Manley, Schuetter vie for Republican nod



JASPER — Two Republicans will be featured on primary election ballots for the Jasper Common Council District 6 seat: One a veteran member looking ahead to the future, and the other, a newcomer who has ideas of his own.

Ryan Schuetter will contest incumbent Kevin Manley’s spot on the council when early voting begins today. A Democrat candidate has not yet filed for the seat.

Manley, 64, has served as the District 6 councilman since 2006. He was initially appointed by a Republican caucus, and has since secured his spot through three straight elections. He has 36 years of business experience, and for the last eight of those years, has served as the executive director for Dubois County Tourism.

“When I first ran, I have not changed any course on my focus,” he said.

Issues important to him are completing and following the city’s ongoing comprehensive planning for the next 10 to 15 years, improving the city’s quality of life and quality of place, completing work on ongoing projects like the Thyen-Clark Cultural Center. Increasing the city’s interconnectivity and keeping the city moving forward are important to Manley, too.

The incumbent also spoke of the importance of celebrating the accomplishments the city has achieved in recent years, and promoting Jasper. He said it is a special place because local leadership and community members come together to complete projects.

He hopes to continue being a part of its growth by keeping his seat on the common council.

“I feel like I’ve done a good job for them,” Manley said of his time on the council. “The skillset that I brought to the job, I feel, is beneficial every day. My 36 years of business experience and my current, last eight years has been with the Dubois County Tourism Commission. So, I’ve been promoting our county and actively involved in a lot of the quality of place projects that we’ve got going. And I feel like I bring that value to the table.”

His challenger, Schuetter, has had an interest in politics since he was a senior at Southridge High School. He said he’s been involved in local politics for the past seven years or so by volunteering with county candidates. Now, he’s ready to run himself.

“The reason why they should vote for me is, one, I don’t let my personal beliefs interfere with what is best for my voters,” Schuetter said. “I see problems from multiple directions. I take the opportunity to understand the points of views of different points of views.”

He also spoke of how he has met with District 6 residents to learn what is important to them and what they want to see the city become.

Issues on his radar include cultivating a skilled workforce, making Jasper an attractive place to live for young people through new business and housing options, and also developing substance abuse programs to help combat addiction and support local law enforcement. He’d also like to see the city and county work together more than they are currently.

His background includes four years of military experience when he served as a quartermaster in the U.S. Army. He also worked as an assistant manager at auto parts houses, and he currently works at Kimball Electronics as a network systems analyst, a career that requires him to look at issues from multiple points of view.

“My problem-solving skills are really high because of all those different occupations over the years,” he said.

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