Primary council at-large grid and bio dell for 4-5-15 news

Q&A attached as breakout under related content


Q: Is there a value in the city providing tax abatements to businesses? What approach should the city have on tax abatements?

A: Yes, tax abatements are used by government to attract business. It can also be a tool for existing business to expand facilities in the community. It’s a tool that should be used and approved on a case-by-case basis, ultimately expanding the tax base in the long term.

Q: What three improvements to city government would you like to see and why?

A: Direction, develop and deliver. We need to deliver on what the community wants. Setting a new direction of developing new ideas for Columbus and engaging everyone to be a part of solutions for the future of Columbus are key.

Q: What should the working relationship be between the city council and the mayor?

A: The relationship between city council and the mayor should be one of cooperation, coordination and cohesion. Working together makes for a more vibrant community and also sends a strong message to the public that we serve them, and that Columbus is moving forward in a collaborative direction for the future.

Q: Should city government provide money for the arts and nonprofit organizations? Explain why or why not.

A: Yes, the city should provide capital for the arts and nonprofit organizations. We get a better quality of life for everyone in Columbus. And we make the city more attractive for people wanting to locate themselves in our community. These investments make Columbus a better place to live.

Q: Columbus is faced with the need for an overpass at State Roads 46 and 11 to alleviate an expected increase in railroad traffic and a growing number of commuters along the city’s west side downtown entrance. An overpass could cost about $35 million. What is your solution for funding it?

A: The solution is open communication between the city, state and federal governments. No one entity has the resources by themselves to get this job done, but a collaborative effort between all aspects of government can solve the problem. Public safety for our west side residents is the most important issue.

Tom Dell

Name: Tom Dell

Party: Democratic

Age: 60

Address: 1063 Hummingbird Lane

Occupation: Owner, Dell Brothers clothing store

Education: Columbus High School; Ball State University, bachelor’s degree in business.

Previous elected offices held (and when): None

Previous elected offices sought (and when): None

Community involvement: Downtown Merchants Association; Garland Brook Cemetery, president, board of directors; Columbus Indiana Philharmonic, Community Advisory Council.

Immediate family: Wife, Kathy; son, Spencer; and daughter-in-law, Casey.

Author photo
Kirk Johannesen is assistant managing editor of The Republic. He can be reached at or (812) 379-5639.