Bargersville board members defeat Democrat challenger, tout attention to detail

Three council members will keep their seats on the Bargersville Town Council.

The incumbent Republican candidates won re-election for the council’s three open at-large seats. Bruce Morris took 29 percent of the vote and Gayle Allard and Kenneth Zumstein each gathered 26 percent. They defeated Democrat Dale Wright, the challenger who was running for town council for the first time, who earned 19 percent of the votes.

In their campaigns, each of the winning candidates zeroed in on maintaining a responsible budget for the town and keeping tax and utility rates low.

Lowering the tax rate for the past two years had been a major success of the town council, Allard said. With the three incumbents winning on Tuesday, voters seemed to approve of the work they’ve done in the town.

“Since all three of us got back in, they realize that we’ve started things, and they want to see those get done,” Allard said.

Zumstein, the current president of the council, also pointed out the planning that had gone into keeping those costs down. The council had done a water rate study that resulted in the lowering of hydrant and water usage rates. And by working with projections, the town council can create budgets and develop projects that Bargersville needs and can afford.

That attention to detail is what connected with the voters, Zumstein said.

“I think people voted for me because of the job I’ve done keeping the tax rate down, spending a lot of time looking and trying to manage the town,” he said.

Morris noted in his campaign that he would like to continue the council’s mindset of operating more like a business than just a government. The town recently completed a master plan to help it address key concerns and how to improve.

The council will need to use that tool as it plots Bargersville’s future, he said.

Wright, the president of the town plan commission, had run with the platform of making government more transparent and ensuring residents are made aware of what town leaders are deciding about the future.

He wanted to make sure local residents could participate in government if they wanted to, he said.

Allard, Morris and Zumstein will join current members Jim Beck and Rowana Umbarger on the council. Their four-year terms start in January.

How You Voted

Bargersville Town Council At-Large (Choose three)

Gayle Allard (R);261

Bruce Morris (R);285

Dale Wright (D);193

Kenneth Zumstein (R);257

Ryan Trares is a reporter for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at or 317-736-2727.