By KEVIN NEVERS
Candidate: Brian Mulholland.
Office sought: 3rd District seat, Chesterton Town Council.
Term: Four years.
Family: Father of an infant.
Occupation: Firefighter, AlliedBarton; volunteer firefighter, Porter
Brian Mulholland’s reason for seeking a seat on the Chesterton Town Council
is a simple one. “I want to make a difference,” he says.
“Chesterton’s been my home for 15 years now,” Mulholland says. “I always
wanted to get into politics. And I want to make a difference and do what I
can to make this place better. I’m raising a daughter now. She’s 9 months
and I want to make sure it’s a nice place for her to grow up in.”
Mulholland readily concedes that his political experience thus far is
limited to service as precinct committeeman in Westchester 12. But he
believes he has the character for the job. “I feel like I’m a pretty good
guy,” Mulholland says. “I make good decisions and people have counted on me
in the past. I’ve been moving up the ranks, more or less, in the fire
service, so I’m doing something right there. More guys are relying on me to
get stuff done. So I feel I’ve been taking on the next level of the
leadership role, specifically in the fire department.”
‘Why are You a
When asked why he thinks he’s a better candidate than his opponent,
incumbent Republican Nick Walding, Mulholland cites the CNN report, aired
last month, on allegations of child abuse by staff at Fairhaven Baptist
Academy. Walding is affiliated with Fairhaven.
“You’ve seen the recent reports about Fairhaven Church,” Mulholland says. “I
never was a huge fan of the church and this is kind of bringing stuff to
light. I know (Walding) is a member of the church or at least affiliated
with them. I don’t know how that affects him. I don’t know how dedicated he
is to them, if he’s supporting what they would believe and what they do. I’m
not a huge fan of that. It’s all about character. But without knowing him
personally, I can’t say 100 percent what his values are.”
What kind of difference does Mulholland specifically want to make in
“I would say development,” he responds. “It’s a prime time to jump on
development. I want to see Chesterton grow. We’re a little bit land-locked
to the north and the east and the west. But to the south we’ve got some room
to move, before somebody else, like Portage, moves in, kind of grabs that
What kind of development?
“Commercial would absolutely have to come in,” Mulholland says. “But
residential would be my prime goal.”
What kind of commercial development?
“I’m a fan of mom-and-pop stores,” Mulholland says. “Not a huge fan of the
big businesses. But any self-respecting business. I wouldn’t bring in any
adult stores. We’ve got a great Downtown, a little bit of everything,
scooter stores, flower shops. It’s got a small-town vibe but we’re still
What about big-box development?
“As a personal rule I’ve been against it,” Mulholland says. “I don’t
obviously have all the details. I know it would bring jobs, revenues to the
city, but it would be something I have to look into more. I’m not opposed to
it but I’d like to see more details.”
What exactly is the Town Council’s role in encouraging business, say, in the
“Well, for the empty stores I can’t say,” Mulholland says. “Obviously
they’re going to have the For Rents or the For Sales up. It would be our
goal to make sure (1) we attract new businesses and (2) make sure to keep
the owners here that we do have happy.”
To accomplish that goal, Mulholland suggests a close relationship between
the Town Council and the Chesterton/Duneland Chamber of Commerce as well as
the use of incentives. “I know the economy’s not the greatest,” he says.
“But maybe offer some sort of breaks for a few years to get them to come in
and keep them here.”
Ind. 49 Utility
Mulholland is fully in support of the current Town Council’s implementation
of the Ind. 49 utility corridor: the extension of sanitary sewer, stormwater,
and other utility infrastructure south of the Indiana Toll Road, with the
idea of opening development of the area.
“Obviously moving south on 49, I think it’s a fantastic idea,” Mulholland
says. “Obviously I’m down for any kind of development. I’m pro-development.
I think that’s a good idea.”
But Mulholland has mixed feelings about a fire territory: the combination of
two or more of Duneland’s fire department’s into a single taxing unit.
“I’m against it but that’s coming from the smaller Porter Fire side of it,”
Mulholland says. Chesterton Fire Chief Mike Orlich “brought up some
excellent points. It could improve response times. Overall I would say it’s
a good idea. It would be a better idea for the Town of Chesterton.”
“I’m biased,” Mulholland adds, “because I’m from Porter Fire. It would be
relatively negative for us. We would basically all be wrapped up in the fire
territory and it sounds like we would have to pick one chief and being
(it’s) Orlich in charge and his idea for the fire territory, more than
likely it would be him. I wouldn’t want to see what Porter’s done for the
last 100 years disappear.”
“I’m running off my character more than my experience because my experience
has just been precinct committeeman and running a few poll locations,”
Mulholland says. “But I’m interested, I work hard, I’d do what’s best for
the town. I live in the town, I plan on being in the town for a very long
time, so the town’s goals are also my own. People that know me think I’m a
pretty good guy. I’m running off my character and my merits.”