CHIEF ROBERT KNOX TO RETIRE
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Zionsville Thanks You for Decades of Dedicated Service
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17 COVER STORY
Chief Robert Knox: Zionsville Thanks You For Decades of Service In this month’s cover story we salute and say thank you to Chief Robert Knox for his decades of service to Zionsville. With Chief Knox’s recent announcement that he would be retiring soon, we look back on his long and distinguished career and wish him the absolute best in the next chapter of his life. Thank you, again, Chief Knox for your dedicated service to your community. Writer // Janelle Morrison • Cover photo // Laura Arick
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Experience the Library After Dark at the 2020 Book Ball Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photography // Courtesy of HMMPLF
The tickets for the 2020 Book Ball are officially on sale! The Book Ball was an event that originally debuted in 1962 and was organized by the Psi Iota Xi sorority—which is still very active in Zionsville—and was held at the Dolphin Country Club in Indianapolis, and the proceeds benefited the Children’s Reading Room of the Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Public Library (HMMPL) in Zionsville. Paying Homage While Raising Awareness The HMMPL Foundation’s Chief Development Officer Tracy Phillips presented the idea of resurrecting and bringing a new purpose to the Book Ball. The HMMPL Foundation—founded in 1999—will host its first fundraising gala this coming February to pay homage to its founders and namesakes and the Psi Iota Xi sorority while sharing the purpose of the foundation with the attendees. As the community grows and the needs of the community changes, Phillips is looking at the Book Ball as a way to assist with the sustainability of the library and the longevity of the foundation, so it can continue to offer the same myriad of services and resources for generations to come. “The Book Ball will be held on Feb. 8, 2020, at the library,” Phillips said. “We will begin the evening paying homage to the original philanthropists of HMMPL, and in the middle of the event, we are going to make a pivot and start talking about the future of the library. In addition to the original philanthropists, we will also be using this event to thank the original fundraisers, Psi Iota Xi sorority. Many of its members are extremely active and do so much for Zionsville. They were the ones that started fundraising for the Summer Library Program and hosted the original Book Balls, which is why we have named this event in their honor and are hoping that many of them will come to this event.” As we are reminded that the Book Ball is a tradition being resurrected to pay homage to all of the support that came before us, it is also an opportunity to learn more about the foundation and what’s currently going on at our library. It is also
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a fun and exciting way to experience the library after hours with live music by Greta Speaks, heavy hors d’oeuvres, desserts and cocktails! Attendees can participate in a “Book Pull”—a version of a wine pull—a library scavenger hunt and a special fund drive—a unique opportunity to steer a new library outreach program. You must be present for the reveal of this innovative and exciting program! The ticket price will be $75 until January 1 and then on or after it goes up to $100 per person. So, get your tickets early. Sponsorships are available for the Book Ball, and interested parties should contact Phillips for individual and corporate sponsorship details.
How Does the HMMPL Foundation Support Community? What people may not know is that 2019 is the 20th anniversary of the foundation’s grant giving and celebrated a monumental milestone on the actual anniversary this past October when it surpassed $1 million dollars in grant distributions to the library for a myriad of programs and services. “In 1999, the HMMPL Foundation was created through the bequests of Olive Hoffman, Lora Hussey and Mary Mayfield that was separated from the public library and put into a foundation, into an endowment-like fund,” Phillips explained. “So, for 20 years—quietly with no publicity—the board of directors of the library foundation has given grants that are funded by the distribution of the principle from this bequest.” Phillips shared a fascinating anecdote about a grant from the foundation’s very first grant cycle. “I pulled out the grants from that [first] grant cycle and found a grant for a poetry workshop and reading by New York author Dave Johnson,” Phillips shared. “In the spring of 2002, Johnson came to Zionsville and presented a two-day program that was designed to enhance the appreciation and interest in poetry by all ages. And I recently discovered a book on our shelf [at the library], “The Closest I
Ever Came to Purple—A poetry anthology by the young adults of The Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Library,” that was edited by Johnson. Some of the names of people who are published in this anthology are recognizable names and still reside in our community. This is just one of many examples of how the foundation board has been doing out-of-the-box things to benefit our library and community.”
