Ever since 1996, Carmel has had the same person serving as clerk-treasurer: Diana Cordray. During that time, she was never opposed in any elections but this year she finally had a challenger in Christine Pauley, a senior contract negotiator at Raytheon. Pauley won with 53.97 percent of the vote to earn her first elected office. Now, Cordray looks back on her 20 years in office.
What are you most proud of during your time in office?
Well, going 20 years without an opponent in an election is certainly an achievement. It’s funny to look back on how much things have changed. We had about 200 city employees and now we have around 600. Things have grown so much. The city has changed. We’ve done a great job keeping up with the times and using technology to make things easier. We used to get calls every day from people asking about a form or a document and now people can log into Lazer Fische and easily find. I instituted that system and it’s such an easy way for people to find anything they need online and it’s really improved government transparency.
Is there anything you wish would be different as you leave office?
Well, you might know that the mayor (Jim Brainard) plans on changing Carmel to a second class city and I expect that to happen in January. That means the new clerk-treasurer would get to finish out her term and then after that it won’t be an elected position anymore. There will be an elected clerk and an appointed city controller to handle financial matters. But I really think the clerk and the treasurer part are so interconnected. And I really believe that it’s important to keep things separate and have it as an elected position.
What are your next plans?
Well, 20 years is a long time and I don’t have any regrets. And I love Carmel, but I was getting out in the cold weather the other day and I thought, ‘What am I still doing here?’ So it’s likely that I might be moving to North Carolina in the spring because my daughter lives there. I know it will be a whole new staff here in the clerk-treasurer’s office. Everyone will be either retiring or doing something else, so things will be very different.