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Your Voice, Your Vote: Dan Boecher (R)

Tuesday, voters will head to the polls for the primary election. In Elkhart, there are several key races including that for mayor.

As part of our Your Voice, Your Vote coverage, we reached out to the candidates. Each was asked three questions. Read the questions and their responses below.

These responses are from Dan Boecher, the Republican candidate for Elkhart Mayor.

What's the single biggest issue plaguing the city of Elkhart, right now?

For many years Elkhart has been viewed as a fantastic place to start a business and grow a business.  We have focused on providing access to transportation and infrastructure through the myriad industrial parks throughout our city.  Our challenge is to maintain our business friendly environment while now focusing on maintain and growing our population base.  From 2000 to 2013, the City of Elkhart lost population while other municipalities in our county gained population.   Evidence of this population loss is in the challenged condition of many of our neighborhoods, increased percentage of renters vs. homeowners, and huge number of abandoned homes.  Our campaign has the goal of creating a new Elkhart that is recognized as the best place in the region to live and raise a family.  

Detail one new initiative you'd implement while in office.

We would focus on improving the quality of the neighborhoods that line the main traffic arteries into the city.  Streets like Franklin, South Main, Benham and Middlebury Streets will have our full attention.  We will seek to improve infrastructure, remove blighted properties and create programs to incent new investment in these areas.  Visitors and residents alike formulate their opinion of the quality of our city as they are driving into it along these gateways.  These areas need to reflect the same community pride we all have in our city.   

The city slowly recovered after the economic devastation that began in 2008. What lessons have been learned since then?

We need to get serious about improving our quality of life in this city.  Everyone understands we need to diversify our employment base but first we need to work on being a place where people aspire to live.  One of the main determining factors for businesses looking to relocate is quality of life and availability of workforce.  A focus on making Elkhart a more vibrant, dynamic place will increase the quality of life for existing residents as well as make it more likely that we'll attract employers to help us weather the next economic downturn.  
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