For tickets and additional details on the Book Ball, visit http://bit.ly/BOOKBALL2020. For more information on the HMMPL Foundation, visit zionsvillelibrary.org.
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This foundation has provided grants for free programs and services enjoyed by members of our community, as well as members of surrounding communities, such as popular programs like the Summer Reading Program as well as necessary infrastructure such as Wi-Fi. “To this day, the foundation is funding the library’s marketing department that promotes the library and its 1,202 events/ programs that we had last year that need to be publicized,” Phillips said. “And this past October, one of innovative grants was approved that really excites me. A sensory garden that is billed as a ‘children’s’ sensory garden will have a children’s seating area on one level and additional seating for adults on another level, so we can have children’s programs out there, moms can meet for ‘Mom’s Day Out’ gatherings, book clubs or just a place of respite. The sensory garden is for everyone.” The library is our community’s hub, and as such, it relies on the support of its patrons to keep the high-level and vast assortment of resources and programs at our disposal. “We are the community hub,” Phillips concurred. “We are the place where everyone goes for resources and programs for all ages, and we want to be even more of that. Our strategic plan will get us there, but our foundation has to be poised and ready—financially—to fill the needs that the community has told us it wants.”
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The Notorious Demon Barber Is Coming to Carmel Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photography // Courtesy of CSO, ATI and Theresa Skutt
You will not want to miss the first-ever collaborative concert production by Carmel Symphony Orchestra (CSO) and Actors Theatre of Indiana (ATI): “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” coming to life on the stage of the Palladium February 21 and 22, 2020.
he Original Production An award-winning musical, “Sweeney Todd” has music and lyrics written by one of the most renowned and respected figures in 20th-century musical theater—Stephen Sondheim. The musical thriller first opened on Broadway in 1979 and won eight Tony Awards, Best Musical being one of them, when it first premiered. “Sweeney Todd” has won numerous awards over the decades and continues to entrance, amuse and awe its audiences the world over.
The Plot Set in Victorian London, Sweeney Todd is an unjustly exiled barber who returns to London years later to seek revenge on the judge who framed him and on those who made him suffer and lose his beloved family. He opens a barber shop connected to Mrs. Lovett’s meat pie shop and initiates his crime rampage. Audiences are sure to be immersed in a rich, demented and beautiful acoustic and visual experience created by the talented musicians and actors from CSO and ATI.
Premiering at the Palladium We spoke with CSO’s music director Janna Hymes and Don Farrell, ATI’s artistic director and co-founder, about what makes their production of “Sweeney Todd” at the Palladium unique, aside from the collaboration of two resident companies of The Center for the Performing Arts. “I saw ‘Sweeney Todd’ with Angela Lansbury and Len Cariou when I was a young girl in NYC,” Hymes shared. “I was so moved by the beauty of some of the music, and [Lansbury] was so expert
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in that role. It was incredible, and [the musical] has remained my favorite show ever since. It has everything in it: drama, music, visuals, humor and passion. It’s all there in a way that totally hits my heart.” Farrell added, “That lush score! I remember the first time I ever heard the original cast recording with Cariou and Lansbury. I also saw the video that was done for PBS with Lansbury and George Hearn. The first time I got to experience it live was in 1989 in NYC, and I saw the production with Bob Gunton and Beth Fowler. I was blown away. The score is so inventive, and it’s so cool to see a musical thriller go so mainstream the way that it has. It’s probably one of the greatest musicals [Sondheim’s] ever written. For us and our audiences to hear the full score in orchestration—the way it was intended in the original production—is so rare because it is so expensive to present. And for it to be done at the Palladium, which is acoustically perfect, will be great, so we’re really excited about it.” According to Hymes, the staging will be unique as well and will give the audi-
ences a “complete theatrical experience.” The two companies will be utilizing the stage in the Palladium in ways that have not been executed before but will showcase the hall’s highly touted acoustic perfection while demonstrating the masterful skills of both resident companies simultaneously. “This [‘Sweeney Todd’] will be a very full show, and people will not leave
‘wanting,’” Hymes said. “It will be a complete theatrical experience, and I think that it’s going to be really spectacular. This [production] is quite unusual to what [CSO and ATI] normally do, so fans of both should come because it is going to be exciting. People who love theater and/or the Palladium itself should come because this will be more than just entertainment, and when you experience something that really moves you—that is when great art is made, and I think this show will do just that.” Tickets are available now at the Center for the Performing Arts box office at thecenterpresents.org, through ATI at atistage.org and the CSO’s website at carmelsymphony.org.
