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Coffman cites need for continuity in Beech Grove mayoral run

Coffman cites need for continuity in Beech Grove mayoral run

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A candidate for mayor of one Indianapolis suburb said he wants to ensure projects in the works turn out as intended.

Jim Coffman is the Democratic nominee for mayor of Beech Grove. Current mayor Dennis Buckley, also a Democrat, is not seeking another term. Coffman and Republican Rick Skirvin are the only two candidates running in the Nov. 7 general election.

In an interview for All INdiana Politics, Coffman said he’s running as a way to serve his community. He is currently the city’s elected clerk-treasurer. He said he wants to build on the positive changes he’s seen in the past few years.

“There are a lot of projects and things down the pike that I want to see come to fruition,” he said.

Like his opponent, Coffman is prioritizing public safety in his campaign. He said the city needs to provide good quality facilities and competitive pay to ensure the Beech Grove Police Department is able to attract and retain quality officers. On the topic of recent shootings at bars in Beech Grove, including a double shooting at the beginning of August, Coffman said city leaders, police, and local business owners need to work together to prevent future such incidents.

On Indianapolis’ new ordinance that would prohibit permitless carry and the sale of military-style rifles if the state preemption law is repealed, Coffman said Beech Grove leaders would work with legal counsel and law enforcement to figure out how to navigate the rule. The ordinance does not apply to Beech Grove but the city is surrounded on all sides by the city of Indianapolis.

Coffman said he expects homeownership rates in town to rise over the next few years. He said the key to stabilizing home ownership is to provide quality services to attract people to the city.

“By improving the quality of life, and just the small things like having the best (Department of Public Works) in the world, having great trash pickup, all of those services are going to encourage people to come to the city of Beech Grove,” he said.

Coffman said city leaders meet regularly with Amtrak to discuss any issues related to its maintenance facility. He said he wants that dialogue to continue. He particularly wants to develop roughly 70 acres of former CSX property into another industrial site, likely for either manufacturing or logistics. Coffman said he does not believe Beech Grove’s economy is overly dependent on Amtrak, though he added the city needs to work to ensure it is able to maximize the use of its tax base.

All INdiana Politics airs every Sunday at 9:30 a.m. only on WISH-TV.