In the general election on Tuesday, Nov. 2, Democrat incumbents William R.
Cantrell and Robin Chubb and Republican incumbent John Canright will defend
their seats on the Westchester Township Board against Republicans Sue Huyser
and Barbara J. Stroud. The Chesterton Tribune invited all five
candidates to respond to candidate questionnaires. The Tribune set
word limits for each question and reserved the right to edit for length.
Voters will cast ballots for three of the five candidates.
(1) Age, place of residence, occupation.
Cantrell: 68, Porter, retired.
Chubb: 49, Chesterton, manager of WaterBird Lakeside Inn and Spa.
Canright: 74, Chesterton, private practice counselor.
Huyser: Porter, utility clerk for the Town of Porter, secretary for the
Porter Stormwater Management Board.
Stroud: Chesterton, retired Chesterton High School teacher.
(2) Describe the Westchester Township Board’s responsibilities. (50
Cantrell: The board contracts with Chesterton and Porter to provide the
township with fire protection. We provide poor relief funds to aid residents
in need of assistance and emergency funds for clothing and temporary shelter
to the victims of house fires. The board also reviews and approves the
Westchester Library budget.
Chubb: To provide fire protection to the unincorporated portions of
Westchester Township; to ensure that poor relief is responsibly apportioned
to eligible individuals who truly have a need for relief; and to act in the
best interests of the voters of Westchester Township as it relates to the
Canright: The township board is the “purse string” board for Westchester
Township—conducts public hearings, approves the budget, and sets the tax
levy. It is the hearing board for the Westchester Public Library board, an
appointed board. It oversees a cumulative firefighting fund and a cumulative
capital outlay fund.
Huyser: Fire department contracts for the township, Westchester Public
Library, poor relief.
Stroud: The Westchester Township Board ensures the safety and welfare of
its citizens, that our outstanding fire departments have the necessary
equipment they need to protect the citizens of unincorporated Westchester
Township, and that the Westchester Township Trustee has adequate funding to
help citizens in the community.
(3) What are your qualifications for the office? (50 words)
Cantrell: I have been a lifetime community activist giving back to my
community by serving in several areas such as Westchester Township Board,
president of the Town of Porter Stormwater Board, Union Township School
Board, deacon at the First Christian Church, president of the Porter County
Triad, and Democrat precinct committeeman.
Chubb: It is an honor to currently represent the Westchester citizens of
Burns Harbor, Chesterton, and Porter on the Board. I hope to continue to
represent the citizens of the Westchester community.
Canright: As a licensed mental health counselor, I’m a listener by
profession, trained to listen to people’s concerns, complaints, and
requests. I served as reporter, photographer, and editor of The
Chesterton Tribune for nearly 25 years. I have served on four separate
governmental boards, including six terms on the Westchester board.
Huyser: As the past treasurer for Bailey Elementary PTA, executive
assistant for Sexton Technologies, and my current position as a municipal
employee has taught me to utilize sound, sensible, and objective review of
matters yielding high quality decision making skills. I also am familiar
with Indiana Code.
Stroud: Having served previously on the board (1990s), plus having
served on the Porter County Council (1998-2002), I feel that I am qualified
to serve on the Westchester Township Board.
(4) To Cantrell, Chubb, and Canright: Why are you seeking re-election to the
office? (50 words)
Cantrell: I want to continue providing effective services to the
citizens of Westchester Township through efficient government.
Chubb: I have been involved in the Westchester community for almost 20
years. It is and it will always be an honor to represent the voters of the
community and I hope to continue to do so.
Canright: Township government keeps local government local. It serves
people in need, who find it difficult to get to the county seat for help. I
was asked to run in 1986 because it was difficult to find candidates. I
accepted to do my part to keep township government viable.
To Huyser and Stroud: Why are you seeking election to the office? (50
Huyser: My service to the Town of Porter residents has been very
rewarding and I would like to extend that to the Westchester Township
community. I want to be actively involved in the decisions that affect the
community I live in.
Stroud: I feel that I have the time and experience to be an asset to
serve on the board at the present time.
(5) What are the key issues in the race? (100 words)
Cantrell: Since Sept. 28, 2008, when the American economy crashed and
caused loss of jobs and financial hardship for most Americans, many citizens
have been upset with all elected officials and say they want a more
responsible government. If that’s what they are looking for they need look
no farther than the present Westchester Trustee Suzanne Philbrick and board
members William Cantrell, Robin Chubb, and John Canright who have served the
public openly and honestly delivering the most bang for their buck.
Chubb: Key issues regarding this election will be the continuation to
provide fire protection to the community of Westchester and to continue to
ensure that poor relief is responsibly apportioned to those who are
eligible. Likewise to always be aware and knowledgeable of other issues that
come before the Trustee's Office and the Township Board.
Canright: The key issue is providing for the increasing needs of local
people. This need is threatened by efforts to abolish township government.
Township government is vital to maintain government by the people; thus,
avoiding local government by the government in Valparaiso and Indianapolis.
I advocate spending our local tax money on the needs of local people, rather
than salaries for administrators in Valparaiso and Indianapolis.
Huyser: I am unaware of any specific key issues. One of my many goals is
to serve the residents of the Westchester Township Community with the
closest branch of government available to them.
make sure that we continue to help our outstanding fire departments have the
necessary tools to do their jobs, and also to work with the Township Trustee
to provide the best service to the citizens in Westchester Township.