Plainfield Town Council Q&A
Meet Kent McPhail
Tell us a little bit about yourself: Family, career history, etc.
“I have two kids and five grandchildren. They range in ages from 16 to 26. I’m proud of that group. My wife and I have been married 55 years. The secret is, “Yes, ma’am.” And of course, compromise.
I spent most of my career in the steel distribution business. I managed a steel service center. I started out as a machinist out of high school, moved into management in manufacturing, and then into the steel distribution center.”
What are some traditions you incorporate into family life?
“Both my wife and I are active with Plainfield Christian Church. Our faith is a big part of our lives. She’s involved with the choir, and I serve as a trustee. We also have a little convertible club we have been a part of for 10 to 12 years. We try to get together once a month to take a day trip. I have a 2007 gray Saab with a blue top. It was the last model they made. And we belong to a Euchre club.
I am also one of the Town of Plainfield’s representatives on the board of Visit of Hendricks County.”
What led you to be on the Plainfield Town Council?
“I am beginning my 22nd year. I was in the steel distribution business, and when our company was looking for a location to expand and build a new facility, we came to Plainfield and ended up building the first warehouse in Plainfield in 1995. We were treated so well by all the people in Plainfield. I have become part of the community. The town and community have really grown in those 22 years.”
How long have you been on the council and what is your role?
“I’ve been a councilman for 22 years. Our council tries to have a liaison for each and every department. I’m the liaison with the police department.”
What do you like most about being on the council?
“I just love Plainfield. It is a great place to raise a family, to live, to worship, to do business. It’s such a welcoming community. We seem to have a focus as a community as a whole on what we want Plainfield to be. We are very unified.”
What’s the most challenging part?
“I’d say the most challenging part is trying to manage roads. It’s also challenging trying to manage the balance in terms of residential, industrial and commercial areas. We have a demand for a lot of residential property but not many are willing to sell. It’s a challenge to balance that to make sure that we keep diversified balance.”
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
“Playing golf. I play with a group, and we just travel around. I enjoy golf, and I enjoy my family as well.”
What’s the best vacation you’ve ever been on?
“It’s probably a tossup between Hawaii and Alaska. Both of those areas are so different than the states. Alaska is an amazing place. We really enjoyed Denali, it’s a phenomenal place. I went white water rafting there. I played golf in Haines, Alaska. It is so much different. It’s a beauty of a landscape, it’s amazing, the lifestyle there. We loved Hawaii. It’s so beautiful.”
What do you want people to know about what’s coming up for Plainfield?
“The Downtown Redevelopment is so exciting. This year, the apartment complex is getting ready to start construction. We’re also planning to build a parking garage downtown, which will start in spring. We are working on expansions to the Town Hall and Cultural Arts Center. We are working with all non-profit groups (Hendricks Symphony, for example) to provide a place for all of them to be housed under one roof. We are now in the early planning stages with an architect on board.
I think just as important as the Downtown Redevelopment are other areas that need redeveloped, particularly along the Eastern Gateway, which is Quaker Blvd. east to Raceway. We have a great gateway program there. Contracts and construction will start after winter. That’s a high priority for us.
Another project that is long term is adding another exit off I-70 west of Plainfield.
We have dedicated, hardworking employees that have the future of the town at heart. They’re just a great group to work with. The town manager has been with us for three years. He’s built a staff around him to manage this growth. He’s doing a terrific job.”