Identify your top three (3) issues that you wish to address during your tenure in office and rank them in order of priority.
People focused - Carmel is great for business as the City's vision is to be a people-focused City. To be in line with that vision, any policy should be viewed through the prism of how it affects the people and businesses of Carmel. Council should be making decisions that positively impact the lives of Carmel’s residents and business stakeholders.
Fiscal responsibility - The money that the City collects in taxes should be invested in a responsible manner that benefits both businesses and the citizens of Carmel. Businesses and Carmel residents have symbiotic goals: a thriving Carmel economy attracts a diverse talent pool which allows business enterprises to grow, and their tax revenues then fund world class City amenities. However, it is extremely important that waste is minimized and investment is maximized to ensure lasting economic success for Carmel.
Accessibility and transparency - I believe that it is a Councilor’s responsibility to be accessible to all of the stakeholders in their City. In fact, I don’t understand how a Councilor could be effective without a dialogue with subject experts in their City so they can make an informed choice when voting on Council. When Council members make themselves available, it builds trust. I intend to be as accessible and transparent as possible. One way I plan to do this is to hold regular coffees where I will listen to residents and business owners’ views and concerns. I am also committed to responding to emails or calls within 48 hours. To effectively represent the people a Councilor needs to hear from those they represent consistently and regularly - not only at the ballot once every 4 years.
What do you believe is the role of the City Council in our community?
I believe our City Council fulfills several roles. Firstly, a Councilor’s role is to represent the best interests of their constituents as they make policy decisions for the City. Just as, in my role as Guardian ad Litem, I advocate in court for a child’s best interest, I will advocate on Council for the best interest of ALL Carmel.
A Councilor can only determine what is in the best interest of our constituents by listening to and learning from those affected by the decisions made by the City Council. To achieve this our representatives must be people focused, and accessible and transparent.
Thirdly, our Councilors are ambassadors for our City. As such, we should represent and lead Carmel with integrity, honor and ethical values. When businesses look to relocate to Carmel, they should see Councilors who value an inclusive, diverse environment where all can thrive.
What experiences and qualities do you think makes you the best candidate for this position?
I am an immigrant which gives me a different perspective to all other candidates. I have lived in 3 different countries so have a global perspective and experience of living vastly different places no other candidate has - from the UK Rust Belt equivalent, to the ancient University of Oxford, to London, to the French Alps, and now Carmel.
I am an expert communicator - not just because I speak 5 languages. My broad experience across nations, cultures and people of varying income status allows me to connect with and find common ground with most people. I see value in every resident or business owner’s experience - decisions made with the broadest of input tend to be the best decisions.
I value humility - I do not approach this election claiming to have all the answers. I cannot know all the answers - and no one can. I am undertaking a ‘listening tour’ to hear from residents, local businesses, City employees, and subject experts, to discover their concerns - and their appreciation of what we have. That broad wisdom and knowledge so many are willing to share with me will prepare me to hit the ground running when I am elected, to begin the business of representing ALL of Carmel.
How will you work with OneZone Chamber to ensure a thriving business community?
A thriving business community is, of course, vital to the health of a City. Businesses, the well paying jobs they create, and the taxes they pay are the engine that drives the City of Carmel forward, and allows investment in world class amenities for the residents. I commit to being an accessible partner to OneZone and businesses in our City. I will advocate for the business community where that is in the best interest of ALL Carmel. In that cliché, a rising tide lifts all boats - when local business prospers, the whole City prospers.
How can voters connect with you? (email, social media, etc.)
My phone number is (317) 661 1331 so voters can call or text me. My email address is email@example.com. On Facebook my page is Sara Draper for All Carmel, voters can find me on Twitter at @draperforcarmel and my instagram handle is @draperforallcarmel.