By Leah Sander
WINONA LAKE — Austin Reynolds and David Phelps both wish to serve Ward 1 on the Winona Lake Town Council.
A GOP caucus will be held at 2:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 17, at Winona Lake Town Hall. Committeemen from four precincts will choose between the two to fill the seat of the late Jim Zachary. He passed away unexpectedly at age 39 on Tuesday, Aug. 17, at Kosciusko Community Hospital.
Both candidates recently spoke about their backgrounds and why they are seeking the position.
Reynolds told InkFreeNews he views possibly getting the council position as his “first step in lifelong service to the town.”
He’s interested in “continued infrastructure growth of the town,” referring to projects like the ice skating rink and Argonne Road roundabout. He also raved about the town and said he’s eager “to learn and serve people in the community.”
Reynolds, 27, also said he hopes to be a “champion for other young people to get involved (in politics and community service) as well” through getting a spot on the council.
Reynolds is originally from the Winona Lake area and returned again after graduating with a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University at Bloomington in 2017. He’s been married to Lindsay Sciarra for a year and attends Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Warsaw.
Reynolds works as a carpenter with Coplen Construction in Warsaw. He says he hopes to get rid of the stigma that those working in the trades “can’t be an educated person” and is interested in “getting other young people involved in the trades.”
While at IU, Reynolds was in the Army ROTC, obtaining the title of second lieutenant. He also served as a medical services officer in the Army Reserve for two years.
Phelps told InkFreeNews he was a friend and neighbor of the late Zachary.
He said he has “similar beliefs and cares for this community.” Important issues to him include maintaining the town’s economy and focusing on the town’s greenway and lake.
He also wishes to make sure that whatever decisions the town council makes that there’s still a focus on Winona Lake’s family atmosphere.
Phelps, 58, has lived in Winona Lake since the mid-’90s and notes he’s “rooted in this community.” He and his wife of 20 years Michelle are involved in Winona Lake Grace Brethren Church.
He serves on the Kosciusko Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and previously was on the YMCA board and chair of the Grace Village Retirement Community board.
Phelps is a managing partner with media agency 212 Media Studios, based in Warsaw. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas.