If you missed the recent announcement of plans by the River Heritage Conservancy, I encourage you to take a look at what is planned. As a member of the Clarksville Town Council and Clarksville’s Redevelopment Commission, I am honored to have worked with the Conservancy in helping to facilitate its development plans. This is a huge asset for our entire region!
It is official. I filed my paperwork today seeking re-election to the Clarksville Town Council Second District seat. I look forward to the campaign and to having the opportunity to continue discussions I have had with many of you over the years I have worked as a servant leader.
You have pointed out problems and possibilities and I greatly appreciate the input. Clarksville benefits the most when there is a positive dialogue between town officials and residents. Thanks for your input and I look forward to working with you in the future to make Clarksville a great place in which to live, work and play.
I am proud of the strides we have made since I have served on the Council. I promised to clean up and revitalize Eastern Boulevard, and much has been accomplished there. Later this year you will learn of some exciting developments along the corridor that was once known as Clarksville’s “Miracle Mile.” I think you will be as excited as I am to watch our town grow and prosper.
I am announcing that I will seek re-election to the Clarksville Town Council this year representing the town’s second district which is the area east of Eastern Boulevard from the town boundary on the south to just north of the Kroger complex and west of Blackiston Mill Road. I have started some ambitious projects and want to see them through.
My goal on the Council has been to improve the quality of life in Clarksville, create new jobs and keep taxes as low as possible. I looked at the Eastern Boulevard corridor back in 2011 and saw an area of our town that was sliding backwards. I decided it would be my primary goal. But at the same time, I have worked to improve conditions throughout the entire town. You may represent a specific district, but your responsibility is to the whole town.
Serving on the Town Council requires the ability to work across party lines in order to achieve goals that will benefit the entire community. I am proud to have placed party lines aside and worked with my fellow council members to benefit town residents. Party lines mean very little at the town level. What is important is being able to work with others to attain consensus and get the job done. If anything, I might be a little more conservative that the Republicans on the council.
One of only two Democrats on the Council, I served most of 2018 with the late at-large councilman David Fisher and has served with Fisher’s replacement, named by a caucus of Democratic precinct committeepersons, since that time. Jamie Hunt was selected as Fisher’s replacement in August of this year.
I have worked with the Clarksville Community School Corporation to help create the Renaissance Academy in the development that replaced the former Value City retail store complex. Creation of Gateway Park is one of the things of which I am most proud. That development has given Clarksville a meeting place for major events. I started promoting such a project during my tenure with Clarksville Rotary and am proud to see that the town has carried forward with the project. I also started and have coordinated the town’s Independence Day Concert which held its fourth concert in 2018 to a crowd of more than 400 at the Clarksville High School Auditorium.
I have been involved in developments such as the Strike and Spare amusement center, attraction of Mobile Initiative, a firm promising high paying jobs in the tech field located in a part of the former Lowes building, new businesses in what was once the Value City parking lot and renovation of Ray Lawrence Park which includes an expanded storm water detention pond to help with resolution of flooding problems in its vicinity.
Flooding has been a major concern for the town. To address that issue, I have been involved in the installation of a major storm water mitigation system being installed in parallel with the acquisition of the abandoned CSX rail line presently being converted into a trail system for the town. The Ohio River Greenway connection across Silver Creek has added to the town’s recreational facilities and will become a major asset to the town’s south end development.
Clark’s Landing, as the development is known, will involve redevelopment of the area from the former Colgate Plant to the Ohio River. The town is in early stages of land acquisition and is completing planning and zoning changes necessary for the project.
I also serve on the town’s Redevelopment Commission and have been instrumental in the construction of a new fire station on Stansifer Avenue. That station will significantly enhance fire protection for south end residents. It is the second fire station constructed in my tenure. The first is on Sam Gwin Drive adjacent to the town’s administrative campus.
I represent Clarksville on the Clark-Floyd Counties Convention Bureau Board of Managers and have worked diligently to ensure that agency serves Clarksville in a fashion commensurate to the revenue it receives in hotel taxes from hotels and motels in the town.
I am also proud to have been the council member with oversight of the town’s new wastewater treatment plant. It was a major undertaking and required constant supervision to ensure it was completed on time and on budget. The project was the largest municipal undertaking to date in the town. I look forward to continuing my work to building a better life for the residents of Clarksville.
I have lived in Clarksville since 1971 with my wife, Virginia Schilmiller Gilkey. We have three children: David, Chuck and Chris who you may have met in the meat department of the Clarksville Kroger store.
We live in the Fairlawn Subdivision off Eastern Boulevard near the Clarksville Little League Park. Our family attends St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church where Virginia and I sing in the Tabernacle Choir and the One Voice Ensemble and participate in other church activities. I am a member of the St. Anthony Parish Council and have been a member of the Parish Finance and Capital Campaign committees in addition to being one of four co-chairs for the St. Anthony Parish Picnic in 2009.
Over the years my civic involvement has included: the Clarksville Rotary Club, the Clarksville Little Theatre Board of Directors, Clarksville Main Street, the Falls of the Ohio Foundation Board of Directors, Clarksville Sister Cities Association, Hope Inc., Connect Clarksville, the Clarksville Historical Society, Clark County Men’s Democrat Club, Lewis & Clark Heritage Trail Foundation, Kentucky Society of Natural History, American Legion, and I am a Fourth Degree member of the Knights of Columbus.
