Jane Burgess, a former long-time member of the Zionsville Community Schools Board of Trustees, has announced her candidacy for Zionsville mayor. Burgess said she is campaigning on a foundation of smart economic development, fiscal responsibility, leadership and public safety.
“When I was asked to consider running, I felt like it was an important time to really step up in order to make a difference,” Burgess said. “By running for mayor, I hope to have a positive impact on our town going forward.”
Burgess, who is vying for the Republican nomination with John Stehr, said her local knowledge makes her an excellent candidate. In addition, she said her 12 years serving on the school board and two years as its president have given her a unique perspective on the inner-workings of Zionsville’s government.
Following her career in education, Burgess said she made an effort to stay involved in the community in whatever capacities possible.
“It’s been amazing to see just how the experiences I’ve had brought me to this point,” Burgess said. “The greatest dream of mine is really bringing people together through collaboration and cooperation. I think that’s very much needed right now in our town.”
Burgess, who is seeking to unseat incumbent Democrat Emily Stryon, said she had deep concerns about the direction of the community and want to function as a part of a local government that works out differences and works in the best interests of the town.
Burgess said her first campaign platform is founded in smart economic development and job growth. She said she would accomplish the objective by expanding and diversifying the tax base, protecting property values and recruiting businesses to secure economic opportunities.
Burgess added that her time on the school board also gave her an opportunity to be actively involved in the town’s development. In 2013, when she was serving on the ZCS board she said the board approached the town with an idea to buy the 91 acres from the Dow Chemical Co., which ended up benefiting the town economically.
“Preserving our Main Street is extremely important,” Burgess said. “It’s what makes Zionsville unique and special, but it’s also important that we recognize our progress and have a vision for our town.”
Burgess said that if elected mayor, she would help facilitate the development of a master plan five to 10 years out to address the town’s needs.
“As Zionsville continues to grow, we also look at our infrastructure and make sure that our roads, parking and sewers are able to accommodate that growth,” Burgess said.
Bugess said fiscal responsibility and leadership are also priorities of her campaign. She said they are attainable by championing ethics and accountability in leadership, restoring efficient, effective, and transparent government operations and by rebuilding the public’s trust in the town’s finances and the mayor’s office.
In addition, Burgess said she will campaign for public safety by way of a five-year plan aimed at helping the police and fire departments keep pace with the town’s growth. She said the departments would receive the training and equipment they need with an increased focus on school safety.
Burgess serves on the Hussey-Mayfield Library Board and in leadership roles within Zionsville Presbyterian Church. She is also involved in the Lions Club.
“The mayor is the person that really is the future of the community,” Burgess said. “They’re someone who has an impact on so many areas of our town government. I think we have such an amazing community, and I would be so honored and excited to get to lead as its mayor.”