News and Tribune

Clark County

October 28, 2007

JEFFERSONVILLE: Will it be Galligan or Snelling?

Nearly 20 years ago, the song “Cult of Personality” brought Living Colour a Grammy and a pair of MTV awards.

Now, Tom Galligan and Monty Snelling hope their respective cults of personality are good for a win in Jeffersonville’s mayoral race on Nov. 6.

The platforms of Galligan, a Democrat who served two terms as the city’s mayor from 1996 to 2003, and Snelling, a first-term Republican county councilman, are almost indistinguishable, leaving voters with little more than political affiliation or preference for personality by which to distinguish them.

Conventional wisdom says Snelling is the race’s underdog, given that it’s been 20 years since a Republican was elected the city’s mayor and because some voters are likely to accept the sometimes-controversial Galligan has a better known record of accomplishment due to his eight years as the city’s mayor.

Snelling has said that he not only intends to win on Nov. 6, he has promised to run for re-election no more than once.

Both men say they understand the connection between quality of life — which can include subjects ranging from parks, to shopping and dining opportunities, to housing choices — and economic development, as well as the latter’s effect on decreasing tax rates.

“They all work hand-in-hand together,” said Snelling, 55, who serves as pastor of Jeffersonville’s Faith Evangel Church and owns a company that remodels homes. “It’s got to be a complete package with economic development.”

Galligan points out that when he was mayor, the city added amenities such as Meijer Fields and the Aquatic Center, sparked the renovations of the former U.S. Army Quartermaster Depot and the old Piggyback yard and drew a trio of restaurants along the city’s riverfront.

“All the while we were doing that, we were lowering taxes,” said Galligan, 61, who owned a construction and excavating company before he became mayor and now works for his children’s company.

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