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THE PALLADIUM PRESENTS
CHRIS BOTTI Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photography // Courtesy of The Center for the Performing Arts
TRUMPETER CHRIS BOTTI’S BLEND OF JAZZ, CLASSICAL AND POP MUSIC HAS MADE HIM ONE OF AMERICA’S BEST-SELLING INSTRUMENTAL ARTISTS WITH FOUR ALBUMS REACHING NO. 1 ON THE JAZZ CHARTS. HIS MOST RECENT RELEASE, “IMPRESSIONS,” CLAIMED A GRAMMY AWARD FOR BEST POP INSTRUMENTAL ALBUM AND FEATURED CONTRIBUTIONS FROM SUCH PROMINENT GUEST ARTISTS AS ANDREA BOCELLI, VINCE GILL, HERBIE HANCOCK AND MARK KNOPFLER. THIS SHOW WILL SELL OUT, SO VISIT THECENTERPRESENTS.ORG BEFORE TICKETS HAVE COMPLETELY SOLD OUT. We are excited to welcome you back to the Palladium! What did you enjoy most about performing here? I believe I played at the opening gala when it [the Palladium] first opened, and to the best of my recollection, I referred to it as the other Carnegie Hall—it is so very striking and beautiful. A lot of times, new venues don’t sound as good as old ones, but [the Palladium] sounds great, so congratulations to Carmel.
For those who may not know, I thought it was cool to mention that you attended and graduated from Indiana University and studied under the legendary William “Bill” Adam and David Baker. How did your college career set you up for your professional career? When I look back at my college career in music, there are three things that contributed to my [professional career]. First and foremost was the [college] curriculum and the professors. I was so fortunate to study with Bill Adam and Dave Baker. Then the second was my classmates, especially when you’re coming up in music. You want to be around like-minded people who eventually go on to do incredible things. Then the final thing that I think separates the IU School of Music in so many ways from other schools like Juilliard and Berkeley is that Bloomington is a culturally diverse city that nurtures and respects the process of being a musician. Bloomington
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doesn’t have all the trappings of trying to get around a big city [like NYC], where you’re staying out late and rushing into the wrong things. I’m glad I didn’t move to NYC when I was 20 but waited until I was old enough that I could handle it because sometimes it swallows people up.
When did you realize your passion for the trumpet? I read somewhere that you got a “spark” watching Doc Severinsen on “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson. My mom was a classical pianist and wanted me to play piano, and so the original spark was I didn’t really want to play piano. [Laughing] I turned on “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson. At the time—in the ’70s—there were three really famous people on TV: Johnny Carson, Ed McMahon and Doc Severinsen. I was really taken in by his personality and incredible trumpet playing, so that’s what initially got me to pick up the trumpet in the third grade. By fifth grade, I was already pretty passionate about the trumpet, but when I was 12 years old, I heard a Miles Davis album, and that’s when it “clicked.” I remember telling my mom that I was going to be a trumpet player or fail trying. I knew then that music would be my life’s work early on [in life], and that’s not an uncommon thing for a lot of musicians. You just somehow instinctively know. You’ve played with so many iconic artists including Tony Bennett, Herbie Hancock, Lady Gaga, Sting and Sinatra. What’s the one commonality they have that resonates with you? I’ve been talking a little bit about that onstage lately. I look back at the artists that I was drawn to and spent time with, like Sinatra, Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon, Sting, etc., and I think those artists are radically different from one another and yet the similarities are pretty profound in the sense that they really value the musicians that they are on stage with. Back in the day, Sinatra would come out and acknowledge the orchestra and the musicians. It’s a very old-school way of running a band and being a band leader, and I learned a lot from being around those people. I remember Sting telling me, “The brighter your star shines, Chris, the happier I will be.” I try to pass that on to my band. I want a band that can swagger all over the stage—musi-
PERFORMER SPOTLIGHT SUNDAY, FEB. 9, 7 P.M.
