FOR THE LOVE OF HOME: ‘You’re not going to get much for being mayor’ in Goshen

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Jack Waller, Goshen’s mayor since 2008, will serve on the council next term instead of in the mayor’s seat. Current Councilman Darren Jordan will take Waller’s place as mayor.

Jack Waller, Goshen’s mayor since 2008, will serve on the council next term instead of in the mayor’s seat. Current Councilman Darren Jordan will take Waller’s place as mayor.

Being the mayor of Goshen is about what you can give, not what you can get said Mayor Jack Waller.

“You’re not going to get much for being mayor,” Waller said. “It’s about loving the place where you live. I want to make this be the best place that I could live. I want to try to make Goshen a better place for everybody.”

Running the small town of Goshen is like running a household, said Waller, who has been mayor of Goshen since 2008. “You have to make sure there’s enough money coming in to pay the bills,” he said. “We have a clerk who handles the day-to-day finances and I supervise her.”

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“The mayor is also the water superintendent,” Waller said. “Most of my calls deal with water, garbage or whatever other needs the people have. I used to go get people’s garbage and throw it in the dumpster behind the town hall if their garbage pickup was missed, but that became too much work so now its set up where that situation rarely happens.”

The hardest job Waller said he has as mayor is finding a plumber when he needs one.

“Everybody knows everyone here,” Waller said. “We always try to help each other, especially the older people and the widows.”

Waller considered running for a third term this year, but ultimately decided to run for council instead, effectively handing the reins over to Councilman Darren Jordan – the only candidate to qualify for mayor.

“It was time to let somebody else run,” Waller said. “It’s time to have a little bit more freedom to enjoy the grandkids, mission trips and vacations.”

Waller became the mayor of Goshen in 2008, beating out incumbent mayor Michael Sanders by just seven votes. In 2012, he defeated challenger Malon Johnson by a single vote.

Waller’s decision not to run for reelection was one of the decisions that led to Goshen not having an election this year. Waller said that there are usually about seven candidates competing for five spots.

“We couldn’t believe nobody was signing up,” Waller said. “Then at about 4 p.m. on the last day of qualifying, we had the right number.”

According to Waller, the lack of competition in this year’s election could be due to an aging community.

“Goshen is an old farming community,” Waller said. “Most of the community is aging. There just weren’t that many people wanting to serve on the council.”

Goshen was home to 266 residents as of the 2010 census, an 11 percent drop from its population of 300 in 2000.

Waller said that he is confident that Jordan will be able to handle being mayor.



“I feel like he’ll be able to do a good job,” Waller said. “The council will be there for him to lean on. The mayor’s in charge of the personnel, but the council approves money matters so it isn’t all up to the mayor.”

Jordan agreed that the having a good relationship with the council is an important part of being the mayor.

“Imperative for mayor and council to have good rapport,” Jordan said. “Everybody has to lay personal feelings aside and look at bigger picture.”

Jordan said his favorite part of living and serving in Goshen is the selflessness of the community.

“I grew up here,” Jordan said. “There’s such a ‘me’ atmosphere today. That’s what I love about Goshen. It’s such a close-knit atmosphere and it’s such a selfless community. If anybody in the community needs anything, everybody is willing to help.”