Birdseye swears in new town council member



BIRDSEYE — Birdseye’s new Town Council member is also a small business owner, firefighter, EMT and conservation club officer.

Clerk-Treasurer Brittany Schepers swore in Democrat Kelly (Spencer) Zehr, 42, at the start of Thursday’s council meeting at Town Hall. She replaces Roy Partenheimer, who resigned last month.

Interviewed prior to the meeting, the community-minded Zehr was excited to get started.

“I love this town,” she said. “My heart is definitely here, so I want to see good things happen for Birdseye.”

Zehr and her husband, Jason “Pork” Zehr, own and operate Zehr’s Automotive Repair in Birdseye.

The councilwoman was born in Indianapolis but grew up in Birdseye and is a 1996 graduate of Forest Park Junior-Senior High School.

She attended Vincennes University Jasper, moved to Indianapolis in 2000 and worked for Eli Lilly in clinical trials, returning to Dubois County in 2009.

“When I came back,” she said, “I knew I was ready to stay here, get involved in the community and start making things happen here.”

The Zehrs built a new home in Birdseye and settled in.

Today, the councilwoman serves on the Birdseye Volunteer Fire Department, is the secretary of the Birdseye Conservation Club’s board and volunteers on community projects, such as when she was vice chair of the Save The Koerner Block Committee. Her husband and the couple’s daughter, Mackenzie Zehr, 20, both serve on the Birdseye Park Board.

While a councilwoman, Kelly intends to continue with the conservation club and fire department and, specific to the latter, she signed a conflict of interest statement indicating she would not vote on business involving fire department matters.

Democratic County Chairman Mike Kendall appointed Kelly to fill Partenheimer’s vacancy May 1.

Kelly said she considers it an honor to fill out the final two years of Partenheimer’s term.

“I have the utmost respect for Roy,” she said. “He has poured his heart and soul into this town and it hasn’t gone unnoticed.”

The council’s other members are Democrat Mary Ann Cummings and Republican Bret Eckert, the council’s president.

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