cally—because it will make the show more memorable for the audience, and that’s what you want.
Knowing that we are the last generations that can say they saw, knew or performed with Frank Sinatra, how does your time performing and knowing Sinatra affect how you lead your band and show today? I remember my first day with Sinatra—I’d just graduated IU and went on the road and out walks Sinatra. Not only did he acknowledge the band and expect that kind of swagger from the band, but he also acknowledged the audience. I also became friends with Don Rickles, and though it was his job to interact with the audience, people like Don and Sinatra had this ability to bring the show to the audience and make it conversational. I am so happy that I came up [in the industry] when I did. It impacts the way I run my band and show, and I hope that people remember my show based on those old-school techniques. Your fans who have seen you live and in color already know what kind of incredible and unforgettable show to expect when you come to Carmel next month, but for those who are not as
familiar with your show, what can they expect to see and hear from you? The question you’re asking me, in one framework or another, is the most difficult thing for me to answer and yet is the single most powerful thing that fuels my career. Let me give you an example: I’ve invited friends of mine to one of my shows in L.A. or somewhere that have not seen me play before and they’ve sheepishly asked, “So, Chris, is it just you on stage with a trumpet?” It’s hard for me to put a banner up and say, trust me when I tell you that you won’t see a better collection of an allstar band with a pianist, violinist, two singers, drummer and guitarist. How is the show different from your albums? It is a full-on all-star show that is completely different from my records, which are meant to be emotional or romantic. When we come and play a live show, it’s muscular when it needs to be and shows off all the chops. It has a “wow” factor, and so I guess what I’m getting at is trust me, you won’t see anything like this out there touring, and it’s hard for me to say that without sounding like a pompous a******. This show truly is a collection of musical all-stars, and it’s very gratifying [for all of us] when people come to see us perform.
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CHIEF ROBERT KNOX: Zionsville Thanks You for Decades of Service
As a resident of Zionsville and local journalist who has been privileged to know and cover the Zionsville Police Department (ZPD) and its chief, Robert Knox, it is with bittersweet emotions that the publishers of Zionsville Monthly and I announce Chief Knox’s intent to retire from the department in the early part of 2020. Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photography // Laura Arick and Staff
fter 35 years with ZPD, Knox has spent the last several months deliberating with his wife, Karin, on when the “right” time to retire would be. Knox decided this is the year that he will pass the baton and all of its responsibilities to a new Chief of Police while he prepares to enter a brand-new chapter in his life as a civilian. A decision that has been a heart wrenching one for Knox to make though he is excited to see what the “retired life” looks like.
THE MAKING OF A CHIEF OF POLICE Knox’s desire to serve as a police officer comes naturally. His father was in the
military and served in the military police. Knox shared that his respect and awe for police officers grew throughout his childhood and formative years. “I grew up on the other side of Boone County and went to a little school that is now Granville Wells Elementary School,” Knox shared. “Everything revolved around basketball in those communities then— we didn’t even have a football team. Every now and then you would see a trooper or an officer come to the basketball games, and I remember thinking how awesome that was. Once I got through high school, I went to Vincennes University for a little while, but I didn’t major in law enforcement.”
