A city government that implements a service-first culture will set the standard for governance that values the voices and perspectives of all Elkhart residents and stakeholders in shaping the future of our City.
• Create an internal review process to ensure a service-first culture is implemented in all city departments.
• Ensure clear communication and engagement with all generations of residents.
• Prioritize transparency and accountability to residents in all city departments, especially among first responders.
• Establish goals and metrics to ensure performance and enhance accountability to our residents.
• Create advisory roles for stakeholders from business, education, non-profit, and neighborhood sectors to provide insight and accountability measures for all administration initiatives.
Whether visiting or residing here, each and every person should feel a sense of safety and belonging in Elkhart. We respect and appreciate the hard work and dedication of our Elkhart City Police and Fire Departments who play the most vital roles in continuing to serve and protect all the people of Elkhart.
• Engage with and invest in public safety providers.
• Restore our police department’s public trust and dignity.
• Build service-centered community policing and civic engagement to create a stronger, safer Elkhart.
Education serves as a key equalizer in providing access to opportunity and a meaningful life. When our education system is thriving, it becomes the driving force for Elkhart businesses. When working together, city government and education leaders have a direct influence on the quality of our workforce, retention of our graduates, and migration to the City of Elkhart.
• Build and improve our relationships with all the city’s educational institutions.
• Ensure ongoing education is prioritized for all city employees.
• Build policies and partnerships with Elkhart Community Schools to ensure our mutual interests are served.
• Reimagine the Tolson Center to invest in progressive educational opportunities that inspire innovation, cultural experiences, and community engagement.
Elkhart’s economy has been recognized as one of the fastest growing in the state. With all three legislative entities — local, county, and state — working together, we will drive economic growth in all areas of the city. Strategic innovations in advanced manufacturing and entrepreneurship will ensure continued growth benefitting our existing base. Mayor Rod’s administration will explore innovations and partnerships within additional industry sectors to provide diverse and sustainable employment pathways for Elkhart residents.
• Encourage and support entrepreneurship to increase industry diversification and reduce the impact of economic downturns.
• Reimagine the Tolson Center to enhance investment and economic growth in the surrounding area.
• Encourage and support entrepreneurial academies for emerging leaders from all sectors of the City.
• Forge the right planning relationships with investors – ones that benefit all taxpayers.
• Continue to support and develop the Aquatic Center and River District.
• Expand support for planning, investment, and development by partnering with key nonprofit organizations such as the Elkhart Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Corporation (EDC) of Elkhart County.
• Enhance cross-sector partnerships to increase skill-set development, providing access to higher-paying jobs.
Elkhart is witnessing substantial housing growth in the city’s downtown area. Ongoing local developments such as the Elkhart River District project will raise the city’s downtown housing value. While current developments are positive and will continue, Mayor Rod will also examine disparities in housing.
• Continue downtown Elkhart housing redevelopment.
• Implement initiatives to provide quality, affordable housing in all areas of Elkhart.
• Work with all housing providers including Michiana Rental Association to raise the standard for housing throughout the city.
• Address challenges of affordable and quality housing.
• Evaluate and reduce conditions contributing to homelessness.