerry Yaw, Goshen

Township board races

Benton Township

  • Lyle Burtsfield, Goshen*
  • Richard Carpenter, Millersburg
  • Larry Erb, Goshen*
  • Joe Hibschman, Syracuse*

Elkhart Township

  • Larry Blackport, Goshen*
  • Edith (Edie) Gray, Goshen*
  • H. Wayne Jennette, Goshen*
  • Terry T. Snyder, Goshen

Harrison Township

  • Tim L. Stutsman, Goshen
  • Kent Weatherton, Goshen
  • Tina Munoz Wenger, Goshen
  • Galen Witmer, Goshen

Osolo Township

  • Carole Foutz, Elkhart
  • Dick Griffen, Elkhart*
  • Margaret Kuehne, Elkhart
  • Vern Miller, Elkhart
  • James L. Newton, Bristol

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