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In fact, Knox became a pipe fitter after completing a four-year apprenticeship. It was during that time that he became a reserve police officer, and that’s when his “calling” became apparent to him. Knox worked his way up from a reserve police officer to working full time in investigations and the drug task force before becoming chief of ZPD. “I came over to Zionsville in the early ’80s as a reserve police officer, and then I had the opportunity to go to Lebanon [Police Department], where I became a full-time officer,” Knox said. “I knew after being a reserve officer [in Zionsville] that I wanted to come back here because I knew that it was something special. I’ve been so blessed, and I think a lot of it was being in the right place at the right time. It’s been an amazing career.”
SUPPORT FROM AND ENGAGING WITH THE COMMUNITY When asked how he feels about the Zionsville community and what its support has meant to him, Knox replied, “I love
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“When I first started at ZPD, there were only five full-time officers, and the population was just over 3,000 in 1984.” the community support that we [ZPD] currently enjoy. We [ZPD] have to work on garnering that support every day, and we must stay engaged with the members of our community.” Under Knox’s leadership and that of his staff, many community engagement programs have been maintained or created such as “Coffee with a Cop,” the Teen and Citizens academies, the “Drug Take Back” program and several other outreach initiatives that aim at continuing to build strong connections between the department and members of the community. “‘Coffee with a Cop’ is a program that we’ve been doing for a number of years,” Knox said. “The idea came from somewhere out on the West Coast, and we adopted it. We’ve held it at a couple of locations over the years, but the McDonald’s here [on Brendon Way] is a great host and partner to ZPD. It’s just a great time in a casual atmosphere to sit down and talk with people. It’s the winning of hearts and minds, and we pass out stickers to the kids who come with their parents or grandparents, and it’s just a blast.” ZPD recently teamed up with Bub’s Burgers to raise money and awareness for Special Olympics—an organization that is close to both the department’s and the chief’s hearts.
“We did an event called ‘Tip A Cop’ to support Special Olympics,” Knox shared. “The tips that the officers earned went towards that. It’s a huge passion of mine as well. The officers did phenomenal work, and I’m so proud of these men and women.”
BEING AN OFFICER ISN’T ALWAYS GLORIOUS AND GOOD TIMES “You asked if I have any regrets—no, not really,” Knox shared. “Yes, I think anybody in any position would have something that they’d like to do over again or a little differently, but those are the learning experiences in life and are part of one’s growth. The good times far outweigh the bad ones, but I am grateful that there are people like us [officers and first responders] to go in and deal with the things that we do as part of our jobs because the majority of people should not have to. It’s not all rainbows and sunshine—the ‘other’ side of the job does happen. I’ve had people die in my arms. I’ve witnessed death and destruction. It has taught me that life and people are very fragile. And people sometimes make bad decisions, but even then, I’ve learned that the people who make bad decisions are somebody’s somebody.” I asked Chief Knox if he lost or gained faith in people during those challenging and heartbreaking moments, and he replied, “It’s part of the career and part of this journey. I’ve never lost faith in people in those times. Those times instead strengthened my faith.”
A FEW OF THE MANY ACCOMPLISHMENTS DURING HIS TENURE During his tenure, ZPD has grown to become a robust department that
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is meeting the needs of our growing community and has added more officers, additional state-of-the-art technology as needed and reinstated the department’s K-9 unit—after the department went many years without one—with the swearing in of Eso. With the community’s support and generosity, Eso had a remarkable career with ZPD, paving the way for current and future K-9 officers. “When I first started at ZPD, there were only five full-time officers, and the population was just over 3,000 in 1984,” Knox stated. “We recently hired our 38th officer, and we’ve increased our civilian staff, but as the department continues to grow to meet the needs of a growing population, so do our needs. Having said that, we [as a department] are very blessed and have some of the best equipment that is available.” In addition to championing for his department, Knox has been a champion for our children and was a major contributor to the School Resource Officer initiative that was implemented as a result of a strategic partnership with the Zionsville Community Schools and with the support of several local elected officials and community members. “I think it’s absolutely the right thing to do, and as we’re going into 2020, do we wish it didn’t have to be so? Yes, of course we do,” Knox expressed. “Do we long for the days and times when we didn’t need SROs in our schools? Of course we do, but it’s the reality of today. I’m proud that we got the partnership with the school system, and all of the officers assigned to the schools are top-notch officers who want to be there [at the schools]. Those officers are out there, getting involved with the kids, and it’s great. One of the SROs used to play pro football for the New York Giants, and now he’s out there with our kids, and that’s neat.”
