Fishers Switch: New Leadership as Fishers Transitions to a City
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The word CHANGE has several different meanings including: To go back, to make a shift, to alter, or to move forward with transformation. Last November, the community of Fishers voted for change that would indeed incorporate the definition of moving forward from that of being a town to that of becoming a city.
This change has brought together a new leadership team who will be responsible for developing a strategic plan that will lead the new city forward. It has been a documented journey with many ups and downs, but the citizens of Fishers made the final call.
The history of Fishers will once again be expanded in 2015, when Fishers residents elect their own nine-member City Council and their first Mayor who will take office in January of 2016. This is a historic time in Indiana history.
From humble beginnings …
The Town of Fishers, Indiana, formerly known as Fishers Station and originally as Fishers Switch, came into being in June of 1872 when Salathiel Fisher divided his land into town lots. In those days, it was common for new communities to spring up along railroads. Fishers was no exception, hence, the early reference to a train station or ‘switch.’
The railroad made its way through in 1851 bringing jobs and new settlers, eventually extending to Chicago in the early 1870’s when Fishers Switch was platted.
Over the years, Fishers’ population grew slowly to 388 by the 1960 census when rail shipment declined. The relocation of Indiana Highway 37 to the east side of town and the subsequent connection with I-69 insured the future growth of Fishers as a commercial and residential center.
The Town of Fishers would soon become a fast-growing suburb of Indianapolis. Fall Creek Township became the site of a consolidation of area schools. The development of Geist Reservoir in Fall Creek Township during the 1980’s also added to the area’s growth. With the continued extension of sanitary sewers eastward under I-69 and with stable interest rates, the population increased from 7,187 in 1990 to 37,835 by March of 2000; 52,390 in 2003 and to 78,651 in 2010.
This growth has set the stage for the future of Fishers as a city…
In the meantime, the Town of Fishers has a new Town Council President, John Weingardt, and a new Vice President, Pete Peterson – two very capable business leaders who bring a new vision to the development process of a new city. It could be looked at as a daunting task, but in listening to them discuss the responsibilities that are ahead of them, one feels the dynamic energy and seamless flow of business economics that will one day make Fishers one of the largest and most successful cities in Indiana.
“There are indeed many challenges ahead of our entire team, but we understand and look forward to doing what our citizens expect of us. We intend to concentrate on economic growth by adding jobs and new business development; moving forward with an exciting downtown redevelopment plan; utilizing the green space in front of Town Hall; and being open to needs of our community,” said an expressive Weingardt.
“Fishers has so much potential and room to expand in our zip codes. We have wonderful schools and land available that invites new development opportunities,” adds Peterson with a rapid-fire presentation that is contagious.
Both Weingardt and Peterson are newly elected representatives, winning their seats in November, 2011. With fellow town council rookies Rene Cox and Mike Colby, the runway leading up to the first mayoral election is sure to be full of change.
One thing is clear, the council seats are filled with individuals who are dedicated to the tasks in front of them and who were responsible for decisions that gained national attention.
To name a few would include:
- Top 100 Best Places to Live in America (#12 Ranking) – Money Magazine
- Forbes 11th Best Place to Move
- Family Circle Names Fishers one of the 10 Best Towns for Families
- Named a “Playful City USA” Community by KaBOOM!
- Named Safest City in the Nation by CQ Press in their City Crime Rankings 2011-2012: Crime in Metropolitan America reports
The Fishers Town Council typically meets at 7 p.m. on the first and third Monday evenings of the month in the Fishers Town Hall Auditorium.
We encourage you to get to know your Town Councilors listed below.
- Scott Faultless
- Stuart F. Easley
- David C. George
- Michael Colby
- Pete Peterson
- Renee Cox
- John Weingardt
For more information, go to the Fishers website at: www.fishers.in.us.