Rumor Report: You hear them, We answer them
This page is set up specifically to combat the Rumor Mill in Columbia City. If you have heard a rumor that is not listed here, please send it below and we will try to answer it as quickly as possible.
Rumor #1: Ryan has already decided to get rid of the ___Department Head(s).
Truth:I have not decided on any department heads. These positions will be decided after interviews in December with my Board of Works. I would never talk about personnel issues in public. Furthermore, I still have the general election to win.
Rumor #2: Ryan believes the ____ Department Head is an idiot.
Truth: None of the Department Heads are "idiots". It takes a great amount of knowledge and skill to do their jobs effectively. Furthermore, they are under a great amount of pressure due to the public nature of their job. I would never deride any of these individuals. Frankly, that isn't who I am.
Rumor #3: Ryan will put Mayor Fleck on his Board of Works.
Truth: Again, I have the general election to win before I even decide who will or will not be on my Board of Works. Mayor Fleck has served our City well over the last 7 1/2 years, but will not be serving on my Board of Works.
Rumor #4: Ryan is a closet Democrat.
Truth: I shouldn't have to prove my conservative credentials. However, because a continued assertion should not become fact: In college, I was Anderson University College Republicans President. I have worked for Governor Daniels office, as well as on his first and second campaigns. I worked twice on the Mike Pence campaign for congress. I also worked at OCRA under Lieutenant Governor Becky Skillman. I have always been a registered Republican and have never once voted in a Democratic primary. Finally, the five mayors from Northeast Indiana that endorsed me were all Republicans. I think that puts this one to bed.
Rumor #5: Ryan is using this position as a stepping stone.
Truth: I want to serve my hometown with the gifts I have been given by God and with the abilities that I have gained through education and experience. I have no "next step" in mind. My run for mayor is solely focused on making our community a better place to work hard, raise a family, and enjoy the small-town life.
Rumor #6: Ryan is going to sell off/privatize the City Utilities.
Truth: It would cost residents much more to sell off the utilities rather than keep them under city control. Furthermore, customer service would drop dramatically. I have NO intention of privatizing the city utilities. I have said that we need to work with the REMC to make sure that the territories are straight-forward and are being the most cost effective for both parties. Besides that potential exchanging of territories, the city utilities will stay under the control of the City. This rumor (as with the others) is false.
Rumor #7: Ryan hasn't ever had a "real job".
Truth: At age 16, I started working as a bagger at Scotts Grocery. Then I worked two jobs during the summer, trying to pay for college, at a logistics company in Fort Wayne during the daytime, then at Morsches Park at night. While attending Anderson University, I worked (as a part of my student aid) in the alumni office and the student government office. After graduating from college, I worked full time as a Governor's Fellow. Then, I moved to OCRA for the next 3 years to work full-time helping communities grow and thrive in rural Indiana. I'm not sure how you define a "real" job, but they all paid money and I had to work in order to get paid.
Rumor #8: Ryan was brought in from the outside.
Truth: I was not brought in from the outside. First, I grew up in Columbia City and have always considered CC as my home. When my wife graduated with her Masters degree, we moved back to Columbia City so I could be situated in the Northeast district for my position at OCRA. After moving back, I discovered that Mayor Fleck wasn't running again and I felt it was time to use the skills I had learned from my position, and apply them to my hometown.
Rumor #9: Ryan illegally got onto the ballot.
Truth: This is a new one for me. The claim is that I moved into town after the legal timeframe and somehow got on the ballot. Indiana Code 3-8-1-26 states: "A candidate for the office of mayor of a second or third class city must have resided in the city for at least one (1) year before the election." However, I lived within the City boundaries before the legal timeframe and legally got on the ballot. If you don't believe me, i'm sure the County Clerk will be able to tell you the truth. As with all rumors, it is false.
Rumor #10: Ryan has found his Police Chief and that person lives outside Columbia City.