TOO MANY TO THANK BY NAME Aside from his wife, son and daughterin-law, Knox humbly admitted that he has been blessed to have been supported, mentored and befriended by too many to name without an accidental omission, so he simply said, “I absolutely want to mention my wife, son and daughter-in-
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law—Karin, Justin and Nikki. In 1990, we [my wife and I] had our son, Justin, who is a police officer for the Lebanon Police Department. Karin was always there, lockstep with me every step through all of these years. She supported me through the long hours and all the investigations that took me away from home. She is my rock and has been for over 40 years.” Knox continued, “There are so many people that I would like to thank. They all know who they are. They are the ones who have helped me, supported me, walked beside me—the list is very long, and I am so fortunate to have had and continue to have their support. When I was young and just starting out in my career, I had the opportunity to work with some incredible people and mentors.”
WHAT’S NEXT FOR OUR CHIEF “I’m not sure exactly,” he admitted. “I’m not sure how easy of a transition it will be for me. I’m not going to miss the 3 a.m. calls, but I will continue to worry about these men and women and will continue to raise them up in my prayers, but even
as we talk now, I am starting to feel the weight [of this job] lifting. When I pass this responsibility to the next chief, things will continue to be just fine here at ZPD. I will still be a big cheerleader for the community and for ZPD.” Presently, the chief’s plan is to officially step down after the first quarter of the new year but emphasized that he will not be packing his bags and heading to the tropics in the immediate future. “It really has been an honor to serve as chief and as an officer of this department, and I will be available to help with the process of finding and acclimating a new chief in whatever capacity Mayor Styron wants during the transition. When I walk away from here, I want to know, and I want the community to know, that I gave it my all.” When I asked the chief if the sacrifices, the trials and tribulations and the hard work was all worth it, he replied with a sense of conviction and contentment, “Looking back, maybe I would have done some things differently, but yes. I would do it again.”
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Azionaqua to Make a Big Splash Over 60th Anniversary Writer // Janelle Morrison Photography // Courtesy of Azionaqua Swim Club
While most of us anxiously count down the days until warmer weather arrives and sunshine prevails over gray winter skies, the Azionaqua Swim Club Board of Directors is hard at work planning for the club’s 60th anniversary as one of Zionsville’s most beloved community amenities and not-for-profit swim club.
e sat down with Ginger DeCoursey, aquatics director, and Janet Goar, board president and grounds chair, to learn more about what Azionaqua’s members can anticipate during the anniversary celebration events on July 3 and July 4, 2020. DeCoursey, a Zionsville resident, swam for Carmel High School in the late ’80s and is part of the renowned girls swimming undefeated “dynasty.” She also swam for Purdue University, where she is a fouryear letter winner.
A Brief History of the Club The genesis of the Azionaqua Swim Club dates back to 1956. A group of Masonic Lodge brothers, Virgil Knapp, Henry Beard and Herman Gettle, recognized a need for a venue in the community where children
and people could learn to swim. That led to a steering committee organizing the not-for-profit swim club that has been a Zionsville tradition for over half a century. Located on Willow Road on land that once belonged to Charles Becker and family, the pool was built in the summer of 1960, and its first day of operation was August 6, 1960. By May 1, 1960, the club had 500 charter members. The club’s membership today now boasts approximately 750 family memberships.
