Democrats alter City-County Council posts, GOP member steps down

Lightning rod Democrat Brian Mahern made way for freshman at-large Councilor John Barth on the City-County Council’s leadership team.

Barth will replace Mahern as vice president. Maggie Lewis kept her post as council president, and Vernon Brown will continue as majority leader.

Barth has a much different take than Mahern on tax-increment finance districts, a tool the city uses to subsidize development projects. Mahern feels the tool is being abused; Barth is the sponsor of a new north-side TIF district, “north-midtown,” which is before the council.

District 23 Republican Councilor Jeff Cardwell stepped down because he’ll be spending a lot more time on the west end of Washington Street as director of the Office of Faith-based and Community Initiatives under Gov.-elect Mike Pence.

The Marion County GOP will choose a replacement for the south-side district in a caucus that has yet to be set, but is likely for Jan. 22 or Jan. 23, Chairman Kyle Walker said.

Jefferson Shreve and Michael Kalscheur intend to run, Walker said.

Shreve is a trustee at the Midwest Petroleum Trust and owner of Bloomington-based Storage Express. Kalscheur, a consultant at Castle Wealth Advisors, ran for an at-large seat in the 2011 election.

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