Republished with permission from The Greene County Daily World.
By Grant Karazsia, Staff Writer, Greene County Daily World
For the last couple of months, election signs have lined the yards of many homes, and along the city streets. Of all of the signs posted, signs for the two candidates in the race for the office of Linton Mayor have seen arguably the greatest presence.
When Linton voters go to the polls on Tuesday, November 3, they will be choosing between the incumbent Democrat, John Wilkes, who is currently serving his first term as Linton’s mayor, and the challenger, Republican John Correll.
In the May primary, Wilkes defeated his opponent, Linda Bedwell, by a narrow margin and Correll was unopposed.
John Correll said he feels strongly about being of service to the City of Linton and the Linton community and equally strong that if elected, he can make a difference.
“I am not a typical politician, and that’s not a bad thing. I am running for mayor to lead us back to a path of restoration and prosperity,” Correll said.
Correll says he is prepared both mentally and physically to lead the change that Linton needs.
“If elected, I plan to achieve clear objectives that will benefit our citizens and community, with integrity, honesty, and in step with the public,” Correll said.
If elected, Correll said he will be focused on serving Linton’s citizens as their mayor.
“This means keeping the neighborhoods safe, streets maintained, and eliminating abandoned properties. I will focus on providing services our citizens expect and deserve. And I will ensure action plans are developed and implemented that will restore our infrastructure, including our streets, drainage systems, sewers and fire hydrants.
“I will treat city workers fairly and without bias. My administration will be transparent and accountable.
I’m also very interested in workforce development and creating jobs. But the mayor can only influence business development,” Correll said.
“If elected, I plan to achieve clear objectives that will benefit our citizens and community, with integrity, honesty, and in step with the public.” – John Correll
For Correll, the greatest issue facing the Linton community is a lack of leadership in the planning and actual implementation of actions that will increase prosperity in term of jobs and living conditions, budgets, and infrastructure.
“There has been a lot of talk about these things, but little to show for it. Without our Linton utilities, I’m convinced we would be bankrupt. Unless we greatly improve our city government’s efficiency, there will be dark days ahead,” Correll said.
According to Correll, changing the path the city is on is to re-focus on the needs of the Linton community.
“I feel very passionate about the needs of our senior citizens. I envision a more senior-friendly city that supports a quality of life they deserve.
“I propose an active, easily accessible senior citizen center for example. Also, Linton needs to desperately review the nursing home situation,” Correll said.
Correll said if elected, he wants more focus on the youth of Linton, to ensure that they have the same opportunities that others have had to develop the necessary values that will guide them through life.
In terms of tourism, Correll said Linton has the potential to greatly expand tourism.
“We are blessed with a wonderful, nationally recognized, natural habitat in the Goose Pond, and we need to focus on developing it to its fullest potential. A modern convention center would attract new growth,” Correll said.
Correll cites Linton’s spirit of volunteerism as an exceptional quality.
“We need to focus better on the efforts and results of both individuals and organizations that are actively working hard to restore Linton to better times.
“All of these things represent true opportunities for jobs and the financial health of our community,” Correll said.
Correll said his approach to becoming a better candidate and potential mayor will be to openly seek feedback from his fellow citizens in developing his ideas and vision.
“I will also seek to develop a deeper understanding of the many issues as they affect the lives of our citizens,” he said.
Correll, 65, is known in his professional life as “JC,” but he is comfortable being called John.
The Correll family has been continually in business in Linton for 94 years — since 1921.
Correll is membe
r of the First Baptist Church of Linton where he serves on the board of trustees and was baptized in 1966. He is also on the board of directors for Pregnancy Choices and serves as a male mentor.
Correll has been married to his wife Nancy for the last 47 years. He has two sons, and grandsons.
Correll was both born and raised in Linton, and he is a graduate of Linton-Stockton High School with the Class of 1968.
After high school, Correll enlisted in the U.S. Navy, and later studied at Indiana State University.
“I graduated in three years with dual majors: Safety Management, and Environment Health. Later, I studied at the University of Indianapolis, graduating with a Masters in Business Administration. I have completed numerous courses in leadership, human resources, organizational development and management,” Correll said.
Correll spent 27 years in the private mining industry after returning from the Navy.
From 1975-80, he worked at Peabody Coal Company in Indiana and Arizona where he held the positions of manager and lead safety supervisor.
From 1980-91, Correll worked at AMAX Coal Industries in Indianapolis where he held the positions of Manager-Safety and Health in the Midwest Division, and Corporate Director–Safety and Health.
From 1991-2002, Correll took a position at Cleveland – Cliffs Inc. in Cleveland, Ohio, where he worked as Corporate Director–Safety, Health and Workers’ Compensation.
Correll then worked 12 years in the federal government, working for the U.S. Department of Labor from 2002 until 2014 where he held a variety of positions including: Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) Deputy Assistant Secretary-Operations, Employment Standards Administration (ESA) Deputy Assistant Secretary–Operations, and Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) Director–Office of Employee Safety and Health.
After retiring in 2014, Correll took a position at Optimum Safety Performance, LLC, as the principal consultant, holding the position of senior operations executive.
According to Correll, Optimum Safety Performance (OSP) provides professional safety management consultation that offers a proven pathway for good companies to become great companies.
Correll said as a result of his education and career, he has unique and valuable experiences that are seldom, if ever, seen in candidates for the mayor’s office.
“While I’m not a political pundit, I am an effective leader. I feel strongly about certain beliefs — faith, family, integrity, honesty, and the role of government,” Correll said.
Correll said he has enjoyed a successful career by collecting and studying the facts, team building, gaining consensus, and mobilizing commitment to reach mutually satisfying goals and objectives.
“My career experiences combined with these leadership skills are what my campaign is based upon: Experience and Leadership – A Clear Choice,” Correll said.
Correll is the Republican candidate for mayor.