“Many challenges await Whitley County including the future funding of our Emergency Medical Service, including tax caps and their affect on county, city, town and township budgets,” Schrader said.
“Improving our county road system is an ongoing challenge or maybe it’s a work in progress,” added Schrader. “Either way, this is a challenge that we continue to work through.”
While in his first term in office, Schrader has been involved in a variety of initiatives.
“The Board of Commissioners challenged the State Department of Welfare on the costs to update the local welfare office to new state mandated office standards,” he said. “This challenge saved over $ 40,000 in taxpayer money.”
Schrader and the Board of Commissioners are also credited with resolving issues with windows in the new County Government Center building. “Through negotiations with the contractor those issues were resolved with no additional cost to the taxpayers,” he said.
Schrader has understood the significance of making local government available and open to the residents of Whitley County.
“The Board of Commissioners took our meetings ‘on the road’ to the Town of Churubusco and the Town of South Whitley several times during the last two years,” Schrader said.
Further improving residents’ ability to access their own local government, Schrader has been an integral part of designing and enhancing the presence of Whitley County on the internet. He has talked with county residents, county departments and professionals with the goal of creating a site that is user friendly and helpful to the citizens of Whitley County.
“We have approved the creation of a county web site,” Schrader said. “The new web site will provide information and duties about each county department. It will include Boards and Committees, minutes of board meetings and the ability to make tax payments and pay fines and costs, just to name a few. This web site will also offer community links.”
An additional benefit will be the ability of Whitley County Government to make this community known globally for all the things we do well here. Schrader is excited about the level of transparency and enhanced service these changes bring to the people of Whitley County.
While looking toward the future, Schrader and the current administration have been careful to preserve important elements of the past. This year, important steps were taken to repair the dome and the steps inside what is probably the most visual symbol of this community, the Whitley County Courthouse.
“I enjoy working with the people of Whitley County, sharing ideas and listening to their thoughts and suggestions. It seems like everyday brings a new learning experience,” said Schrader.
A lifelong resident of Whitley County, Schrader graduated from Columbia City Joint High School. Following high school, he was engaged in business of the family farm with his father and his uncle, later attending International Business College.
Schrader began his law enforcement career as a reserve officer for the Columbia City Police Department and was appointed as a reserve deputy of the Whitley County Sheriff’s Department. He was later appointed as a merit deputy for the Whitley County Sheriff’s Department, serving 28 years. For 16 years, he served as Whitley County Sheriff. Community service is important to Schrader. He has been an active member of the Columbia Township Fire Department for the past 40 years and he currently serves as assistant chief. He also serves as treasurer of the Whitley County Fire Chiefs’ Association. A ten-year 4-H member, he is also a former 4-H leader.
Schrader’s commitment to his community and his country is evident, having served with the Indiana Army National Guard.
Schrader is a member of the Oak Grove Church of God, the Whitley County FOP and is a life member of the Indiana Sheriffs Association.
Schrader and his wife, Cathy (Lemmon), are the parents of three children. Their son, Jacob, is a career firefighter. Their son, Adam, is a designer for an orthopedic company, and their daughter, Carrie, is a registered nurse. The Schraders enjoy spending time with their granddaughter. Schrader’s political career has included four terms as Whitley County Sheriff, one term on the Whitley County Commissioners and he was a past Columbia Township Assessor.
Schrader has had an interest in Whitley County politics for many years – stemming from his father’s 16 years of service as a Whitley County Councilman.
“I try to be pro-active and use a common sense approach to issues dealing with Whitley County,” Schrader said. “I bring experience, knowledge of county government and integrity to the office. I pledge commitment, a common sense approach to issues and dedication to the citizens of Whitley County.”