HOPE — For the second time in six weeks, a new town manager for Hope has been announced.

J.T. Doane, 38, of Bargersville will begin overseeing and managing day-to-day operations for the northeast Bartholomew County community of 2,100 residents on July 11.

His relevant experience includes serving as an administrator in the Indiana Attorney General’s office from March 2003 to February 2011, as well as being a member of the Bargersville Redevelopment Commission, said Clyde Compton, Hope town council president.

“He has the qualifications we’re looking for,” Compton said following the council’s unanimous approval of Doane during a Wednesday council meeting.

Story continues below gallery

Doane’s salary was set at $50,000, clerk-treasurer Diane Burton said.

After an unexpected turn of events emerged regarding the council’s first choice, the committee wanted to be exceptionally thorough in screening candidates, Compton said.

The council had hoped to introduce its new town manager to the community during a June 20 meeting, but a search committee needed more time to complete reference and background checks, Compton said.

“His references came back sparkling,” Compton said. “We need his kind of experience and personality.”

People who recommended Doane for the job included a southern Indiana pastor and a state senator, he said.

After growing up in Bedford (population 13,413) and raising his own family in Bargersville (population 4,013), Doane said he prefers a small-town environment with residents who possess family values and a strong sense of community pride.

“We need to embrace the heritage and tradition we have in Hope,” Doane said. “In the coming days, I’ll be shaking hands for days and weeks. But then, we’re going to reach out to see what we need to do for this community.”

Town officials had announced May 16 that Franklin resident Tom Morton would take the administrative position effective June 1.

Morton, a 62-year-old former deputy director of the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns, was hired as the successor to Melina Fox, who resigned Feb. 5 after about 18 months on the job.

But Morton backed out the day before he was scheduled to begin, informing the council he had found another position he felt was a better fit for him.

Following Wednesday’s meeting, Compton confirmed that Morton had called him within a week of turning down the Hope job, asking to be reconsidered.

“It took guts to do that,” Compton said. “I didn’t tell him no, but I did say I would mention it to the council and if they had any interest, I would call him back.”

However, there was no desire among council members to consider Morton a second time, Compton said.

J.T. Doane

Johnny Travis “J.T.” Doane

Age: 38

Birthplace: Bedford

Current residence: Bargersville

Education: Bachelor’s degree in political science and government from University of Southern Indiana, 2001.

Previous occupation:  Worked eight years as an administrator with the Indiana Attorney General’s office.  Former instructor at Ivy Tech Community College.

Community: Current member of the Bargersville Redevelopment Commission. Serves as GOP precinct committeeman in Johnson County.  Advisory board member for Angels and Doves, an anti-bullying advocacy group in Indianapolis.

Family:  Single with three daughters: Braiden, Kaydence and Addison.

Author photo
Mark Webber is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at mwebber@therepublic.com or 812-379-5636.