MEET JUSTIN ELPERS “A CONSERVATIVE VOICE” ON EVANSVILLE CITY COUNCIL

first_imgMEET JUSTIN ELPERS “A CONSERVATIVE VOICE” ON EVANSVILLE CITY COUNCILDuring the past the two weeks, the City County Observer has had the pleasure of interviewing two prominent Evansville politicians. Last week, CCO interviewed the recently retired Gail Rieken. This week, CCO has sat down with a new face in the political scene. That would be Fifth Ward (5th) Republican City Councilman Justin Elpers.Elpers, 35, was elected to his seat during the municipal elections of 2015. The city council position was previously held by a democrat. The fifth ward is probably the city’s most sought-after ward by both political parties. Elpers won 63% of the vote over his opponent in 2015.“Evansville has always been home,” says Elpers. He and his wife Alisann have been married for 10 years. They have three sons ages 9, 6, and 3 and currently are expecting their fourth child. He has been teaching social studies at Harrison High School for 10 years.So what made Justin Elpers decide to run for Evansville City Council?  “As I watched the previous city council meetings, it was a drama fest. Residents weren’t watching their regular shows on Monday evening’s; they were watching city council meetings. It didn’t put Evansville in a positive light. I thought I could bring some civil responsibility to the council,” Elpers stated.Since elected, Elpers has had to vote on a couple of controversial proposals. One of these controversies would be voting for a budget that resulted in the city employees paying higher health premiums. The problem, Elpers says, “We were playing catch up. City employees saw drastic changes in their premiums and deductibles. Adjustments should have started a long time ago.”Another controversial proposal voted on by the city council during Elpers’ tenure was an ordinance which would ban discrimination against the LGBT community. Elpers was one of two council members voting against the proposal. While Elpers says he’s strong in his Catholic faith, his religious background wasn’t the reason why he voted against this proposal. Instead, Elpers cites the Indiana Constitution. In particular, he cites Article1, Sections 2 and 3. Article2 states every citizen has a right to worship God, according to the dictates of their own consciences while Article 3 states no law shall control the free exercise and enjoyment of religious opinions, or interfere with the rights of conscience. Elpers says, “The LGBT ordinance violated these individual liberties.”So far in 2017, Elpers saw his role change on Evansville Council Council.  During the the first City Council meeting in January, he was elected Vice President of that group.  Justin defeated Jonathan Weaver (D) by a surprising 6-3 margin.  As vice president, Elpers says, “I will continue to face the city’s challenges with an open mind. Bottom line we have to improve our current health care costs and reduce spending.”So would Justin Elpers be interested in seeking higher office perhaps mayor someday? “As long as I am on City Council I will put Evansville first,” says Elpers.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more