Truth: I have not asked anyone to be my Police Chief. In fact, I don't have one specific person in mind for that position. For the umpteenth time, I will not choose any of my department head positions until after the November 8th election. Furthermore, I will give special consideration for individuals who live within the city limits. This doesn't mean that I will necessarily choose someone from within Columbia City, but it does mean that my preference would be for someone who lives in our community.
Rumor # 11: Ryan and Cathy were in cahoots during the primary.
Truth: The rumor basically states that my general election opponent and I were in cahoots so that she could win and would give me a job. First, I want to be mayor or I wouldn't have put so much of my time, energy and money into this campaign. Second, I had a great job at OCRA that I gave up to run for Mayor. Why would I give up that job just to beat someone in the primary. Third, let me be as clear as possible, there was not and never will be an "inside deal" between myself and any of the other candidates.
Rumor #12: Ryan is going to contract out the City Hall Maintenance.
Truth: This is not planned, nor have I ever thought about it.The first thing to understand is that the Clerk-Treasurer's office is where City Hall Maintenence falls under. The Mayor has little control over that position. Next, I think the individual in that position is doing a great job at keeping our City Hall looking great to visitors and residents alike. So basically, no, there are no plans to contract out the city hall maintenence.
Rumor #13: Ryan is expanding the Board of Works from 3 members to 5 members.
Truth: This came up at the Mayoral Forum sponsored by the Whitley Co. Patriots. I have looked at the possibility of growing the BOW and have decided it isn't something we should do at this time. Frankly, it would become another city council and that isn't needed. Furthermore, it would cost the city extra to add additional stipends (that each board member gets) to the budget. Now is not the time to be expanding our budget.
Rumor #14: Ryan's Police Chief is: (fill in the blank).
Truth: I have not named a chief, nor do I have one in mind. Again, if I am blessed to be elected Mayor, I will hold an application and interview process for candidates who are interested in the position. No matter who I meet with, talk to, am friends with, etc., I have not decided on a police chief.
Rumor #15: Ryan doesn't have the business experience to run the City.
Truth:This isn't so much a rumor as it is an opinion. If you would ask any mayor in Indiana "what are the differences between running a business and running a city?", they would ask how much time you have and to have a seat. It has been my experience in working with over 60 different communities throughout the state that while the fundamentals of strong leadership, balancing a budget, and staff development are there (as it is with business), it is very different from running a business. I have the most experience in local government, specifically working within City government and growing rural indiana's economy. My education and work background all focus on local government and how to grow our local residential base, community, and economy. I would suggest looking at my experience here and here. I would also suggest seeing what other mayors and leaders have said about me and my ability to lead, here. After seeing these, if you have any questions or issues you'd like to discuss, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rumor #16: Ryan doesn't pay property taxes.
Truth:My wife and I do rent a house here in Columbia City. The reason we rent is because we are paying off my students loans from college and we believe that you should pay off debt before going further into debt. Regarding property taxes, I can promise you those taxes are built into our rent. While I may not write a check directly, I promise you, we are paying property taxes. Furthermore, we are planning on purchasing a house after paying off a bit more of my student loans. Therefore, this rumor is false.
Rumor #17: Ryan will move out of Columbia City if he loses (or would have if he lost the primary).
Truth: This is a ridiculous rumor. The plan for our family has always been to be a part of the Columbia City community because this is the place where we want to raise our family. We want to be around family and friends to help support the growth and nuturing of our children. Whether I won or lost the primary and no matter if I win or lose the general election, the Daniel family is here to stay. Another false accusation.
Rumor #18: Ryan will only accept applications from (and give interviews to) individuals with college degrees as department heads (if elected).
Truth: This rumor isn't true. Frankly, if you have the skills for the job and you can manage the department, then you will be considered for the department head position. I will accept applications from individuals with all levels of education. Keep in mind, however, that some departments do need a higher level of education (utilities). Furthermore, if an individual has a degree in a certain field that would complement their job as department head, then of course they would be considered. Overall, however, I have no "higher-ed requirement".