Schwinghamer keeps busy in first months in office

Candy Neal/The Herald
Mayor Steve Schwinghamer is looking into the idea of having an industrial park near the Huntingburg Airport.



HUNTINGBURG — Huntingburg Mayor Steve Schwinghamer has been enjoying his new position.

In the two months he has been mayor, he has been working on wrapping up matters and completing projects that there were in the works under former mayor Denny Spinner.

“I love it,” Schwinghamer said Friday. “I always like challenges. And there were some challenges left as part of the transition. So I’ve been trying to get those worked out, either bringing them to a conclusion, or getting rid of them or whatever the situation may be.

“I enjoy the fact that I’m doing something for the town that I call home.”

Schwinghamer has ideas for the city that he plans to pursue. One of those is looking into the possibility of having an industrial park near the airport.

“There’s so many different things we could do with expansion around the airport,” Schwinghamer said, “bringing more businesses and things in here, especially since we’re making the runway bigger. People are so close to the interstate and the airport. I think it’s a classic fit for all Dubois County when you think about it.”

Everything is in the exploration step right now, Schwinghamer said. But he is actively exploring. “I was talking to Travis [McQueen] out at the airport a few weeks ago,” he said, “and driving around to look at all the capabilities and the areas that are available to do that with. The opportunities are there.”

But Schwinghamer doesn’t want to ignore the other features already in place that make Huntingburg unique, he said.

“We’ve got a great city, no question about that. And it’s always great to bring new things and more things into the city. But, we also have to maintain what we already have,” he said. “For instance, we have something that no other place around here has and that’s League Stadium.

Schwinghamer wants to make sure the city keeps the youth in mind and is keeping the Mayor’s Youth Council active for that reason.

“The youth is our future. You see these kids grow up and become adults with families of their own,” he said. “If we don’t do things for our youth today, when they’re adults they may go someplace else and make that home. Whether it be jobs or programs we have available for them as well as their children, we want them to stay here and call this home.”

He is also focused on keeping the entire community, including the Latino community, working together. He has had discussion with Councilman Jose Dubon and with members of the Latino Collaboration Table.

“A big percentage of our population is Latino,” Schwinghamer said. “We’ve all got to work together.”

Schwinghamer enjoys being a vocal part of the city’s progress. “I don’t control that, but I have a say-so. To me, that is important. That is why I decided to do this.”

He is adapting to the slower pace it takes to get things done in government.

“It’s not like you can just say, ‘That needs to be done, go do it.’ You have to go through this, this and this to get it done,” he said. “I’m kinda one of those guys this needs to be done just do it. Well, why are you waiting around? But that is the process.”

“When we walk into a place and people say Mayor, I look around and then realize, oh that’s me,” he said with a chuckle. “And Denny told me that. He told me that all of sudden, your name is changed to Mayor. And now I see what he means.”

But he feels honored that people do that. “It feels good to know that they, hopefully, have the confidence that I can keep the city going in the right direction,” he said.

Schwinghamer released a written State of the City Address Monday on the City of Huntingburg’s website,

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