Zionsville Town Council welcomes new members, elects officials


The Zionsville Town Council held its first meeting of the year Jan. 2 at Town Hall.

Incumbents Brad Burk, Jason Plunkett and Craig Melton and new members Tim McElderry, Sarah Sampson, Evan Norris and Joseph Stein were all sworn onto the council. Zionsville Town Judge Samantha Spencer administered the oath of office.

The council elected this year’s officials and unanimously reelected Plunkett as president and Burk as vice president. Zionsville Mayor John Stehr also attended the meeting and gave his first mayoral update.

Stehr presented his priorities for 2024 to the council, including finances, board and committee appointments, the comprehensive plan and collaboration.

“The first priority needs to be getting our financial house in order,” Stehr said. “As mayor, I am compelled to give you a complete financial report once a year. Because of what we have experienced over the last few years, I am going to give you and our citizens a complete financial report every quarter.”

Stehr said there will be a request proposal for the comprehensive plan, which has not been updated in 20 years. He said the process for the plan could take 12 to 18 months. A committee of stakeholders, citizens, the town council members and others will be appointed to sift through proposed ideas, he said.

“I think we always need to remember we are elected to serve our town, and none of us has a lifetime appointment,” Stehr said. “I intend to try to always keep the people at the center of everything I do, and I trust that you will be doing the same.”

The council also reviewed new business at the meeting, considering ordinances and resolutions. It also unanimously approved appointments and reappointments for various boards, commissions and committees reviewed Stehr’s appointments and reappointments.

Plunkett said returning councilors who have served on boards and commissions have the right of first refusal for board and commission appointments.

“If councilors decide not to continue and they have (other interested) candidates, those candidates are considered,” Plunkett said. “Any current member who expresses interest in staying on boards and commissions (also receives consideration).”

The council also unanimously approved a resolution to adopt the 2023 Boone County Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan. According to Zionsville Fire Department Chief James VanGorder, the plan “serves as a guide for the county’s assessment of hazards, vulnerabilities and risks.”

The Federal Emergency Management Agency approved the plan, and the town council needed to adopt the plan to be eligible for FEMA funds. The plan undergoes a review process every five years.

The next town council meeting is set for 7:30 a.m. Jan. 15 at Town Hall.