I am retired from the Southern Indiana, Clark-Floyd Counties Convention and Tourism Bureau where I served as Director of Communications for eight years. I started with the Bureau in January of 2006. Prior to that I was employed for 37 years by The Evening News where I held the positions of reporter, city editor, managing editor, senior editor and vice president of Internet and information services.
Community Service Involvement
► Presently serve on the Clarksville Town Council representing the 2nd district.
► Presently serve on the Clark-Floyd Counties Convention and Visitors Bureau Board of Managers
► Formerly served on the Clarksville Plan Commission.
► Formerly served on the Board of Directors of the Arts Council of Southern Indiana.
► Formerly served as a member of the Clark County Solid Waste District Board of Directors.
► From 2007 to through 2010, I served as a member of the Clarksville School Board where I helped lead the school corporation through some of the most trying financial times it has ever known. Today we have a stronger school corporation that is better equipped to meet the challenges of the future.
► I have served on the Ivy Tech School of Business Advisory Board at the Sellersburg Campus.
► Served as treasurer of the Clarksville High School Holding Corporation during the renovations of the Clarksville High and the Greenacres Elementary Schools.
► Participated as a member of the Clarksville High and Middle School Public Law 221 School Improvement Committees making recommendations on enhancements to curriculum and teaching practices.
► Served on the Charles A. Prosser School of Technology Board of Advisors and presently serve on the Graphic Arts and Computer Technology Advisory Councils. I also served on the school’s Public Law 221 School Improvement Committee.
► Served as a member of the Board of Aviation Commissioners of Clark County for a 4-year term from 1995 to 1999. During that time, I led the effort to complete the board’s first-ever strategic planning initiative and led a successful effort to have a Sellersburg Volunteer Fire Department sub-station built on the airport property. I was involved in the initial efforts to extend the main runway at the airport.
► Graduated in 2000 from the Leadership Southern Indiana program. I am also a 2001 graduate of Leadership Louisville and a 2002 graduate of the Bingham Fellow program of Leadership Louisville. I have also completed the Regional Connections, Focus Southern Indiana, and Focus Louisville programs to develop my leadership skills and to get a better understanding of our region as a whole.
► Chaired two advisory study commissions to help Clark County government computerize the courthouse. Both commissions made formal recommendations of how to proceed, and many of the recommendations were implemented.
► Led an initiative of the Charlestown Chamber of Commerce for the transfer of land at the former Charlestown Army Ammunition Plant to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources for the creation of a state park. That effort led to the creation of the Charlestown State Park. I produced a video on the proposal and made the formal presentation to the Natural Resources Study Committee asking that the state acquire the land and build the park.
► Chaired the River Ridge Resort Committee that has worked with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources to help develop the master plan for the Charlestown State Park.
► Served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Clarksville Riverfront Foundation which assists the Department of Natural Resources with the operation and maintenance of the Falls of the Ohio State Park, Interpretive Center, and George Rogers Clark Home Site State Park.
► Participated as a member of the Board of Directors of Clarksville Sister Cities Association. I accompanied the Association to Bewdley, England, in 2000 and to La Garenne-Colombes, France, in 2004 at my own expense and served as a member of the official delegations discussing Sister Cities relationships. The Association has already made it possible for annual visits of Clarksville and Providence High School students to La Garenne-Colombes, a suburb of Paris, France, and has hosted inbound visits of their students. I still sit on the Association’s board of directors.
► Co-Chaired the Jeffersonville Floodwall Art Committee along with Barbara Donahue, working to create a photo-realistic historic art display on Jeffersonville’s floodwall.
► Led parish retreat at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in Clarksville in 2002 and have been a member of its choirs for many years.
► Served as volunteer media liaison for the Falls of the Ohio Lewis and Clark Bicentennial in 2003. Supplied hundreds of images for distribution to dozens of media outlets across the country to promote the event. Photos were used on the local festival program book cover, the cover of the 2003 Bell South Yellow Pages, and on the cover of the 2003 Indiana State Highway map.
► Donated work for the Falls of the Ohio Lewis and Clark travel brochure for the 2003 Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commemoration including design, original photography, layout and output to service bureau for printing.
► Designed the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial License Plate and generated graphical images for the state to use in manufacturing the plate.
► Served on the Southern Indiana Chamber of Commerce Technology Council, which championed low-cost high-speed Internet access for Southern Indiana and made it a priority of the Chamber in its 2003 and 2004 plans of work.
► Served on Board of Directors of Kentucky-Indiana Personal Computer Users Group and produced its 24-page monthly newsletter.
► Assisted Clark County United Way in the 1970s and 1980s with computerization of its Clark County offices and served on agency review boards and on its Community Advisory Board.
► Was appointed in 1995 as Clarksville’s representative to the Indiana River Marina Development Commission and served as chairman during its first year.
► Served on the Board of Directors of HOPE, Incorporated, a program helping at-risk students stay in school.
► I was named a Sagamore of the Wabash in 2004 by Gov. Joe Kernan for my community involvement. The Sagamore of the Wabash is one of the state’s highest civilian award for community service.
► In 2005, I was designated as an “Ambassador of Clark County” by the Board of Clark County Commissioners for my volunteer work in connection with the 2003-2006 Lewis and Clark Bicentennial.
► I am a private pilot licensed to fly single-engine land-based aircraft and am also a certified Open Water SCUBA diver. My hobbies include photography, videography, computers, HAM radio (KC9MHJ) and nature walks.