Five candidates seeking to fill three seats for Village of Hammond

Five candidates are running for three trustee seats carrying four-year terms for the Village of Hammond.

Three incumbents are among the candidates seeking four-year terms. They are Payton Messmore, Marsha Burgener and Don Chenoweth.

Newcomers Jordan Pfeifer and Melanie Adcock are seeking their first term.

The candidates filled out questionnaires for the Record Herald News, and their responses follow in this article.

Polling places will be open 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day (April 6).

Jordan Pfeifer

Family: Amanda Kerns-Pfeifer (wife), Brentley Pfeifer (son)

Occupation: I&C Technician

Education (include degree, major, etc.): Instrumentation System Specality

Civic involvement: None

Office Sought: Village of Hammond Board of Trustee

If you are an incumbent, how long have you served in this position? N/A

Why are you running for office? I want to help make a positive impact on the community. I want to help bring more of the community together to help one another like small town communities I’ve heard of. Hammond is a great community with alot of good people. I want to help make it a success for my family to grow up in and eventually do the same for many years to come.

If re-elected/elected what one goal do you hope to achieve?

That the whole board of trustees and the mayor have better communication with the community. Because the traditional way of communicating is not enough with the technology that is out there.

What do you feel are the two most pressing issues facing the position you are seeking and how would you help to resolve each one?

Security Cameras around town. Help find soloutions that will fit the community needs, as well as to make the town succesful.

Better communication of whats going on with the town. Help get out the important things going on in town to the community. Look for grants and help the town with more oppurtunitys to grow to be a succesful community.

What would you bring to this elected position that would give you an advantage over your opponent(s)?

I would bring better communication to the community.

Payton J. Messmore

Payton Messmore (incumbant) did not answer the questionnaire.

Marsha Burgener

Marsha Burgener (incumbant) did not answer the questionnaire.

Don Chenoweth

Don Chenoweth (incumbant) did not answer the qeustionnaire.

Melanie Adcock

Family: My parents and brother live in Hammond and before that my Grandparents lived here as well.

Occupation: The first job I ever had was when I was 7 years old pulling weeds out of my father’s soybean field outside just outside of Hammond. Growing up on a farm gave me a solid work ethic, a strong appreciation for integrity, and a desire to run a business like my Dad. The work I do now involves professional writing of technical papers and marketing materials for the software and technology industry. My work has included serving as a Vice President of Content Marketing for software companies, and I own a small business that provides writing services.

Education: (include degree, major, etc.): My Bachelor’s degree is in Fine Arts from Kansas City Art Institute and my Master’s degree is in Visual Communication from Eastern Illinois University. In 2019 I completed an intensive business planning course at Northeastern Illinois University geared toward small businesses and startup companies and received a certificate of completion.

Civic involvement: I have helped several non-profit organizations apply for grants and have done countless hours of volunteer work to help low-income individuals with technology industry job training, education, and outreach. In general, I like helping out and making good things happen.

Office Sought: Village board member.

If you are an incumbent, how long have you served in this position? n/a

Why are you running for office? I grew up here, but for most of my adult life, I lived in Chicago and only came home to visit. In 2019, I moved back here and bought a home. It seems like the board needs a few new members, new energy, and new perspectives to help them solve some of the larger issues the village faces. There are a lot of great new people running for office in Hammond and I hope to work together with them to encourage a more positive approach to problem-solving and implementing new ideas.

If re-elected/elected what one goal do you hope to achieve? Providing help with grant applications. My writing background will ensure that the grant applications are well written and professionally edited. I hope to research new grants the village can apply for, and make sure all of the applications are filled out on time. Also, I’d like to start a grants sub-committee that focuses exclusively on grant writing. That way, over time we will build a team of several people who can all help Hammond get the grants and support it deserves.

What do you feel are the two most pressing issues facing the position you are seeking and how would you help to resolve each one?

1)Lack of trust of the board.

To resolve this issue I would advocate strongly to end many of the expenses that are wasted on excessive legal fees and work to implement better problem-solving strategies that involve listening, caring, and helping our fellow residents instead of ridiculous out-of-control spending on lawyers. It’s going to be very hard to solve the big challenges little Hammond is facing if people do not trust their elected officials. I hope to change that.

2)Lack of funds to address crime and infrastructure.

Hammond’s finances are a big sore point for many residents with looming costs of big projects and big changes, overspending in some areas such as legal fees, and not enough funds in other areas. First, I would strongly advocate for a lot more transparency in the town’s financial situation, and better budget planning. Next, I would apply for grants, and help do a series of fundraisers to help the village so we can avoid fees and taxes. I would encourage and welcome any and all people who would like to help out and get involved in civic activities to do so. Also, it is worth mentioning here that there are several new candidates applying for the board who have great ideas as well and I hope we all get in so we can work together to make changes.

What would you bring to this elected position that would give you an advantage over your opponent(s)? I’m a natural listener and problem solver, and I know how to be welcoming to people who are new to living here. My background in technology and writing will lend itself well to helping out in many areas that the town needs. Instead of quibbling on and on about problems, I like to find solutions. If someone comes to me and explains something that is going wrong, I also like to understand what makes it right and try to find creative ways to help. I like new ideas and positive people. I try to be fair and impartial to everyone and have experience from my work in business leading teams that accomplish their tasks and goals. I want to encourage people to work together to create the changes they want to see in Hammond.

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