Zionsville’s Best-Kept Secret “We moved to Zionsville 22 years ago,” DeCoursey said. “I had a little one at the time and wanted to join a pool. I grew up around a pool, and that’s how I spent the summers. So, we joined [Azionaqua], and my six kids have grown up going to the pool. We’ve been a member for 22 years and live across the street, so we go there all the time.” DeCoursey was hired by the club two years ago as the aquatics director. She shared what makes Azionaqua unique from other aquatic centers as well as some of the incredible programs that the club offers to both young people and adults. “I love the old-school vibe about [Azionaqua], and the nostalgia of it just being a pool,” DeCoursey shared. “The kids have to invent their own fun. I’m all for attractions like slides and all that kind of stuff, but it’s a completely different atmosphere than a place like the Monon Center, for example. The way our membership is set up is member-based. You get to know the lifeguards and staff and the other members. It’s a family-friendly atmosphere, ZIONSVILLE MONTHLY
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which is why my family was drawn to go there in the first place.” DeCoursey continued, “Could you go to another center and have newer amenities and a newer locker room? Absolutely, but you cannot get the atmosphere that we have built at Azionaqua—not even at your neighborhood pool. We also pride ourselves in how clean we keep our pool, deck and locker rooms. We check the pool levels four times a day. We take very good care of the facilities and amenities that we have.” DeCoursey shared that the club is the town’s best-kept secret, and not every family realizes that it exists and that it offers incredible camps and programs during the season. Another thing that most people may not realize is that while the club is membership-based, Azionaqua offers lessons and programs to nonmembers as well. “We offer swim lessons [group and private], diving camps, scuba camp and scuba certification and adult lap swim classes,” DeCoursey shared. “We rent pool space to the Zionsville Swim Club, but we have our own swim team as well. The programming is open to nonmembers and priced accordingly.”
Celebrating 60 Years of Fun and Tradition The board decided to mark the club’s anniversary over the July Fourth holiday since most people will be home and in town for the Lions Club fireworks and other festivities. “We figured we might as well play off the fact that it’s our highest attendance anyway [during the July Fourth holiday],
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and we will play [water] games and have activities at the pool on the Fourth [of July],” DeCoursey said. “The night before [July 3], we will host the patron party, which will hopefully be the big fundraiser portion of the celebration, which will be at the Golf Club of Indiana.” The start time is still being discussed, but festivities on the Fourth will likely begin at noon and conclude at 4:00 p.m. so as not to impede other planned community events or family barbeques. Look for more information regarding the patrons’ dinner at the Golf Club of Indiana on July 3 and the July 4 activities at Azionaqua to be released as the details are finalized. Zionsville Monthly is proud to be the Magazine Sponsor of the club’s anniversary celebrations.
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For more information on programs and membership, and to inquire about private event rental options, call (317) 873-3913 and visit azionaqua.org.
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G l a n c e
Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photography // Laura Arick
We sat down with Mayor Emily Styron to discuss her 90-day forecast as her first quarter in this administration is well underway. During her inauguration address, Styron shared with her constituents the guiding principles that she and her staff will be operating from throughout her tenure as mayor of Zionsville. MAYOR STYRON’S GUIDING PRINCIPLES “These guiding principles are the core from which we operate from,” Styron said. “These [principles] are what the community can expect from us and hold us accountable for. Throughout the precampaign planning and campaign processes, these were the things that people from the community expressed were important to them.”
• We value our sense of community. • We are responsive and proactive. • We are engaged and available for community input. • We are transparent and accountable regarding the business of the town.
• We are forwardthinking and collaborative with residents, business owners, school representatives, community partners, service providers and neighboring communities.
THE FIRST 90 DAYS Mayor Styron shared her first 90 days’ areas of focus and initiatives during our conversation. As the transition period continues and Styron meets with all the department heads to implement her administration’s internal administration and organization strategies, the mayor and her staff have hit the ground running on economic development initiatives and are actively engaging the Economic Development, Redevelopment and Plan commissions as well as the Boone County Economic Development Corporation.
• We use data to measure value of public services in quantifiable terms and to identify areas of opportunity to improve. • We explore a variety of options to maintain public land and provide programming opportunities.
