By Dirk Webb
Photo by Dale Pickett
Kevin Smith, Mayor
City of Anderson
PO Box 2100
Anderson, IN 46018
Like any community, Anderson had its humble beginnings. Achieving City status in 1865 with a population of almost 1,300 people, the city founders immediately set the tone for future growth and prominence by taking advantage of proximity to canals and railroads.
Later the Trenton Gas Field and the accompanying “gas boom” brought new opportunity for growth to Anderson. In 1957, Mayor Ralph Ferguson and the Anderson City Council made a bold step into the future by extending the boundaries of the City into what is now the I-69 corridor and the land that includes the Flagship Technology Park.
Always a forward looking community, Anderson is continuing to peer into the future. From a sleepy village, to a thriving town, to a bustling city, long term vision has been the key to today’s success, and today’s vision, the key to tomorrow’s.
What are the city’s goals for 2015? “To introduce comprehensive redevelopment plans for our central city and downtown area. The needs for amenities downtown are different than in other parts of the city. We want to continue to rebuild our core through a mix of logical and carefully planned steps. I have every confidence that our business community will continue to expand and thrive and that other businesses will be anxious to find a home here.”
What makes a courageous business owner? – “One who is willing to identify a need, find an answer and then deliver the solution. Someone who is able to cast long range plans for opportunity, have a presence of mind as well as ability to dream about the future.
Who do you consider the most courageous person in history and why? “Jesus Christ, realizing the obligation he was under in foreseeing his own death and still continuing his mission. Clearly this was not something he would have selected for himself.”
If you were to take that person on a tour of the city, what one thing would you want them to see? “The number of individuals who are providing direct services, and quiet compassion and aide to those less fortunate. While there are countless ministries and organizations in our city who perform these important tasks most times unnoticed, one that immediately comes to mind is Man4Man Ministries under the leadership of Bob Blume. Reminding these men that they have value and worth and can contribute to our community is something no Mayor or Council could ever do alone.”
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