President’s Letter:

Dear Neighbors –

I hope you are all having a great winter! I have seen a lot of VRA members out and about, given the mild weather, so it’s great to keep up with everyone.

My children and I have been attending a lot of events at the Zion Nature Center lately and on one recent visit, I noticed printouts for a “1,000 Hours Outside” challenge. The idea is that if kids can consume media through screens 1,200 hours a year on average then the time is there and at least some can and should be shifted towards a more productive and healthy outcome. I thought it was a good challenge for my family since we often lose track of time and end up indoors most of the day. As of this writing, we have spent exactly 7 hours outdoors as a family so we have a LONG way to go. I can’t wait to see what Zionsville areas we end up exploring in an effort to meet our goal. We could be all over the town…or end up spending 1,000 hours at Lions Park.

February VRA Meeting: We are about to start our VRA calendar for the year with the upcoming meeting at the Brick Street Inn on Tuesday, February 4 at 7:30pm. Paul Vezolles, the owner of the Brick Street Inn and Auberge Restaurant, has kindly offered to host a VRA meeting to present the plans for their expansion. They are striving to deliver high standards of design, comfort, and service while enhancing the charming character of the place and adhering to the town’s architectural guidance for the village business district.

Lincoln Park Concert Series: As some of you may have heard, the Lincoln Park Concert Series has been moved to Lions Park. The VRA is exploring the possibility of starting another, smaller concert series in Lincoln Park. Current planning would aim to start as one concert a month (June/July/August) or possibly only two concerts for the summer. The concerts would be hosted on a non-competing day of the two concerts that are held a Lions Park each week. With that in mind, we will be sending out a short survey to gauge the interest level. We plan to use the survey results as of Friday, February 7 so make sure you fill yours out before then.

House Decorating Contest Recap: The Holiday House Decorating Contest had a record number of entries this year. It was a tough event to judge because all of the entries were excellent. Thank you to Sally Zelonis, our event organizer, as well as the entrants and judges. The 2019 winners were as follows:

Grand Prize Winner (Business): Sundance Salon

1st Place (Business): Cheveux Salon Spa

2nd Place (Business): Blooms by Dragonfly

3rd Place (Business): Art IN Hand Gallery

Grand Prize Winner (Residential): Sergio Melanie Negrin

1st Place (Residential): Susan Danner

2nd Place (Residential): Eric Kathleen Siegmann

3rd Place (Residential): Martha Osterhaus

Progressive Dinner Recap: The Progressive Dinner on December 7th was a great success! A big thank you goes out to our hosts for the evening: Liz White (appetizers), Tom Monica Lewis (dinner), and Jon Joan King (dessert). We appreciate all of them opening their homes to the VRA for our holiday event. Also, for the first time all three houses were across the street and next door to each other. Our co-hosts, Kathy Scales Brown and Monica Lewis, did an amazing job of organizing the dinner and making sure everything ran smoothly. After three courses of great food, the evening ended with spirited singing of Christmas carols and phenomenal piano playing. It will be hard to top this year’s dinner but I hear that each year the event gets even better.

Other VRA News:

Contact Information: We will be using member contact information from MailChimp going forward. We use MailChimp for our e-mail distributions that you receive each week and/or month. To update your information, simply click the “update subscription preferences” link at the bottom of any of our e-mails. A note on the frequency options: (1) Choose “More Frequent” to receive all of our e-mails (including the Sunday event e-mails) and (2) Choose “Less Frequent” to receive our monthly e-mails about the Village Voice and any e-mails sent about specific meetings.

Dues: I have had a few questions about the timing of dues so I wanted to send out more information.

Have a great February and I will see you soon!



Town Council:

It’s been a busy administrative start to the Council year, even if our first Monday morning meeting was cancelled due to a lack of agenda items (this often happens as we see a lull in activity that went through other boards in December).

We welcomed a new Mayor and Deputy Mayor to the Town. I know Mayor Styron has big plans for the coming years and I’ve enjoyed her enthusiasm, energy and perspective that she brings to the job. We also welcomed four new members of Town Council in January, all of whom have various thoughts and ideas about how to improve Zionsville while also meeting the various department heads and staff and learning about their various roles and unique skill sets. I remember being in their shoes 4 years ago, it is a lot to take in, but I have no doubt they’ll quickly find their bearings.

Personally, I was humbled to be voted President of Council. I was happy to have Vice President Bryan Traylor continue to serve in that role alongside me, he’s been a great wingman for me over these years and does a lot for Council and his various appointed commissions. This will be our fourth year serving in these roles and with so much going on, we felt having continuity within the leadership of Council was a good thing for this coming year. I have promised other Councilors to not become Vladimir Putin and elect myself President for life, and fully expect some leadership changes in the next four years within Council to have a different perspective.

From a boards and commissions standpoint, the Council appointed 61 different positions in a wide variety of roles in January, including some familiar faces from the Village. This includes boards like the Planning Commission, Safety Board, PZAZ and many more. 16 of those are new to their appointments, which is a healthy turnover and gives some new ways at looking at how these boards operate. These can often be thankless (and truly volunteer) positions and I’m always grateful for the wide variety of individuals willing to step up and apply their skills for the benefit of the community.

Two final thoughts on roads.

First, I’ve heard some grumbling about the appearance of Zionsville Road, and deservedly so. I’ve been assured by Lance Lantz that the state it is in now will not be the final form, but rather they are waiting on the final “finishing coat” this Spring. Doing it too early may compromise the long-term quality of the road, and I don’t think anybody wants to go through having it shut down again for a long time.

Lastly, I was disappointed to hear about how long the bridge over Sycamore will be closed. All bridges in the Town are owned by the County, and while we have a good relationship with them, we have little influence in the timing or duration of their closures due to funding that comes from various sources, including Federal dollars, nor much heads up in terms of the public notice Certainly for those of us in Raintree, this is unwelcome news after having Zionsville Road closed for so long, however I suppose upkeep of infrastructure is more important than a shorter commute. While I have asked for a ramp to be installed for a “Dukes of Hazzard” style crossing during the closure, I have yet to hear back.

I hope 2020 is off to a good start for each of you.

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