Candidate for District 5

Scharf for Goshen: On the right side of the road

Scroll down to see the Scharf Platform

Get to know Adam

An active community member in many arenas, Adam Scharf has lived all around Goshen. He now resides with his wife, Anna, on South Main Street in a small residence that he built. They appreciate having family in Goshen. Adam’s mother and stepfather, Jan and Tim Stair, have served the community as a teacher and pastor, respectively. His grandma Evonna is a longtime Greencroft resident.

Adam grew up attending Goshen Community Schools and is a third-generation GC alumnus. He recently completed a graduate degree in Geographic Information Systems (a field very relevant to modern city planning and management) in Winnipeg, Canada, where his wife is originally from. In addition to operating Red Tail Farm (agriculture, field trips, and event hosting) and Rethinking Buildings (renovations and property management), the couple have just opened a new venue for meetings, events and projects, “Blank Space,” in downtown Goshen.

In the past Adam has worked on a grain farm, as a counselor at a Boys & Girls Club, and early in his working life at one of his favorite fifth-district institutions, the South Side Soda Shop, where he can still be spotted as a regular at the counter.

Adam is hopeful for the opportunity to continue in community service as the fifth district city council representative. Among other issue-based advocacy, he has served on the Goshen Plan Commission, the Traffic Commission, and the Maple City Bicycle Advisory Committee. He has recently been named to the River Race Advisory Committee, and is presently helping to organize a “Friends of the Millrace” group.

Scharf knows Goshen and the fifth district well — well enough, that is, to realize there is much he has yet to learn. As the seat of much of the city’s industry and commercial employment, the location of fine retirement and residential communities, the home to three schools and a college, many healthcare facilities, an airport, beautiful parks and waterways, and a wide variety of people from a swath of diverse backgrounds and experiences, the fifth district is a unique and exciting slice of Goshen, Indiana.

With your vote and support Adam will diligently and actively solicit resident input and maintain an “open line” to the city’s south side. With over 32,000 residents in Goshen and only seven city councilors, it is very likely that the best ideas will originate in minds other than the city councilors’. Scharf is committed to being an open ear and an active advocate for good ideas, no matter their source.

Mayor Kauffman has had a commendable administration for which he rightly deserves thanks and praise. Fine city employees who have served the city in recent years have made many strides forward for our fair community. Adam Scharf graciously recognizes this past progress, yet will agitate for ongoing improvements and innovations for not only the south side of the city, but the City of Goshen as a whole.

Scharf Campaign Platform

As the 5th District City Council representative, Adam Scharf will commit himself not only to items in the Working for Goshen platform as well as input and ideas from residents and neighbors, but also to…

Active leadership and listening

  • Be easily approachable and available to residents, businesspeople, newcomers and guests of the district (in person, by phone, and by email/Internet)
  • Be receptive and responsive to the needs and input of our fine city staff members and first responders
  • Advance new ideas and initiatives; protect what already works and discard what does not
  • Emphasize good information, sound reasoning, and in-depth open discussion
  • Take pro-active steps to de-emphasize political party affiliation at the local level; emphasize common ground and the common good of Goshen

Quality amenities and quality of life

  • Preserve and thoughtfully tend parks, green spaces, waterways; advocate for enlarging naturalized park areas to reduce mowing and maintenance costs and to increase wildlife
  • Address housing quality, habitability, vacancy, and access issues with uniform enforcement and timely follow-up using existing standards
  • Continue to improve sidewalks and targeted snow clearing; work toward linking bicycle paths into a well-marked network
  • Recognize the broad economic, aesthetic, and air quality benefits of the urban forest; continue to fund its maintenance and the diversification of tree species

A well-planned built environment

  • Advance specific, concrete projects and policies from Goshen’s 10-Year Comprehensive Plan
  • Complete in-process road projects in a timely manner; follow up with assessment and evaluation
  • Approach urban planning with more emphasis on comprehensive infrastructure design and less on segregated-use “zones”
  • Free up innovation by evaluating real neighborhood effects in urban planning rather than restricting allowed activities to pre-defined lists
  • Implement a “Complete Streets” policy because everyone has a right to use public ways

An ethic of customer service

  • Provide the compensation and culture to retain and attract excellent and friendly city employees
  • Improve accessibility to city government services, distribution of information and resources
  • Create a “Dial 311” hotline for all city questions, complaints and services
  • Make meeting agendas and minutes easily available online and by email/listserv
  • Implement an open data sharing policy for public information
  • Approach the council as a body serving the many city employees who do the daily work to provide invaluable public services and safety; be keenly responsive to employee input and requests
  • Make permitting and project approval processes more clear and user-friendly
  • Repeal outdated and unenforced city codes while improving even-handed enforcement of needed ordinances

Helpfulness, health, and a “hand up”

  • Take a “servant leader” approach; continue to build ties with and support non-profits, service organizations, and all people in our community who work to provide a helping hand to those in need
  • Face the problems of local poverty — in its many forms — in collaborative and creative ways
  • Pursue policies that promote living wages and local investment
  • Recognize the promising and important role government can play in improving public health — reducing pollution, promoting fun and healthy programs and activities, and much more
  • Explore options and ideas for a shelter to serve homeless persons in Goshen

Professionalism, respectfulness and best practices in legislative process

  • Make close or high-stakes votes “sealed ballot” so that councilors cannot see what others have voted prior to casting their own vote
  • Provide regular open forums for direct input, updates and discussion on local issues – both at the neighborhood and full-city level
  • Insist upon research and reasoning both when considering new ordinances and measuring old ones
  • Follow predecessor Everett Thomas’ lead in emphasizing decorum in public forums

Efficiency through information and automation

  • Implement technological upgrades and staff technology training throughout city departments, with an eye to long-term gains in both efficiency and effectiveness (e.g. more initiatives like smart water meters)
  • Increase Information Technology staff from current single employee; save overall staff time by automating many repetitive and/or lengthy tasks
  • Educate about and advocate for data-driven decision-making
  • Advocate for improved inter-departmental communication and coordination, including shared data and linked computer systems
  • Expand electronic billing, receipt, and correspondence options; reduce paper, printing, and mailing costs
District 5
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