MAYOR’S ACTION CENTER “There is a lot of opportunity, and I am incredibly excited about it,” Styron said. “We are professionalizing and upgrading the general administration in the first 30 days. Our job is to identify and always have a good sense of what the community expects from its municipal government services. So, how do we make sure that we have a really good understanding of what the community needs from us? We provide the Mayor’s Action Center—the one single place that no matter what your question, need or issue is, if the town
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government provides it or is a physical facilitator for it, you can go to the Mayor’s Action Center for assistance. We are going to realign the way we do our business based on our customer [taxpayer] and not based on our preexisting structure. It’s going to be like ripping a giant Band-Aid off at once. It’s not going to be easy, and we’re starting [this term] with some hard things. There is only ‘up’ from here.” PEDESTRIAN CROSSWALKS One of the issues that Styron discussed throughout her campaign was to look at installing more and more effective pedestrian crosswalks where needed. “This is a big deal for me and is a campaign goal—we’re going to look at where pedestrian crosswalks are needed and how they’re going to be prioritized,” Styron stated. “There are three different styles [of crosswalks] that we are going to evaluate in terms of cost options and effectiveness. One includes a lower-cost option that is a crosswalk created by three-dimensional paint. It basically creates an optical illusion—with paint— on the ground that looks raised, so you naturally start to slow down.” CREEKSIDE CORPORATE PARK RECRUITMENT “Julie [Johns-Cole] and I are working to attract businesses and work through their obstacles so that we can bring to their businesses to Creekside,” Styron said. “It’s been six years [developed] already, and it’s time to price this according to the market. We are going to eliminate the barriers as much as can.”
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The mayor announced a rather aggressive goal for Creekside. Styron said, “I would love to have five new businesses in [Creekside] in the administration’s first year.” REDEVELOPMENT PROJECTS AND PARKING The majority of people understand that any mayor’s office has limited influence over utility companies and is at the utilities’ mercy when it comes to installing and relocating lines. However, Mayor Styron has proposed an initiative to bury the utility lines to create more redevelopment opportunities as well as decrease maintenance issues and service interruptions. “I want to bury [the utility] lines, which opens up more opportunities,” Styron said. “The Economic Redevelopment Commission and town council play a role in these goals, which is why it’s a partnership in terms of achieving these goals. I really want to focus on the ‘entryway.’ The redevelopment of our entryway needs
to be the first order of business because that’s what will really have the biggest economic impact. There are some real issues that we are going to have to work through, but it’s time to really look at how we are going to get these projects done.” The mayor addressed the ever-popular topic of parking in downtown Zionsville— specifically on Main Street. “To some degree, the redevelopment of the entryway piece needs to have a public parking component,” Styron said. “The utility lines are a barrier, so burying them opens our vertical options. I don’t know to what degree the water table issues will be digging down, but I would love to see the parking lot that the town owns now turned into something that is more vertical. We will analyze our physical infrastructure needs, which will take time to implement. We’re looking for incremental progress where we can find it. We’re not waiting for the ‘perfect’ solution to drop in our
laps. We can have an iterative approach to solving some of these problems, and that iteration means the first solution may not be the most desirable, but it will ease our pain.” STATE OF THE TOWN ADDRESS The mayor plans to give her first State of the Town address in February—date to be determined—to discuss her 90-day outline and progress report in more detail. “In future years, we’ll hold these [addresses] in January because we’ll have a whole year to talk about,” Styron said. “We will invite the community, stream it live, and it will be an opportunity for Julie and me to talk about what we’re setting out to do and how we are setting ourselves up to achieve our goals.” Be sure to follow Town of Zionsville on Facebook and Twitter for upcoming announcements or visit the town’s website for updates and announcements at zionsville-in.gov.
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Chief Robert Knox: Zionsville Thanks You For Decades of Service In this month’s cover story we salute and say thank you to Chief Robert Kno...
Published on Jan 20, 2020
Chief Robert Knox: Zionsville Thanks You For Decades of Service In this month’s cover story we salute and say thank you to Chief Robert Kno...