I love Fishers and it has been an honor to serve you on Fishers City Council for almost four years now. Thank you for your partnership, Fishers neighbors!
I listen and advocate for you, fight for transparency, and try to create a city that we can all be proud of. Even when it gets thorny, I am the checks and balances that ensure that Fishers citizens are always served well. Since I am outnumbered on City Council, I don’t always get my way. But you can always count on me to speak up and shine a light upon the ways that our Fishers city government can be serving you better.
Fishers residents and I have accomplished big things together over the past four years:
✅ I have been your watchdog on the completion of State Road 37 Project. A brief summary: This project began in 2018 and was to be completed in 2023. It is $45 million+ over budget so far and the 141st St Roundabout is now estimated to be completed as promised by early 2025. This is the issue that I hear the most citizen complaints about. To be of service to you, I required regular status reports from City Engineering Department for the first time, shared these updates with public, and demanded the accountability residents demanded when no one else did. At August 2023 City Council meeting, I was the one who made a request to Mayor Fadness about completing SR 37 (at 1:03:45 mark). In reply to my question, Mayor Fadness stated on record, “I have a firm commitment that we are going to build this thing (141st St Roundabout) this coming year (2024.)” I’ll stay vocal and vigilant to ensure this project is complete, as promised, for you.
✅ I opposed the new Food & Beverage Tax imposed on Fishers residents last year because it was irresponsible. Since you deserve responsible taxation, I demanded a sunset clause to prevent you from being taxed indefinitely. I also fought for a guarantee that this tax revenue could not be diverted on a Mayor’s whim. The GOP city council majority rejected my commonsense recommendations and they rubber-stamped the Food & Beverage Tax without these safeguards. Now, I work to be sure this revenue and the new Event Center that it funds is transparent and beneficial to our community. You pay taxes. Your city should use them as wisely as possible and be transparent and accountable to you.
✅ I informed and advocated for Fishers residents whose neighborhoods were targeted to be site of an unsightly 5G cell tower. Starting in 2020, Verizon submitted hundreds of permits that allowed construction of towers for 5G cellular service. These permits were authorized by the City’s Board of Public Works (the Mayor his two appointees) and required neighbors and/or HOA leaders to negotiate directly with Verizon. Many tower locations were very disruptive and an eyesore to the neighborhoods. I assisted with the creation and updates of a 5G Facebook Group that informed neighborhoods on good action steps. I served as the city councilor who held demanded 5G accountability from the city for you.
✅ You know that Fishers has an affordable housing problem. The cost of housing and the large types of homes we have make it very difficult for a recent graduate, a young family, a single mom, a preschool teacher, a new police officer, a person with disabilities, an entrepreneur, or a retiree to find a place to live in Fishers. We don’t have enough housing options and what we do have is too expensive. I was the one who pressed for the housing consultant’s recommendations to be codified into the Fishers 2040 Comprehensive Plan. This documentation ensures accountability and requires City to make affordable housing a priority. I attend the HAND Suburban Housing Conference annually. I also worked to approve and engage the community to support HAND, Inc’s first affordable housing development in Fishers. It was a squeaker, a 5-4 city council vote to approve this new housing options for our community!
✅ You expect Fishers city government and city growth to be on the up and up. In Mayor Fadness’ 2022 year-end political donor report, more than half of the listed individual and corporate donors were affiliated with companies who do business with the City. I do not accept campaign contributions from developers and those who do business with the city. They’ve never offered me any! That’s because I hold developers and Mayor Fadness accountable. I scrutinize developer and city projects, city spending, city incentives, and infrastructure capacity for every project. I am committed to oversight, accountability and disciplined growth for you. I’ve never been a rubber-stamp for the Mayor but many projects have earned my hearty approval.
✅ We have all recently experienced how political appointments to local government boards and commissions can harm our lives and community. Our Fishers city government has an awful track record of appointments to city board and commissions. These appointments have no term limit, lack consideration of diversity, and are wholly political with GOP majority’s lack of transparency. I have spotlighted this disservice and made several recommendations for improvements. When the GOP majority tried to make the appointments even more covert, I fought for transparency. We still have work to do to make these appointments to boards and commissions in your best interest, not the GOP’s.
There is some forward progress. After two years of fighting for transparency and inclusion, Democrats finally received a seat on the city council’s standing committees. I am the first Democrat to serve on the Fishers City Council’s Finance Committee, providing oversight and demanding fiscal responsibility.
✅ On your behalf, I speak out against extremism in our community and I speak out against actions that harm our community. Fishers is for Everyone and I use my voice to amplify yours. As an at-large member of Fishers City Council, I am not limited to a city councilor’s purview. If something is affecting you in Fishers, it affects me and I get to work.
- I spoke in favor of HSE School Board accepting the $5.7 Million mental health grant for students.
- I opposed Hamilton East Public Library Board’s extreme teen book policy. I oppose the irresponsible spending. Up to $300,000 from taxpayers was wasted to review each teen book for “inappropriate content” like mild sexual situations, profanity and violence and relocating over 1300 books to the adult section, where the actual adult content is. Relocated books like Judy Blume’s Forever have been on the Young Adult shelf for decades. The Fault in our Stars by John Green is not inappropriate for teens. This extreme policy isn’t about community service or protecting children. Two HEPL board members, Micah Beckwith and Tiffanie Ditlevson, are GOP candidates currently running for office and require conservative voters’ support. This is selfish political ambition, plain and simple.
- I denounced our local Moms For Liberty chapter and their broadcast of a Hitler.
- I defend HSE Schools at the Statehouse and fully support the referendum renewal.
- I opposed the outrageously high $50 parking fee for visitors at the new public park in Fishers.
Fishers, I am always ready to listen to you, find answers to your questions, and even take your criticism. Whether you vote for me or not, I serve all in our community*.
I reply to emails (email@example.com) and have given my personal phone number to thousands of Fishers residents, welcoming calls and texts (317-250-7493). I have Coffee Time With Jocelyn on Saturday mornings at a local coffee shop and I invite you to meet me there to chat.
Thank you for giving me the greatest honor I could ever have, serving you as a Fishers City Council, at-large member.
Now, let’s work together to make Fishers a city we can all be proud of.
VOTE on or before Tuesday, November 7!
Learn More about Jocelyn Vare’s record.