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Knightstown voters deliver win to Rhodes

By TRAVIS WEIK - tweik@thecouriertimes.com

Chuck Rhodes dedicated more than 30 years to the Knightstown community through his job with the U.S. Postal Service.

The community gave a resounding “Thank You!” Tuesday when they elected Rhodes to the town council.

Rhodes, a first-time Republican candidate, earned 150 votes total, more than any of the three incumbents he was challenging for a seat.

Republican Cheryl Hammer received 123 votes and Democrat Mitch Roland received 104 votes, just two more than incumbent Republican Roger Hammer’s 102 votes.

“I am humbled,” Rhodes said, “and a little surprised.”

Rhodes is looking forward to joining the council in January and learning how small town government works.

He’s watched Knightstown grow over the past few years and is happy to get to be a part of it on the council.

“The town has in recent years begun to turn things around. I’m looking forward to seeing that continue on,” Rhodes said.

Mitch Roland was out of town when the results were announced Tuesday night. He was still wrapping his head around the results Wednesday.

This will be Roland’s third term on the Knightstown council.

Roland said he’s happy with the direction the town council moved in the last four years and hopes everything continues that way.

“We’re finally getting to where the sewer project is getting underway,” he said.

The council member is also aware that some streets need work and some sidewalks need repaired. “A little bit of everything, I guess,” he said.

Roland was a little disappointed with the number of people who participated in the election this year. According to Henry County Voter Registration, of the 1,212 registered voters in the Knightstown city limits, 183 voted Tuesday, for a turnout of 15.10 percent.

“I thought there’d be more turnout for it than that,” Roland said. “I appreciate those that did come out, and I appreciate those that voted for me.”

Roger Hammer lost his bid for re-election to the Knightstown Town Council. He said that isn’t going to slow him down from helping the community move forward.

“I’d love to have continued as a council member,” Hammer said. “I’d encourage the council to continue a lot of things we started in the last four years.”

He said now that the town’s sewer project has already begun, the council needs to keep making progress to push the drinking water project forward.

Hammer said there are a lot of projects tied to council decisions, while also pointing out there are a number of other groups helping the town, too.

To name a few, there is Knightstown Forward, Knightstown Main Street, Inc. and the Knightstown Redevelopment Commission. Hammer is a part of all these groups and plans to stay on, continuing to move Knightstown forward.

Cheryl Hammer, who had been appointed to fulfill the term of council member Kevin Knott, will start her first elected term in January. Cheryl Hammer was not available for a post-election comment for this story.

In a previous interview with The Courier-Times, Cheryl Hammer said, “I look forward to more new growth for our town while keeping it our small safe part of the world.”