Tony Teal

• Experienced, Life Long Hoosier
• Focused on Boone County's Long-Term Growth
• Public Safety & Public Education 
• Integrity in County Government

LET'S KEEP BOONE COUNTY
SAFE AND PROSPEROUS


Click here for Tony Teal's LinkedIn profile.

Below you'll find the reprint of the Lebanon Report's candidate questionnaire.

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About

COUNTY COUNCIL
Lebanon Reporter Questionnaire

Anthony (Tony) Teal

Candidate, Boone County Council, District 4


Job qualifications/experience?

I am a lifelong Hoosier, Purdue graduate, and I have a 30-year career in Information Technology.  I am a father of two, husband to Christina.

My career in technology as given me broad exposure to many economic sectors that are important to Boone County’s economy: Agriculture (ELANCO), utilities (MISO Energy), Education (IUPUI), Health Care (VA, Anthem, Eli Lilly), and public sector (Indiana’s Family & Social Services Admin., US Navy Crane Indiana base). I have served on technology review boards and user’s groups. I have owned and operated small businesses as well, so I know what it’s like to work hard and make tough financial decisions.

I grew up in southeast Hamilton County in the 1980s which was the fastest growing county in Indiana at the time. My father was on the Hamilton County Planning Commission, so I have some idea of the issues related to county leadership in times of rapid growth.

Over the years I have been a split ticket voter that supports common sense, competent, and centrist candidates. I volunteered to be poll watcher in the 2020 election on behalf of the Christina Hale campaign. I am proud a member of Boone County Democratic party and regularly attend their meetings.


What issues led you to seek this office?

The issue that I was focusing on when I decided to run was the rapid development here in Council District 4. From my back window I can see the new construction and bulldozers at Appaloosa on Michigan Road (I-421) and C.R. 300 S. This development, right adjacent to our backyard can affect our home values, traffic and privacy.

The other issue on my mind was public safety. When I was in high school, one of my friends was hit by a car while she was riding her bike near SR-37A (Allisonville) & 108th. She was only 16. Fishers did not have sidewalks at that time along Allisonville. Fishers at that time was rapidly growing, faster than its infrastructure could keep up with the growth. We can’t let anything like that happen again, here. That’s why I want to see C.R. 300 S./146th Street widened and include sidewalks just as Hamilton County has done to its segment of 146th.


What is your vision for Boone County over the next 10 years?

My vision is that over the next 10 years Boone County becomes an even more attractive place to live and work.  We have the best schools in the state and low crime, that’s what has propelled our growth and home values.  Going forward, thoughtful infrastructure investments and improvements will be made to help support continued growth as well as a high quality of life.  Such investments include upgrading key county roads with widening and biking paths and ensuring the new justice center is commensurate with a high level of public safety and rehabilitation for our growing county.  County leadership will collaborate effectively to balance the diverse and growing needs our all our residents and constituents across the county.


What is your vision for Boone County over the next 10 years?

What is the need and scope for the proposed justice center and how does that compare to the current $58 million plan?

The need is now. Our jail is over-crowded. And for several years, the problems of the big city are migrating north as Boone County’s population continues to grow.

I met with Sheriff Nielson and Sheriff Harris to discuss their needs for the Justice Center. They need additional space to house the inmates, for inmate drug treatment, medical and psychological care, and inmate job training. To paraphrase, the idea is to bring an inmate from “scared straight to productive member of society.” In my view, it’s a vision that focuses on saving and redeeming people, if possible, not just locking up and discarding a human being for one mistake made on perhaps the worst day of their life. Sheriff Nielson has been working on this plan for eight years, with support from the Commissioners.  

As for the now estimated $58 million plan, that is the purview of the Commissioners. After proper review of the spending request, County Council should either vote for it or not. If elected, I will support the Justice Center because public safety is a priority for Boone County.


What do you see as a timeline to either move forward or not with this project?

If elected, I will support the Justice Center plan.

Also, I strongly believe the Justice Center project approval will happen eventually because there is a broad consensus among Boone County’s leadership that we need to proceed.  The problem is, County Council has been treating the Justice Center like a “can” that they “kick down the road” for several years. But now we are facing inflationary economic pressure. Every month we delay, the taxpayer risks higher material and construction costs. Credible estimates are about $500,000 per month we delay the Justice Center project.

At the March County Council meeting, it was announced that Council’s Finance Subcommittee would meet privately to review the spending plan. My read of the room was that most of the Council members would have voted to proceed had a straight up or down vote been held. At the May or June County Council meeting (after the Primary election) Council is likely approve the Justice Center. To be blunt, there may be political considerations surrounding taking a vote for a $58 mil. project and who will likely be Sheriff.


How can the council improve their working relationship with the county commissioners?

We need to collaborate effectively for the good of the entire county. That said, we need to ensure we consider a range of ideas and possibilities as we face the County’s challenges. If elected, I can assure voters is to watch the commissioner meetings and to reach out to the commissioners before the council meetings to be prepared for their funding requests. But I believe I will represent a different point of view, focused on District 4 (Whitestown and Zionsville) as we deliberate what is best for Boone.


How should the county handle the population and industrial growth and its increased demand on county services?

In Boone County, we are blessed to be one of the fastest growing counties in the state, with the highest education attainment level, and the highest per capita income in the state of Indiana.

As we grow, we cannot lose focus on high quality public schools, public safety and low crime. Those are the two critical factors that support the housing real estate market. That’s why people are moving to great the neighborhoods in my Council District 4 (Whitestown and Zionsville).

I am also happy to see the newly proposed High-Tech Industrial Park project. This will help diversify the local job market while building tax base. Road infrastructure projects like the expansion of C.R. 300 S., widening and improving the road to match 146th Street in Hamilton County, are also very important so we can accommodate the growth in traffic.

As for funding the industrial growth, we’ve been creating TIF (Tax Increment Financing) districts. Tax incentives are standard practice to bring in companies. I think we should consider scaling this back, especially if the growth would happen anyway. Also, if the TIF tax revenue is limited to being spent only in the TIF district, it leaves out the broader infrastructure growth needs like the roads, bridges, and infrastructure that leads into those TIF districts.

I also appreciate the fact that when these new developments are announced, we need to allow and encourage citizens in the county whose property is impacted or have dissenting views to have a voice at Council and Commissioner meetings.

Link to original story published April by the Lebanon Reporter, which includes responses by my opponent.